Kenny Marks – Attitude – 1985

This was Kenny Mark’s third album and was kind of a breakthrough album. Mark’s first two albums received very little airplay as the lyrics and style went a little to far for Christian radio. However this album got heavy radio play in part due to it being better material and also in part to Christian radio was finally growing up and allowing more upbeat pop songs. The album produced 3 singles. Soul Reviver spent 9 weeks on the charts peaking at #35. Heroes was on the charts for 17 weeks peaking at #27 and Friends made it to #21 and was on the charts for 8 weeks. However the best song on the album “The Party’s Over” received no airplay as the JPM count was too low (Jesus Per Minute). Anyway, it’s a great Pop album and the music video for The Party’s Over was excellent.

1 – Life After High School – 3:57
2 – Attitude – 2:53
3 – It Doesn’t Hurt That Much – 4:51
4 – Heroes – 4:28
5 – It’s A Good Thing – 3:33
6 – The Party’s Over – 4:27
7 – Heart Trouble – 4:28
8 – Soul Reviver – 4:33
9 – Friends – 3:40

Art Direction – Keith Hunter (2), Thomas Ryan Design
Concept By [Cover Concept] – Pamela Marks
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Willie Pevear
Engineer [Assistant] – Alan Henry, Chris Hammond
Executive-Producer – Neal Joseph
Producer – Bubba Smith (2)
Recorded By, Mixed By – David Schober

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Blind Beggar – Winds Of War – 1985

This is a 4 song self released EP from Blind Beggar. I don’t know much about the band other than they were from Florida. This appears to be it from them and none of the 3 members appear to have done any published subsequent work. This is a Metal EP (though “Daddies Little Girl” is a little more Hard Rock). I often speak out against self produced albums but they did a great job on this one. The mix is good and I like the production quality though I would have mixed the cymbals up a tad (I know that’s really picky). The lead track is presumably the single and is a pretty good metal tune. My favourite track was Daddies Little Girl but I generally lean to the more Rock oriented tracks. It’s only 4 songs so it’s well worth listening to. Be sure to check out the pic on the back cover. These guys missed the memo on torn pants of obnoxious colours. Instead they look like a normal rock band.

1 – Winds Of War
2 – Daddies Little Girl
3 – Shout It
4 – Virgin’s Child

Drums, Vocals – Joel Wilkinson
Engineer – David Lee
Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – David Lee
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Freddy Laine
Producer – David Lee

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Last Trumpet Sound
Mixed At – Last Trumpet Sound

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Carman – Comin’ On Strong – 1985

This was Carmen’s 4th album and his first with Myrrh records. This album had a “Poppier” feel than his previous and in fact a few tracks could easily have played on pop radio of the time. The album was relatively well received but their were no “chart toppers”. This is probably my favourite Carmen album with my favourite song from him “Spirit Filled Pizza” Yes it’s a bit of a goofy song but I’ve always liked it.

1 – Get Outta My Life – 3:25
2 – This Thing Is Real – 3:56
3 – His Mercy Endures Forever – 3:42
4 – Spirit Filled Pizza – 3:28
5 – Ask Of Me – 4:18
6 – Blessed Is He Who Comes – 3:10
7 – He Is The Son Of God – 3:44
8 – Lazarus Come Forth – 6:25
9 – The Light Of Jesus To The World – 3:59

Co-producer [Production Assistance] – Jeff Balding
Executive-Producer – Lynn Nichols
Mastered By – Hank Williams (2)
Producer – Keith Thomas
Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – A&M Records
Recorded At – Emerald Sound Studios
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Morningstar Studios
Recorded At – Stage III
Mixed At – The Castle Recording Studios
Mastered At – MasterMix

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Rosanna’s Raiders – We Are Raiders (Demo) – 1985

This was a self released Demo from Rosanna’s Raiders in 1985. They also had one in 1984 with mostly different songs. It shows that they had a very good selection of songs before they were ever signed to a record deal. If you are familiar with Rosanna’s Raiders you might be a little surprised by this demo. I found it to be a little toned down from their label releases and in fact I think I prefer this toned down style. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of this demo. More often than not demos do not have the best engineering and production but in the case I found both to be excellent.

1 – We Are Raiders – 3:23
2 – Reflections – 4:50
3 – When You Woke Up This Morning – 4:24
4 – Spotlight – 3:56
5 – Masks – 3:42
6 – You Are My Rock – 4:28
7 – Why Don’t People Care – 4:51
8 – Hiding Behind Closed Doors – 4:26
9 – Whose Side Are You On – 6:02
10 – Mr. Magic – 2:44
11 – He Is Coming (Are You Ready?) – 4:04

Producer – Rosanna’s Raiders
Producer, Engineer – Phil Butson

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David and The Giants – Under Control – 1985

Under Control is David and The Giants 9th album since becoming Christians and their second on Myrrh/Word Records. It was an upbeat album which needs to be said as they had several albums that could only be described as an Easy Listening/asleep style. This album was well received and sold well in Christian circles. The song “Almost Midnight”, and “Borrowed Time” were both from the album Almost Midnight however both were rerecorded with a more current Rock & Roll feel for this release.

1 – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet – 2:39
2 – He’s Got It Under Control – 3:11
3 – Taking It To The World – 3:40
4 – Rockin’ For The Rock – 3:28
5 – Borrowed Time – 5:06
6 – It’s Just A Matter Of Time – 3:46
7 – Sweet Inspiration – 4:14
8 – His Love Lifted Me Up – 3:23
9 – You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – 3:22
10 – Almost Midnight – 3:30

Art Direction – Kent Hunter
Backing Vocals – Clayborn Huff, Keith Thibodeaux, Rayborn Huff
Bass – Clayborn Huff
Design – Thomas Ryan Design
Drums – Keith Thibodeaux
Engineer – David Huff, David Schober, Rayborn Huff
Guitar – David Huff
Keyboards – Rayborn Huff
Lead Vocals – David Huff
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Performer [David & The Giants Is] – Clayborn Huff, David Huff, Keith Thibodeaux, Rayborn Huff
Photography – Ron Keith, Scott Bonner
Producer – David & The Giants
Remix [Engineer] – David Schober

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word
Recorded At – Huff Recording Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles

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Vector – Please Stand By – 1985

This was the second album from Vector. It was still on Exit Records and was distributed by A&M Records. This album could be argued as a secular album on a Christian label but Vector was a Christian band. The difference was that they didn’t write “preachy” songs and one had to actually listen to the lyrics to see where they were going with them. This album was as good as their first and they continued their great new wave sound.

1 – Hear What I Say – 3:45
2 – Fallen Star – 4:27
3 – Running To The Memory – 4:09
4 – How Many Times – 3:38
5 – Scottish Coast – 3:08
6 – Surrender – 4:55
7 – Dance – 3:27
8 – I Can’t Help Falling In Love – 3:56
9 – America – 4:11

Drums, Drums [Synth], Percussion, Backing Vocals, Concept By [Cover] – Bruce Spencer
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Guitar, Guitar [Synth], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jim Abegg
Illustration, Design [Graphic] – Marty Gessler
Lead Vocals, Bass, Bass [Synth], Backing Vocals – Steve Griffith
Photography By – Gerry McIntrye
Producer, Recorded By, Keyboards – Chuck Wild
Recorded By – Daryl Zachman
Recorded By [Additional] – Jeffrey Lesser

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Exit Records
Copyright (c) – Exit Records
Manufactured By – A&M Records, Inc.
Distributed By – A&M Records, Inc.
Recorded At – Sangre Studios
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – Δ27035

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Russ Taff – Medals – 1985

This is Russ Taff’s second solo album and many consider it to be one of the best Christian albums of the mid 80’s. It received the Dove award for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year in 1986 and rose to #2 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. This album was recorded with some of the top Studio musicians of the time including, Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Nathan East, Robbie Buchanan, Tommy Funderburk, and Bill Champlin. One of the top cuts, “I’m Not Alone” was written by Paul Janz of Deliverance fame. All in all a good pop sound album that deserves at least one listen even if the Russ Taff name spooks you.

1 – Vision – 4:09
2 – I’m Not Alone – 4:19
3 – Medals – 4:43
4 – Not Gonna Bow – 4:11
5 – Here I Am – 4:11
6 – I’ve Come This Far – 5:28
7 – Silent Love – 4:45
8 – How Much It Hurts – 4:05
9 – Rock Solid – 4:08
10 – God Only Knows – 4:34

Backing Vocals – Bill Champlin (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, B2, B3), Carmen Twitty (tracks: A3, B1, B4, B5), Harry Browning (tracks: A3), Lynn Nichols (tracks: A3), Russ Taff (tracks: A1 to A4, B4), Tamara Champlin (tracks: A1, A2, A4), Tata Vega (tracks: A3, B1, B4. B5), Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Nathan East (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B4, B5), Neil Stubenhaus (tracks: A2, A4, A5 B2, B3)
Drums – Paul Leim
Electric Guitar – Dann Huff, Michael Landau (tracks: A2 to B5), Paul Jackson, Jr. (tracks: A1, B1)
Keyboards – Robbie Buchanan (tracks: A2, A4, B1, B2, B5)
Percussion – Lenny Castro (tracks: A2 to B5)
Saxophone – Larry Williams (tracks: A2, A4, B5)
Scat – Tata Vega (tracks: B1, B4)
Synthesizer – James Newton Howard (tracks: A1, A2, A4), Rhett Lawrence (tracks: B4), Robbie Buchanan

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Debby Boone – Choose Life – 1985

This was the 8th album from Debbie Boone. For this album she turned to Michael and Stormie Omartian for most of the songs. Michael also produced and performed on the album. The album has a significant Pop sound that we weren’t used to from Debby. There are still several good worship oriented songs however if that’s what you are looking for. This album reached #7 in the Contemporary Christian music charts helped I’m sure by the Pop feel of the album.

1 – The Time Is Now – 4:22
2 – Pressure Points – 4:18
3 – Teach Me How To Love – 4:13
4 – When I Accepted You – 4:00
5 – Delight In Him – 3:53
6 – Choose Life – 4:17
7 – The Heart Of The Matter – 5:50
8 – Right For You – 4:19
9 – Song Of Deliverance – 3:54
10 – The Lord Is So Good – 3:14

Backing Vocals – Dara Bernard, Khaliq Glover, Terry Williams
Bass – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: A5), Joe Chemay, Nathan East
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Design – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Drums – Paul Liem
Engineer [Second Engineer] – Larry Fergusson
Engineer, Mixed By – John Guess
Guitar – Michael Landau
Photography By – Sue Choi
Piano – Marty Goetz (tracks: B5)
Producer, Arranged By, Keyboards, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Michael Omartian
Production Manager [Production Coordinator] – Ronnie Puccinelli
Programmed By [Yamaha Dx-7 Programs] – Erik Persing
Soloist [Sax Solos] – Gary Herbig
Vocals [Duet] – Michael Omartian (tracks: B3)

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Benny Hester – Benny From Here – 1985

This was perhaps Benny’s best album ever. It spawned the single “When God Ran” which is the longest running number one song in Contemporary Christian Music history lasting 13 weeks. I personally loved this album with my favourite track being “Susie Said, Yeah!”. Benny transitioned from the 70’s to the 80’s with great ease. A lot of seventy Jesus music artists struggled with the transition to 80’s Rock or Pop but Benny made it look easy.

1 – Secret Thoughts – 4:40
2 – Streets Of Las Vegas – 3:54
3 – When God Ran – 4:57
4 – Susie Said, Yeah! – 3:15
5 – To Fill Our Empty Hearts – 4:22
6 – Back To Basics – 4:23
7 – Can I Get To You From Here – 3:44
8 – Whoever Touches You – 3:36
9 – Marching On – 3:20
10 – Hold Me – 4:47

Art Direction, Design – Roland Young
Bass – Neil Stubenhaus
Creative Director – Tom Willett
Drums, Percussion – John Robinson
Executive-Producer, Management – Brad Burkhart
Guitar – Dann Huff
Keyboards – Alan Pasqua, Charlie Olins
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Dennis Mackay
Percussion – Keith Edwards
Photography By – Mark Hanauer
Producer – Dan Posthuma
Recorded By – Daniel Garcia, David Schober, John “Beverly” Jones
Recorded By, Producer [Associate Producer] – Jeremy Smith

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Music Grinder Studios
Recorded At – Redwing Studios
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Recorded At – Suma Recording Studio
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – Δ26991
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Suburban Madness Music
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Company

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Leviticus – I Shall Conquer – 1985

This was the first album from Swedish Metal band Leviticus. It was originally released in Sweden in Swedish in 1983. The band redid the album in English for a European and North American Release. Leviticus played the Greenbelt festival in England in 1984, and 1985 in support of this album. This album has a bit of a symphonic feel that disappeared in the bands later releases. The engineering on this album was not the best in my opinion as it appeared the producer/engineer were going for the “wall of sound” feel which never works well on a Metal album again in my opinion. The album was re-released in 2000 on CD with bonus material.

1 – I Shall Conquer
2 – Let Me Fight
3 – He’s My Life
4 – Doubt
5 – Action More Than Words
6 – All Is Calm
7 – Day By Day
8 – Strive Forwards
9 – Psalm 23

Bass – Håkan Andersson
Drums – Kjell Andersson
Guitar – Björn Stigsson
Lead Vocals – Håkan Andersson
Percussion – Kjell Andersson
Vocals – Björn Stigsson

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