I once coined a phrase called “WayneWatsonitis.” I used it in retail to describe artists that everyone loved their songs, but no one knew there name. It happened when I took my sister to see Wayne Watson at Melodyland in Southern California (across the street from Disneyland). She mentioned before the concert that she was unfamiliar with Watson, but midway through the concert leaned over and said, “I know every one of these songs!” Watson is a prolific artists with mountains if hits, popular church songs and some actual classics and yet is often forgotten when discussing the best of late 70’s and 80’s music. Many may remember his truly classic, “Touch of the Master’s Hand” or even the popular wedding song, “Somewhere in the World” that appears here, but his legacy is much broader and more impactful. This album brought Watson into the mainstream of CCM, moving from a smaller label to Dayspring Records and receiving distribution from mega company Word. But the album is filled with radio favorites and many songs that lasted for decades. “Narrow Way” starts of the album with a safe, CCM pop radio hit. But it was “Lookin’ Out for Number One” that KYMS jumped on and made it into a monster hit. Upbeat and approachable it became the song that brought Watson into the forefront in Southern California. It also allowed the follow up single to become the classic it is now regarded as. “Somewhere in the World” could have easily been just another song about parenting until listeners discovered it was a song about praying for the future spouse of their own child. The emotional chord it struck would only be duplicated a few years later by a song like “Butterfly Kisses.” It became a wedding classic and sold truck loads of accompaniment tracks. Even typing to this as I listen I am struck by the emotional tug that hopefully someone out there is praying for my own young daughter to be the Godly woman fit for their Godly son. The sentiment is emotional, but authentic, and I believe why it struck such a powerful chord with listeners. The album bounces between mid-tempo pop rock and stirring, inspirational ballads. But Watson’s vocals are so pure and naturally emotive that even the most formulaic CCM numbers never come across as trite. It’s fair to say that Watson possessed a voice that ranks among the best in CCM. Most of the album fits quite nicely within the framework of the CCM world at the time and served as a wonderful set up for his classic album that would follow (to be discussed much later).
Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – The Narrow Way – 4:05 2 – Lookin’ Out For Number One – 3:08 3 – Heart Of Hearts – 3:57 4 – Peace That Passes Understanding – 4:02 5 – Somewhere In The World – 3:29 6 – Giants In The Land – 4:18 7 – Born In Zion – 4:23 8 – Look Me In The Heart – 3:16 9 – Changed In A Moment – 3:07 10 – Holiness – 3:52
Credits Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Greg Jennings Arranged By – Phil Naish Arranged By [Strings] – Alan Moore Arranged By, Keyboards [Electronic] – Shane Keister Art Direction – Buddy Jackson, Jackson Design Bass Guitar – Mike Brignardello Drums, Electronic Drums, Programmed By [Percussion] – Dennis Holt Engineer [Assistant] – Alan Henry, Bill Whittington, Chris Hammond, Danny Mundhenk, J.T. Cantwell, Keith Penney Executive-Producer – Neal Joseph Keyboards [Electronic & Moog Bass Lines] – Phil Naish Mastered By – Doug Sax Percussion – Terry McMillan Photography By – Mark Tucker Producer, Arranged By – Wayne Watson Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Scott Hendricks Saxophone [Solo] – Sam Levine Strings – The Nashville String Machine
This is Connie’s second solo album and it picks up where the last one left off. While very popular in Canada (she is Canadian) she was only moderately popular in the U.S. That said this album did have 2 CCM charting singles with Lord Of Glory making it to #9 and Jesus In Your Heart to #32. Some interesting trivia is that Connie’s father Gerry was at the time the President of Canadian label Image VII and is listed as the current owner and president of Word Records Canada. I’m assuming that Connie met her husband during this album as he was the producer but that’s only speculation. Anyway this is a pretty good Pop album and while it was the worship oriented tracks that singled there are some solid Pop tunes on the album.
Tracklist 1 – Spirit Mover – 3:21 2 – He’s The Rock – 3:30 3 – Lord Of Glory – 3:31 4 – The Video – 3:10 5 – Jesus In Your Heart – 3:16 6 – D.O.A. – 4:22 7 – For So Long – 4:17 8 – Come On Leah – 4:09 9 – Is There An Orphan In Your Heart – 6:45
Credits Executive Producers – Gerry Scott & Grant Saip Producer – Greg Nelson Engineer – Ed Seay Engineer Assistance – Tom Harding Keyboards & Synthesizers – Shane Keister Electric Guitar – Jon Goin Bass – Mike Brignardello Drums – Mark Hammond Percussion – Farrell Morris Acoustic Guitar on “Jesus In Your Heart” – Mark Baldwin Saxophone on “For So Long” – Jim Horn Strings – Carl Gorodetzky & The Nashville String Machine String Arrangements – Alan Moore Strings Conducted – Greg Nelson Synclavier Programming – Steve Shaffer Manuscript Preparation – Dan Cleary & Eberhard Ramm Background vocals – Marty McCall, Melodie Runney, Bonnie Keen & Connie Scott
Companies, etc. Digitally Recorded & Mixed at Treasure Isle Recorders, Nashville, TN Additional Recording at Castle Recording Studio Inc., Franklin, TN Digitally Mastered at Future Disc, Hollywood, CA by Steve Hall & Herb Melton
Sometimes these Sparrow samplers bewildered me and this one is one of them. How you can have Rez Band, Steve Taylor, and John Michael Talbot on the same sampler? I well remember us buying these samplers for 1 or 2 tracks and I bet a lot of people bought this one with the same intent. Anyway below I have listed all the tracks and their associated albums;
1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – Shake Me To Wake Me 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – Spirit Mover 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – I’m Gonna Follow You 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – You’re My Road 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – On The Fritz 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – Known By The Scars 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – Face To Face 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – Art Of The State 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – Choose Life 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – Power Of Praise 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – Battle Of The Heart 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – Don’t Hide Your Heart 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – Hostage 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – Look Who Loves You Now 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – He Holds The Keys 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You
Tracklist 1 – Steve Camp – Help Is On The Way – 4:03 2 – Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – 3:20 3 – Silverwind – I’m Gonna Follow You – 2:59 4 – Rick Cua – You’ve Only Got One Life – 3:37 5 – Steve Taylor – I Just Wanna Know – 4:37 6 – Michael Card – Come To The Table – 3:48 7 – Terry Talbot – Mighty Rushing Wind – 4:11 8 – AD – The Only Way To Have A Friend – 4:15 9 – Debby Boone – Teach Me How To Love – 4:15 10 – Phil Driscoll – Jesus I Love You – 4:36 11 – Wendy & Mary – Around The Walls – 3:17 12 – Sheila Walsh – Light Across The World – 3:23 13 – Rez Band – Souls For Hire – 3:30 14 – Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – 3:18 15 – Steve Green – Praise To The King – 2:31 16 – John Michael Talbot – Lord Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You (Psalm 72) – 4:14
I’ll say this about Dallas, he worked his butt off. I was looking at his discography and wow did he get a lot of albums out. This was actually the last album using the artist name of “Dallas Holm & Praise”. I really think Dallas should have kept using this name as it was probably one of the top 10 best known Christian artist names of the time. There might have been some legal reasons to drop the name but who knows. As for the album it only had 2 singles on the CCM chart. “Prayer Warriors” made it to #12 and Mystified to #11. I kind of feel there were a couple more singles on this album but this isn’t exactly my genre music so I probably shouldn’t be picking singles. As far as Dallas Holm & Praise albums this is probably the most upbeat and several tracks fall solidly in the Pop category, up a couple steps from Easy Listening and I actually enjoyed listening to this album.
Tracklist 1 – Prayer Warriors – 4:23 2 – Just Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – 3:42 3 – It’s War – 3:10 4 – Live What You Say – 3:53 5 – While I’m Standing Here – 4:33 6 – Change The World – 4:40 7 – This Breath Of Life – 3:02 8 – Care For The Wounded – 3:39 9 – Mystified – 4:12 10 – We Have Overcome – 3:25
Credits Art Direction – Bill Brunt Backing Vocals – Rick Crawford, Tim Johnson Backing Vocals [Additional] – Gary Janney, Marty McCall, Melody Tunney, Neal Joseph, Wayne Watson Bass – Mike Brignardello Drums, Percussion – Dennis Holt, Ric Norris Engineer, Mixed By – James Kenneth Baird Guitar – Greg Jennings, Hadley Hockensmith Keyboards – Smitty Price Lyricon – Dennis Solee Mastered By – Hank Williams Percussion – Farrell Morris Photography – Ron Keith, Scott Bonner Producer – Neal Joseph, Smitty Price Strings – The Kris Wilkinson Strings Vocoder – Shane Kester Written By – Dallas Holm
Companies, etc. Manufactured By – A&M Records, Inc. Distributed By – A&M Records, Inc. Recorded At – Bullet Recording Mastered At – Mastermix
This is the only French (France French) CCM artist I am aware of. This album was released in France in French and in North America in English. Unfortunately we have been unable to find the French version but we’re watching out for it. I can’t find any information about Gonzales but he must have been known in the industry as there are some heavy hitters helping him out on this album. Joe English, Rick Cua, and Hank Williams to name a few contributed. Furthermore I am confused by the song Survivor Blues in which he sings about growing up Jewish and I can hear a Jewish accent at time on different tracks. Of course just because he grew up Jewish does not mean he later became Evangelical but that’s just speculation. This is one of the albums from Refuge that I find frustrating as the names of the tracks are sometimes different on the jacket, the sleeve, and the label. I’ve seen this a few times and I always wonder how this happens. I would think they would all be working from the same base info but obviously not this time. This is a great pop album and is one I missed in the 80’s so I’m glad I stumbled on it now.
Tracklist 1 – Got A Message – 3:30 2 – What Ever’s Happ’nin’ – 3:33 3 – Till The End Of The Night – 4:08 4 – Hey There – 3:45 5 – Hold On – 3:45 6 – Real So Real – 4:19 7 – Fighting, Fighting – 3:49 8 – Survivor Blues – 5:53 9 – More Than A Man – 4:41 10 – Swallow & Crow – 5:42
Credits Backing Vocals – Donna McElroy, Kim Fleming, Vicki Hampton Bass – Christian Gonzales, Duncan Mullins, Larry Paxton, Rick Cua Design – Bill Brunt Drums – Dave Adams, Graham Hollingsworth, Joe English Guitar – Christian Gonzales, George Cocchini Keyboards – Bob Halligan Jr., John Rosasco, Tommy Greer Mastered By – Hank Williams Mixed By – Chris McCollum Percussion, Harmonica – Terry McMillan Photography By – Mark Tucker Producer – Marc Brunet, Ray Nenow Recorded By – Chris McCollum, Johnny Shines Saxophone – Denis Sollee, Sam Levine
This is the eighth studio album by Bryn Haworth. It follows up to where “Pass It On” left off with a very similar sound and feel. During the release of this album Bryn was actually touring with Cliff Richard and also supplied some tracks for a Gerry Rafferty album. He actually appeared on 5 of Rafferty’s albums. There’s really not that much info out there on this album so this is going to be pretty short. Personally this is probably my Favorite album by him and it’s a must listen to if you’ve liked any of his other work. While researching this album I discovered that Bryn never had a single on the CCM charts. Considering he was pretty popular I sure find this odd.
Tracklist 1 – Mountain Mover – 5:15 2 – Forever In Love – 5:13 3 – Reeling And Rocking – 6:01 4 – Slipping And Falling – 4:29 5 – Land Of The Living – 2:52 6 – Teach Me Your Way – 4:01 7 – Victory Song – 3:31 8 – Making The Most Of What You’ve Got – 3:57 9 – Saturday Morning – 4:16 10 – Nature Of The Man – 7:35
Credits Bass – Dave Markee Drums – Henry Spinetti Engineer – Laurence Burrage Horns – Mel Collins Piano, Keyboards – Chris Stainton Photography – Nigel Skelsey Saxophone – Mel Collins Synthesizer – Jeff Hammer Vocals, Guitar, Producer – Bryn Haworth Written-By – Bryn Haworth, M. Aikens
Companies, etc. Manufactured By – Word Records Limited Recorded At – Chapel Lane Studios
This is the second of 2 albums from Tom Franzak in the 80’s but he has released some worship albums in the 2000’s. If you don’t know Tom’s background I’ll just skim it here. He was the first Catholic performer signed by Word records and as such stands out as an oddity. This album is considerable better than his first album. Not that his first album is bad, it’s actually quite good but this one is quite a bit better. The themes are Christian but there’s no hint of evangelism as he was Catholic. That said the lyrics are solidly Christian and regardless of your denomination there are some good messages here. The album is pop keyboard heavy and at times even has a Steve Taylor feel. Tom continues in a music career becoming the Director of Music Ministries at St. John XXIII Parish in Pennsylvania. If you missed this one in the 80’s and you like Pop you should really give it a listen.
Tracklist 1 – We Can Make A Difference – 3:56 2 – Theology – 3:25 3 – I’ll Come After You – 4:08 4 – Stuff – 3:39 5 – David Danced – 3:33 6 – Shadowboxing – 4:17 7 – Where’s Love For Susie – 4:33 8 – Soon To Be Without A Major Attraction – 4:54 9 – Without Love – 5:49
Credits Dawn Bianchi – Background Vocals Bill Bodine – Bass Kevin Clark – Engineer, Mixed, Guitar, Bass-o-matic Laura Creamer – Background Vocals Jeff DeMorris – Assistant Engineer Teri DeSario – Background Vocals John Flynn – Background Vocals Tom Franzak – Songwriter, Arrangements, Keyboards, Vocals Bill Purse – Producer, Arrangements, Keyboards, Background Vocals Brooke Romano – Background Vocals Peter Romano – Background Vocals Robert Sanchez – Background Vocals Doug Sax – Mastered Larry Treadwell – Guitar Cheryl Wilks – Background Vocals Art Wood – Drums R. Tandy Xeno – Assistant Engineer
Companies, etc. Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – Δ27133 Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Larnelle has been doing solo albums since 1975 and is still releasing them as of 2018. This is perhaps one of his most liked album. Considering how many albums he has I can’t confirm that of course. It was successful. It had two charting CCM singles, “How Excellent Is Thy Name” made it to #7 and his duet with Sandi Patty, “I’ve Just Seen Jesus” made it to #13. He also won the Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Male based on this album. However quite frankly he shouldn’t have. Russ Taff was also nominated in the category based on his album “Medals” and I think most would agree that Medals was a far better album, in fact not even close. But the Grammy’s are a funny beast, lot’s of record industry politics involved. As for the album it is the epidemy of a worship album and I have no doubt some of these tracks are begin sung in churches these days.
Tracklist 1 – How Excellent Is Thy Name – 2:04 2 – Amen – 3:07 3 – Road In The Wilderness – 3:25 4 – For Unto Us – 1:48 5 – His Grace Is Greater – 4:55 6 – I’ve Just Seen Jesus – 5:42 7 – God’s Kingdom Is What I’ve Got – 2:19 8 – Desert Of My Days – 4:15 9 – Let Freedom Ring – 5:45
Credits Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – David T. Clydesdale Backing Vocals – Beverly Darnall, Bonnie Keen, Dave Durham, Gary Pigg, John Darnall, Jon Mohr, Judy Clydesdale, Karla Worley, Kristi Cleary, Marty McCall, Melodie Tunney*, Rick Gibson, Sherry Paige Bass – Craig Nelson, Gary Lunn Drums – Mark Hammond Guitar – Jon Goin Harp – Mary Alice Hoepfinger Percussion – Farrell Morris Piano – David Huntsinger Strings – The Nashville String Machine Synthesizer – Mark Gersmehl, Shane Keister
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
Credits 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
Companies, etc. Record Company – Word, Inc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc. Copyright (c) – Word, Inc. Recorded At – Bullet Recording Mixed At – Bullet Recording Mastered At – Masterdisk Mastered At – The Mastering Lab Mastered At – Sheffield Lab Matrix Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – △27138
Joshua Perahia is back for his second album with a new lineup for Joshua including new vocalist Jeff Fenholt. The album was initially released in 1985 and did well in Europe but was little known in North America. It was reissued in 1992 completely rerecorded except for the vocals. Does that even count as a reissue? Joshua also added a new track, “Show Me the Way”, with vocals by Robyn Kyle Basauri. Robyn’s vocals were also added to “Loveshock” which was originally performed by Ken Tamplin. The recording we offer here is that 1992 reissue. I have not been able to find a copy of the original album so I’m unable to contrast it for you but I understand that this version is much much better. The album has been reissued over the years utilizing the 1992 version. Of interest on the album is a cover of The Yardbirds “Heart Full Of Soul”. It’s an interesting rework but I can’t say it better or worse than the original as the 2 styles are too far apart to compare. I know some people were looking forward to this one and were proud to have it.
Tracklist 1 – Surrender Love – 4:32 2 – Heart Full Of Soul – 4:33 3 – Your Love Is Gone – 4:19 4 – Stay Alive – 4:44 5 – Rockin’ The World – 4:42 6 – Back To The Rock – 3:36 7 – Hold On – 4:06 8 – Show Me The Way – 4:24 9 – Loveshock – 5:10 10 – Rockin’ The World (Reprise) – 0:51
Credits Artwork – Noah Elias Backing Vocals – Bryan Fleming, Eric Tuttobene, Jeff Fenholt, Joshua Perahia, Ken Price, Robin Kyle Bass – Loren Robinson Co-producer – Charles Gates Drums – Craig Ostbo, Joe Galletta, Joe Tafoya Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – John Sarappo Guitar, Bass – Joshua Perahia Keyboards – Patrick Bradley Photography By – Andrew Watrous Producer – Joshua Perahia Vocals – Jeff Fenholt, Robin Kyle
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Ocean Records Copyright (c) – Ocean Records Manufactured By – Word, Inc. Distributed By – Word, Inc.