Paul Janz – High Strung – 1985

A lot of 70’s fans of Deliverance don’t even know that Paul Janz went on to have a successful solo career after Deliverance dissolved. They might further be surprised that he went on to release 4 albums in the secular market. This is the first of those 4 albums. This album was released in Canada (Paul’s home country), the U.K., Greece, and Japan. It was not released in the United States. It did very well in the Canadian market with the first single making it to #29 on the Canadian Charts. “Don’t Cry Tonight”, “High Strung”, and “Close My Eyes” were also released as singles but did not do better than #85. Now a quick warning that if you are expecting a Deliverance sound you won’t get it and no one from Deliverance appears anywhere on this album other than Paul. Instead this is a straight up 80’s pop album. I will be honest that I remember it playing on Canadian radio and I honestly never made the connection to Deliverance until many years later. It should be noted that Paul did not turn on his faith but instead just changed himself to the category of a Christian artist as opposed to an artist doing Christian music.

1 – High Strung – 3:40
2 – Don’t Cry Tonight – 5:32
3 – Close My Eyes – 4:16
4 – Solid Ground – 3:38
5 – All I Have – 4:25
6 – Go To Pieces – 3:21
7 – Suggestions Of Love – 4:17
8 – Cover To Cover – 3:55
9 – Right From The Start – 3:47
10 – Waiting – 4:00

Bass – Doug Edwards, Peter Clark (tracks: B1)
Drums – Chris Taylor (tracks: B1), Darryl Burgess, Jim Vallance (tracks: A3,A4,B3)
Guitar – David Sinclair, Harris Van Berkel
Keyboards [Main] – Dave Pickell
Organ – Robbie King (tracks: A4)
Percussion – Jim McGillveray (tracks: A1, B2), Ken Chalmers (tracks: B1, B3)
Saxophone – Tom Colclough (tracks: A3)
Vocals, Percussion, Keyboards, Effects – Paul Janz

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – A&M Records Of Canada Limited
Distributed By – A&M Records Of Canada Limited

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Vision – Vision – 1985

Though promoted heavily as a band featuring two members of the classic Southern Rock band, Lynard Skynard, Vision was really driven by the guitar and vocals of Rocco Marshall. Lynard Skynard pianist Billy Powell lends both credibility and chops as the piano is a central force and Powell delivers. The comparisons to Skynard are not quite as accurate as is something more akin to 38 Special and even Kansas as there are some very progressive moments included. More pop infused than Skynard Southern funk, Vision was unfortunately short lived. Heartland records did not survive very long and seemed unable to introduce the band to the CCM world at large. This should not keep the reader from doing whatever possible to track down a copy of the CD which has been recently released. This is another AYSO!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Dynamos – 4:10
2 – Lord Is My Joy – 3:45
3 – Old Man – 3:19
4 – Dedicated – 3:40
5 – Soldiers Song – 3:40
6 – Standing On The Rock – 4:25
7 – Don’t Say It’s Over – 3:54
8 – Psalm 23 – 3:52
9 – You Are My Only Lord – 3:24
10 – You’re The One – 3:17

Bass – Greg McNeily (tracks: A5, B3), Martin Tomlinson
Design – Stephen Wells
Drums, Vocals – Mike Maple
Engineer [Assistant] – Andy Deganahl, Chuck Kjergaard, Shawn Hurley
Mastered By – Mike Fuller
Photography By – John Petrey
Piano – Billy Powell
Producer, Engineer – Greg McNeily
Saxophone – Keith Holmes
Synthesizer – David Jinright
Synthesizer [Additional] – George Atwell
Vocals, Guitar – Rocco Marshall
Vocals, Guitar, Violin – Leonard Jones

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – New Covenant Ministries
Overdubbed At – Starke Lake Studios
Mastered At – Criteria Recording Studios
Mixed At – The Full Sail Dream Machine

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The Cause – Do Something Now – 1985

Not to be outdone by Bob Geldof and the Band Aid project, Steve Camp decided the CCM bands needed to do something similar. As a project this is quite amazing. The collection of artists is the Who’s Who of the industry. It’s actually quite astonishing how many he brought together. This project would have been much harder than it’s secular version. The secular record industry has limitless money to make things like this work but the Christian scene has always been tightly budgeted and just the cost of flying everyone in would have been tremendous. All in all I think they all need to be commended for a job well done. I do have one criticism however and that is the song itself. The song was written by Steve and unfortunately it just comes off as a copy of the Band Aid project but in his defence these songs are essentially choirs so there’s only so much you can do. Steve was a great songwriter and I just wish he had put together a bit of a better song. The album had the final studio version on one side and a commentary/interview version on side B. There was also a music video released and it is included in the above playlist.

1 – Do Something Now! – 5:15
2 – Do Something Now! (With Commentary) – 13:05
3 – Do Something Now! (Music Video) – 11:54

Choir – Amy Fletcher, Angie Lewis, Billy Crockett, Billy Sprague, Bob Farrell, Bobby Jones And NewLife, Brown Bannister, Cam Floria, Candy Hemphill, Chris Christian, Connie Scott, David Meece, Dennis Agajanian, DMB Band, Doug Oldham, Ed DeGarmo, Flo Price, Found Free, Gary Chapman, Gary McSpadden, Geoff Moore, Glad, Glenn Kaiser, Gloria Gaither, Jim Murray, John Fischer, Karen Kelly, Kim Perry, Lanny Wolfe, Larry Bryant, Lisa Whelchel, Michael Card, Morgan Cryar, Owen Brock, Pam Mark Hall, Pete Carlson, Rick Cua, Rob Frazier, Robin Crow, Rusty Goodman, Sherman Andrus, Shirley Caesar, Silverwind, Steve Green, Sue Dodge, Tami Gunden, Bill Gaither
Directed By [Uncredited] – Cam Floria
Lead Vocals, Choir – Amy Grant
Lead Vocals, Choir [Uncredited] – Second Chapter Of Acts, Dana Key, Evie Karlsson, Jessy Dixon, Kathy Troccoli, Larry Norman, Matthew Ward, Michele Pillar, Mylon LeFevre, Phil Keaggy, Russ Taff, Sandi Patti, Scott Wesley Brown, Sheila Walsh, Steve Taylor
Producer [Choir Tracks, Uncredited] – Greg Nelson, Jack Joseph Puig
Producer, Arranged By, Synthesizer [Arrangement, Uncredited], Lead Vocals, Choir – Steve Camp
Synthesizer [Arrangement, Uncredited] – John Rosasco
Written-By – P. Madeira, S. Camp

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Distribution
Published By – Birdwing Music
Copyright (c) – Compassion International

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Douglas Trowbridge – Songs Unspoken – 1985

When I first listened to this album I didn’t really think there would be anything interesting to write about but I was surprised that the story of this performer is actually quite interesting. This performers real name was Richard Douglas Trowbridge Souther. He put out both albums on piano and synth. On his piano albums he used the name Douglas Trowbridge and on his synth albums he used the name Richard Souther. This being a piano album we’re listening to Douglas Trowbridge. Anyway this album is a nice piano instrumental album that may lull you to sleep but he is definitely a good pianist. Apparently the whole album was played on a 1940 Steinway. It’s a good album but don’t listen to it while operating heavy machinery.

1 – Daybreak Communion – 3:36
2 – A Most Remarkable Meeting – 3:48
3 – Beyond The Shadows – 4:44
4 – Unending Melody – 2:08
5 – Where Dreams Are Born – 3:33
6 – For A Season – 2:44
7 – Finlandia – 3:57
8 – Matters Of The Heart – 2:25
9 – Upon His Arrival – 2:35
10 – The Farewell – 5:58

Arranged By – Douglas Trowbridge
Composed By – Douglas Trowbridge (tracks: A1 to B1, B3 to B5), J. Sibelius (tracks: B2)
Design – Buddy Jackson
Engineer – Bernie Kirsh
Engineer [Assistant] – Ira Rubnitz
Mastered By – Bernie Kirsh, Steve Hall
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano [Improvisation] – Douglas Trowbridge
Producer – Peter York

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Capitol Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – Birdwing Music
Published By – Birdwing Music
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Designed At – Jackson Design
Manufactured By – The Sparrow Corporation
Marketed By – The Sparrow Corporation
Distributed By – The Sparrow Corporation

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DeGarmo & Key – Commander Sozo And The Charge Of The Light Brigade – 1985

The 8th album from D & K wins for their dumbest named album. In fact it’s in my top 5 worst album names in CCM. That aside it is one of my favourite D & K albums. It is more synth driven than their earlier work and this is one of the things I like and D & K. If I’m in the mood for rock I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for synth I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for New Wave I can listen to them. For most bands these varying styles would probably be a negative but as they they did all these styles so well it worked for them. The album did have 2 chart singles. Destined To Win made it to #5 and most people from this era will well remember that song. Casual Christian also singled but only made it to #20. This album was a solid effort and should be fondly remembered by most from this era.

1 – Activate
2 – Competition
3 – Temporary Things
4 – Apathy Alert
5 – Charge Of The Light Brigade
6 – Destined To Win
7 – No More Goodbye
8 – Jesus Is Coming
9 – Rise Up
10 – Casual Christian

Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Carl Marsh
Art Direction, Design – Susan De Garmo
Bass, Backing Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Drums, Backing Vocals – Greg Morrow
Engineer [Strings] – Frank Baratta, John Timperley
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Management – Brock & Associates, Inc.
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Dean Dixon
Producer, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Written-By – Ed De Garmo
Producer, Lead Vocals, Guitar, Written-By – Dana Key
Recorded By, Mixed By – John Hampton
Strings – London String Orchestra
Vocals [Duet] – Jessy Dixon (tracks: B1)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Power Discs
Copyright (c) – Power Discs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Angel Studios
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk

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Mike Warnke – Stuff Happens – 1985

The humour continues as Mike returns for his 8th album.

It should be noted that Warnke was revealed as a liar and fraudster in 1991 by Cornerstone magazine. This recording is offered as a historic record of what was being listened to in the Christian community in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

1 – Potty Training – 6:35
2 – Stuff Happens – 4:19
3 – Fat Fight – 2:27
4 – Cleaning Up For A Bath – 12:06
5 – Concepts Of Christ – 8:44

Design [Album Design] – Bill Brunt
Edited By – John Barker, Neal Joseph
Engineer – Malcolm Harper
Executive-Producer – John Barker, Steve Adams
Illustration – Jim Osborn
Liner Notes – Rose Warnke
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Ron Keith, Scott Bonner
Producer – Neal Joseph
Written-By – Mike Warnke

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Reelsound
Mixed At – MasterMix
Record Company – Word Records Limited
Record Company – Word (UK) Ltd.

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Rosanna’s Raiders – We Are Raiders – 1985

This was a self released Demo from Rosanna’s Raiders in 1985. They also had one in 1984 with mostly different songs. This 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. This may actually be my favourite demo from the 80’s, at very least it’s in my top 10.

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

Dave Palmer – Bass
Johno Zaffarese – Drums
Rosanna Palmer – Guitar, Vocals
Phil Butson – Producer, Engineer

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Studio 250

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Stryper – Soldiers Under Command – 1985

With the strong success of the initial EP Stryper was poised to make a major impact on the music world with their first full length album, Soldiers Under command. It was also at this time that televangelist and youth speakers were voicing disapproval on the world of CCM with loud and venemous attacks against artists like Amy Grant, Petra and even Sandy Patti. The perfect storm of glam rock and God’s music critics created a furor not seen ever since. The more the TBN crowd railed against the “Devil’s Music” (Stryper) the larger the bands fan base grew. The growth of Stryper’s impact was directly related to an amazing full length debut. the album rocked from the very beginning and did not disappoint. The war-like image on the album cover was lived out in the militant, evangelistic approach lyrically on the album. The title track rocked with heavy, HEAVY DRUMS and a great dual guitar attack. It was also on this album that the world was introduced to the power ballad in a big way. Fearless radio programmers at KYMS (with some constant encouragement from a certain young wannabe deejay) added “Together As One” to the normal format of Amy Grant, Petra and Michael W. Smith. The phones lit up every time it was played with listeners asking who was performing this great new wedding song. The band did show great improvement and maturity, both in their musical skills and in their songwriting. There was still plenty of “Jesus is the rock that makes us roll” pablum the genre was noted for, but there was also a sense of a beginning community that Strpyer would be spearheading as their loyal fans would take the message behind the music to their friends. It is in this setting that a song like “Reach Out” becomes more a communal anthem rather than just an evangelistic propaganda slogan. There would also be social and personal issues dealt with on this album like personal piety (First Love) and sexual purity (A Love That’s Real). The title track deals with the reality of spiritual warfare. It was also on this album the use of keyboards were introduced. This accentuated the normal big hair, big guitar attack, and showed the heavy influence bands like Styx and REP Speedwagon actually had on the band. Critics, especially the self anointed protectors of definers of “Godly” music continued to miss the point. The Stryper phenomenon had much more to do with the sense of belonging and community fostered and promoted by the band. Kids wore Stryper paraphernalia not only because they were fans, but also because they were belonging to something bigger than themselves. It is also why even several years beyond the highest popularity and artistic zeniths their fan base remained loyal and supportive and there is a continuing respect for the band.

Contributor David Lowman –

Track Listing:
1 – Soldiers Under Command – 5:03
2 – Makes Me Wanna Sing – 2:51
3 – Together Forever – 4:03
4 – First Love – 5:43
5 – The Rock That Makes Me Roll – 4:56
6 – Reach Out – 5:21
7 – (Waiting For) A Love That’s Real – 4:36
8 – Together As One – 5:01
9 – Surrender – 4:28
10 – Battle Hymn Of The Republic – 2:36

Bass, Piano, Keyboards – Tim Gaines
Drums – Robert Sweet “The Visual Timekeeper”
Other [Make Up] – Kyle Rae Tucy
Other [Stage Clothes] – Tina Henderson
Photography – Scarpati
Producer, Engineer – Michael Wagener
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Michael Sweet, Oz Fox
Written-By – Robert Sweet (tracks: A1, B1)
Written-By, Lead Vocals – Michael Sweet

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Double Trouble Productions, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Enigma Records
Copyright (c) – Enigma Records
Published By – Sweet Family Music

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Steve Taylor – On The Fritz – 1985

Steve Taylor followed up his masterpiece, Meltdown, with 1985’s “On the Fritz,” a substantially more refined and mature rock album that was great, but did not seem to match what came before or after. Produced by Ian McDonald of Foreigner and King Crimson fame, Fritz was wider and deeper musically then Meltdown, but seems to lack the more memorable touches and possessed a few too many novelties that don’t bear repeating nearly as often. The great offender on the album was Lifeboat, a song (or mini-musical sketch as it were) that must have sounded great on paper and worked well in video format, but simply is not musical enough to bear consistent repeat listening. “Drive, He Said” comes close, but is interesting enough and has enough of a Bowie type feel that it does not quite as much as the former. But when the album does take musical swings it hits way more often then misses and also contains some of Taylor’s finest and most personal songs. “This Disco (Used to be a Cute Cathedral)” is based on the true story of the Limelight Club in NY that was once an Episcopal Church. Musically more in line with Meltdowns manic, dance driven style, even stations adverse to playing more “upbeat” music added the song to their playlist. The Ian McDonald guitar influence can be heard on the wonder title track. The song looks at a pop star that once confessed Christ but has turned his back in the faith to maintain his stature in the mainstream world. “It’s a Personal Thing” actually sounds like something that would have worked well on the following “I Predict 1990” album with the bass and keyboard driven approach and the political commentary and pre-dated Bill Clinton by nearly a decade. “To Forgive” remains one of Taylor’s finest and most personal songs. The Big Country sounding E-Bow guitar creates a very Euro sounding power pop song. The story telling here is Taylor at his best.”I Manipulate” and “You Don’t Own Me Nothing” are great songs and show a progression of the artist as a songwriter out of the novelty realm. But Taylor’s very best may have been saved for the last song on the album. “I Just Wanna Know” remains Taylor’s most personal and confessional song in his tenure. The self-doubt and internal questioning of motives for his art are examined in full sight of the listener. It is also musically captivating and a perfect ending to a very strong album.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – This Disco (Used To Be A Cute Cathedral) – 4:06
2 – On The Fritz – 3:56
3 – It’s A Personal Thing – 2:58
4 – To Forgive – 3:54
5 – You’ve Been Bought – 2:45
6 – You Don’t Owe Me Nothing – 3:22
7 – I Manipulate – 5:07
8 – Lifeboat – 4:35
9 – Drive, He Said – 4:30
10 – I Just Wanna Know – 4:40

Backing Vocals – Beverly Slade, Kitty Markham, Mary Davis
Bass – Carmine Rojas
Cover [and Everything Artsy] – The Graphics Studio
Drums – Alan Childs
Drums [Simmons], Finger Snaps, Percussion – Cactus Moser
Engineer [Assistant] – Jay Healy, Joey Flamingo
Engineer, Mixed By – Alan Douches
Finger Snaps – Debbie Taylor
Guitar – Hugh McCracken, Tony Davilio
Guitar [Solo] – John McCurry
Keyboards, Synthesizer [Programming], Synthesizer – George Small
Mastered By – Greg Calbi
Producer, Mixed By, Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Percussion – Ian McDonald
Synthesizer [Programming], Synthesizer – Larry Fast
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Dave Thrush
Written-By, Producer, Vocals – Steve Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – C.A. Music
Copyright (c) – Birdwing Music
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Mixed At – Grand Slam Studios
Mastered At – Sterling Sound

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Farrell & Farrell – Jump To Conclusions – 1985

Farrell & Farrell fans often consider this to be their best album. By the measure of fun this is definitely their best album. By the measure of CCM chart hits it was not strong. The lack of CCM magazine hits is a testament to it being a good album in my opinion. It is a fun pop oriented album and the track “People in a Box” received very heavy airplay. Personally I don’t think the track aged very good and I find it a tad annoying but then again it’s not in the 80’s anymore. The track was pretty good in the proper era. Degarmo and Key step in again to give this album their signature guitar and keyboards and adding the Farrell’s vocals is a very good combo. As I said the album only had the one CCM magazine hit. “Heart In The Right Place” only made it to #21 on the charts.

1 – Jump Up – 4:04
2 – People In A Box – 3:31
3 – Split Second – 3:33
4 – American Man – 3:51
5 – The Sting – 3:52
6 – Heart In The Right Place – 3:15
7 – Hungry Eyes, Thirsty Hearts – 4:06
8 – Shakedown – 4:27
9 – The Meek And The Mighty – 3:03
10 – I Belong To Him – 3:18

Arranged By [Arrangements By] – Carl Marsh
Art Direction – Dave Rogers
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Farrell, Dana, Farrell
Drums, Percussion – Cromwell
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – John Hampton
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock, Darrell A. Harris
Guitar [Additional Guitars] – Dana Key
Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards – Demus
Illustration – Jeff Sanson
Keyboards – Robins
Keyboards [Additional] – Carl, Ed
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Photography By – Dean Dixon
Producer [Produced By] – Bob Farrell, Ed DeGarmo
Vocals – Farrell, Farrell

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song Records
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Mint Productions
Engineered At – Ardent Studios
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles
Published By – StraightWay Music
Published By – Elenbee Music
Published By – Mint To Be Music
Published By – Paragon Music
Published By – Warner Bros. Music
Published By – Bob Montgomery Music Inc.

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