Fierce Heart – Fierce Heart – 1985

Fierce Heart was Rex Carroll’s first published band. Rex was already 24 years old by the time this album came out and while he says he was a late bloomer I think that extra time until being recorded allowed his guitar playing to bloom. The whole idea of Fierce Heart was courtesy of Atlantic records though Rex did have a strong hand in picking the band. Jim Delehant & Chris Lord-Alge produced the album and they knew what they were doing which makes this a very well produced album. The album didn’t really catch which I find surprising considering how good it is but I suspect that there were probably rumours of Rex’s faith and we all know that in main stream music that is the kiss of death. Personally I think “Never Gonna Make Me Cry” is as good as anything else in this genre for the era and it should have singled on secular radio but I suspect it was never sent to the radio stations for consideration. Rex actually said both the band and the record company they knew the album cover was garbage but in typical music industry ways of the day it never got changed and it really is horrible. Rex authorized a re-release of the album and this jumped the band back into existence and Rex cut a new album using the band name, though with all new members, in 2020.

1 – Echoes – 1:34
2 – Fierce Heart – 3:45
3 – Out For Blood – 4:04
4 – Lion’s Share – 3:30
5 – Search And Destroy – 4:30
6 – Heroes – 3:55
7 – Never Gonna Make Me Cry – 4:05
8 – Bad Maureen – 4:15
9 – Loose Lips – 4:15

Choir, Engineer [Production Assistant] – Tom Lord-Alge
Cover – Marshall Arisman
Drums, Programmed By [Fairlight Programming], Producer, Engineer, Choir – Chris Lord-Alge
Engineer [Assistant] – Cathy Gazzo
Guitar, Choir – Rex Carroll
Management – John Doumanian
Mastered By – Dennis King
Producer, Choir – Jim Delehant
Vocals, Bass, Choir – Larry Elkins

Companies, etc.
Published By – Fierce Heart Music
Published By – Girder Music
Published By – Robbin Rae Music
Published By – Green Mirage Music
Distributed By – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Pressed By – Allied Record Company

A.D. – Art Of The State – 1985

This was Kerry Livgren’s first album calling his band just AD. This album bumped up against the mainstream record label and rumour has it that the legalities of Kerry getting this album out was a nightmare. Kerry stated that the complete name change to AD was because he wanted to credit the whole band but behind the scenes it is fairly well known that his contract with CBS records meant he couldn’t even use his name. This release was on Kerygma Records and distributed by Sparrow. The album itself has a bit of a Kansas feel but not as much as you might think. Kerry’s songwriting skills are strong on this album and that helps the album stand out from his work with Kansas.

1 – All Creation Sings – 4:22
2 – We Are The Men – 4:41
3 – Lead Me To Reason – 3:56
4 – The Only Way To Have A Friend – 4:16
5 – Games Of Chance And Circumstance – 4:18
6 – The Fury – 5:34
7 – Progress – 4:39
8 – Heartland – 3:42
9 – Zion – 3:26
10 – Up From The Wastland – 4:25

Bass Guitar – Dave Hope
Design Concept, Executive Producer, Management – Ken Marcellino
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Dennis Holt
Engineer [Additional Assistance] – Gary Westman
Executive Producer, Management – Mark Ferjulian
Guitar, Keyboards – Kerry Livgren
Illustration [Front Cover Illustration] – Tim Wild
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Design Concept, Engineer – Michael Gleason
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Woodwind, Harmonica – Warren Ham
Management – FM Management
Mastered By – Glenn Meadows
Producer, Engineer – Kerry Livgren
Written-By – Kerry Livgren, Michael Gleason, Warren Ham

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Sparrow Records
Produced For – GrandyZine Productions Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Kerygma Records
Copyright © – Kerygma Records
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing
Published By – Kerygmatic Music
Published By – Warren Ham Music
Recorded At – Camp Dunwoody Studios
Mixed At – Camp Dunwoody Studios

Rushing Wind – Rushing Wind – 1985

We actually don’t know very much about Rushing Wind. I was able to see that member Dave Hodel did have a solo album in 1983 which we are currently hunting for. Other than that I don’t have much info so lets talk about the album. It has a pretty good mid 80’s pop sound. In fact I’m kind of surprised the band didn’t do better. The album was produced by Paul Clark who did an excellent job in my opinion. As near as I can tell the album was self released and distributed. The band did tour in support of the album and here was even a slight scandal involving Dave’s father you was actually the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. It was a nothing burger however so don’t I don’t hold anything against the band. So this is one you should give a listen to in my opinion, it deserves some attention.

1 – Don’t Be Like The World – 3:13
2 – Distinctions – 3:22
3 – Shadow of Your Doubt – 3:01
4 – Giver Of A Bad Report – 3:11
5 – You’re The One – 3:14
6 – Just This Once – 4:12
7 – Give It Away – 3:22
8 – True Love – 3:45
9 – We Wait In Hope – 3:22
10 – Praise – 2:38
11 – Take My Heart – 4:16

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – John F Shaw
Drums, Percussion, Electric Piano, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dean Baskerville
Drums, Percussion, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Joel F Shaw
Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dave Hodel
Engineer – Wally Grant
Engineer [Second] – Terry Lang
Producer, Engineer – Paul Clark
Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Backing Vocals – Rob Farley
Woodwind – Rod Martin

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Mixed At – Weddington Studios

Commissioned – I’m Going On – 1985

Commissioned was formed in 1982 in Detroit Michigan. The six original members were Fred Hammond, Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, Michael Brooks, and Michael Williams but by the time this first album was put out the members had adjusted slightly. If I had to classify them as a group I would say they are the soul version of the Imperials. This album was very well received and Light records made an excellent decision to release this one. My understanding is that the album was recorded without a record deal and was shopped around. Light Records would go on to release 4 more albums by the band before they moved on to Benson. The album itself is an excellent light soul album that was prefect for the time it was released.

1 – I’m Going On – 3:51
2 – ‘Tis So Sweet – 4:14
3 – I Can See Jesus – 4:40
4 – Unworthy – 4:34
5 – You’ve Got A Friend – 3:56
6 – The City – 3:55
7 – Giving My Problems (To You) – 4:26
8 – Surely We Need Him – 4:35

Fred Hammond – Vocals, Bass
Keith Staten – Vocals
Mitchell Jones – Vocals
Karl Reid – Vocals
Michael Brooks – Keyboards
Michael Williams – Drums
Scotti Jones – percussions

Teri DeSario – Voices In The Wind – 1985

Teri is back with her 2nd and last CCM album. Teri had frequent disputes with her record companies and is known in the industry for sticking to her guns on the issue. Unfortunately this probably robbed us from more great music from her. That said if I’ve learned one thing over time it’s that artists are almost always in the right in these disputes so I don’t blame her. Anyway this is a great pop album and is a little more upbeat than her previous CCM album. Like her other albums it was produced by her husband Bill Purse. The production is excellent and I have always wondered why we didn’t see his name on more albums but I’m assuming the friction with record companies may have made him persona non grata for other artists.

1 – Celebrate – 4:58
2 – Tapestry – 3:56
3 – Attitude Of Gratitude – 4:25
4 – Voices In The Wind – 4:53
5 – I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier – 4:50
6 – Truth – 4:43
7 – Ain’t Givin’ Up, No Way – 4:00
8 – All Day Thursday – 5:29

Backing Vocals – Jon Joyce, Keely Koehr
Backing Vocals, Psaltery – Teri DeSario Purse
Bass Guitar – Bill Bodine
Drums – Art Wood
Engineer [Assistant] – Bruce Sugar, Steve Ford
Engineer [Assistant], Psaltery – Jeff Demorris
Engineer, Mixed By – Kevin Clark
Flute, Recorder – Stephen Kujala*
French Horn – Joe Meyer
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Percussion – Michael Fisher
Producer, Arranged By, Piano, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Bill Purse
Trombone – Alan Kaplan
Trumpet – Roy Poper
Tuba – Ross Deroche

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Middle Sea Sound
Recorded At – Baby’O Recorders
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Robin Crow – Seven Seventy-Seven – 1985

This is Robin’s 3rd album and his first on a larger label. Robin was well known for his heavy touring schedule and I’m pretty sure this album increased that schedule. This is a great 80’s pop album but I haven’t heard his previous 2 albums yet so I don’t know if this is the style he was previously doing. The only strange this about the album is that there are 3 instrumental tracks which is rather odd for a pop album. While a lesser known album this is one that deserves a listen.

1 – Titanic – 3:28
2 – God So Loved – 3:04
3 – Starting Over – 3:50
4 – Let The Truth Come Out – 4:32
5 – Lift Up Your Voices – 3:17
6 – Beatitudes – 2:55
7 – Seven Seventy-Seven – 3:15
8 – Quiet Times – 4:26
9 – Third World – 3:05

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Music By, Lyrics By – Robin Crow
Bass – Michael Rhodes
Design [Cover] – Jeff Spencer
Drums – David Lawbaugh
Electric Guitar, Co-producer – George Cocchini
Engineer – Dave Perkins, Doug Sarrett
Engineer, Mixed By – Chris McCollum
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Mastered By – Benny Quinn
Mixed By – Brent King
Photography By – Clark Thomas
Synthesizer – Shane Keister

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Fortress Records
Copyright © – Fortress Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Snellsong
Published By – Banamax Publishing
Produced For – Sherwood Productions Inc.
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Recorded At – Sound Stage Studios
Recorded By – The Reelsound Remote Bus
Mastered At – Masterfonics

Leon Patillo – Love Around The World – 1985

This is Leon’s 6th solo album and in my opinion his best up to this point. The album has a strong soul pop fell and sound. Leon perfected this very narrow sound as far as CCM music was concerned and his sales numbers showed this. Again Leon essentially played all the instruments though John Robinson did provide a few drum tracks and Leon also wrote all the tracks except one. I have great respect for Leon as he was able to get albums out almost every year. Considering he played most the instruments, did the production and wrote the tracks you simply have to respect that.

1 – Love Around The World – 4:49
2 – Up And Over – 5:59
3 – One Thing Leads To Another – 4:06
4 – Magic Man – 5:14
5 – Fire – 3:19
6 – Friends In High Places – 3:35
7 – I’ll Be With You – 5:11
8 – Treat Her Like A Lady – 4:16
9 – Safe Delivery – 3:29
10 – The Lord’s Prayer – 5:07

Executive-Producer – George Duke
Mixed By – Raymond Jones
Producer, String Arranger, Songwriter, Guitar, Synthesizer, Drums, Drums Synthesizer, Fender Rhodes, Bass, Horns, Lead and Background Vocals – Leon Patillo
Drums – John Robinson

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Produced For – George Duke Enterprises, Inc.
Pressed By – Electrosound Los Angeles – △27177

Terry Talbot – Face To Face – 1985

I find it so difficult to review Terry’s albums. To me they all sound very similar as I just don’t love his style of music. That said I have great respect for Terry as an artist. He put out an album almost every year through the 80’s which is a lot of work considering he writes almost all of his songs. HIs guitar work is also very good so I really hate saying “Here’s another Terry album ……” He really deserves more of my respect but I just struggle with his style but that’s a personal problem. There are a few upbeat tracks on this album that I thought were pretty good but his vocals just don’t suit them in my opinion. Anyway Here’s another Terry album for his fans and I know he has lots of them.

1 – Face To Face – 3:40
2 – Mighty Rushing Wind – 4:14
3 – So As You’ve Done – 4:18
4 – I Have Overcome – 4:17
5 – The Christ – 4:22
6 – Lay Down The Stones – 3:56
7 – Father’s House – 4:06
8 – Narrow Is The Gate – 4:20
9 – Greater Things – 4:49

Acoustic Guitar – Terry Talbot
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Design – Jim Shanman (tracks: Lyric Sheet), Stan Evenson (tracks: Album Jacket)
Design [Album Jacket Design By] – Stan Evenson Design, Inc.*
Drums – Bill Maxwell
Dulcimer – Carol Koening
Engineer – Mike Ross-Trevor, Ron Capone, Win Kutz
Executive-Producer – John Michael Talbot
Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall
Orchestrated By – Denney Bouchard
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Photography By – Raul Vega
Producer – Terry Talbot
Songwriter – Terry Talbot
Synthesizer – Denney Bouchard
Twelve-String Guitar – John Michael Talbot (tracks: A1, B2), Terry Talbot
Vocals – Howard Smith, Karla Thibodeau, Steve Amerson, Tata Vega, Terry Talbot, Wendy Talbot

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Westwind Studio
Recorded At – CBS Studios, London
Remixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Future Disc
Manufactured By – Word Records Limited
Copyright © – Birdwing Music
Published By – The Sparrow Corporation
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation

Steve Green – He Holds The Keys – 1985

This is Steve’s second solo album and it follows along with his previous album. Quite frankly it’s hard to believe he was a member of White Heart at one point. I say this because Steve turned to a very Easy Listening style. Now let’s be fair, he’s very good at this style and he was very popular in that genre. This is the album that made him very well know and he actually received the Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in the CCM category. So if you like your CCM music in the worship style this album is for you.

1 – Praise To The King – 2:30
2 – Celebrate His Good Life – 3:18
3 – He Holds The Keys – 5:25
4 – The Lord Is Lifted Up – 3:11
5 – That’s Where The Joy Comes From – 3:12
6 – I Can See (On The Emmaus Road) – 5:30
7 – Honor The Lord – 2:26
8 – When His Kingdom Comes – 5:42
9 – Touch Your People Once Again – 3:58

Bass – Craig E. Nelson
Conductor [Strings] – Alan Moore, Greg Nelson
Drums – James Stroud, Mark Hammond
Engineer – Ed Seay
Engineer [Assistant] – Tom Harding
Guitar – Jon Goin, Pete Bordonali
Keyboards [Synthesizers] – David Innis, Shane Keister
Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall
Orchestrated By – Alan Moore
Percussion – Farrell Morris
Piano – Bill George, David Huntsinger
Producer – Greg Nelson
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, The Nashville String Machine

Steve Arrington – Dancin’ In The Key Of Life – 1985

After spending several years as vocalist and drummer with the popular funk/soul act, Slave, Steve Arrington left for a solo career. His debut is filled with infectious, danceable and gospel centric songs. The first time I heard this album was at a Christian nightclub that was popular in orange Country, CA during the mid-80’s called The Lighthouse. They played the first cut, “Feel So Real” with its infectious Latin rhythms and non-stop groove. I bought it the next day at Maranatha village, the only bookstore in the country that was carrying it at the time. This is by no means an asterisk (*) release as it pure Gospel throughout. The title track continues the driving rhythm and dance beats. This love song is as infectious as they come. Here Arrington compares the loving human relationship to the never-ending dance and worship before the Lord. He is blatant about his love for God and the need to worship. The music is non-stop and completely authentic to the era. In all honesty, this is the album I wish Phillip Bailey would have recorded. Of all of the musical genres, legitimate dance/funk/soul was sorely lacking in Christian music then and now. Only Jon Gibson came KYMS radio jumped all over this album at the time and played several cuts. Not only the two previously mentioned hits, but also the Holy Ghost driven, “Turn Up the Love.” Arrington would later go on to become a Pastor. He still dabbles occasionally in funk and soul music, doing occasional shows with friends and former music associates.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Feel So Real – 5:08
2 – Dancin’ In The Key Of Life – 4:55
3 – She Just Don’t Know – 5:16
4 – Willie Mae – 6:00
5 – Gasoline – 6:09
6 – Stand With Me – 4:43
7 – Brown Baby Boy – 4:50
8 – Turn Up The Love – 4:34

Steve Arrington – Main Vocal, Vocal Backing, Keyboards
India Arrington, Dani Johnson, Marti McCall, Pattie Brooks, Michael Terry, Wilmer Raglin – Vocal Backing
George Johnson – Guitars and Electric Bass
Eric Williams – Guitars
Anthony Johnson, Carlos Murguia, William F. Zimmerman, Joey Gallo, Ramsey Embick – Keyboards
Paulinho Da Costa – Percussion
Freddie Hubbard – Trumpet
Stella Castellucci – Harp

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Atlantic Records
Published By – Konglather Publishing
Published By – Motor Music Co.
Published By – Cheyenne Publishing
Published By – Secret Agent Man Music
Published By – JRG Music
Published By – Aurora Borealis Music
Published By – Polyglot Music
Published By – Aris Music
Recorded At – Devonshire Studios
Recorded At – Dawnbreakers Recording Studios
Mixed At – Dawnbreakers Recording Studios
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Produced For – Producers Alliance