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

Silverwind – By His Spirit – 1985

The third album from Silverwind takes up where the first album left off. Yes I know that’s not the correct order but I feel this album fit’s in better there. Their second album was far better than this one. Yes there’s still the ABBA sound that so many bought the album for but it’s just not as good as A Song In The Night. As I’ve said before these albums were not geared to me so my opinion is a bit jaded over all. Other than that I don’t really have much to say about the album. Unfortunately with the exception of their ABBA sound I don’t really feel there was much here to make the album stand out.

1 – Go Tell The World – 4:07
2 – By His Spirit – 3:20
3 – I’m Gonna Follow You – 2:59
4 – Thank You Lord – 2:42
5 – Breaking Through – 3:08
6 – Heaven Is Being With You – 3:56
7 – Only Jesus – 3:29
8 – I Will Give Him Glory – 3:37
9 – Praise Anthem – 2:02
10 – Shout Hosanna – 3:31

Arranged By – Georgian Banov, John Schreiner
Backing Vocals – Frank Hernandez, Georgian Banov, John Schreiner, Sue Ellen Jacobson, Winnie Banov
Bass – Leon Gaer
Cover [Album Cover Design] – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Drums [Programmed By] – John Schreiner
Engineer – Biff Vincent, Skip Konte
Executive-Producer – Tony Salerno
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith, Martin Resch, Prince Robinson
Keyboards – John Schreiner
Photography By – Mark Hanauer
Producer – John Schreiner
Producer [Assistant] – Georgian Banov
Tom Tom, Cymbal – Paul Baun
Vocals – Betsy Hernandez, Georgian Banov, Patty Gramling

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Made By – Shorewood Packaging
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging

Phil Driscoll – Power Of Praise – 1985

I’m probably going to infuriate Phil Driscoll fans when I say this but I really wish he would have done a Rock & Roll album. To be clear Phil is probably one of my favourite vocalists of the CCM genre but his voice is just screaming for a Rock and Roll album. That said I haven’t listened to all his albums yet so maybe he did one and I just haven’t listened to it yet. To be clear there are a few upbeat tracks on this album but it they really don’t highlight his vocals all that much. Maybe the reason I love his voice is due to the ballads anyway. One quirk of this album is that it appears that part way through the pressings on this album Sparrow replaced the album cover which was a huge improvement. No disrespect to the picture of him with his signature trumpet but it was a horrible cover.

1 – All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name – 4:20
2 – He’s Alive Again – 4:06
3 – Jesus I Love You – 4:34
4 – Worthy Is The Lamb – 5:52
5 – Doxology – 3:20
6 – Messiah – 2:50
7 – People Of God – 3:42
8 – I Will Celebrate – 4:36
9 – Every Knee Shall Bow – 4:12
10 – Fallin’ In Love With You – 5:22
11 – The Rest Of My Days – 4:30

Alternate Cover

John Michael Talbot – Songs For Worship Volume II – 1985

I assume John’s Songs For Worship Volume I sold pretty well so they did a Songs For Worship Volume II. Of course as the first one was actually name Volume I they probably had plans for this one all along. There isn’t really too much I can say about this album because it’s just a collection of worship songs and as such there really isn’t any stand out tracks. That’s not a bad thing for a worship album so it’s not a criticism. I suspect the album was met with a bit of a yawn however as it didn’t even garner a CCM single. Oh well this is a great Sunday worship album if you like that kind of thing.

1 – Taste And See – 2:31
2 – Lord, Every Nation On Earth Shall Adore You – 4:13
3 – Jesus Prayer – 2:44
4 – Lord Have Mercy – 1:46
5 – Glory To God – 3:06
6 – Holy, Holy, Holy – 2:35
7 – The Spirit Of The Lord – 3:18
8 – Father, I Put My Life In Your Hands – 3:47
9 – Lamb Of God – 2:23
10 – I Am The Ressurection – 4:18
11 – Let Us Sing To The Lord – 2:51

Design [Lyric Sheet Design] – Steve Cox
Engineer [Orchestra Recorded And Mixed] – Mike Ross-Trevor
Engineer [Solos And Guitar] – Ron Capone
Engineer [Vocals] – Bill Cobb
Photography By [Cover] – Edd Anthony
Producer, Arranged By, Orchestrated By, Conductor – Phil Perkins
Producer, Written By, Guitar, Vocals – John Michael Talbot
Vocals – Bekah Crabb, Carole Butler, Craig Smith, Ed Koharchick, Irene Davis, Jeanne Mitchell, Jo McGinty, John Peter Slauson, Kemper Crabb, Ken Pennell

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – Word Music (UK)
Distributed By – Word Records

Rick Cua – You’re My Road – 1985

This is the third album from Rick and his first with Sparrow records. We get a hint of bad things to come from Ric as he transitioned to a more Easy Listening sound. I’m not saying Easy Listening is bad, I’m just saying if you were a fan of Rick’s at this point you probably weren’t a fan of his later work. That said there are still some great Rock & Roll tunes on this album. Probably the best track on the album is “Don’t Say Suicide” as it was a bit of a touchy subject and I’ll be honest I loved songs that talked to their listeners. Maybe just maybe this song prevented a self deletion. Relatively unknown guitarist Jock Guthrie does a great job on the track. I also quite liked the title track as it had a more of a early 80’s rock feel. anyway this is a good Pop Rock album with some good guitar work. Definitely a must listen to from the era.

1 – Don’t Say Suicide – 3:30
2 – You’re My Road – 3:54
3 – One Child In Pain – 3:40
4 – We Are The Chosen – 3:51
5 – You’ve Only Got One Life – 3:40
6 – House Calls – 3:14
7 – Runaway – 3:33
8 – We Are Yours – 3:22
9 – The Old Man – 4:12
10 – Cant’ Stop – 3:07

Jeff Balding – Engineer
Niles Borop – Songwriter
Barbara Catanzaro – Background Vocals
Lisa Cates – Percussion
Buz Cua – Guitar
Diane Cua – Songwriter
Rick Cua – Producer, Songwriter, Bass, Vocals
Ron DeRollo – Guitar
David Dix – Drums
Rob Frazier – Background Vocals
Jock Guthrie – Guitar, Background Vocals
Bob Halligan, Jr. – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Guitars, Background Vocals
Jim Horn – Saxophone
Richard Langford – Background Vocals
Dwight Liles – Songwriter
Chris McCollum – Engineer
Mike Mead – Drums, Background Vocals
Dino Pastin – Synthesizer Programming
Janna Pastin – Background Vocals
Dave Perkins – Songwriter, Engineer, Guitar, Background Vocals
Brett Perry – Assistant Engineer
Sam Tritico – Synthesizer Programming
Wendy Waldman – Duet (We Are Yours)
Peter York – Guitar

Companies, etc.
Produced For – Koo-Ah Productions
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Recorded At – Oak Hill Assembly

Wendy & Mary – Battle Of The Heart – 1985

This was the fourth and final album from Wendy and Mary who were Mary Rice Hopkins and Wendy Hofheimer. Well actually at the time of this album Wendy was going by Wendy Talbot as she was married to their producer and well known CCM artist Terry Talbot. That said sometime in 1985 Wendy divorced Terry and actually married Don Francisco. You just know there’s a great gossip story there. Anyway I’m just speculating but as they broke up as a duo right around this time I can’t help but to think it was a factor. That said they did get back together in 1995 to record together again. As for Mary she went on to write several children’s songs and books. Both apparently attempted solo careers but neither were very successful with the only album produced by Wendy in 2001. I will admit I had never heard of these ladies in the 80’s but I am now fascinated by the whole drama of their undoing. I bet it’s a great story.

1 – Battle Of The Heart – 3:31
2 – Around The Walls – 3:19
3 – No Other Name – 2:36
4 – I Am My Beloved’s – 2:58
5 – In Your Footsteps – 2:58
6 – Lullaby For Grown-Ups – 2:40
7 – If I Could Love You Better – 3:36
8 – You Are My Righteousness – 2:52
9 – Sword And Shield – 3:43
10 – He Who Dwells – 3:43
11 – Sing Alleluia – 2:15

Arranged By, Synthesizer, Programmed By [Synthesizers] – Denny Bouchard
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Design [Album Jacket] – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Drums – Billy Maxwell
Mastered By – Herb Melton, Steve Hall
Photography By – Edward Alfano
Producer, Arranged By [Additional], Engineer [Additional] – Terry Talbot
Programmed By [Fairlight] – Rhett Lawrence
Recorded By, Remix – Ron Capone
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Arranged By [Additional] – Mary Hopkins (2), Wendy Talbot

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – Birdwing Music
Recorded At – Westwind Studio
Remixed At – Westwind Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

Wayne Watson – Giants In The Land – 1985

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 –

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

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

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mixed At – Bullet Recording
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

Connie Scott – Spirit Mover – 1985

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.

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

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

Various – Sparrow Spotlight Volume 3 – 1985

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

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