Larry Howard – Sanctified Blues – 1986

Larry was a member of Grinderswitch through the 70’s and early 80s. They were a southern rock band and toured with all the big names of the style and time. Larry left the band in the mid 80’s and started his solo career. This is his first solo album. Larry brought a sound to CCM music that was needed in the period. Yes their were some blues bands but not of this caliber. Quite frankly this album is as good as anything in the secular market at the time. Playing harmonica on the album is Buddy Greene who is probably second only to Darrell Mansfield as a harmonica player. The rest of the band is a who’s who of some of the best studio musicians in the CCM genre of the time. I am really surprised at how good they were at the blues as none of them had actually recorded in that style that I can find any way. This album does a rather odd track though. The intro end exit track “Sanctified Blues” is exactly the same song but with the stereo tracks reversed. Have to admit that’s a first.

1 – Sanctified Blues – 1:30
2 – Lost Ship – 3:21
3 – Love Ain’t What You Say – 2:56
4 – Cool Rain – 3:34
5 – I Gave Jesus My Blues – 4:20
6 – Shuffle On Home – 2:49
7 – One Night – 3:31
8 – Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven – 3:38
9 – Friend In Jesus – 4:34
10 – Sanctified Blues – 1:30

Art Direction – Michael Pierce
Artwork [Handwriting] – Michael Pierce
Backing Vocals – Ava Aldridge, D. Bergen White, Cindy Richardson, Dorothy Moore, Lisa Silver, Wendy Suits
Bass – David Hood, Ed Cain, Michael Joyce, Michael Rhodes
Design Concept [Album Cover Concept] – Gary F. Montgomery, Michael Pierce
Drums – Eddie Bayers, James Stroud, Roger Hawkins, Willie Smith
Engineer – Pat McMakin, Paul Hornsby, Steve Melton
Executive-Producer – Gary F. Montgomery
Guitar – Larry Byrom, Steve Gibson
Harmonica – Buddy Greene
Horns – Charles Rose, Don Sheffield, Harvey Thompson, Jim Horn
Keyboards – Kenny Smith, Mitch Humphries, Randy McCormick
Lead Guitar – Jimmy Nalls, Larry Byrom, Larry Howard
Lead Vocals – Larry Howard
Piano – Randy McCormick
Producer – Bucky Jones, Gary F. Montgomery, Larry Howard, Pat McMakin
Rhythm Guitar – Jimmy Nalls, Larry Byrom, Larry Howard
Saxophone – Elbert Durham, Jim Horn, Ronnie Eades
Slide Guitar – Jimmy Nalls
Synthesizer – Randy McCormick
Vocals – Bob Bailey, John Whittaker, Larry Howard, Robin Johnson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Refuge Records
Copyright © – Refuge Records
Distributed By – Refuge Music Group
Recorded At – Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
Recorded At – The Sound Shop
Recorded At – Muscadine Studio
Produced For – New Street Productions

Scott Roley – Brother To Brother – 1986

This is the final album from Scott in the 80’s and it was also his most successful. The track “Brother to Brother”, a duet with Michael Card, made it to #22 and while there wasn’t a second single there were several tracks that could have in my opinion. The album was produced by David Eastman and British recording star Melanie sang several background vocals. Undoubtedly the album was popular due to appearances from Michael Card but it is a great stand alone album and Scott should be proud of this one.

1 – Brother to Brother – 3:45
2 – Things We Leave Behind – 3:27
3 – Jesus – 3:45
4 – Road To Heaven – 3:41
5 – Isolation – 4:14
6 – How Could I Answer You – 4:44
7 – Perfect Prayer – 3:20
8 – Suffer The Children – 3:00
9 – Eye To Eye – 3:56
10 – Melody Of Praise – 3:48

Cactus World News – Urban Beaches – 1986

The first of the “asterisk” artists to make the countdown, Cactus World News may also prove to be the least well known. Despite being the first Mother Records, and getting U2’s seal of approval, the band’s success never really came. But it should have! The most obscure of the asterisk artist, CWN released a stellar debut project that yielded a moderate hit with “The Bridge” and a sound that was right in the wheelhouse of what was happening in music at the time. Influences that included The Clash, Ramones, U2 the band also had an energy that equaled The Alarm, Echo and the Bunnymen and Big Country. Christian music listeners might want to use Undercover, 441 and early 77’s as a musical comparison, though their sound was completely their own. The first single and biggest hit, The Bridge, was produced by Bono and helped spur enough interest to be placed on a tour with the Cult. Band members, especially band leader and guitarist, Frank Kearns, shared a longtime friendship with U2 and would often serve as road and equipment support for the then fledgling band. Though immediately likeable and a long time favorite, my favorite cut wasn’t the hit single, but rather the opening track, Worlds Apart. The high energy and passion of the song reveals a heart wrenching longing for acceptance and closeness. Another stand out follows with “In a Whirlpool.” Again, the high energy delivers and impassioned plea for belonging. “The Promise” contains the most direct allusions to a biblical understanding and remains another personal favorite from the album. More questioning than evangelical the band longs for answers as they examine the world around them and discover that they are no less guilty than anyone else. This song is most “U2ish” on the album. Despite the theme of loneliness that weaves itself throughout the project, the album does not feel depressing or dark. For those desiring or demanding a more obvious or clearly evangelical message this album should be avoided. For those who embraced bands like The Waterboys, U2, The Alarm and The Call, this should prove a very satisfying, albeit very obscure, experience.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Worlds Apart – 3:36
2 – In A Whirlpool – 3:36
3 – The Promise – 5:03
4 – The Bridge – 4:15
5 – State Of Emergency – 7:10
6 – Years Later – 4:10
7 – Church Of The Cold – 3:49
8 – Pilots Of Beka – 6:04
9 – Jigsaw Street – 3:19
10 – Maybe This Time – 7:00

Artwork By – Creative Department Ltd, The, Dublin, Ireland.
Artwork By [Sleeve Design] – Steve Averill
Bass – Fergal MacAindris
Drums, Percussion – Wayne Sheehy
Electric Guitar, Guitar [Spanish] – Frank Kearns
Engineer [Assistant, Dublin] – Mary Kettle
Engineer [Dublin] – Mark Freegard
Engineer [Holland] – Thomas Stiehler
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Eoin McEvoy
Photography [Black And White Interiors] – Conor Horgan
Photography [Exterior] – Brian Griffin
Producer – Chris Kimsey
Written-By, Performer – Cactus World News

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.
Distributed By – MCA Records, Inc.

Saint – Time’s End – 1986

The second album from Saint is often considered their best by their hardcore fans. They definitely turned up the Metal for this album. The only lineup change was the drummer with Brian Willis replacing Mike Lowery. Strangely the band went through a drummer every album for their first six albums. While I personally loved their first album, and consider it my favourite, most never even heard of it. Instead this was their first exposure to Saint. The album cover was a little controversial with it’s depiction of beasts but I believe they were trying to represent “Time’s End” visually with a depiction of the Antichrist, at least that’s my theory. The cover was well received by Christian Metal heads partly because it resembled a secular cover which is also just my theory. Anyway this was one of the original CCM metal albums and deserves a place in infamy because of that. The album was reissued several times over the years. The 2002 version contains Live Cornerstone tracks as a bonus and is apparently very well remixed.

1 – In The Night – 3:25
2 – Island Prisoner – 4:18
3 – Through You – 4:13
4 – Space Cruiser – 5:15
5 – Times End – 4:42
6 – Primed And Ready – 3:47
7 – Destroyers – 3:17
8 – Phantom Of The Galaxy – 2:34
9 – Steel Killer – 3:43

Bass, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Richard Lynch
Cover – Jeff Spencer
Drums – Brian Willis
Engineer – Dave “R” Lore
Guitar, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – John Mahan
Lead Vocals – Josh Kramer
Producer – John Mahan, Richard Lynch

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Nimbus, Virginia
Distributed By – Refuge Music Group
Recorded At – Falcon Studios
Published By – Snellsong

T-Bone Burnett – T-Bone Burnett – 1986

T-Bone changes it up a bit for this album. It’s essentially an acoustic guitar country album. That said T-Bone is one of those artists that it is difficult to squeeze into a particular style category. I categorize all music flowing through the studio here but in the end I have given up on categorizing T-Bone. Instead I have just categorized all his work as T-Bone. I had to do a similar thing with Larry Norman. So far that’s the only 2 artists I have done this with. The album has a bit of an odd label lineage. It was first rereleased on Dot Records which is a pretty oddball label but just the nest year it ended up on MCA Records. Finally it showed up on Universal which is just odd. Anyway if You’re a T-Bone fan you will like this one but if this is the first T-Bone album you have listened to I suspect you won’t enjoy it much and quite frankly it’s not really representative of his work so give a different album a listen before deciding if you like him or not.

1 – River Of Love – 3:30
2 – Poison Love – 2:33
3 – Shake Yourself Loose – 3:00
4 – No Love At All – 2:54
5 – Annabelle Lee – 5:01
6 – I Remember (Instrumental) – 2:21
7 – I Remember – 3:39
8 – Little Daughter – 3:29
9 – Oh No Darling – 3:49
10 – Time – 4:59
11 – Little Daughter (Instrumental) – 3:23
12 – Song To A Dead Man – 3:34
13 – Bird That I Held In My Hand – 3:04

Dobro, Lap Steel Guitar – Jerry Douglas
Double Bass [String Bass] – Jerry Scheff
Fiddle – Byron Berline
Guitar, Accordion, Vocals – David Hidalgo
Producer – David Miner
Recorded By – Rik Pekkonen
Snare – Steve Duncan
Vocals – Billy Swan

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records Canada
Distributed By – MCA Records Canada

Lone Justice – BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert – 1993

Though this album wasn’t released until 1993 it was recorded in 1986 shortly after the release of their album “Shelter”. I’m a little mystified as to why it took so long to release but perhaps it was just originally for airing on radio. But really that’s just a guess as I don’t know the history of these BBC radio concerts. I also found it odd the release was in 93 after the band had already slipped from the public eye. That said they had dedicated fans who must have been thrilled to see this album released. The album has live versions of 5 tracks from their first album, 2 tracks from Shelter, and most excitingly 4 previously unreleased tracks. Lone Justice were an excellent live band and I’m sure most of their dedicated fans hold this album as one of their favorites.

1 – Wait – 4:37
2 – Sweet, Sweet Baby – 5:24
3 – I Ain’t Got No Home In This World – 2:32
4 – The Gift – 4:19
5 – Wheels – 6:28
6 – Shelter – 5:07
7 – Belfry – 6:04
8 – I Found Love – 4:19
9 – Heaven – 6:28
10 – Inspiration – 3:52
11 – Sweet Jane – 9:03

Bass, Vocals – Gregg Sutton
Compiled By, Coordinator – Jo Bourhill
Drums – Rudy Richman
Guitar – Shane Fontaine
Keyboards – Bruce Brody
Liner Notes – Alan Gardiner
Producer – Pete Dauncey
Sleeve – Coles McConnell Design
Vocals, Guitar – Maria McKee

Companies, etc.
Record Company – BBC Enterprises Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – BBC
Copyright (c) – Windsong International
Published By – Warner/Chappell
Published By – MCA
Published By – BMG
Published By – Tro Essex Music Ltd.
Published By – Copyright Control
Published By – Screen Gems-EMI
Recorded At – The Town And Country Club, London
Glass Mastered At – Mayking Records

Gideon’s Army – Warrior Of Love – 1986

The second album from Gideon’s Army heard them stray from their 70’s influenced sound to a very pop oriented hard rock sound. I was actually surprised at their new sound. The first album was pretty good but nothing special but this album does have something special. Admittedly this is a very commercial sound but wow is it well done. This album would have fit in perfectly with the commercial radio Metal/Rock sound of the era. I’m actually kind of surprised I had never heard of these guy’s back in the 80’s. This album they switched over to A&R Records who were essentially a all in one place to record, produce, and press an album. I don’t believe they had any distribution deals for this album so I don’t know how widely it was heard. Luckily it was re-released in 2013 by Retroactive Records. I am assuming most of you missed this one in 1986 so today’s the day you should listen to it so you don’t miss out.

1 – Moment By Moment – 3:33
2 – It’s Your Love – 4:20
3 – Warriors Of Love – 4:26
4 – No Fun – 3:44
5 – I Know Someone – 4:18
6 – Runaway – 4:19
7 – I Know You Could See – 3:33
8 – Video – 4:55
9 – Backsliding Brother – 4:27
10 – Face To Face – 4:01

Jerry Anderson – Drums, Vocals
Dave Angeles – Lead Guitar
Ron Davis – Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Producer
Mark Greves – Bass, Blues Harp, Vocals
Joseph Linn – Percussion
Tom Long – Synthesizer
Doug Naruo – Piano, Hammond B-3, Percussion, Arp String, Oberheim, Sequential
Nor Sivad – Effects

Motherlode – The Sanctuary – 1986

Motherlode were another fantastic Rock & Roll band out of Sweden. Though referred to as a Metal band I would actually classify them as a Hard Rock band but I agree that Sonny Larsson’s vocals sound particularly Metal. I can not see that this album was released anywhere other than Sweden though strangely the band were big in Japan. This was the only album from the band as they broke up shortly after the albums release. In 2010 however Sonny Larsson and Tom Nilsson got back together and used the bands name for an album. After the 1987 dissolution of Motherlode and the dissolution of Björn Stigsson’s band Leviticus the two of them came together as XT. I will review that album in a few weeks. This album was released in the secular market but it has several Christian songs and they are good ones. This one really deserves a listen.

1 – Moving Emotion – 5:22
2 – He’s Coming Back – 3:30
3 – Wise Man – 4:38
4 – Downtown – 4:57
5 – The Rock Of Ages – 4:05
6 – Line Of Thought – 5:34
7 – (Singin’ About) Rock’n Roll – 4:25
8 – Father Of Lies – 7:57
9 – The Sanctuary – 2:11
10 – Live It Out – 3:35

Art Direction, Illustration – Rodney Matthews
Backing Vocals, Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Kit Woolven
Bass – Peter Rundström
Drums – Martin Hedberg
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tom Nilsson
Engineer [Assistant] – Jonas Kuling
Keyboards – Johan Lindström, Mark Stanway
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Sonny Larsson
Management – Dennis Karlsson
Mastered By, Lacquer Cut By [Cutting] – Ian Cooper
Music By – Motherlode
Photography By – Anders Erkman, Göran Lindsjöö

Companies, etc.
Published By – Active Music Förlag
Published By – Sonet Music AB
Recorded At – Studio Kuling
Mixed At – Studio Kuling
Mastered At – The Town House
Lacquer Cut At – The Town House
Printed By – SIB-Tryck AB, Norsborg

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Side 2

Chris Eaton – Vision – 1986

One of the most important British imports to Christian music, Chris Eaton began his CCM career as a member of the band LYRIX with friend Mark Williamson. He stayed with the band as they changed their name to the Mark Williamson Band, but soon left to seek a songwriting and solo music career. His arrangement of “Little Town of Bethlehem” has been covered by Cliff Richard, Michael W Smith and Amy Grant. He also had songs recorded by Russ Taff, Susan Ashton and Margaret Becker. Eaton’s first solo record, Vision was a revelation of great blue eyed soul pop music infused with contemporary dance styles. This album would musically influence the world of CCM for the next few years including Russ Taff and Amy Grant as their musical style reflected similar style. In fact, the title track would become a hit for Taff on his monstrously popular Medals album. Great keyboard driven pop rock and sentimental ballads, very reminiscent of country mate Cliff Richard. Chris has gone on to a great and lengthy career as an artist and songwriter. In fact I saw him last year on tour with Amy Grant on her “Lead Me On” reunion tour and he was a good as ever.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Vision – 4:07
2 – Don’t Underestimate My Love – 4:38
3 – When My Heart Breaks – 5:04
4 – Golden Rule – 4:31
5 – Hold Back The Tears – 4:24
6 – Love For The Common Man – 4:34
7 – Talk To Me – 4:13
8 – This Is For Real – 4:23
9 – Don’t Play Games – 4:40
10 – It Was Love – 5:20

Arranged By – Orion Crawford
Art Direction, Design – Kent Hunter, Thomas Ryan Design
Backing Vocals – Don Snow, Mark Williamson, Nick Glennie-Smith, Thom Kelly, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Nathan East, Neil Stubenhaus, Pino Palladino
Drums – Carlos Vega, Charlie Morgan, Paul Leim
Executive-Producer – Dan Harrell, Michael Blanton, Stuart Ongley
Guitar – Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Paul Jackson, Phil Palmer
Horns – Mel Collins
Keyboards – Dave Cooke, Larry Williams, Rhett Lawrence, Robbie Buchanan, Robin Smith
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – John Potoker
Percussion – Lenny Castro
Photography By – Larry Williams
Producer – Brown Bannister
Producer, Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Written-By, Backing Vocals – Chris Eaton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – Ridge Farm Studios
Recorded At – Snake Ranch
Recorded At – Paradise Studios
Recorded At – Marcus Recording Studios
Recorded At – Hot Nights Studios, London
Recorded At – Utopia Studios
Recorded At – Mayfair Studios
Mixed At – Blue Jay Studios
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Pressed By – Electrosound Group Midwest, Inc.

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Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
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Randy Stonehill – The Wild Frontier – 1986

In 1986 Randy woke up his recording sessions and brought us back to a sound he was always good at. Randy can create a rock concert just by showing up, and for the Wild Frontier, he showed up. Side 1 starts off with a slough of tracks that are almost Springsteen-esque but since we remember Randy’s roots from Welcome To Paradise in 1976, we know he was always capable of this. The Wild Frontier is in some ways a triumphant return. Side 2 is a little more of Randy’s personal style, but still much edgier than the two albums that he released before this one. DA’s Jerry Chamberlain provides guitar for this album, and a most of the other musicians are his familiar band-mates. Rick Cua plays bass on some tracks, as does Dave Perkins, who also produced the album. Tom Howard is on keys as usual, as well as Rob Watson.

1 – The Wild Frontier – 4:12
2 – Here Come The Big Guitars – 3:45
3 – The Dying Breed – 4:21
4 – Words On The Wind – 5:47
5 – What’s My Line – 3:13
6 – What Do You Want From Life – 3:54
7 – Get Together – 3:54
8 – Defender – 3:05
9 – Evangeline – 5:45
10 – Hope Of Glory – 4:55

Acoustic Guitar – Dave Perkins, Randy Stonehill
Arranged By [Brass Arrangement] – Tom Howard
Art Direction [Cover Art Direction], Design – Roland Young
Backing Vocals – Chris Harris (2), Dave Perkins, Gary Chapman, Jerry Chamberlain, Peter Case, Peter Noone, Tonio K.
Bass Guitar – Dave Perkins, Rick Cua
Contractor [Horn Contractor] – John Lunden
Drums – Mike Mead
Electric Guitar – Dave Perkins, Jerry Chamberlain, Jerry McPherson, Randy Stonehill
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Malcolm Harper
Engineer [Engineered By] – Dave Perkins, Dave Schober
Engineer [Second Engineers] – Bob Salcedo, Casey McMackin, Dan Garcia, Gene Ford, Jon Ingoldsby, Matt Freeman
Executive-Producer – Ray Ware
Keyboards – Reese “Mr. B-3” Wynans
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Mixed By – Dave Perkins, David Schober, Randy Stonehill
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Dave Perkins, Keith Edwards
Photography By [Cover Photography] – Howard Rosenberg
Producer [Produced By] – Dave Perkins
Programmed By [Programmer] – Peter Robb
Synthesizer – Dave Perkins, Rob Watson, Tom Howard
Vocals – Randy Stonehill

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Music Grinder Studios
Recorded At – The Reelsound Truck
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Pressed By – DADC – DIDX-010665
Published By – Stonehillian Music
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Undone Tunes
Published By – Irving Music, Inc.

Jacket Front
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Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
Side 1
Side 2