Dual Edge – Knock ‘Em Alive – 1987

This hair metal band from Minnesota were introduced to us by Intense Records. They arrived at a time we were being inundated by Glam metal bands and these guys pretty well fit the mold. This album was actually just a remix of their demo with one new track and one track removed. There are some excellent vocals from Scott Turner and great guitar from Rick Wald. The only thing that could have done some work are the lyrics. That said if you don’t take the genre too seriously you should enjoy this album. I did.

Tracklist
1 – Lift Him Up – 4:06
2 – Fight For The Light – 5:08
3 – Be With You – 4:16
4 – New Life – 3:52
5 – Knock ‘Em Alive – 4:40
6 – Take It To The Bank – 4:04
7 – The Light – 4:09
8 – Follow Your Dreams – 3:23

John Avery – Songwriter, Bass, Background Vocals
Brian Bart – Producer, Engineer, Mixed, Background Vocals
David Harland – Songwriter, Background Vocals
Caesar Kalinowski – Producer, Engineer, Mixed
Rob Poseley – Background Vocals
Terry Steinmeyer – Songwriter, Drums, Background Vocals
Scott Turner – Lead Vocals
Rick Wald – Songwriter, Guitars, Background Vocals

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Victory – Victory – 1987

Don’t know much about this band except that Steve Patrick of Holy Soldier was the lead on this project. Strangely he is credited as Steve O’Donnell and there is a Sean O’Donnell credited also. None of the rest of the names in the band seem to have done anything else so this little gem will remain a mystery. I was researching Steve Patrick and was happy to see he’s still making music. His most recent album is country and is actually pretty darn good.

Tracklist
1 – Kill ‘Em With Love – 5:47
2 – Hell On Wheels – 6:17
3 – Emerald Stare – 4:31
4 – Revelation – 2:30
5 – Grave Beneath The Willow – 5:59

Credits
Bass, Keyboards – Kelly McDonald
Drums – David McNinch
Keyboards, Lead Guitar – Sean O’Donnell
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Steve O’Donnell

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Contagious – Be Ready – 1987

Contagious were a Metal band our of California. This was their short run demo that was released on vinyl. They had an album subsequent to this on Regency records. I kind of liked this demo but I feel the production left a little to be desired. The info says that it was produced by Randy Thomas but I sincerely doubt it was the SCB Randy Thomas. While some of the songs are rather simplistic I took a liking to “He’s The Light” but unfortunately it didn’t make it onto their subsequent album.

Tracklist
1 – Water Then Fire – 3:00
2 – Jesus Is The Way – 3:40
3 – He’s The Light – 2:45
4 – One Way, One Truth – 3:04
5 – Nowhere To Run – 3:13
6 – Lost And Lonely – 3:57

Credits
Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mark Lewis
Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Ryan Crampton
Engineer – Fred (On The Road) Tadesco, Randy Thomas
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Mike Gribionkin
Mastered By – Wally Traugott
Photography By – Rick Bergquist
Producer – Contagious, Randy Thomas
Written-By – Lewis, Gribionkin, Crampton

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Lamda Studios
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Distributed By – Regency Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Contagious Music
Copyright (c) – Contagious Music

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First Strike – Crank It Up – 1987

This demo is a bit of an odd situation. The band had already had a successful album in 1984 with Exit Records. So this demo came out after they already had a record deal. Exit Records went bankrupt in 1987 the same year as this demo so I know there’s a story as to what happened between the band and Exit. The band were an established Hard Rock/Metal ban as their first album was very well received. Why they had to shop around a demo I’m a little unsure. The band however did have a new lead singer on this demo with Dave Campanaro replacing Tony Gunn. So all the clues, new lead singer, defunct record company, lead me to believe there is a story here. Anyway let’s talk about the demo. It’s only 4 tracks but quite frankly they are 4 album ready tracks. They continue their Hard Rock/Metal style that I liked so much on their studio album. If you liked the album you’ll love this demo.

Tracklist
1 – Some Kind Of Lover – 4:46
2 – Don’t Let Me Walk Away – 3:45
3 – Power – 4:49
4 – Come Back – 3:07

Credits
Bass, Backing Vocals – Chris Salmon
Drums – John Delaney
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Pat Boylan, Tim Larkin
Vocals – Dave Campanaro

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The Imperials – This Year’s Model – 1987

This was The Imperials first album after the departure of long time tenor Jim Murray and lead singer Paul Smith. Apparently their departure made for a rather odd decision for this album. It is much more youth oriented, and in fact you could argue it was a total pop album. This caused all sorts of consternation from their regular fans who were expecting another worship oriented album. I actually snicker at how they would have reacted on their first listen to this album. The album is well done and actually quite enjoyable. Let’s face it these guys knew what they were doing and probably could have put out a top notch heavy metal album. Try envisioning that for a minute. But alas the new pop sound must not have sold well as the next album they were right back to their worship oriented sound. Pity actually, this was a good album.

Tracklist
1 – Holding On (First Love) – 5:22
2 – Fallin’ – 4:03
3 – Warriors – 4:54
4 – How Do I Get You? – 5:38
5 – Wings Of Love – 4:38
6 – Power Of God – 4:07
7 – Outlander – 6:47
8 – Get Ready – 4:38
9 – Devoted To You – 3:44

Credits
Arranged By [Rhythm Track] – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork [Jacket Concept] – Joan Tankersley, Lynn Nichols
Bass – Jimmie Lee* (tracks: A2, B4)
Drum Programming – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Drums – Paul Leim (tracks: B4, B5)
Engineer [Second] – Bill Whittington, Danny Johnston, J.T., Spence Chrislu, Wade Jaynes
Executive Producer – Lynn Nichols
Guitar – Mark Grendel (tracks: A2 to A4), Tom Hemby (tracks: B2, B4, B5)
Keyboards – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B4, B5), Shane Keister (tracks: A4, B4)
Lyrics By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Ron Hemby (tracks: B2, B5)
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Nick Froome
Mixed By [Assistant] – Ed Goodreau, Rob Jaczko
Music By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, B1)
Photography By [Back Cover] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Front Cover] – Ellen Schuster
Producer – Brown Bannister
Programmed By [Fairlight] – Carl Marsh, Peter Kaye, Rhett Lawrence, Shane Keister
Programmed By [Synclavier] – Steve Schaffer
Recorded By [Overdubs] – J.B., Jeff Balding
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks, Assistant] – Joe Schiff
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks] – Steve McMillan
Synthesizer [Fairlight Iii] – Carl Marsh (tracks: A1, A3)

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Watchmen – Fear No Evil – 1987

Watchman formed in Tacoma Washington in 1984 and briefly called themselves Crosswalk before going with Watchman instead. This was their introductory demo released in 1987. It has a strong commercial sound and I noticed that several reviewers at the time compared them to Dio. There are strong keyboards which always sounds a little off to me when listening to a metal album. The standout thing on this demo for me was the quality of the production. It is very well engineered and I’d actually like to know who mixed and produced it. It sounds very well done to me and if they did it themselves they deserve credit for it. Anyway we have here 7 commercial oriented metal songs and a ballad. Regency Records must have liked it as much as I did as they signed them to a record deal after the demo.

Tracklist
1 – Fear No Evil – 4:55
2 – Tug Of War – 3:18
3 – Set Free – 4:12
4 – The Healer – 3:33
5 – Kingdom Come – 4:57
6 – Power From The Lamb – 4:23
7 – Christian Soldier – 3:18
8 – His Song – 5:00

Credits
Vocals – Greg Sweet
Keyboards – Kevin Antholt
Bass – Doug Larson
Drums – Kevin Whisler
Guitars – Dave Van Liew

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Lightforce – Battlezone – 1987

This was the first full album release from Lightforce but it was self released. I’m not really sure where the line is between a demo and a self released album but anyway I digress. Originally this was released on cassette only but a vinyl version appeared in 2019 courtesy of Soundmass records. It was also included in a 2003 compilation entitled 1986 To 1989. This album has a pretty raw feel which I believe was entirely intentionally. Though this is an early version of Mortification the Lightforce had their own sound and it is a little more commercial. While metal is not one of my preferred styles of music I quite liked the track “Reigning With The King”, I think it cold have been a pretty popular track if it had wider distribution.

Tracklist
1 – Choose To Win – 4:31
2 – Evil Desires – 2:54
3 – Reigning With The King – 5:40
4 – Eyes of Destruction – 5:42
5 – I Won’t Conform – 2:41
6 – The Day Is Near – 2:34
7 – Battlezone – 2:44
8 – Fast Lane – 3:52

Credits
Bass – Steve Rowe
Cover, Layout, Design – Scott Waters
Drums – Errol Willenberg
Guitar – Cameron Hall
Vocals, Keyboards – Steve Johnson

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Soldier – Louder Than Hell – 1987

Soldier formed in 1986 in the Bay area of California. They very quickly went into the studio and recorded this 3 track demo. For good measure they tossed 4 live tracks on to the demo too. Soldier was very well received in the California CCM Metal scene. They had a cult following that stuck with them for years though the band broke up in 1988. Copies of their demo’s were next to impossible to find but Millenium Eight Records stepped up in 2002 and released both demo’s together on one CD (These tracks are from this CD). The CD must have sold well as Roxx Records released an anthology from Soldier in 2018. It includes almost everything, if not everything the band ever recorded.

Tracklist
1 – Heart of Stone – 3:03
2 – Somebody New – 3:45
3 – Angel – 4:08
4 – King of the City (live) – 3:13
5 – Glory & Honor (live) – 3:01
6 – Priceless Heart (live) – 5:23
7 – Heart of Stone (live) – 4:03

Credits
Rick Hunter Martinez – Guitars
Jimmy Arceneaux – Vocals
Marc Allen – Bass
Jason Souza – Drums

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Jerusalem – Dancing on the Head of the Serpent – 1987

This was the 5th studio album from Jerusalem and was the first studio album they put out into only English. From mid 85 until this album Jerusalem had taken a break as it is reported they were pretty well exhausted form touring. This album had a change in lineup as Reidar Paulsen stepped in on keyboards to replace Dan Tibell. Dan did return in the 90’s. This album was somewhat controversial or at least the cover was. The image of someone stomping the head of a demonic image was apparently shunned by many music stores who either hid it under the counter or refused to carry it entirely. How did we ever survive these things. Thanks goodness they were there to look out for us. Yes that was said with a healthy dose of sarcasm. The US version of the album was a remix from the Swedish version but essentially you’re here for hard rock with some keyboards and Jerusalem serves it up excellently as usual.

Tracklist
1 – Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent – 4:07
2 – Plunder Hell And Populate Heaven – 4:07
3 – Rebels Of Jesus Christ – 3:18
4 – Listen To Me – 4:30
5 – Woe, Woe…The Great Fall – 3:25
6 – We’re Gonna Take Europe – 3:39
7 – Come Higher – 3:59
8 – Catch The Devil, Catch The Thief – 4:40
9 – The Night When Revelation Came Into My Life – 4:46
10 – Still – 4:05

Credits
Arranged By – Jerusalem
Band [Jerusalem Is], Bass, Backing Vocals – Peter Carlsohn
Band [Jerusalem Is], Drums, Backing Vocals – Michael Ulvsgärd
Band [Jerusalem Is], Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Reidar I Paulsen
Band [Jerusalem Is], Vocals, Guitar – Ulf Christiansson
Cover – Rolf Jansson
Engineer [Engineered By] – Göran Buller
Photography By – Ulf Nilsson
Producer [Produced By] – Ulf Christiansson
Written-By [All Songs By] – Ulf Christiansson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Refuge Records
Copyright (c) – Refuge Records
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution
Recorded At – Jerusalem Studio
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Published By – Ulf Christiansson
Published By – Place Of Refuge

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Geoff Moore – The Distance – 1987

This was Geoff’s last solo album before putting together a band and being Geoff Moore and the Distance. There must be some correlation between this album being call The Distance and his subsequent band being named The Distance but I don’t know what it was. The band for this album consisted of Dan Huff, Gary Lunn and Mark Gersmehl all from Whiteheart along with Bill Smiley doing some backup vocals and producing the album. This album has an excellent pop/rock sound and it was another album I missed in the 80’s but love it now. The CD version of this album had a bonus track Duet with Larry Norman doing a rocking version of Larry’s “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music”.

This was Geoff’s last solo album before putting together a band and being Geoff Moore and the Distance. There must be some correlation between this album being call The Distance and his subsequent band being named The Distance but I don’t know what it was. The band for this album consisted of Dan Huff, Gary Lunn and Mark Gersmehl all from Whteheart along with Bill Smiley doing some backup vocals and producing the album. This album has an excellent pop/rock sound and it was another album I missed in the 80’s but love it now. The CD version of this album had a bonus track Duet with Larry Norman doing a rocking version of Larry’s “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music”. There is actually a music video for that track also and we have it here;

Tracklist
1 – Winning Back The Rock – 3:19
2 – Never Wanna Go Back – 3:44
3 – Familiar Stranger – 3:17
4 – Tomorrow – 4:00
5 – Didn’t He – 5:47
6 – Face The Music – 4:31
7 – Trouble Tonight – 3:46
8 – Sooner Or Later – 3:27
9 – Obey – 4:42
10 – Inside Out – 3:55
CD Bonus Track
11 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 4:03

Credits
Steven Curtis Chapman – Composer
Tommy Dorsey – Horn, Keyboards
Ric Florian – Vocals
Mark Gersmehl – Composer
Pam Mark Hall – Composer
Dann Huff – Guitar
Gordon Kennedy – Composer, Guitar
Brent King – Percussion
Gary Lunn – Bass
Randy Matthews – Composer
Marty McCall – Vocals
Chris McHugh – Drums
Geoff Moore – Composer, Primary Artist, Vocals
Farrell Morris – Percussion
Phil Naish – Keyboards
Dale Oliver – Composer, Slide Guitar
Gary Pigg – Vocals
John Slick – Organ
Billy Smiley – Composer, Producer, Vocals
James Stroud – Drums
Arlin Troyer – Composer
Mark Tucker – Photography

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