Ellen B – Två – 1987

I had a difficult time finding out much about Ellen B. I was able to learn that they were from Sweden and this was their second album thus the Swedish name of the album “Två”. The album was initially released in Swedish (with some English songs) in 1987 and then released in the United States, U.K. and Australia using the title Prince Of Peace in 1988. Unfortunately this was the end of our exposure to them and I really think that’s too bad as there was a lot of talent here. We have uploaded both the Swedish and English version of this fantastic album.

Tracklist
1 – Don’t End The Night – 4:35
2 – Bra Karl – 3:07
3 – Nu När Hon Lever – 6:28
4 – Regnbågen – 3:20
5 – Tiden Rinner I Väg – 4:50
6 – Fredsfurste – 4:25
7 – Man Med Många Namm – 4:47
8 – Water Into Wine – 4:01
9 – Aldrig Glömma Dig – 5:28
10 – Lugnet Växer – 4:50

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Kenneth Eriksson
Design – Carl Åkesson
Drums, Percussion – Per Hedtjärn
Engineer – Micke Lyander
Guitar – Lasse Olsson
Keyboards – Robert Wirensjö
Management [Projektledning] – Lasse Petersson
Mixed By – Christer Sjöblom, Kenneth Eriksson
Photography By – Henrik Brundin
Producer – Kenneth Eriksson
Vocals – Lasse Nilsson Wihk

Companies, etc.
Printed By – SIB-Tryck AB, Norsborg
Lacquer Cut At – Polar Mastering
Pressed By – Audiodisc AB
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Cantio Records
Copyright (c) – Cantio Records
Copyright (c) – Gilmour Records
Copyright (c) – Alarma Records
Recorded At – Sandkvie Studio
Mixed At – Supreme Studio

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Paul Johnson & The Packards – California – 1987

In my quest to find the oddball examples of 80’s CCM I found this artist. Paul Johnson was playing Surf music long ago in the 60’s and he played with some of the most popular surf bands including The Surfias. This is actually his 3rd Christian album though I kind of struggle with calling it a Christian album. Not because I question Paul’s beliefs but because it is an instrumental album. That said it was picked up by Frontline Records so let’s be clear I have no doubts it was an inspired album. That said it is a very oddball album. If you have a hankering for some 50’s/60’s style surf music this album is for you. Oh, and it has an excellent cover of The Beatles song “Day Tripper”.

Tracklist
1 – Kamikaze – 2:37
2 – Escape To Reality – 4:26
3 – Mr. Moto – 1:49
4 – Baja – 3:11
5 – Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus – 3:39
6 – Squad Car – 2:07
7 – Day Tripper – 2:30
8 – Link Wray Medley: Rumble, Jack The Ripper, Rawhide – 7:02
9 – Streets Of Gold – 3:52

Credits
Arranged By – Paul Johnson
Art Direction, Design – Ed McTaggart
Artwork [Cover Art, Guitar Heaven] – John Dickenson
Bass Guitar – Guy Hufferd
Drums – Ray Huskey
Engineer, Mastered By [Digitally Re-Mastered By] – Doug Doyle
Guitar – Paul Johnson
Mastered By – John Matousek
Painting [Cover Painting, California] – Rick Griffin
Producer – Doug Doyle, Paul Johnson
Rhythm Guitar – Marc Burroughs
Soloist – Marc Burroughs (tracks: 7)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Remastered At – Digital Brothers
Distributed By – FMG Distribution
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Record Company – Frontline Music Group

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DA (Daniel Amos) – Darn Floor – Big Bite – 1987

The famous gorilla Koko was trained to speak in sign language on a limited basis, After experiencing an earthquake the gorilla signed the words, “Darn Floor – Big Bite” to describe the incident. The gorilla’s limited expressions and inability to fully communicate the response is compared to man’s inability to express the wonders of God and the way life is lived with its many facets and expressions on one of Daniel Amos’ most constantly impressive albums of the same name. After finally completing the four album tour de force known as the “Alarma Chronicles,” (on four separate labels mind you), the band released its second album for Frontline Records. Now without keyboardist Rob Watson and featuring an increase involvement of the ever impressive Greg Flesch, the album was less atmospheric and surreal and more earthy and rock driven. It is a brilliant, rather accessible and stunning album that would remain one of the least successful projects in the band’s history. (Well, they did use the word “darn” in the title, so what did they expect?) I almost dread reviewing anything Terry Taylor does, especially what is found under the moniker Daniel Amos for fear of fans decrying a lack of understanding on my part as to what the band and Terry were attempting to create. Quite frankly a quick perusing of Daniel Amos websites and chat boards reveal that the only acceptable Christian Music Top 10 would look something like this:

  1. Alarma – Daniel Amos
  2. Horrendous Disc – Daniel Amos
  3. Mr. Beuchner’s dream – Daniel Amos
  4. Outdoor Elvis – The Swirling Eddies
  5. Bibleland – Daniel Amos
  6. A Briefing for the Ascent – Terry Taylor
  7. Shotgun Angel – Daniel Amos
  8. Doppelganger – Daniel Amos
  9. Let’s Spin – The Swirling Eddies
  10. Fearful Symmetry – Daniel Amos

and so on… There is no fan base in Christian music that comes anywhere close to the passion and obsession that accompanies the fans of this amazing band. Myopic and intolerant of dissent, they know more about every little release Taylor and Co. have even been involved with and to speak with any authority on the subject without prior approval and the express written consent of Major League baseball is strictly prohibited. So, walk softly and carry a very approving stick! The other problem is that, quite often, I have no idea what a song may be about. Taylor may be one of the best read songwriters in CCM (or anywhere for that matter) and his references to obscure writers and events can leave a puzzled look on many a face. That’s not a Taylor problem, but rather a listener problem; but it also can cause some severe confusion on the listener’s part. But despite the limited success of the album and it, sometimes, obscure content, it remains one of the best of the band’s career and has a cool freshness even as I listen over and over to it in writing this review.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Return Of The Beat Menace – 2:56
2 – Strange Animals – 3:11
3 – Darn Floor – Big Bite – 4:22
4 – Earth Household – 3:49
5 – Safety Net – 3:28
6 – Pictures Of The Gone World – 2:47
7 – Divine Instant – 3:51
8 – Half Light, Epoch, And Phase – 4:15
9 – The Unattainable Earth – 3:42
10 – The Shape Of Air – 3:25

Credits
Backing Vocals – Gene Eugene (tracks: B5), Jeff Crandall (tracks: B5), Maria Chandler (tracks: B5), Mike Stand (tracks: B5), Ric Alba (tracks: B5), Riki Michele (tracks: B5)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Tim Chandler
Co-producer – DA
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Lead Guitar, Panpipes [Pan Flute], Concertina [Squeeze Box] – Greg Flesch
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar – Terry Taylor
Lyrics By – Terry Taylor
Music By – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Producer – Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Published By – Broken Songs
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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Robert Vaughn And The Shadows – Love And War – 1987

One of the great crimes in the history of CCM was the sudden disappearance of Robert Vaughn and the fact that this amazing record was all but ignored. It may be the most significant AYSO on this entire list! There have been a few different incarnations of Robert Vaughn with different backing band names, but the husky, edgy and utterly unforgettable voice is pure Vaughn. Labeled initially as Americana rock and roll and compared to Springsteen, Mellencamp and Petty, there is much more originality here and a totally different musical landscape. Musically the most immediate comparison I ever mention is Hothouse Flowers with the soulful, expressive music and vocal stylings. This album was part of the short-lived Exit Records/IRS experiment that saw only The 77’s receive any deep distribution. This album and the self-titled Charlie Peacock never really saw the light of day, let a lone placement in Tower Records. That is a shame as RVaTS could have been a great success given any support for radio and touring. I saw them once at a showcase with Charlie Peacock and The 77’s and, if not for Mark Tootle’s guitar smashing antics, RV may have stolen the show. He was great live and much more passionate musically then even what appears on this great project. Everyone I know that owns this album has asked not “if” this album will make the list, but rather “where” as for those who own it know it is a total no-brainer for the album to be included. The rest should find a way to track it down!

Tracklist
1 – Spanish Rebels – 3:03
2 – Justice – 5:24
3 – Palace Of Tears – 4:22
4 – Dreaming Fields – 1:38
5 – Love And War – 4:37
6 – Love Came Falling – 3:00
7 – Nights On Fire (Bye Bye Moon) – 4:41
8 – December – 3:50
9 – Bordertown – 2:05

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Anthony Daluz, Robert Vaughn
Backing Vocals – Anthony Daluz, Leo Corriea, T.J. Tindall
Bass – Doug Boone
Coordinator – Jan Volz
Drums – Greg LaRocco
Electric Guitar – Anthony Daluz, Robert Vaughn
Engineer [Additional] – Daryl Zachman, T.J. Tindall
Engineer [Assistant] – Rick Slater
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Flute – Steve Kocherhans
Guitar – T.J. Tindall
Keyboards – Steve Kocherhans
Mixed By – Eric Calm
Organ [Hammond] – John Nau
Percussion – Bongo Bob Smith
Piano – John Nau
Producer – T.J. Tindall
Programmed By – Bill Coe
Recorded By – Michael W. Harris
Sampler – Bill Coe
Sampler [E-mu Ii] – John Nau, Robert Vaughn
Saxophone – Steve Kocherhans
Violin – Linda Cummiskey
Vocals – Robert Vaughn

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Island Records
Distributed By – MCA Records
Published By – Sangre Productions
Mixed At – Quad Recording Studios
Recorded At – Western Audio
Recorded At – Mix Masters
Recorded At – Sacred Tone

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Prism – Yellow – 1987

Chris Harris and Mark Heimermann are back with the kids of Prism. Their first album, “Blue”, was a great success so they returned to the studio to try the same formula again. This time the budget must have increased as we hear more musical backing and two known CCM stars, Marti McCall, and Gary Chapman join in. The album again features several traditional Sunday School/Campfire songs. There is also a version of Amy Grant’s & Michael W. Smith’s duet “Friends”. The strangest track is an instrumental from Heimermann that would have made Harold Faltemeyer proud. I say strange because I wouldn’t expect an original instrumental composition on a Kidz Bop kind of album. This was usually considered the best of the Prism projects and again was very well received by CCM radio stations. It had 3 singles, Pass It On made it to #12, Anywhere With Jesus to #14, and Sweet, Sweet Spirit made it to #25. So if you’re in the mood for some Kidz Bop, and a synth instrumental, give this album a listen.

Tracklist
1 – Pass It On – 3:51
2 – Have You Seen Jesus My Lord – 3:01
3 – Sweet, Sweet Spirit – 3:17
4 – A Common Love – 4:01
5 – Sing And Be Happy – 3:20
6 – Anywhere With Jesus – 3:24
7 – I’ve Got The Joy, Joy, Joy (Down In My Heart) – 3:03
8 – Gizmo – 2:14
9 – Friends ’88 – 2:27
10 – We Will Always Be With The Lord – 4:45

Credits
Doris Akers – Songwriter
Reed Arvin – Synclavier Assistance
Joe Baldridge – Synclavier Assistance
Brown Bannister – Songwriter
Lisa Bevill – Vocals
Michael Blanton – Executive Producer
Charles F. Brown – Songwriter
Gary Chapman – Vocals
George W. Cooke – Songwriter
Mark Douthit – Saxophone
John Fischer – Songwriter
Lynn Fuston – Engineer, Mixed
Randy Garmon – Assistant Engineer
Dan Harrell – Executive Producer
Chris Harris – Producer, Arrangements, Vocals
Mark Heimermann – Producer, Songwriter, Arrangements, Keyboards, Vocals
James Hollihan – Guitar
Gary Janney – Vocals
Kurt Kaiser – Songwriter
William J. Kirkpatrick – Songwriter
Gary Lunn – Drum Programming, Bass
Marty McCall – Vocals
Donna McElroy – Vocals
Terry McMillan – Harmonica
Jerry McPherson – Guitar
Jeff Moseley – Executive Producer
Jessie B. Pounds – Songwriter
Benny Quin – Mastered
Chris Rodriguez – Background Vocals
Ted Silva – Songwriter
Deborah D. Smith – Songwriter
Michael W. Smith – Songwriter
Chris Thomason – Assistant Engineer
Daniel B. Towner – Songwriter

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Nobody Special – Nobody Special – 1987

Real punk rock. Joey “Ojo” Taylor’s (Undercover) little brother went by the name of Pat Nobody with a band called Nobody Special whose debut release was called entitled Nobody Special and was produced by older brother Ojo. There is something about the name Taylor and Christian Music that just screams quality – Ojo, Steve, Terry Scott and Pat! Nepotism and redundancy aside, this album just plain kicked ass! Fast, hard, heavy and one of the finest punk deliveries in Christian Music. Ironically Pat formed the band, Nobody Special, right after the album was released by Frontline records. The original “band” that recorded the project along with Pat included Ojo Taylor (Undercover), Gene Eugene (Adam Again), Chris Birgandi (The Lifters) and others from the OC Christian music “cool scene.” I remember seeing the band Immortal Youth a few times playing around the LA and OC Christian punk scene in the early 80’s with bands like Undercover and the Lifesavors and remembering that I thought they were really cool. I did not find out until many years later that Pat was in that band as well. They (he) would only record two albums and that is a true loss to the industry that could have used many more.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Sliding Backwards – 2:22
2 – That Feelin’ – 1:45
3 – Come Around – 1:22
4 – I Was – 2:14
5 – Dissertation – 1:02
6 – We Are Confident – 1:26
7 – People Who – 1:48
8 – Killin’ Time – 2:19
9 – Burnt – 3:09
10 – I Wonder – 1:48
11 – Numb – 0:56
12 – Get Off The Air – 2:21
13 – Ain’t That Hard – 3:57
14 – Separation – 1:29
15 – Deeper Things – 1:39

Credits
Artwork [Insert Lettering, Illustrations] – John Russey
Bass, Keyboards – Turner Burn
Drums – Emil Harvey
Edited By – Dave Jahnsen
Guitar – Dickey Moe
Guitar, Vocals – Pat Nobody
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – Brian Ray
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Joey Taylor
Written-By – Pat Nobody

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The Heart Beats – Only A Heartbeat Away – 1987

I can’t really find any info on The Heart Beats. They were a pretty good girl group of what I assume is 3 sisters. Well at least they all had the same last name so that’s my guess. This was the only album from them so I guess there’s not much more to the story. The album is good fun and actually has 5 pretty good covers. I think my favourite was Higher and Higher originally done by Jackie Wilson. Though my favourite cover of this song in the one in Ghostbusters 2. Rounding out the covers are, Everlasting Love (Robert Knight), When I Need You (Leo Sayer), Chapel Of Love (The Dixie Cups), and Jesus Is The Answer (Andrae Crouch). There may be other covers but those are the ones I recognized. All in all a fun album with a great 80’s girl group sound.

Tracklist
1 – Everlasting Love – 3:44
2 – Higher And Higher – 2:54
3 – When I Need You – 3:57
4 – He’s The Greatest – 2:55
5 – Chapel Of Love – 4:02
6 – Risen Lord – 3:31
7 – Heaven – 2:48
8 – Joining – 4:17
9 – The Superman – 3:39
10 – Jesus Is the Answer – 3:08

Credits
Bass – Dennis Davilio
Drums – David Prater, Terry Silverlight (tracks: A1, A3)
Drums [High Hat] – Rob Cali (tracks: B3)
Guitar – Tony Davilio
Keyboards – George Small
Producer, Arranged By – Joey Powers
Vocals – Angela Bass, Kathleen Bass, Patsy Bass

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The Alarm – Eye of the Hurricane – 1987

The third studio album from The Alarm came to us in 1987. It was very well received reaching number 23 in the UK secular charts and number 77 in the US secular charts. The band actually toured with Bob Dylan the same year in support of the album. They also played Greenbelt the same year giving the Christian festival attendees a sneak peek of the album. The first single was “Rain In The Summertime” and when asked about it Mike Peters said they wrote the song together as a band. He also had this to say “We had a huge battle and it tore us apart. To get to the end of the record and have that song, it felt like we’d weathered a massive storm. We’d come through the eye of the hurricane, and here was the rain at the end of this intense period just to wash away all the ill feeling and bad experiences that we had, to bring us together.” The album is actually a little difficult to categorize. On one hand it’s rock but on the other hand new wave and on the third hand pop. However you categorize it, it is very good and a must listen.

Tracklist
1 – Rain In The Summertime – 5:12
2 – Newtown Jericho – 4:05
3 – Hallowed Ground – 4:17
4 – One Step Closer To Home – 4:31
5 – Shelter – 3:08
6 – Rescue Me – 3:19
7 – Permanence In Change – 4:01
8 – Presence Of Love – 4:01
9 – Only Love Can Set Me Free – 4:22
10 – Eye Of The Hurricane – 3:38

Credits
Bass Guitar, Synth [Bass Synth], Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Eddie MacDonald
Design, Art Direction – Steve Stretton
Drums, Drum Programming [Linn Programming], Backing Vocals – Twist
Engineer – Tony Platt
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Dave Sharp
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica – Mike Peters
Management – Ian Wilson, Third Light Management
Mastered By – Jay Willis
Mixed By – David Leonard (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B1 to B4), Tony Platt (tracks: A4, B5)
Mixed By [Assistant] – Gary Wilkinson (tracks: A4, B5), Jim Champagne (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B1 to B4), Nick Blundell (tracks: A4, B5), Ron DaSilva (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B1 to B4)
Musician [Additional], Piano, Organ [Hammond] – Chris Stanton* (tracks: A4, B4, B5)
Musician [Additional], Piano, Synthesizer [Dx7] – Mark Taylor (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B3)
Photography By – Spencer Rowell
Producer – John Porter, The Alarm
Programmed By – MacDonald, Porter, Twist
Written-By – Sharp (tracks: A4), MacDonald (tracks: A2 to A4, B1 to B5), Peters (tracks: A2 to A4, B1 to B5), Twist (tracks: A4), The Alarm (tracks: A1, A5)

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.
Distributed By – MCA Records, Inc.
Pressed By – Europadisk
Recorded At – Great Linford Manor
Mixed At – Soundcastle
Mixed At – Image Recording Studios
Mixed At – Great Linford Manor
Mastered At – Precision Lacquer
Phonographic Copyright (p) – International Record Syndicate, Inc.
Copyright (c) – International Record Syndicate, Inc.
Published By – Illegal Songs, Inc.

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Petra – This Means War – 1987

This Means War! is the ninth studio album from Petra. The album was the start of a shift from their better known pop sound to a more guitar driven rock sound though the keyboards did remain and still dominated some tracks. The album was produced by the Elefante brothers and this is the style of music they excelled in producing. It is said that the title track “This Means War!” was a rebuke to those who criticized Christian Rock especially Jimmy Swaggart who had actually singled out Petra on his ridiculous rants against Christian rock. Personally I don’t really hear it but it’s an interesting side note to the album. The album garnered Petra their fourth Grammy Nomination in the Best Performance by a Gospel Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus category but alas they did not win the Grammy for the fourth time. The album released 2 singles. Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened made it to #1 and I Am Available made it to #4.

Tracklist
1 – This Means War! – 3:30
2 – He Came, He Saw, He Conquered – 4:10
3 – Get On Your Knees And Fight Like A Man – 4:32
4 – I Am Available – 4:27
5 – Kenaniah – 3:43
6 – You Are My Rock – 4:21
7 – The Water Is Alive – 3:48
8 – Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened – 3:41
9 – Dead Reckoning – 3:23
10 – All The King’s Horses – 4:17

Credits
Arranged By [Arrangements By] – Bob Hartman, Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Art Direction, Design – Dave Rogers
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – John Elefante, John Lawry, John Schlitt, Mark Kelly (8)
Bass Guitar – Mark Kelly
Booking [Concert Bookings] – William Morris Agency
Booking [Ministry Dates] – Ambassador Artist Agency
Drums – Louie Weaver
Drums [Drum Section] – Tom Hrbacek (tracks: 1)
Engineer [Engineered By] – Dino Elefante, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Illustration – Chris Hopkins
Keyboards – John Lawry
Lead Guitar – Bob Hartman
Lead Vocals – John Schlitt
Management [Management By] – FirstBorne Productions, Inc.
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Producer [Produced By] – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Programmed By [Additional Programming] – Bob Hartman, John Elefante, Louie Weaver, Tim Heitz
Programmed By [Computer Programming] – John Lawry
Promotion [Newsletter & Band Information] – Petra

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song Records
Record Company – Jubilee Communications, Inc.
Distributed By – Sparrow/Star Song Distribution
Pressed By – CTA Co. Ltd. – X-733
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Mixed At – Pakaderm Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Dawn Treader Music
Published By – Gaither Music
Published By – Petsong Publishing
Published By – Uncle Pitts Publishing
Published By – Stop Shakin Publishing

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Temperance – They Gotta Know – 1987

Temperance were an unsigned band out of Naples Florida that self produced this album in 1987 and what an album it is. It goes without saying that growing up in Canada I have never heard this album before. What a pity as this is a great Rock & Roll album save the one Reggae track. Yes there’s a Reggae track and it’s just fun so don’t take it too seriously. But back to the Rock. I can’t believe these guys and gals were never signed to a record label. This album was good to go with no production or engineering required. This may be the best production I have ever heard on a self released album. A few of the tracks are very very reminiscent of Barnabas, so mush so that you could easily be fooled into believing it is them. If you missed this one in the 80’s, and I’m betting you did, you need to listen to this album.

Tracklist
1 – Start Praisin’ the Lord – 4:28
2 – Defenders of the Faith – 3:22
3 – Jesus – 3:48
4 – Out of Control – 4:27
5 – Give It to Him – 4:44
6 – They Gotta Know – 4:05
7 – The Great I Am – 3:14
8 – Lord, Lord – 4:07
9 – It’s a Lie – 3:11
10 – Yah Mon – 2:29

Credits
Bass – Eric Bennett
Drums, Percussion – Fred Corr
Keyboards – Beth Clear
Lead Guitar – Scott Carroll
Lead Vocals – Bill Kullen, Sandy Knight

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