Steven Curtis Chapman – First Hand – 1987

This was Steven’s debut album. He was under contract to Sparrow records as a songwriter and was very successful so I guess Sparrow thought they would give him a studio band and see how he did. The album was very successful with the single track “Weak Days” which peaked at #2 on the CCM charts. I was actually a little surprised at this album as I had dismissed Steven Curtis Chapman as a worship album artist but this is actually a pretty good pop album. The sound would have been better suited as an early 80’s album but it wasn’t that outdated in 1987. This is one I ignored in the 80’s but I’m glad I tool the time to listen to it now.

1 – First Hand – 3:35
2 – Weak Days – 4:18
3 – Hiding Place – 4:58
4 – Run Away – 3:53
5 – Do They Know – 4:00
6 – Tell Me – 4:19
7 – Who Cares – 5:06
8 – Dying To Live – 3:35
9 – Said And Done – 5:08
10 – My Redeemer Is Faithful And True – 3:47

Arranged By [Background Vocals] – Chris Rodriguez, Phil Naish, Steven Curtis Chapman
Arranged By [Rhythm] – Phil Naish, Steven Curtis Chapman
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Backing Vocals – Chris Rodriguez, Herbert Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapman, Wayne Kirkpatrick
Bass – Mike Brignardello
Coordinator – Cindy Wilt
Design – Buddy Jackson
Drums – Mark Hammond
Engineer – Jeff Balding
Engineer [Assistant] – Bill Whittington, Mike Clute
Executive-Producer – Greg Nelson
Guitar – Jon Goin, Steven Curtis Chapman
Illustration – Beth Middleworth
Keyboards – Phil Naish
Mastered By – Denny Purcell
Orchestrated By [Strings] – Alan Moore
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Phil Naish
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, The Nashville String Machine

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Pressed By – Capitol Jax
Designed At – Jackson Design
Engineered At – The Bennett House
Engineered At – OmniSound Studios
Engineered At – Hummingbird Studio, Nashville, TN
Engineered At – Gold Mine Studio
Engineered At – Center Stage Studio
Engineered At – Downstage Studio
Mastered At – Georgetown Masters

Terry Scott Taylor – A Briefing For The Ascent – 1987

If you like footsteps you’ll love this album. I ride Terry pretty hard for his conceptual album ideas because a lot of the time it just comes off as silly to me but in this case it really worked on this album. I feel he thought through his idea and didn’t silly it up and because of it this is probably my favourite solo album from Terry. One of the odder tracks on the album is “Long, Long, Long” which is actually a cover of a Beatles song. I didn’t like the original so I kind of struggle with this track but I will say for the record that I believe Terry’s version is much better than the original. That said the song fits where it is on this album. At one time artists and producers really thought about the order of tracks on their albums and this album is an example of a perfectly structured album.

1 – A Briefing For The Ascent – 4:34
2 – Somewhere To Elsewhere – 2:02
3 – Beyond The Wall Of Sleep – 3:13
4 – The Wood Between The Worlds – 3:49
5 – Changeless – 4:02
6 – My Love, My Love – 4:18
7 – Wars Of The Heart – 0:45
8 – Capture Me – 4:08
9 – Where Dreams Come True – 2:59
10 – Long, Long, Long – 3:38
11 – Prelude – 1:26
12 – Going Home – 2:08

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Crystal Lewis, Jerry Chamberlain, Montebello First Baptist Church Choir, Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, Tom Howard
Bass – Tim Chandler
Concept By [Conceived By], Directed By – Terry Taylor
Design Concept [Album Cover Concept] – Ed McTaggart, Terry Taylor
Drum Programming – Ed McTaggart, Ed McTaggart, Terry Taylor
Drums – Ed McTaggart, Steve Hindalong
Engineer – Dave Hackbarth
Graphics [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Keyboards, Synthesizer – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Mastered By [Digitally Remastered] – Doug Doyle
Mastered By [Originally Mastered] – John Matousek
Mixed By – Doug Doyle, Terry Taylor
Mixed By [With] – Greg Flesch
Orchestrated By [Orchestrations Constructed By], Arranged By [Orchestrations Arranged By] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Greg Flesch
Photography By – Bob Rowe
Producer [Produced By] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Synth [Treatments] – Greg Flesch, Terry Taylor
Vocals – Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Record Company – Frontline Music Group
Distributed By – FMG Distribution
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Remastered At – Digital Brothers
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia
Published By – Broken Songs

Common Bond – Anger Into Passion – 1987

One of the many amazing bands to come out of the Orange County Christian Music scene and the spearheading label, Frontline Records, Common Bond was unfortunately much overlooked. They released two nationally recognized releases and the much sought after “White Album,” and independent project I still own. In fact, the white album will rank much higher as it remains quite possible the finest independent releases of that time period. A trio that consisted of three amazing musicians; Kenny Samuels (bass, vocals), Steve Durham (guitars) and Chuck Cummings (drums). Cummings was later replaced by the amazing Terl Bryant. And an unheralded part of this project is producer Doug Doyle. His studio cranked out many great Frontline albums and the industry is indebted to his vision and greatness in the studio. The first project “Heaven is Calling” hinted at what was to follow in “Anger Into Passion,” an amazing record that would unfortunately be the last. The style is difficult to pin down with Samuel’s higher pitched voice that is reminiscent of Ian Cussick, Geddy Lee (without all the annoying whining) and former Love Song drummer John Mehler. Musically it falls into the world of later Police and the more progressive and smart alternative music of the late 80’s. The title track kicks off the album with a sound reminiscent of something from Vector’s “Mannequin Virtue.” Great groove and atmospheric like vocals that draw you into a more passionate chorus. My favorite cut is the following track, “In My Youth.” Another track comparable to the Vector sound is “Smile and a Tear.” The song builds and builds and ultimately driven by the drumming of Chuck Cummings. In fact, the drumming is so strong throughout. Lyrically very smart and creative. Musically astute. There is a rare combination. One special note of interest, the album contains a very cool cover Daniel Amos’ “Wall of Doubt.”

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Anger Into Passion – 4:12
2 – In My Youth – 3:28
3 – The Great Divide – 3:18
4 – Smile And A Tear – 3:26
5 – See The World – 4:25
6 – Tarry – 3:41
7 – Free From Me – 3:33
8 – Face To Face – 3:42
9 – Walls Of Doubt – 2:24
10 – The Promise – 4:06

Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Bobbi White, Maxayne Moriguchi, Walter S. Harrah
Backing Vocals, Written-By – Terry Taylor
Bass, Lead Vocals – Ken Samuels
Design Concept [Cover Concept], Music By – Common Bond
Drums, Percussion – Chuck Cummings
Graphics [Photographics] – Ken Baley
Guitar – Steve Durham
Illustration [Cover Stamp Illustration] – John Fraze
Lyrics By – Ken Samuels
Mastered By – John Matousek
Photography By – Linda Dillon Baley
Producer, Engineer, Keyboards [Supplemental Keyboards] – Doug Doyle

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mastered At – Hitsville
Licensed To – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Distributed By – Nye Toner / Teovision, kingsway Publications Ltd.,Finngospel,Sephora Diffusion,La Sorgente Music,GMI Records,Jata,Master Music,Master-Vision-S.A.,Viva Music,Kir Music,Kingsway Music,Premier Music

Megamouth & The Rap Blasters – Rap Battle In The Big City – 1987

This is the first of 2 children’s albums done by Terry Taylor and Greg Flesch. This one is centered on a “Rap Battle” theme. Apparently this idea didn’t get much traction but I commend them for trying. The naming of a track “If They’d Adone It Then, It Woulda Helped Them Later” would have made it impossible for an adult to remember the name of the track never mind a kid. This project didn’t age very well but it may have been cool in the 80’s if I was 10 years old.

1 – Megamouth Theme – 1:59
2 – If They’d Adone It Then, It Woulda Helped Them Later – 3:35
3 – Just Say “N-O” – 2:47
4 – That’s Rad (Part 1) – 3:37
5 – The Frequency Jam (Killocycle Theme) – 3:30
6 – Trouble In Big City – 5:17
7 – David Said A Prayer – 3:08
8 – Rap Zapper (The Rap Blaster’s Song) – 3:46
9 – The “Rap” Battle: Megamouth’s Challenge – 3:16
10 – The “Rap” Battle: Megamouth vs. Killocycle – 4:06
11 – The Last Word – 0:33
12 – Megamouth Theme (Reprise) – 1:57
13 – That’s Rad (Part 2) – 2:26

Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Cover – John Dickenson
Engineer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Doug Doyle
Illustration – June Valentine
Mastered By – John Matousek
Producer, Arranged By, Recorded By, Mixed By, Instruments, Written-By, Concept By – Greg Flesch
Producer, Arranged By, Recorded By, Mixed By, Written-By, Concept By, Voice Actor – Terry Taylor
Vocals – Amy Watson, Lisa Grimaud, Nancy Hanson, Nancy Marquez
Voice Actor, Vocals – Dan Rupple, Dennis Bowen, Diane Meador-Pemelton, Scott Rummell

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Mixed At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.

Rich Mullins – Pictures In The Sky – 1987

Rich Mullins is back with his second album. It was hugely popular and had three top 10 hits on the CCM charts. “Verge Of A Miracle” made it to #1, “Pictures In The Sky” to #2, and the novelty song “Screen Door” made it to #7. If you didn’t know who Rich Mullins was before this album you sure knew who he was after it. Now I agree that this is a good album but quite frankly I don’t think it was that well produced and engineered. His next album “Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth” was far better produced and is probably his best album. But my criticism means nothing when you look at the success of this album. It propelled Rich into the elite top musicians in the Christian music industry. The album is a strong Pop effort and I have no doubt you will enjoy it. I admit I certainly liked it just felt it came up a little short of what it could have been.

1 – When You Love – 3:25
2 – It Don’t Do – 3:37
3 – Verge Of A Miracle – 4:02
4 – Pictures In The Sky – 3:53
5 – Be With You – 2:50
6 – Screen Door – 1:23
7 – What Trouble Are Giants – 3:54
8 – Steal At Any Price – 4:15
9 – Could Be A Celebration – 3:25
10 – Love That Knows No Bounds – 3:35

Dave Adams – Drum Programming
Reed Arvin – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Synclavier
Lisa Bevill – Background Vocals
Michael Blanton – Executive Producer
Lang Bliss – Songwriter
Steve Cudworth – Songwriter
Keith Edwards – Drums
Kim Fleming – Background Vocals
Reneé Garcia – Songwriter, Background Vocals
Dan Harrell – Executive Producer
Chris Harris – Background Vocals
Mark Heimermann – Background Vocals
Gary Jones – Songwriter
Brent King – Engineer, Mixed
Wayne Kirkpatrick – Songwriter
Gary Lunn – Bass
Tim Marsh – Percussion
Donna McElroy – Background Vocals
Jerry McPherson – Guitars, Bazooki
Rich Mullins – Songwriter, Vocals
Justin Peters – Songwriter
Chris Rodriguez – Background Vocals
Cathy Snyder – Songwriter
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Recorded At – Hummingbird Studio, Nashville, TN
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Mastermix
Designed At – Jackson Design

The Call – Into The Woods – 1987

The 6th release from The Call is often referred to as their “Dark” album. Personally I don’t find it that dark but I also don’t find it that good. It’s not a bad album just not as good as their previous albums. Michael Been states it’s his favourite album and I have to agree that it has some of their best lyrics of all their albums. I personally just preferred the more commercial sound of their previous work. The official single was “I Don’t Wanna” which only climbed to #38 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. My pick for a single is “It Could Have Been Me” with it’s addictive drum line it stands out.

1 – I Don’t Wanna – 5:15
2 – In The River – 4:04
3 – It Could Have Been Me – 4:38
4 – The Woods – 5:10
5 – Day Or Night – 4:12
6 – Memory – 4:05
7 – Too Many Tears – 4:24
8 – Expecting – 4:52
9 – Walk Walk – 3:50

Michael Been – Bass, Composer, Guitar, Producer, Vocals
Cary Butler – Assistant Engineer
Tom Ferrier – Composer, Guitar
Jim Goodwin – Composer
Stephen Innocenzi – Mastering
Steve Kline – Assistant Engineer
Matt Mahurin – Photography
Stephen Marcussen – Mastering
Scott Musick – Composer, Drums, Vocals (Background)
Eric Myer – Photography
Dan Nash – Assistant Engineer
Dave Reitzas – Assistant Engineer
Dan Smith – Producer
Don Smith – Engineer, Producer
Andy Udoff – Assistant Engineer
Tracy Veal – Design
Gary Wagner – Assistant Engineer

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch Records
Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Elektra/Asylum Records
Copyright (c) – Elektra/Asylum Records
Published By – Neeb Music
Published By – Tarka Music
Published By – Titleface Music
Published By – WB Music Corp.
Published By – Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Recorded At – A&M Studios
Recorded At – One On One Studios
Recorded At – Rumbo Recorders
Recorded At – Conway Studios
Mastered At – Precision Mastering

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Michael Card – The Final Word – 1987

Michael Card was very faithful in putting out an album a year and this is that album for 1987. Nothing really of note on this album it is pretty standard work for him. Standard work for Card in this case included 3 top 10 singles. “The Final Word” and “Celebrate The Child” both made it to #2 and “To The Mystery” made it to #5. It’s a little difficult to write too much about Card but lets let his numbers speak for the album. Definitely an Easy Listening must listen.

1 – To The Mystery – 3:55
2 – The Final Word – 3:24
3 – Spirit Of The Age – 4:07
4 – Celebrate The Child – 4:00
5 – Joseph’s Song – 3:25
6 – Overture To The Triology – 3:15
7 – The Promise – 2:27
8 – Immanuel – 4:00
9 – Carmen Christi – 2:40
10 – Joy In The Journey – 2:50

Arranged By [Choral] – Alan Moore
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Alan Moore
Artwork – Michael Going
Backing Vocals – Diane Tidwell, Donna McElroy, Lisa Silver
Bass – Gary Lunn, Norbert Putnam
Cello – John Catchings
Choir – The Ambrosian Singers
Concertmaster – Gavyn Wright
Conductor – Alan Moore, John McCarthy
Design – Stan Evenson Design
Drums, Percussion – David Humphries
Engineer – Don Cobb, Gary Paczosa, Norbert Putnam
Flute – Sam Levine
Guitar – Jon Goin
Mastered By – Denny Purcell
Orchestrated By – Alan Moore
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano – Bobby Ogden
Producer – Norbert Putnam
Recorder – Sam Levine
Saxophone – Sam Levine
Synthesizer – Tommy Greer
Violin – Mark O’Conner
Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer – Michael Card

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – Sarm West Studios
Mastered At – Georgetown Masters

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Malachia – Red Sunrise – 1987

While Malachia had a very limited short run no label release in 1986 this is essentially their first release. The California band came together in 1984 when Bassist Wade Little put it together. They played the usual California Christian circuit and went into the studio in 1986 to cut a demo. This album featured several tracks from that demo but of course rerecorded. If you want to see where ths album is headed just listen to the horrible clicheic title track “In Christ We Rock” While ther song may be a cliche the band were not. There was some real talent here and I thik Ken Pike’s vocals are very high quality in the Christin metal scene. The band changed their name to Vision sometime in 1988 and had a track on the California Metal Volume II release.

1 – In Christ We Rock – 3:59
2 – Red Sunrise – 3:51
3 – Lonely Is The Night – 4:45
4 – Let It Go – 3:08
5 – Sightless Eyes – 3:07
6 – Heaven Or Hell – 3:20
7 – Mark Of The Beast – 3:37
8 – Master’s Call – 4:50

Ken Pike – Vocals, guitar
Jeffery James – Lead guitar
Wade A. Little – Bass
Chima Ayola – Keyboards
Dave Devaughn – Drums

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – The Music Box, New York, NY
Mastered At – K Disc Mastering

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Truth – Makin’ It Matter – 1987

Truth released an album almost every year and this is that yearly release for 1987. It continues with their normal trend of Easy listening adult oriented pop albums. This album did garner them one of their very few (relative to their number of albums) CCM singles. “You’ll Still Be Lord Of All” made it to #25. I am actually quite surprised they didn’t have more singles on the CCM charts as they optimize the style those charts were looking for. This album had the band at 22 people in size so about average for them. Yes that was the size of the band. I can only assume the shared revenue from each album was inconsequential to the members.

1 – Makin’ It Matter – 3:26
2 – Walls Come Down – 3:09
3 – You’ll Still Be Lord Of All – 4:52
4 – Higher Ground – 3:43
5 – It Is Well With My Soul – 4:02
6 – I’ve Just Begun To Fight – 3:50
7 – Like Father, Like Son – 3:57
8 – All Rise – 4:13
9 – There Is A Hope – 4:58

Arranged By [Strings And Brass Arrangements Written And Played On The Synclavier System By] – Reed Arvin
Arranged By [Vocal Arrangements] – Steven V. Taylor
Bass – Gary Lunn
Directed By – Roger Breland
Drums – Mark Hammond
Engineer – Brent King, Doug Sarrett, Nicky Michaels
Guitar – Jon Goin
Horns – Brian Smith, Ken Reich, Michael Walker, Robbie Mattix, Ross Walters
Keyboards – David Huntsinger
Mixed By – Brent King, Steven V. Taylor
Performer [Member] – Alicia Williamson, Andy Chrisman, Berneé Tuttle, Brian Smith, David Cleveland, Ed Seidenkranz, Gina Walker, Ken Reich, Kevin Anthony, Kevin Newton, Lisa Pieper, Mark Harris, Marty Magehee, Michael Walker, Paul Glasgow, Phil Peters, Robbie Mattix, Ross Walters, Shari Beeman, Tim Ranson, Travis Laws, Wes Tuttle
Producer – Steven V. Taylor
Producer [Vocal Production Assistance] – Gordon Twist
Programmed By [Synth Programming] – John Slick
Saxophone [Solo] – Ross Walters

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Benson Records
Copyright (c) – Benson Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – The Sound Shop
Recorded At – Tree International Studio
Recorded At – Downstage Studio
Mastered At – MasterMix

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Leslie Phillips – The Turning – 1987

“The Turning” is a fitting title for this album for several reasons. This 1987 release was Leslie Phillips’ last CCM recording. After this she signed with Virgin Records and released a few albums with then husband T Bone Burnett, whom she married after recording this album with him as producer. The Turning was the only one of her four CCM releases produced by T Bone and it has a very distinctively different sound. The acoustic sound familiar to T Bone’s work replaces all the the 80s glitz that Leslie had been doing an excellent job of until now. Leslie’s deep songwriting continued under the folk influence of the music on The Turning. However, she managed to squeeze out some pop sounding folk on a few songs, particularly “Libera Me”. In “Down”, Leslie addresses some of her “Turning” directly: “Shattered convictions I thought were offending you” suggests she has experienced a shift in her relationship with God, in a way that probably gives her more room as an individual. Bookended with two cheerfully haunting sounds at the lead track “River of Love” and the closer “God Is Watching You” this album brings a deep echoing sound that matches Her lyrics perfectly. It was an unexpected turn from the upstart who was hailed a few albums ago as the CCM version of Cyndi Lauper, but under T Bone’s influence, any artist seems to turn ahead of the curve.

1 – River Of Love – 2:43
2 – Love Is Not Lost – 3:57
3 – The Turning – 3:36
4 – Libera Me – 3:09
5 – Carry You – 4:18
6 – Beating Heart – 2:56
7 – Expectations – 3:15
8 – Down – 3:25
9 – Answers Don’t Come Easy – 4:10
10 – God Is Watching You – 3:50

Bass – Jerry Scheff
Drum Programming – Ralph Forbes, Ralph Forbes, Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett
Drums – Mickey Curry
Executive-Producer – Tom Willett
Guitar, Producer – T-Bone Burnett
Harmony Vocals – Dawn O’Hanlon, Peter Case, Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett, Tonio K.
Mixed By – Tchad Blake
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Recorded By – Bill Jackson, Bobby Hickey, Judy Klapp, Larry Hirsch, Stephen Shelton, Steve Ford, Tchad Blake
Recorded By [Assisted By] – David Knight, Mike Kloster
Remastered By – Steve Hoffman
Synthesizer – John Schreiner, Leslie Phillips
Written-By – Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Myrrh Records
Copyright © – Myrrh Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word Music
Copyright © – Word Music
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Black Tent Music
Copyright © – Black Tent Music
Manufactured By – DCC Compact Classics Inc.
Marketed By – DCC Compact Classics Inc.
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Recorded At – Sunset Sound
Recorded At – Mad Hatter Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Recorded At – Eagle Audio Recording
Recorded At – Capitol Studios

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