Larry Howard – Shout! – 1988

As I tried to read up on Larry online I was a bit surprised how little I could find about his Christian years. His bio’s are focused on his time with Grinderswitch but he had a very successful CCM career also. Oh well anyway this is Larry’s second solo album and it’s even better than his first album that was great in itself. Larry turns up the big band sound for this blues oriented album. The band he put together for the album are mostly little known artists with the exception of keyboard player Kenny Smith who had a relatively successful solo career. Anyway if you love the blues you will love this album as it’s one of the best CCM blues albums ever.

Tracklist
1 – Nobody But You – 2:45
2 – Carry Your Brother – 3:54
3 – It’s Only You – 4:43
4 – Shout! – 3:19
5 – Connecting Roads – 3:18
6 – Prisoner Of The Lord – 3:08
7 – Fire – 4:15
8 – (Tell It) Goodbye – 3:55
9 – Don’t Turn Away – 3:25
10 – A Road Leading Home – 5:44

Credits
Arranged By [Background Vocal Arrangements] – Donnie Harper
Arranged By [Horn Arrangements] – Larry Brubaker
Backing Vocals – Carlet Williams, Elnora Williams, Karen Williams
Bass Guitar – Slim Powell
Design [Album Graphics] – Michael Pierce
Drums – Clarence V. Roddie
Engineer [Assistant] – Daniel Rudin
Mastered By – Benny Quinn
Percussion – Emedin Riveria
Photography By – Ashlin Brelin
Piano, Organ, Synthesizer – Kenny Smith
Producer – Gary F. Montgomery
Producer, Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Larry Howard
Recorded By, Mixed By, Producer – Tad Bush
Tenor Saxophone – Sonny Brown
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone – Bill Harris
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Rob Debellis

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Refuge Records
Copyright © – Refuge Records
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Mixed At – Downstage Studio
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution

Kim Boyce – Time And Again – 1988

The Queen of CCM Pop is back with her second album. Now I know a few of you are shouting that Amy Grant was the Queen but let’s face it, Amy didn’t do Pop. You can’t even classify her as AOR, she was easy listening that’s it. Kim on the other hand embraced the Female Pop sound of the 80’s and this album is proof. I will say that the album opens with a rather odd track. It’s a Pop cover of Rare earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” and well, it’s different. Of all the 70’s songs I would have “Popped” up I doubt I would have chosen this one. I still haven’t decided if I like it or not. I didn’t like the original song so maybe that’s causing my confusion. Strangely this track also made it to #2 on the CCM charts. Given the rather internal politics of the CCM charts I find this odd. Speaking of the charts this album also had two more top 10 hits, “You Can Be Mine” and “You’re Always There”. It had two more singles that didn’t break the top 10, “Not For Me” made it to #15 and “Lovin’ You” made it to #37. So in total the album had 5 charting singles which is pretty darn good. The added bonus is that you can listen to the album without falling asleep, pretty rare for a CCM album with this many charting singles.

Tracklist
1 – I Just Want To Celebrate – 3:35
2 – Not For Me – 4:05
3 – You Can Be Mine – 4:43
4 – Say It – 3:34
5 – Lovin’ You – 4:24
6 – Save Me – 4:42
7 – Lonely Man – 4:23
8 – Stop Fighting – 5:08
9 – You’re Always There – 4:00

Credits
Susie Allenson – Songwriter
Kim Boyce – Vocals, Backing Vocals, Songwriter
Spencer Campbell – Bass
George Cocchini – Guitar, Songwriter, Arranger
Trent Dean – Songwriter, Arranger, Drum Programming
Dino Fekaris – Songwriter
James Hollihan – Songwriter, Arranger, Keyboards, Drum Programming, Guitar
Chris Rodriguez – Backing Vocals
John Andrew Schreiner – Keyboards, Bass, Arranger
Jimmie Lee Sloas – Backing Vocals, Songwriter, Electric Piano, Bass, Duet Vocals, Drum Programming
Brian Tankersley – Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Bass, Drum Programming, Backing Vocals, Songwriter, Guitar
Kirk Whalum – Sax
Nick Zesses – Songwriter
David Zycheck – Guitar

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – GBT Productions
Recorded At – Cat Head Studio
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mixed At – Rivendell Recorders
Published By – Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Marquis III
Published By – Dayspring Music
Published By – Promiseland Music
Published By – James Hollihan Music
Published By – Cheerful Earful Music
Made By – Discovery Systems – 2C60900B

Gogo Street – Gogo Street – 1988

I know nothing about this band. Nothing! Except I love every single song. I have no idea when I acquired this cassette as it was never released in the United States. It was imported from the UK and what little I have been able to discover about the band is that they hailed from Glasgow, Scotland. When one things of pop/new wave from the 1980’s, the musical styling of Gogo Street is exactly what they think of. Ranging from keyboard driven soulful new wave akin to General Public and to anthemic dance grooved new wave like Men Without Hats. There is really no CCM comparison outside of maybe 441, Kaja or Crumbacher. It’s really an album with listening to to discover for yourself. The album kicks off with “Prisoner of Conscience,” sounding most like General Public of a more keyboard driven Duran Duran. Music and melody is immediately likeable with vocals reminiscent of Spandau Ballet. “Turn to Gold” follows with the most interesting musical composition on the album. Though driven by the danceable beat that flourishes on the entire album, the guitar and keyboard interplay really sets this one apart. That as well as the great vocals. The favorite on the album is “Never Ending Love” that always reminds of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Must be that Celtic riff that runs throughout the background while a more sustained driving keyboard leads the song along. It’s really one of the saddest testaments of the 1980’s CCM scene that bands like this simply disappeared and never made their way to the states. They would have immediately found an audience and would have fit nicely into the Southern California alternative/new wave scene of bands like Undercover, Crumbacher and Modern Mission.

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

Tracklist
1 – Prisoner Of Conscience – 3:18
2 – Fools Gold – 2:53
3 – Never Ending Love – 3:18
4 – Song Of The Vineyard – 2:43
5 – Journey (To The Centre Of Your Heart) – 3:19
6 – Tale Of Two – 3:04
7 – Dreaming Of Neverland – 2:31
8 – Uncrossable Miles – 3:06
9 – Paradise Found – 3:21
10 – 2000 Years – 3:32
11 – Words From Numbers – 3:27
12 – World Without End – 3:32
13 – Cross My Heart – 3:22

Norman Barratt – Barratt – 1988

This is the only true solo album from Norman Barratt which I found surprising considering how many albums he has in one form or another. The album highlights his guitar skills throughout and he also put in part time duty producing the album. Norman only signed on 2 artists to help with the album, Mark Olly on drums, and Steve Boyce on keyboards. While the album only has 8 tracks you get your money’s worth because there isn’t a track shorter that 4:30. While the album was only released in Europe in 1988 Refuge Records did a deal to release it in the U.S. in 1991.

Tracklist
1 – The Last Night – 5:20
2 – I Know Where You Are – 4:24
3 – I Can See It In Your Eyes – 5:01
4 – How I Know – 6:16
5 – Automatic Life – 5:36
6 – Still Waitin’ – 4:32
7 – When The Night Comes – 4:48
8 – Sing A New Song – 5:23

Credits
Cover [Cover Design] – Ron Bryant-Funnell
Engineer [Assistant] – Bob Little, Damon Gough
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Producer, Lead Vocals, Mixed By, Engineer [Assistant], Programmed By [Programming], Written-By – Norman Barratt
Keyboards, Producer, Mixed By, Engineer, Programmed By [Programming] – Steve Boyce-Buckley
Management – Bill Hampson
Percussion [Additional] – Mark Olly
Photography By – Johan Van Loo
Producer [Vocals Produced By] – Trevor Taylor (tracks: 4)
Software Instrument [Guitar f.x. And Programs Supplied By] – Neil Costello
Technician [Technical Assistant] – Stephen Naughton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Edge Records
Copyright © – Edge Records
Licensed From – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Distributed By – Kingsway Publications Ltd.
Made By – MPO
Recorded At – Square One Studios
Mixed At – Square One Studios
Published By – Thankyou Music

Sam Phillips – The Indescribable Wow – 1988

This is Leslie Phillips first album using the moniker Sam Phillips. It is also her first release in the secular music stream. Much has been written of her departure from the Christian music market but I will quote her instead of offering my opinion. In an interview with Enio Chiola in 2011 this is what she stated “I found out through that whole process that I wanted to learn how to write songs and make music better than I had before, and I realized that a lot of the fundamentalist people didn’t care about that, or were judgmental about that. It seemed that they had a very utilitarian view of art. That art was only to serve one purpose, which was to get across their point of view, and I didn’t agree.” I think I can safely say there were “artistic differences” between her and Myrrh records. For her first pop album T-Bone Burnett came on board to produce and the result is probably the best cross over album of any artist. It is no surprise to my regular readers that I am a huge T-Bone fan and this album is one of those reasons. After this album came out T-Bone and Leslie/Sam confirmed they were in a relationship and they did marry a year later.

Tracklist
1 – I Don’t Want To Fall In Love – 2:50
2 – I Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye To You – 3:18
3 – Flame – 2:33
4 – Remorse – 3:43
5 – What Do I Do – 3:52
6 – I Can’t Stop Crying – 3:17
7 – Holding On To The Earth – 3:00
8 – She Can’t Tell Time – 3:35
9 – What You Don’t Want To Hear – 2:59
10 – Out Of Time – 4:26

Credits
Arranged By – T Bone Burnett (tracks: 5), Van Dyke Parks, Van Dyke Parks (tracks: 5)
Bass – Jerry Scheff
Cello, Double Bass [String Bass] – Buell Niedlinger
Coordinator [Production Co-ordinator] – Tim Davis
Drum Machine – Ralph Forbes
Drums – Mickey Curry, Steve Jordan
Engineer [Assistant] – Brian Soucy, Clif Norrel, Dave Knight
Harpsichord, Harmonium, Bass – David Miner
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Mixed By – Kevin Killen
Organ – Mike Utley
Percussion, Drums – Alex Acuña
Producer, Guitar, Mandocello, Marxophone – T-Bone Burnett
Recorded By – Rik Pekkonen
Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Tchad Blake
Recorded By [Assistant] – Mike Ross
Trumpet – Darrel Leonard
Written-By – Sam Phillips (tracks: 1 to 10), T Bone Burnett (tracks: 7, 8)

Companies, etc.
Copyright © – Virgin Records America, Inc.
Copyright © – Virgin Records America, Inc.
Distributed By – WEA
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Recorded At – The Sound Factory
Mastered At – Masterdisk

Megamouth 2 – The Great Skateboard Adventure – 1988

This is the second of 2 children’s albums done by Terry Taylor and Greg Flesch. This one is centered on a skateboarding theme with a story line of competing in said sport. Apparently this idea didn’t get much traction but I commend them for trying. This project didn’t age very well but it may have been cool in the 80’s if I was 10 years old.

Tracklist
1 – Megamouth Theme – 3:12
2 – You’re One In A Million – 4:24
3 – We’re Bad, That’s Good, and We’re Ugly (Viper’s Theme) – 5:22
4 – Quantized (Be a Good Sport) – 4:03
5 – Practice Makes Gnarly (Spinner’s Song) – 5:47
6 – Viper’s Theme Part 2 (Megamouth’s Answer) – 7:03
7 – Ready, Steady, Go – 8:00
8 – Tubin’ It – 1:21
9 – Getting Vertical (By Trustin’ The Lord) – 22:35

Credits
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.

Kerry Livgren / AD – Prime Mover – 1988

After the demise of AD Kerry Livgren and Warren Ham came back together to record and release this album using the AD name. It is said that this album was put together to fulfill contractual obligations and raise some funds. I’m not really sure if I believe this but it is said that Kerry said this but I can not find the actual quote. Kerry supplied all of the instruments with the exception of harp and sax supplied by Ham and this gives the album a rather unique sound and I really like it. I’m not disrespecting the rest of the band I’m just saying I really like this sound. The track “Portrait II” is actually a re-write of Portrait (He Knew), from the 1977 Kansas album Point of Know Return. Kerry rewrote it to be about Christ rather than Albert Einstein. Strangely the entire album was re-recorded and re-released in 1998 as Prime Mover II with 5 additional tracks. One last point of trivia of this album is that the UK vinyl version stated the title as “Prime Cuts” on the vinyl label. Rather odd error but errors on vinyl labels are actually quite common.

Tracklist
1 – Don’t Pass Me By – 4:24
2 – Fathers And Sons – 3:56
3 – Portrait II – 5:35
4 – Children Of The Shadows – 4:49
5 – Wandering Spirit – 4:04
6 – I’ll Follow You – 3:55
7 – New Kind Of Love – 3:37
8 – One More Song – 4:09
9 – T.G.B. – 5:58

Credits
Design – Nick Newton
Illustration [Photo Illustration] – Mark Fokol
Instrumentation By [All Instruments By] – Kerry Livgren
Lead Vocals – Warren Ham
Mastered By – Glen Meadows
Producer [Produced By] – Steve Walsh
Recorded By, Mixed By – Kerry Livgren
Vocals – Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Dean Heitkamp, Michael Gleason

Companies, etc.
Produced For – GrandyZine Productions Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Kerry Livgren Productions,Inc.
Copyright (c) – Kerry Livgren Productions,Inc.
Recorded At – The Peach, Covington, GA
Mixed At – The Peach, Covington, GA
Mastered At – Masterfonics

Crumbächer – Tame The Volcano – 1988

I was very excited to listen to this album as I had not heard it before and wow was I surprised. Surprised being a synonym for disappointed in this case. On their/his previous album “Thunder Beach” we had a hint of what was coming but I wasn’t prepared for this album. Quite frankly it’s just another AOR album. Albums like this were a dime a dozen and it is hard to believe this even was Crumbächer. There are only a few tracks where we get to hear the synth genius that made Stephen Crumbächer famous. Instead most the tracks are run of the mill worship tracks. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Now if I had never heard of Stephen Crumbächer I would likely have said this was a pretty good AOR album. Stephen’s voice is strong and even a little surprisingly good. I don’t think I ever gave him credit for the quality of his vocals. It even had 2 CCM singles with “Rainy Season” making it to #15 and “Waiting For You” to #13. While I was unhappy with the album it is not a bad album. It is quite good in its own right, just not what I expected or wanted.

Tracklist
1 – Once More (With Feeling) – 4:26
2 – Speechless – 3:51
3 – Waiting For You – 3:58
4 – Release Me – 4:27
5 – Reckless Boys & Bad, Bad Girls – 4:55
6 – Tame The Volcano – 4:17
7 – Lava Rock – 2:46
8 – Rainy Season – 3:58
9 – Somebody’s Arms – 3:58
10 – Every Now And Then – 5:06
11 – Once More (For The Band) – 4:24

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Christopher Duke
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Christopher Duke, Dawn Wisner-Johnson, Jimmy Wisner, Stephen Crumbächer
Bass – Tim Chandler
Design – Ed McTaggart
Drums – Jimmy Wisner
Electric Guitar – Christopher Duke
Engineer – Dave Jahnsen
Engineer [Second] – Beth Wisner, Eric Kibbe
Illustration – Marilee T. Niehaus
Keyboards – Dawn Wisner-Johnson, Stephen Crumbächer, Tim Heintz
Lead Vocals – Dawn Wisner-Johnson, Stephen Crumbächer
Music By – Christopher Duke (tracks: 4,7,9,10), Stephen Crumbächer (tracks: 1 to 11)
Percussion – Kurt Rasmussen
Photography – R. Michael Seeley
Piano [Acoustic] – Stephen Crumbächer
Producer – Bill Baumgart, Stephen Crumbächer
Saxophone – Eric Marienthal
Words By – Stephen Crumbächer (tracks: 1 to 11)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Asylomar

Michael Anderson – Sound Alarm – 1988

Sometime around 1987 I was working at a very large and popular christian Bookstore in Southern California when a copy of Billboard Magazine came across my desk. Along the bottom of the front page was an ad for an artist on A&M Records. The slogan on the ad was something like, “There’s Nothing Funny About the End of the World.” I was intrigued. I immediately called my local one-stop mainstream distributor and asked about the project. He hadn’t heard about but did make a couple calls for me. It would be released a few weeks later, but he did call the next day and said he got an advanced copy of the album for my to review before ordering. I drove over right away and put the CD in my car. The content seemed “Christian” to me but i had no real proof the artist was a Christian. Songs were about faith and the title track mentioned Babylon and Armageddon. I ordered some for the store despite the “hell” word being present and not receiving any confirmation about the faith of the artist. It sold well. In fact, it sold extremely well. My staff loved it and pushed and I don’t think a customer came in that didn’t hear something about it one way or the other. It charted in CCM Magazine just because of our sales alone. About a month later i received a phone call. On the other end of the line was a man with a very low voice and calm demeanor. He introduced himself as Michael Anderson and asked why in the world was i selling his record at a Christian Bookstore. I was a bit stunned and taken aback. “Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I just wanted to know how you knew I was a Christian?” As I found out later his manager told him the album charted in CCM Magazine and that was because of the sales from one store. He tracked down the store and called. That started a friendship that would last for several years. My wife and I would travel to Hollywood regularly to hang out with Michael and his wife. In fact, we were invited by Michael his wife’s birthday party at an amazing gourmet Japanese restaurant in Bel Air and were seated at a table with Michael and Stormie Omartian. Michael’s debut project on A&M Records is a powerful, straight ahead Americana rock and roll in the same vein as the best from John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen but with a more blues and country influenced sound. Anderson’s voice will huff, puff, spit, scream and squeal with an edge that pierces as it communicates with passion few have reviled. On higher notes he is known to have his voice crack in trademark fashion. But on the mellower tunes he can bring it down to soft, almost Barry White-like smooth growl. Anderson would record two releases for the mainstream market on A&M and then two projects for the Christian market on Forefront. He made his way there after I gave a copy of this album to Eddie DeGarmo at a Benson records sales conference.

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

Tracklist
1 – Sound Alarm – 5:31
2 – I Know That You Can Stand – 5:14
3 – I Need You – 4:51
4 – Until You Loved Me – 3:49
5 – Sanctuary – 5:43
6 – Little Bit O’ Love – 4:24
7 – Memphis Radio – 4:47
8 – Soweto Soul – 4:03
9 – Shine A Light – 4:49
10 – Time To Go Home – 5:10

Credits
Backing Vocals – Toni Anderson
Bass, Backing Vocals – Buck Silvertone
Drums – Chad Cromwell
Guitar – Josh Sklair
Harmonica – Jimmy Z
Producer, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Terry Manning
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Anderson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – A&M Records, Inc.
Distributed By – PolyGram
Made By – PolyGram
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Alpha Sound
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mixed At – Alpha Sound
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Published By – Atlantic Recording Corporation
Published By – Cadillac Pink Music

Eddie DeGarmo – Feels Good To Be Forgiven – 1988

In 1988 Eddie DeGarmo was instrumental in the opening of ForeFront Records. I am guessing that he did this solo album to help jumpstart the label. Dana Key also did a solo album in 1990 which also went on ForeFront. Eddie assembled a group of studio musicians for this album but you can tell it was on a new label as most of them weren’t really first call material. Not that they are bad but it’s rather obvious that this is a group of people not under contract to another record company. As for the album I was a little surprised it wasn’t a little more keyboard oriented. Instead it is a blues rock album with an emphasis on guitar riffs. I think it’s a pretty good album but without Dana you can tell it’s just not quite as good without their team work. That said it deserves to be listened to.

Tracklist
1 – Heaven’s 911 – 3:40
2 – Stayin’ on the High Road – 4:51
3 – Feels Good to Be Forgiven – 4:47
4 – Pickin’ Up the Pieces – 4:58
5 – Turn On Heaven’s Power – 4:08
6 – Goodbye Mr. Heartache – 3:48
7 – Thank You – 3:39
8 – I Believe – 3:52
9 – Faith Like a Rock – 4:20
10 – I Ain’t Gonna Lose – 4:58
11 – I Wanna Praise You – 5:07
12 – Yes Indeed – 3:18

Credits
Art Direction – Connie Sneed
Backing Vocals – Helen Gray, Phyllis Duncan
Bass – Warren Pease
Design – Camille Engel Advertising
Drums – Willy Lucius
Engineer [Additional] – James Craft
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Guitar – Greg Redding*, Jack Holder
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Dave Hawkins
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Ron W. Griffin
Saxophone – Andrew Love
Trumpet – Ben Cauley

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Copyright (c) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Published By – DKB Music
Recorded At – Crosstown Recorders
Remixed At – Crosstown Recorders
Mastered At – Mastermix
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia