Stryper – In God We Trust – 1988

This is Stryper’s 4th studio album and it starts up where the last album “To Hell With The Devil” left off. Actually it was more highly produced than the previous albums including overdubbed four part harmonies that were all the rage at the time. I find myself in a love hate relationship with this album. The album is way over produced/engineered but the songs are better lyrically and music wise than previous albums. The album did get 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart including “Always There For You” which hit #71 and “I Believe in You” which hit #88. “Keep The Fire Burning” was also released as a single but did not chart. #71, and #88 may not sound like great numbers but we are talking about a Christian band here remember.

Tracklist
1 – In God We Trust – 3:58
2 – Always There For You – 4:11
3 – Keep The Fire Burning – 3:35
4 – I Believe In You – 3:15
5 – The Writings On The Wall – 4:16
6 – It’s Up 2 U – 3:52
7 – The World Of You And I – 3:46
8 – Come To The Everlife – 4:09
9 – Lonely – 4:10
10 – The Reign – 2:48

Credits
Bass – Brad Cott
Engineer – Carmine Rubino, Dan Nebenzal
Engineer [Assistant] – Bob Vogt, Brian Scheuble, Charlie Brocco, Dave Deavalon, Gary Myersburg, Jeff DeMorris, Mark McKenna, Mike Bosley, Robert Hart (3), Scott Gordon
Keyboards [Additional] – Billy Meyers, John Van Tongren
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Mixed By – Carmine Rubino, Dan Nebenzal, Michael Lloyd, Stryper
Mixed By [Assistant] – Jeff DeMorris, Robert Hart
Producer – Michael Lloyd, Stryper
Programmed By [Synclavier] – Steven Croes

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Mark Farner – Just Another Injustice – 1988

This is Mark Farner’s first solo album after the dissolution of Grand Funk Railroad though he did have 2 solo albums while the band was still together. It was released on Frontline Records and left no argument that it was a Christian album. This is a great Rock & Roll album which plays to the patriotism of it’s mainly American audience. I’m not entirely sure who to compare the album to but there are a few songs on the album that Huey Lewis could have felt right at home singing. My favourite track is Come to Jesus which took me back to Sunday School but with a huge Rock & Roll upgrade. One cool thing on the album is a guest appearance from Phil Keaggy.

Tracklist
1 – Airborne Ranger – 3:57
2 – Judgement Day Blues – 4:46
3 – Isn’t It Amazing – 4:35
4 – Come to Jesus – 3:58
5 – Give Me the Works – 3:25
6 – An Emotional Look at Love – 3:16
7 – Workin’ for the Winner – 3:40
8 – Just Another Injustice – 3:55
9 – The Writing on the Wall – 4:30
10 – Only You – 3:43

Credits
Lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, bass – Mark Farner
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Drums – David Huff
Guest guitars – Phil Keaggy
Additional bass – John Patitucci
Additional bass – Kirt Shearer
Guest backing vocals – Bob Carlisle

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Shout – It Won’t Be Long – 1988

Shout was started by Ken Tamplin who left Joshua feeling the need to do something different. He recruited fellow Joshua member Loren Robinson to join him and also recruited Idle Cure guitarist Chuck King. Keyboardist Mark Hugonberger joined in having no real CCM background and the band rounded out with drummer Dennis Holt who had played with several CCM bands in his life including AD, Kenny Marks, White Heart, and even oddly enough The Archers. The album is more hard rock than heavy Metal and I actually quite liked it. It has that Def Leppard sound of fun songs with heavy drum tracks and strong lead guitars. We’re not talking some deeply though out lyrics with complicated lead guitar work here. Instead it’s a fun album to play air guitar to.

Tracklist
1 – Never Stop – 3:58
2 – Winners Or Losers – 3:42
3 – It Won’t Be Long – 4:21
4 – Find A Way – 4:49
5 – Dancin’ Round The World – 3:13
6 – Shout – 4:19
7 – Showdown – 4:02
8 – Timeless Love – 4:36
9 – Without You – 3:42

Credits
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Band [Shout Is], Bass Guitar, Vocals – Loren Robinson
Band [Shout Is], Drums – Dennis Holt
Band [Shout Is], Keyboards – Mark Hugonberger
Band [Shout Is], Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals – Ken Tamplin
Band [Shout Is], Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Chuck King
Engineer [Mixing Engineer] – Dave Jahnsen
Engineer [Tracking Engineer] – Robert Dire
Graphics [Litho Prep By] – Gershwin Graphics
Illustration [Logo Illustration By] – Jeff Foster
Photography By – Nigel Skeet
Producer [Produced By] – Ken Tamplin
Written-By [All Songs Written By] – Ken Tamplin

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Recorded At – Winetree Recording
Mixed At – Winetree Recording
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus
Published By – Broken Songs

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Whitecross – Hammer & Nail – 1988

More metal, more hair in this 1988 release from Whitecross.

Hammer & Nail is their third album, still with “Pure Metal Records” (and other distributions in Europe). The name says it all.

The sound on this one is almost Queensryche, which is a little different than their earlier work.

The guitar work still shines on this album, with solid rhythm work and plenty of good lead guitar licks to keep the songs moving. It never gets boring, even though they really drive out the anthem choruses on songs like “When The Walls Tumble Down” and “Because of Jesus.”

The title track “The Hammer And The Nail” starts out with a good long guitar solo intro and plenty more of those flourishes that make the song fun to listen to.

The song “Walk With Me” is another ballad offering like we’ve been used to getting from the WC boys. That soft vocal sound is a little surprising to find among all the hard rock on this album, but the song sustains energy and still fits on the album.

Intersting note, the album title is not on the cover, just a picture of a hammer and a nail. The edge of the jacket and all the official release info though confirms the name is official.

Track Listing:
1 – Living On The Edge – 5:11
2 – When The Walls Tumble Down – 3:32
3 – The Hammer And The Nail – 1:35
4 – Take It To The Limit – 4:09
5 – Walk With Me – 4:44
6 – Because Of Jesus – 3:40
7 – When The Clock Strikes – 4:34
8 – Resist Him – 4:20
9 – Living In A Lost World – 3:51
10 – Top Of The World – 3:33

Credits
Band [Whitecross Is], Bass – Jon Sproule
Band [Whitecross Is], Drums – Mark Hedl
Band [Whitecross Is], Guitar [Guitars] – Rex Carroll
Band [Whitecross Is], Lead Vocals – Scott Wenzel
Cover, Art Direction, Design – Jeff Spencer
Engineer – Doug Oberkircher
Engineer [Assisted By] – Dan Rudin, Vince Micko
Executive-Producer – Gavin Morkel
Photography By [Band Photography] – Bill Bilsley
Photography By [Cover Photography] – Kevin Bubbenmoyer
Producer [Produced By] – Joey Powers, Rex Carroll

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Star Song
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song
Record Company – Star Song Communications
Recorded At – Grand Slam Studios
Recorded At – Opus Recording Studio
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Girder Music

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Geoff Moore and The Distance – A Place To Stand – 1988

After 3 successful solo albums this was Geoff’s first album as Geoff Moore + The Distance. The album was produced by Billy Smiley from White Heart. You can feel Billy’s influence on the album but with Geoff’s raspy voice and Dale Oliver rock guitar style it’s not just a White Heart wanna be album. Instead it’s a solid Rock / Pop effort. I was hooked on the album after the first listen. Go To The Moon stands out to me as the best Rock & Roll track.

Tracklist
1 – A Place To Stand – 4:53
2 – Go To The Moon – 4:11
3 – Heart And Soul – 4:29
4 – Outsiders – 4:34
5 – On A Night Like This – 3:54
6 – I Come Out Fighting – 4:03
7 – Tender Hearts – 4:53
8 – Calling Londontown – 4:35
9 – You’ve Heard It Before – 4:04
10 – One Of Us – 4:17

Credits
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Backing Vocals – Chris Rodriguez, Dave Mullen, Geoff Moore, Rick Florian
Band [The Distance Is:], Bass – Arlin Troyer
Band [The Distance Is:], Drums – Lang Bliss
Band [The Distance Is:], Guitar – Dale Oliver
Band [The Distance Is:], Keyboards – Tom Reynolds
Design – 5 Penguins Design, Inc.
Engineer [Assistant] – Billy Whittington, Lang Bliss, Scott Davis
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Billy Smiley, David Schober
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Billy Smiley
Recorded By – David Schober
Recorded By [Additional] – Bill Deaton, Brent King
Vocals – Geoff Moore

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Downstage Studio
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Mixed At – Center Stage Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Martin Noyes Publishing
Published By – Screen Gems-EMI Music Publishing
Published By – Undone Tunes
Published By – Sparrow Song
Published By – New Wings Music
Published By – Greg Nelson Music

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Various – Underground Metal 1 – 1988

Regency Records released this Metal sampler in 1988. It featured some lesser known Metal artists of the time. Most of the songs were available on the artists respective albums. However the Chosen Stranger song is unreleased. The Torn Flesh song was only available on a difficult to find demo. The Paragon track was only released on the Paragon Just Believe Demo. The Mercy Rule track is unreleased. If you are a Metal fan of the time this is an important album due to these tracks.

Tracklist
1 – Bjorn Stiggson – Come On – 5:28
2 – Armada – But It’s Only Rock And Roll – 3:42
3 – Chosen Stranger – So Glad – 4:33
4 – Paradox – Ruler 3:28
5 – Torn Flesh – No Surfin’ In Hell – 4:18
6 – Watchmen – Fear No Evil – 4:55
7 – Chariot – Step Into The Light – 3:34
8 – Paragon – Why Are There So Many Sinners – 5:24
9 – Mercy Rule – Cities Are Burning – 4:04

Originating Album
Bjorn Stiggson – Come On – (Together With Friends)
Armada – But It’s Only Rock And Roll (Frontline)
Chosen Stranger – So Glad (Unreleased)
Paradox – Ruler (Paradox – Ruler)
Torn Flesh – No Surfin’ In Hell (Love Kills Demo)
Watchmen – Fear No Evil (Fear No Evil)
Chariot – Step Into The Light (Step Into Light)
Paragon – Why Are There So Many Sinners (Just Believe Demo)
Mercy Rule – Cities Are Burning (Unreleased)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Regency Records
Copyright (c) – Regency Records
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering

Credits
Executive-Producer – David Malme, John Moore
Illustration – Greg Zook

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Various – The ’50s in the ’80s – 1988

This is a very rare release from Dayspring Records and as far as I can tell it only came out on cassette. It is basically a collection of various artists that had a 50’s sounding track. Some of the choices are kind of a stretch but it works out pretty good for the main part. Most of the tracks we’ve heard on their original albums but their are a few tracks which while not exclusive to this album, are relatively unknown. The 2 stand out tracks are Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit, and Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza.

Tracklist
01 – New Song – Say Yes
02 – Dion – You Need A Love
03 – The Sharrets – Smile
04 – Randy Stonehill – American Fast Food
05 – Solveigl – My Starlight
06 – Daniel Winans & The Second Half – The American Way
07 – Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit
08 – Allies – It’s Never Easy
09 – Dion – Another Saturday Night In Heaven
10 – The Latinos – The Party’s Over
11 – Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza
12 – Randy Stonehill – Modern Myth 2

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Alliance – Answer Beyond The Pieces – 1988

Alliance are an unsigned band from South Carolina. Their sound has a great Rock feel with some tracks leaning New Wave and others Heavy Metal.

Ironically there is a song called “Journey’s End” in which I can hear a bit of Journey. Originally formed in 1980 as NEW HORIZONS BAND by Tony Feliciano & Lonnie Smith the name was changed to STAIRWAY in 1981 and then to EXODUS in 1982.

They changed name for final time in 1986 to ALLIANCE. From 1981 to 1989 they performed in churches, coffeehouses, prisons, colleges, high schools, military bases, campgrounds, public parks, city auditoriums, sports arenas, and outdoor festivals throughout the American southeast.

This band really should have been signed and I urge you to listen to this album, you’ll probably be glad you did.

Track Listing:
1 – Eye Contact – 4:37
2 – Answers – 3:14
3 – Journey’s End – 4:23
4 – Great Expectations – 4:26
5 – Hope of The Ages – 4:30
6 – Breakaway – 2:59
7 – Just Say No – 3:06
8 – Bridges – 4:16
9 – Genesis – 3:47
10 – World’s Apart – 6:15

Credits:
Lonnie Smith – vocals & keyboards
Tony Feliciano – guitars
Tracy Hollingsworth – drums
Mark Poole – bass
Frank Ward – chief sound tech
Dave Sneath – chief lighting tech

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Bride – Live To Die – 1988

This is the 2nd album from Bride and is generally thought of as their best album. It has a more polished production sound which is typical of a bands second album.

There is a touch of trash / speed metal on this album but for the main part is standard heavy metal. The track Hell No is generally known as the album single.

Track Listing:
1 – Metal Might – 3:33
2 – Hell No – 3:50
3 – In The Dark – 4:08
4 – Out For Blood – 2:56
5 – Live To Die – 2:52
6 – Fire And Brimstone – 4:25
7 – Whiskey Seed – 3:39
8 – Here Comes The Bride – 2:26
9 – Heroes – 7:10

Credits:
Bass – Frank Partipilo
Design, Layout – Jeff Spencer
Drums – Stephan Rolland
Executive Producer – Gavin Morkel
Guitar – Steve Osborne, Troy Thompson
Producer, Engineer – John Petri
Vocals – Dale Thompson

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Steve Camp – Justice – 1988

This is the 10th release from Steve Camp and by this point in his career Camp had music mastered.

The quality of this album is excellent and the song writing spot on. While he is usually classed as easy listening I would argue this album really isn’t. I found it to be upbeat and edgier than previous releases.

The highlight of the album for me is Camp’s cover of the Larry Norman song “Great American Novel”. He covers it with a Springsteen feel that is perfect for the song. All in all a great release in my opinion.

Track Listing:
1 – Justice – 4:35
2 – Playing Marbles With Diamonds – 5:03
3 – Don’t Tell Them Jesus Loves Them – 5:19
4 – Living Dangerously In The Hands Of God – 5:04
5 – Do You Feel Their Pain? – 6:18
6 – Hell Is Burning While The Church Sleeps – 4:28
7 – Great American Novel – 4:57
8 – Servants Without Scars – 4:04
9 – Love That Will Not Let You Go – 5:09
10 – I Believe In You – 4:25

Credits:
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Artwork By, Design – Peter Nomura
Engineer [Assistant] – Carry Summers, Howard Steel*, Kevin Twit, Wade Jennings
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Bill Schnee (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B4), David Schober (tracks: B1, B3), Jeff Balding (tracks: A2, A4, B2, B5)
Photography By [Collage] – Mark Tucker (7)
Photography By [Portrait] – Victoria Pearson (2)
Producer, Arranged By – Steve Camp
Recorded By – David Schober

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