Jeoffrey Benward – The Redeemer – 1988

Jeoffrey music career was a matter of family tradition. His father was a popular Christian singer and his son Aaron is also a popular Christian artist. Jeoffrey has performed and recorded with both his father and son. As for this album apparently there was some problem with it’s distribution. It’s was one of the early album on ForeFront Records who knew what they were doing and was an artist owned label. Apparently there was some dispute on revenue but I really can’t find much on the issue. As a result of this apparently this album just didn’t get the proper promotion that it probably deserved. The album did have a CCM charting single, “The Redeemer” made it to #36. As for the album well I’m going to describe it as Worship pop. I say this because the album has a pop sound but Jeoffrey’s voice and lyrics are more worship oriented. It’s an interesting sound that is not my preferred sound but I actually think it’s well done and should be listened to.

1 – Come O Great Jehovan – 3:33
2 – His Majesty The King – 3:00
3 – By His Power – 3:55
4 – The Redeemer – 4:51
5 – Strength For The Journey – 4:45
6 – Great And Mighty – 3:16
7 – Church Of The Living God – 3:34
8 – Calvary Casts A Shadow – 3:41
9 – So Much Love – 5:02
10 – A Man Of God – 3:36

Trace Balin – Champions – 1988

This was Trace’s first album and lets just say she came out with a bang. The album sprouted 3 top 10 CCM chart songs, “Only For You” Made it to #4, “We Need Each Other” #5, and “All I Wanna Do” to #6. Rounding out the singles for the album was “We Are An Army” which made it to #17. That’s pretty darn good for a first album. That said the album was set up for success as some of the top songwriters in the industry penned the songs and even Greg X. Volz did some backup work. Personally my favourite track is “Rock These Rafters” which is an excellent song and I really think it might have suited Petra a few years earlier. The opening track “Champions” is also pretty good and displays her great vocal skills.

1 – Champions – 4:22
2 – All I Wanna Do – 3:15
3 – Only For You – 4:25
4 – We Need Each Other – 4:55
5 – We Are An Army – 3:52
6 – Walk In The Spirit – 4:50
7 – Take Me There – 4:20
8 – Rock These Rafters – 4:28
9 – Use Me Jesus – 4:42
10 – I Don’t Deserve Your Love – 4:16

Arranged By – Brett Teegarden, Carl Marsh, Joel Balin, JDB
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt Designs
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Carol Becker-Rizzo, Greg X. Volz, Trace Balin
Bass – Spencer Campbell, Tommy Sims
Cover [Coordination] – Terri Short
Executive-Producer – Lynn Keesecker
Guitar – Dann Huff, Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Brett Teegarden, Carl Marsh, JDB, Phil Kristianson
Management, Booking – Painter Associates, Richard Painter
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By – Mike Mitchell
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Programmed By [Programming Assistance] – Joel Balin
Recorded By [Assisted By] – Brett Teegarden*, Howard Levy

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Record Company – Word Records Limited
Record Company – Word (UK) Ltd.
Recorded At – The Pond
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Made By – Discovery Systems

The Awakening – Into Thy Hands – 1988

I’m going to preface this short review by saying that if you want to read a little bit more about the aftermath of this album you need to read Ian Tanner’s blog on Bandcamp. It is a very well written explanation of the aftermath of the album and how it all went wrong but I will cover a few points of his story here. The album was released in the summer of 1988 and had a great single “Lonely Place” which made it to #25 on the CCM charts with very little support from their album label. In fcat they had so little support that this would end up being their last album. The record label also made no effort to set up a support tour for the band and the band themselves had trouble setting up a tour. The band were not a bunch of 20 year olds who could live on spam and as a result they needed an actual money making tour as they were adults with families and careers. This is such a pity as the album is great and they should have had a successful tour but it was not to be. So instead we are left with a great album and one that probably would have had a few more singles if it had been properly promoted.

1 – Remember Me – 2:30
2 – Don’t Wait For Me – 5:25
3 – Wrestling In The Jungle – 4:21
4 – Thoughtful – 3:50
5 – Again – 4:20
6 – Lonely Place – 4:46
7 – Where Is The Love? – 4:58
8 – Knife Of Life – 3:55
9 – Into Thy Hands – 4:31
10 – Onward – 4:39
11 – Never Say Goodbye – 4:59
12 – Clear Day – 4:16

Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt Designs
Artwork [Sculpture], Illustration – Tony Novak
Bass, Percussion – Allan Powell
Co-producer – The Awakening
Drums [Ludwig Drums], Percussion, Backing Vocals – Michael Powell
Engineer [Additional Engineering By] – Darren Walters
Engineer [Additional Engineering By], Mixed By – Lloyd (Froid) Walker
Engineer [Engineered By] – Richard Hutt
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Andrew Horrocks
Executive Producer – Jeff Moseley, Terry Hemmings
Guitar – Andrew Horrocks
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Programmed By [Computer Programming], Grand Piano – Ian Tanner
Producer [Co-produced By], Mixed By – The Awakening
Producer [Produced By] – Richard J. Hutt
Programmed By [Additional Programming By] – Glenn Koehler, Mike Powell
Programmed By [Keyboard and Computer Programming By] – Ian Tanner
Programmed By [Keyboard and Computer Programming By], Mixed By – Richard J. Hutt

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Cedartree Recording Studio
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Reunion Records
Copyright © – Reunion Records
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Topographic Music Ltd.

In The Silence – Things To Come – 1988

Things To Come is the debut album from Sydney band In The Silence. It was the first Australian album in a long time to be released by Word Australia. When asked what the band name means, John Dickson replied: ‘In The Silence was a little phrase we worked out because we’re really into the Second Coming….It’s a theme we’re really excited about. A lot of our songs are about the times we are in. While we never get up on stage and say He will be coming back on the third of March, we do believe it is biblical to preach Christ in the light of His return. We see the times we are in as the calm before the storm. We are in the silence.’ (p. 36, On Being, July 1988)
The band got their break at Australian Christian music festival JAM ’88. Winners of the JAM ’88 talent quest, the band were recipients of the first prize – recording time at Melbourne’s Timbertop Studio. Things To Come was the result of this recording time. The band’s musical style has been described as ‘guitar-based urban rock, a la U2’. Music reviewer Kirsten Hill states: ‘There is a passionate intensity to all their music. John’s vocals are emotional, breathy pleas, vaguely reminiscent of Bono. In fact, the band at times can sound like a very young U2…But they refuse to join the ranks of the U2 clones – they do cite other influences and do have a sound uniquely their own.’ (p. 36, On Being, July 1988) Music reviewer, promoter and musician Martin Fawkes mentions these ‘other influences’ as ‘bands like Echo and The Bunnymen, The Cure and other ‘alternative’ musics.’ (p.37, On being, April 1988) The album opens with the explosive ‘City Walk’. The band even dabbles in some blues on the track ‘Steamboat’. The album’s final track ‘Why’d You Never Tell Me?’ appeared on the band’s previous 7-track cassette-only release ‘It’s Only Time’. (Does anyone have this? Would LOVE to hear it!) Kirsten Hill says the song ‘echoes the thoughts of non-Christians as they meet up with their Christian friends on Judgment Day. It is a sober reminder of responsibility.’ (p. 36, On Being, July 1988)

Contributor – Frank Axel Rasenberger

1 – City Walk – 3:55
2 – Waiting Here – 4:17
3 – If Only You – 3:34
4 – Like I’m Home – 4:45
5 – Easter Song – 5:27
6 – In The Silence – 2:22
7 – Storm Inside – 3:09
8 – Steam Boat – 3:35
9 – Help Help – 3:39
10 – Very Long Time – 2:47
11 – Why’d You Never Tell Me – 5:31

Bass – Angus McLeay
Drums – Jacques Zeelie
Engineer – Peter Maclean
Engineer, Mixed By – Jeff Todd
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Ben Shaw
Lead Vocals – John Dickson
Mixed By – In The Silence, Phil Lake
Producer – David Gilmour, In The Silence

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word Australia
Distributed By – Word Australia
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – June Corp. Pty. Ltd.
Copyright © – June Corp. Pty. Ltd.
Recorded At – Timbertop Studios
Mixed At – Rich Studios

Tim Miner – I Know You Think You Know – 1988

Recently David Lowman said the following, “If there was any real justice in the world of 80’s CCM, artists Jon Gibson and Tim Miner would have sold out arenas.” Upon reading that I broke out this album, Tim’s second, and gave it a listen to see if I agreed and David is absolutely correct. This is a fantastic 80’s pop album. 1988 might have been a little too late for it but really Christian music was always a little behind the secular trends and this was actually a good thing in my opinion. While Tim had been writing music for others, about the time of this album is when his writing skills really took off and his songs appear on many hit albums. He also started producing at this point in his career and his skills in that capacity are excellent. If you only have time for one track I suggest “Too Casual”, it’s easily the best track on the album.

1 – Hey You! – 3:55
2 – I Know You Think You Know – 4:14
3 – Did I Forget To Say – 4:08
4 – Too Casual – 3:43
5 – Cover Me – 4:08
6 – Smarter Than Crack – 4:24
7 – Degeneration – 3:07
8 – You Know I Love This Feelin – 3:55
9 – Masquerade – 3:09
10 – Now (I Lay Me Down To Sleep) – 3:00

Arranged By [Horn Arrangement] – Don Wallace, Tim Miner
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Angie Winans, BeBe Winans, Cindy Cruse, Cliff Jones, Debbie Winans, Debra Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Gavin Potter, Janice Archer Cruse, Janie Cruse Stone, Joe Cruse, III, John Cruse, Karen Cruse Adams, Mark Freeman, Nancy Cruse, Nicole “Bubbles” Bruce, Rob Johnson, Ronnie V., Todd Walters
Backing Vocals – David Pack
Backing Vocals – The Winans
Bass – Tommy Sims
Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Programmed By, Backing Vocals, Engineer, Mixed By, Producer – Tim Miner
Design – Peter Nomura, Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Drums – Ric Norris
Engineer – Kelly Hemphill, Ron Lagerloff
Engineer, Mixed By – Loyd Harris, Randy Adams
Guitar – James Dillingham, Michael Gallaher, Michael Landau, Phil Keaggy
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Michael Sembello
Guitar, Keyboards, Engineer – Brian Tankersley
Keyboards, Programmed By, Programmed By, Engineer – Rhett Lawrence
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By [Remixing] – Brian Tankersley, Don Wallace, Loyd Harris, Tim Miner
Percussion – Charles Barnett
Photography By – Bonnie Schiffman
Photography – Mark Tucker
Piano, Keyboards, Strings, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals], Engineer, Mixed By – Don Wallace
Producer – Brian Tankersley, Don Wallace, James Everette
Trombone – Keith Adkins
Trumpet – Jay Saunders, Keith Jourdan, Scott Marsrow

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – KnightLight Studios
Recorded At – “Rhett’s Place” Studio
Recorded At – Eat Yourself Into A Coma Studio
Recorded At – Motown Recording Studios
Recorded At – Selah Studios, Detroit, MI
Recorded At – Eagle Mountain Studios
Recorded At – Bossa Nova Hotel
Recorded At – Mighty White Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation

Bill Baumgart – The Kindling – 1988

I want to start out being clear about one thing. Bill is/was an excellent producer and in fact I believe he’s one of the best in the business. That said when it came to his own album my praise for him falls short. As you listen to this album know that the following artists all chipped in on the project, Dann Huff, Phil Keaggy, John Elefante, and David Huff. With that line up you would think that this should be an excellent album. Unfortunately it’s just an average album. Not a bad album, just a dull album. This is not the first time I’ve seen this from a producer. I can only theorize that their opinion of their own musical skills clouds the proper ability to produce a great album. That said the album does have a real high point with “Turn Your Heart Around” being an excellent duet with Crystal Lewis. Bill produced her albums so this seems like a natural pairing. So as I usually say in these situations, not a bad album, just not a great album.

1 – The Kindling – 4:14
2 – The Only Game In Town – 4:33
3 – Could It Be You Knew? – 4:58
4 – Turn Your Heart Around – 3:31
5 – No More Night – 4:22
6 – Heaven – 5:30
7 – Return The Favor – 3:48
8 – Lost Inside Of You – 4:32
9 – I Will Be There – 3:55
10 – Theme For A Child – 4:33
11 – Take It – 4:31
12 – Praise Medley – 5:02

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Artwork [Litho Prep] – Gershwin Graphics
Backing Vocals – Allison Beech, Bill Baumgart, Bob Carlisle, John Elefante
Bass – James Jamerson, John Patitucci
Drums – David Huff, Pete Pfiefer
Engineer – Bill Baumgart, Dave Jahnsen, Eric Kibbe, Kirt Shearer, Tim Heintz
Guitar – Bob Somma, Dann Huff, Phil Keaggy
Illustration [Cover] – John Dickenson
Keyboards – Bill Baumgart, Tim Heintz
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Producer, Arranged By – Bill Baumgart
Saxophone – David Koz
Trumpet [Tpt] – Greg Prechel

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Frontline Records
Copyright © – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Published By – Broken Songs
Published By – House Of Mercy Music
Published By – Word Music
Recorded At – Asylomar
Glass Mastered at – Nimbus, Virginia

Street Angel – Newland! – 1988

This is the second and last album from Street Angel. It is a little less U2ish than their first album but I think I preferred their first album. Strangely the band seems to consist of only one member, Bill Romansky. He had an album out in 1979 using his name but this is all I can find out about him so for this album we’re just gonna have to enjoy the music.

1 – Sinsad – 5:16
2 – Love Will Set You Free – 2:56
3 – Sun Don’t Shine – 5:13
4 – Better Off Today – 3:51
5 – Heart Of Hearts – 4:45
6 – Newland – 3:33
7 – King Of Rock And Roll – 2:35
8 – Breathe On Me – 2:34
9 – God Is Not – 6:46

Executive-Producer – Armand Pirollo
Guest – Michaux Cocoon
Performer – Bill Romansky
Producer – Street Angel

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Spectra Distribution, Inc.

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.

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

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.

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

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 –

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