Jacob’s Trouble – Door Into Summer – 1989

This was the introductory album from Jacob’s Trouble. I can’t find any info on the band before they hit the studio to record this album. The album was produced by Terry Taylor (Daniel Amos) and Gene Eugene helped out on keyboards. The album features both a Monkees cover “Door Into Summer”, and a Beatles cover “Tell Me What You See”, The rest of the album has a Beatles / Monkees feel and sound too. Their future albums were better received than this one and I can understand why. This album seemed kind of dull to me. I just can’t get excited about it. It’s not a bad album just kind of dull. That said this is an important milestone in CCM music for who the band was and what they would become.

1 – Wind And Wave – 5:14
2 – Tell Me What You See – 3:20
3 – She Smiles At The Future – 3:59
4 – Church Of Do What You Want To – 4:45
5 – Awfully Familiar – 4:58
6 – Waiting For The Son – 4:15
7 – Door Into Summer – 3:07
8 – If You Believe – 4:22
9 – Million Miles – 3:28
10 – All For You – 3:38
11 – Psalm 151 – 3:51

Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Terry Taylor
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain, Ric Alba, The Troubling Jacobury’s
Bass [Rickenbacker], Vocals, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Steve Atwell
Drums, Vocals, Tambourine, Backing Vocals – Jerry Davison
Engineer – Gene Eugene
Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mark Blackburn
Guitar, Keyboards, E-Bow – Greg Flesch
Photography By – Michael Seeley
Piano, Keyboards – Gene Eugene
Producer – Terry Taylor
Tambourine, Maracas, Percussion [Etc.] – Alex MacDougall
Written-By – Jerry Davison, Mark Blackburn, Steve Atwell, Terry Taylor

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.

D.O.X. – Through The Fire – 1989

This is the second and last album from D.O.X. For this album they moved over to Nikolai Pankratz’s Pan-Trax Records. This also marked the departure of the involvement of Rob Watson, Terry Taylor, and Tim Chandler. I have no idea what the story behind the first album was but it appears the band were doing their own thing for this album. They also changed drummers with Dave Fiorazo replacing Robert Foster. This album was produced by Bill Baumgart who I usually really like but I don’t think he did a great job with this album. It’s not the quality of the music that I have an issue with as the album is very well done. My small criticism is the varying styles on the album. There’s Pop, Rock, and even a metal tune (R U Runnin’). The album just doesn’t flow but it is a great album. The songs are great and the band is defiantly good. Too bad they came to an end after this album, there was a lot of talent here.

1 – Cutting Edge – 3:34
2 – I See A Day – 3:34
3 – Through The Fire – 4:36
4 – Don’t Look Back – 4:45
5 – Can’t You See – 3:50
6 – R U Runnin’ – 3:16
7 – Hearts On Fire – 3:16
8 – The Love That I Needed – 3:11
9 – Faces In The Wall – 3:40

Art Direction, Illustration [Cover Illustration & Logo] – Jeff Foster
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Allison Beech, Bill Baumgart, Bob Carlisle
Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick – Jeff Foster
Booking – Frontrunner Agency, Stan Gill
Drums, Percussion – Dave Fiorazo
Engineer – Dan Abernathy, Dave Jahnsen
Engineer [Mastering Engineer] – John Matousek
Keyboards – Tim Heintz
Lead Guitar – Dennis Verner, Rick Lane
Lead Vocals, Words By – Mark de la Bretonne
Music By – Mark de la Bretonne, Rick Lane
Photography By – Bridgewater Photography
Producer – Bill Baumgart
Rhythm Guitar – Rick Lane
Saxophone – Eric Marienthal
Sound Designer [Live Sound], Tour Manager [Road Support] – Dave Wagner

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pan-Trax Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Pan-Trax Records
Copyright (c) – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Pan-Trax Records, Inc.
Pressed By – Discovery Systems
Recorded At – Asylomar Studios
Recorded At – Studio West, San Diego
Mastered At – Hitsville

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Kellye Huff – In A Special Way – 1989

I think the entire Huff family came together to help Kellye get her first album out. The album was released on the Huff families record label “Giant Records” and Kellye had just debuted the year earlier on the David and the Giants album “Strangers To The Night”. It only had one charting single with “In A Special Way” just making it onto the charts at #40. What we have here is a slightly poppier version of David and the Giants with Kellye doing lead vocals. I am actually pretty impressed with her vocal skills, she obviously inherited the family music gift. That said the vocals are a little thin in places but it is her first album and there was much to be learnt yet. I’m looking forward to hearing her second album and hopefully hearing that development.

1 – Anticipation – 3:07
2 – Who In The World – 3:32
3 – All My Days – 3:46
4 – Tailor Me – 3:34
5 – In A Special Way – 3:38
6 – Sing His Song – 3:19
7 – I Cherish Thee – 3:37
8 – Glory Hallelujah – 3:23
9 – All I Need – 3:56
10 – Little Lamb – 4:49

Kellye Huff – Lead and Background Vocals
Lloyd Bustard – Songwriter
Rick Cooper – Songwriter
Karen Harding – Background Vocals
Clayborn Huff – Engineer, Songwriter, Bass
David W. Huff – Producer, Engineer, Mixed, Songwriter, Guitars, Mandolin, Background Vocals
Lance Huff – Drums, Percussion
Rayborn Huff – Engineer, Songwriter, Programming, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Anthony Neal – Saxophone
Terry Ostovich – Mixed
Tim Pedigo – Background Vocals
Larry Rust – Keyboards
Donnie Sanders – Saxophone
Tommy Sims – Songwriter, Keyboards
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Giant Records
Copyright (c) – Giant Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Distributed By – Mitchell Family Books, Inc.
Pressed By – Nimbus

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Greg X Volz – No Room in the Middle – 1989

This was Greg’s 3rd solo album and his first on what I suspect is his own label “River Records”. I am actually quite impressed how well he did with a new label release. You can’t argue with an album with 4 top 20 CCM chart hits with “Waitin’ On Someday” doing the best making it to #5. Now we know that CCM chart hits do not translate into sales so I would love to hear some sales numbers for this album as it did struggle with distribution. Anyway let’s get to the album itself. Greg’s excellent vocals dominate as usual. CCM chart numbers mean nothing to me so I think the best track is “Gethsemane”. Unfortunately because it is 7:40 long it will not end up in my regular rotation as quite frankly I get bored with it at about the 5 minute mark. I feel I need to address the “Feelings” track as I can’t decide if it was intentionally quirky or just a bad musical decision. But that’s the end of my criticisms because this is a great album and is a must listen to.

1 – Walk Toward The Light – 4:51
2 – No Room In The Middle – 3:48
3 – Love Moves In A Different Circle – 4:13
4 – The Carpenter – 4:05
5 – I’m Yours – 5:58
6 – Servants And Witnesses – 5:05
7 – Feelings – 5:18
8 – Frontline – 4:19
9 – Gethsemane – 7:38
10 – Waitin’ On Someday – 5:46

Arranged By – George Atwell, Michael Atwell
Bass – Gary Lunn, Matt Pierson
Co-producer – Greg X. Volz
Design – Camille Engel
Drums – Marvin Steinberg
Guitar – Kirk Henderson, Paul Brannon, Tom Hemby
Keyboards [Additional] – Jonathan David Brown
Keyboards, Arranged By – Carl Marsh
Mastered By – Ken Love
Mixed By, Producer, Recorded By – Jonathan David Brown
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Synthesizer – Joe Hogue
Vocals – Greg X. Volz

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – GMI Records
Recorded At – Johnny dB’s Basement
Mixed At – Johnny dB’s Basement
Mastered At – Mastermix
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – River Records
Copyright © – River Records

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White Heart – Freedom – 1989

Freedom is the sixth studio album by White Heart and their last with Sparrow Records though Sparrow would continue distribution under an arrangement between the Sparrow Records and Star Song labels. This was also the last album for Tommy Sims, Gordon Kennedy and Chris McHugh. I guess you could say this album marked a end of a chapter for the band. I read a few reviews of this album and some reviewers thought this was one of their best if not their best album. I don’t really fall in that camp of reviewers. It’s a pretty good album and there’s a track or two that will make it into my rotation but their best? Not really. The album is a nice mix of CCM singles with 3 making it to the charts and “The River Will Flow” doing the best at #13 There’s also a couple power tracks that are more my style. So my final rating is pretty darn good and has enough different style to satisfy most listeners.

1 – Bye Bye Babylon – 4:06
2 – Sing Your Freedom – 4:59
3 – Let the Kingdom Come – 5:04
4 – Over Me – 5:19
5 – Eighth Wonder – 4:25
6 – Power Tools – 4:20
7 – Invitation – 4:53
8 – The River Will Flow – 6:55
9 – Set the Bridge on Fire – 4:31
10 – Let It Go – 4:15
11 – I’ll Meet You There – 4:22

Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn, Larry Vigon
Backing Vocals – White Heart
Band [White Heart Is] – Billy Smiley, Chris McHugh, Gordon Kennedy, Mark Gersmehl, Rikk Florian, Tommy Sims
Design – Larry Vigon Studio
Engineer [Additional Engineer] – Byron House
Engineer [Assistant Engineers] – Carry Summers, Kevin Twit, Mark Nevers, Paula Montondo, Shawn McLean, Steve Bishir, Todd Moore
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Lead Vocals – Rikk Florian (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9 to 11)
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer [Produced By] – Brown Bannister
Recorded By, Mixed By – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – The Castle Recording Studios
Recorded At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Manufactured By – EMI Jax
Published By – Songs Of PolyGram International, Inc.
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Kid And The Squid Music

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Ben Okafor – Nkiru – 1989

Occasionally I just take a day and root through a record company library to see what I find. This is one I found while rooting through the Refuge library. I’d never heard of the artist though actually he’s relatively well known for the period. Ben claims to have grown up as a child soldier in Nigeria. These stories don’t usually end well but his does as he was able to immigrate to the U.K. He was actually a well known artist in the anti apartheid movement and shared the stage with several prominent artists at that time. He has continued on with his somewhat unique style today. As for that style I would best describe it as pop oriented folk reggae. The industry refers to it as Afrikanese reggae but I don’t care for that description so I’ll go with mine.

1 – Wake Up – 4:38
2 – Got Me Running – 4:56
3 – Oke Na Ngwele – 2:55
4 – Man Of Sorrow – 4:28
5 – I Need Love – 5:17
6 – Raise Your Conscience – 5:10
7 – Filippino – 3:33
8 – World Gone Crazy – 3:57
9 – No Matter What It Is – 4:27
10 – Look Out – 2:34

Priscilla Engle – Ageless Love – 1989

This is Priscilla’s second album. Her first album was on Frontline Records but this one was on tiny label Diadem Music. It appears she didn’t get a second album deal with Frontline. Now I have not listened to her first album yet but after listening to this one I am kind of surprised she couldn’t get a larger record deal. This album is very good. The jacket cover had me worried I was about to listen to a worship album but not so. This is a fun 80’s Pop album. I can’t find much out there on this album but I’m not overly surprised due to the label it was on. Diadem was owned by Benson (a much larger label) but I don’t know if they did much promotion of their Diadem label. Anyway this is a great fun pop album and is definitely a fun listen.

1 – Ageless Love – 3:04
2 – Nothing But Jesus – 3:34
3 – He Is Still A Father – 5:02
4 – Just Believe – 3:56
5 – No Need (Bow Down) – 4:27
6 – He’s Leading The Way – 3:55
7 – There You Are – 3:25
8 – River To The Throne – 5:00
9 – Follow You – 3:39
10 – Fire Of The Holy Spirit – 3:47
11 – To Live Is Christ – 3:28
12 – Don’t Dance – 3:11
13 – Kingdom Love – 5:00

Backing Vocals – Beverly Darnall, Guy Penrod, Jimmie Lee Sloas, Kip Raines, Mark Ivey, Paul Marino, Ray Boltz, Steve Millikan
Bass – Gary Lunn, Randy Melson
Drums – Dane Clark, Mark Hammond
Guitar – George Cocchini, Sandy Williams
Keyboards – Joe Hogue, Steve Millikan
Producer – Steve Millikan
Saxophone – Mark Douthit

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David Zaffiro – The Other Side – 1989

Guitarist David Zaffiro left Bloodgood to do his own thing here. The album definitely has it’s own feel and it shouldn’t be mistaken for Bloodgood. The guitar riffs sound similar in places but it looks like David had his own sound that he wanted to get out to the public. Michael Bloodgood does help out on a couple tracks so it’s nice to see that David leaving Bloodgood wasn’t in bad blood. My only fault on the album is that there should have been a few more rockin tracks and a few less ballads but that said they are very well done and I would have been hard pressed to pick ones to delete. So to sum up this is a good rockin album and I look forward to listening to David’s next album.

1 – Stay – 4:00
2 – I See Red – 3:22
3 – Where Are You Now – 3:36
4 – Why Me – 3:58
5 – The Other Side – 6:18
6 – Diversity – 4:42
7 – You – 3:11
8 – To The End – 4:27
9 – Only Eyes – 3:39
10 – Spirit Of The Lord – 4:50

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Assemblage – Jason Brown
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Charlene Nemieyer, David Schueler, Marlene Cochran, Paula Prince, Richard Bartholomew
Bass Guitar – Bill Hale (4), Mark Mosholder (tracks: 2)
Co-producer [On Lead Vocals] – Michael Bloodgood (tracks: 2, 10)
Drums – Davin McLaird
Engineer – Charles Meserole
Keyboards – David Hubbard (tracks: 10), Kelly Carpenter
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Producer, Engineer, Written-By – David Zaffiro
Photography By – Mark Wilkins
Rhythm Guitar – Maverick Gibson (tracks: 1)
Written-By, Co-producer [On Lead Vocals] – Maverick Gibson (tracks: 1,8)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Alarma Records
Copyright (c) – Alarma Records
Mastered At – Hitsville
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Published By – Broken Songs
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

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Liaison – Liaison – 1989

Liaison was formed by brothers Larry and Tim Melby who grew up in rural North Dakota. The brothers played just about every instrument there was and they display this talent on their first album. The album was very well received partly due to some excellent production by tech wizard Bill Baumgart. This album has an excellent arenas rock feel but leans AOR too. It even had 2 chart singles on the CCM charts. Go And Sin No More made it to #14 and The Way, The Truth, And The Life to #38. I understand it was also very very popular on Christian rock radio but I don’t currently have access to any of their charts. This is a great rock album and everyone should give it a listen. I’m pretty sure there’s at least one track that will fall in your like pile.

1 – When The Kingdom Comes Down – 4:21
2 – You Are His Main Concern – 3:51
3 – Go And Sin No More – 3:31
4 – Man With A Mission – 5:02
5 – The Way, The Truth, And The Life – 4:23
6 – Kick It Down – 3:21
7 – The Light Is On – 4:11
8 – He Lives – 4:15
9 – Give Me One Day At A Time – 3:29
10 – You’ve Got My Heart In Your Hands – 3:42

Arranged By [Arrangements By] – Tim Heintz
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Bass – Kelly Burns
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Beth Wisner, Eric Kibby
Engineer [Engineered By] – Dave Jahnsen
Illustration – Jeff Foster
Mastered By – John Matousek
Music By, Lyrics By – Lary, Tim Melby
Musician, Backing Vocals – Bill Baumgart
Musician, Drums – Jeff Porcaro
Musician, Guitar [Additional Guitars] – Gawain Reifsnyder, Glenn Pearce, Vince Mendoza
Musician, Guitar [Guitars] – Michael Landau
Musician, Keyboards – Bill Baumgart, Tim Heintz
Musician, Saxophone – Dave Koz
Performer [Liaison Is], Guitar [Guitars], Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Tim Melby
Performer [Liaison Is], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar [Guitars], Bass – Lary Melby
Photography By – Ralph Bizik
Producer [Produced By], Arranged By [Arrangements By] – Bill Baumgart

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Produced For – Asylomar Productions
Recorded At – The Mixing Lab
Mixed At – The Mixing Lab
Mastered At – Sound Works West
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs

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Kim Hill – Talk About Life – 1989

Kim was that “girl next door” artist CCM was looking for. That is, if you lived next door to a really attractive girl who appeared to live on a farm and possessed nothing but jeans and an acoustic guitar who drove a 1950’s era puck up truck. Yeah…that next door. After a decent debut that showed glimmers of hope for originality and artistic merit, Kim Hill’s sophomore release, Talk About Life, revealed those possibilities. Less Nashville pop and more female singer-songwriter. Less AC pop and more rock, country and folk. Hill was Christian music answer to the Melissa Etheridge/Meredith Brooks. jean wearing female rocker/songwriter. Hill’s husky alto voice (think Chistine McVie, KT Tunstall)) was great fit to the earthy, acoustic rock on the album. What also worked is a strong lyrical content that went beyond the normal CCM categories, even if the themes remained similar. There is a passion in the content as well as in the performance. “Snakes in the Grass” is one of the great songs in the history of CCM female artists. Her vocal flexibility and range mixed with a stark and edgy production makes this a stand out on so many levels. It’s a song Maria McKee would do, but with no guarantee of better results. The acoustic guitar accentuated by an incredible “rock” string arrangement is pure studio magic. Brown Bannister, more noted for his AC pop, outdid himself on this album. The title track and Closer to a Broken Heart continue the great rock sound in the vein of The Pretenders and Tom Petty. In fact, there are really no weak moments on the albums and has remained her strongest effort, though her follow up also contained similar quality work. Hill would later move in a more worship direction and an involvement with Women of faith type ministries. She has yet to return to this type of music and that is true loss for Christian Music. But even some 20 years later this album sound fantastic and not dated in any way.

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

1 – Inside Of You – 4:22
2 – Stop, Watch And Listen – 5:14
3 – Secret Place – 4:45
4 – Snake In The Grass – 4:08
5 – Let’s Talk About Life – 2:01
6 – Closer To A Broken Heart – 3:37
7 – Turning – 3:50
8 – Testimony – 3:33
9 – Charm Is Deceitful – 2:21

Art Direction, Design – Jackson Design
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Richard Headen
Cover [Cover Coordinator] – D.L. Rhodes
Executive-Producer – Michael Blanton, Terry Hemmings
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jeff Balding
Photography By – Russ Harrington
Producer [Associate Producer] – Wayne Kirkpatrick
Producer [Produced By] – Brown Bannister
Recorded By [Additional Recording] – Splash Headen, Smash Kirkpatrick
Recorded By [Assisted By] – Carry Summers, Steve Bishir
Recorded By [Overdubs Recorded By] – Slash Bannister
Recorded By [Tracks Recorded By] – Jeff Balding

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Records Limited
Copyright (c) – Word Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Overdubbed At – Home Groan Studio
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Published By – Pupfish Music
Published By – Knightsville Music
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Songs Of PolyGram International, Inc.
Published By – Yellow Jacket Music, Inc.
Published By – Emily Boothe, Inc.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Riverstone Music, Inc.
Pressed By – DADC – DIDX-006789

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