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.
Tracklist 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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/
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
As I understand it this was Fighter’s first demo. 2 of the tracks got released on their first album, “Radio Man”, and “Face To Face”. “Leo” and “Irresponsible Evil” remained unreleased until 2019. In 2019 these four tracks were bonus material on a re-release of Fighters first album, The Waiting. Do not confuse this with the 2019 Girder Records release “The Fighter Demos” which is a collection of most of their demo work but not these 4 tracks.
Tracklist 1 – Radio Man – 4:38 2 – Leo – 3:15 3 – Face To Face – 5:27 4 – Irresponsible Evil – 3:24
Credits Bass – Jim Wolter Drums – Sean Murphy Guitar – Billy Heller Keyboards – Mark Pence Lead Vocals – Amy Wolter, Sean Murphy
I have to admit that I was a little surprised when I learned about this album. I remember the album from late 89 as it was all over secular radio. What I did not learn is that the Huff brothers (White Heart) were two of the driving forces behind it. Joining them was studio musician Alan Pasqua who had mainly worked secular projects but had a fair amount of CCM albums in his credits too. Also joining them was studio musician Mike Brignardello who mainly did CCM projects at the time. So apparently these guys came together and decided to do a secular project and this is it. This was the first project after the Huff brothers left White Heart but I don’t know if they left to do this project or if they left and then decided to do this project. This is a fantastic Hard Rock album and if you ever doubted Dann Huff’s guitar prowess this album should dispel that. The album had a big single, “I’ll See You in My Dreams” though the second single, “I’m a Believer”, was better but did not chart as well. I’d love to hear the story of how this album came about but I couldn’t find any reliable explanations on the internet. Anyway if you like your Rock Hard and or your Metal light this is definitely the album for you.
Tracklist 1 – I’m A Believer – 5:44 2 – Innocent Days – 5:16 3 – I Can’t Get Close Enough – 6:06 4 – I’ll See You In My Dreams – 4:46 5 – No Way Out – 4:03 6 – Shake Me Up – 4:16 7 – It Takes Two – 4:58 8 – Stranger To Me – 5:57 9 – Hold Back The Night – 4:11 10 – Love Welcome Home – 4:51 11 – The Big Pitch – 5:07
Credits Backing Vocals [Additional] – Lea Hart, Peter Howarth, Terry Thomas Bass, Vocals – Mike Brignardello Drums, Vocals – David Huff* Keyboards, Vocals – Alan Pasqua Lead Vocals, Guitar – Dann Huff Mastered By – Arnie Acosta Mixed By – Rafe McKenna (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7 to 11), Terry Thomas (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7 to 11) Mixed By [Assistant] – Jon Mallison (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7 to 11) Producer [Produced By] – Terry Thomas Recorded By – Rafe McKenna Recorded By [Assistant at Farmyard Recording Studio] – Derek Murphy Recorded By [Assistant at Master Rock Studios] – Helen Woodward Recorded By [Assistant at Ridge Farm Studios] – Paul Cuddeford
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – A&M Records, Inc. Copyright (c) – A&M Records, Inc. Recorded At – Ridge Farm Studios Recorded At – Farmyard Studios Recorded At – Master Rock Studios Mixed At – Livingston Studios Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios Manufactured By – Digital Audio Disc Corp. – DIDX-005359
Jon Gibson would score higher sales (Jesus Loves Ya) and radio success (Forever Friends) elsewhere, but his true artistic triumph came on this sweet little record, Body & Soul. Combining an obvious Beatles influence with his Stevie Wonder grooves helped Gibson create an utterly unique and never duplicated release. The album would also feature Gibsonsd most transparent, thoughtful and poignant songwriting. The soulful crooning and Gospel infused Church Anthems still remain, but there is a distinct musical quality, a fresher, more earthy appeal, that sets the record apart. It also remains the finest production work in Bill Baumgart’s career. The sub-three minute Beatle’s directed “Heart of Gold” kicks off the album with a great Abbey Road era sound to the opening strings followed by Bill Baumgart’s great piano that would prove to be the central instrumentation for the whole project. “In the Name of the Lord” follows and remains one of Gibson’s biggest radio hits despite many stations rejecting the song based on the term “good God” used in the chorus. But it is with the ballads that Gibson becomes most personal and intimate. Whether biographical or not, many of the slower songs capture a hurting and striving artist. Most notably is “Merry-Go-‘Round.” The sense of loss and repentance found in the words of a father seeking redemption are at times chilling. “God Will Find Ya” has Gibson with a psuedo-falsetto vocal that whines through a hypnotic melody that never pushes the groove. Possibly the strongest ballad is “Father, Father.” Another song of repentance builds and builds as it moves to a great vocal climax, more emotional than many other Gibson ballads. Two last songs of note are the great cover of Stevie Wonders “Have a Talk With God,” that features a cameo by Wonder on harmonica and the killer closer, Everyone Needs the Lord.” The later is Black Gospel masterpiece that Smokie Norful really needs to cover. Starting slow and building up both the passion and pace as it moves, the song would become a moderate hit and great live experience. With it Gibson continued to prove he was easily the most soulful artist in CCM at the time, and maybe ever. the only criticism is that it is clearly 3 minutes too short!
Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 1 – Heart Of Gold – 3:02 2 – In The Name Of The Lord – 4:38 3 – Merry-Go-Round – 4:46 4 – God Will Find Ya – 4:36 5 – Father, Father – 3:52 6 – Have A Talk With God – 3:28 7 – Long Ago – 4:32 8 – Us Now – 3:07 9 – Everyone Needs The Lord – 3:56
Credits Art Direction – Ed McTaggart Backing Vocals – Belinda Stewart (tracks: 2,6), Beverly Williams (tracks: 2,6), Crystal Blake (tracks: 3), Francine Williams (tracks: 2,6), Jon Gibson, Lisa Russo Judd (tracks: 2,6) Choir – The Friendship Baptist Choir Co-producer – Jon Gibson Engineer – Bill Wolfer Engineer [Assistant] – Eric Kibbe, Jon Gibson Executive Producer – Brian K. Tong Guitar – Jon Gibson, Kit Charlton Harmonica – Stevie Wonder (tracks: 6) Keyboards, Drum Programming, Synthesizer [Bass Synth] – Bill Wolfer Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocals – Jon Gibson Keyboards, Programmed By – Paul Gottschalk Lead Vocals – Cubby Ingram (tracks: 8), Jon Gibson Mixed By – Bill Wolfer Percussion [African Drums], Cuica, Djembe – Vinx Photography By – Ken Kloster Producer – Bill Wolfer
Companies, etc. Recorded At – Mixing Lab B Mixed At – 7th Street Sound
David & The Giants finished off the 80’s with what I think is their best album. If for no other reason than the title track. They turned David Huff loose with his guitar and probably came up with their best Rock song ever. The album was a “commercial” success with three singles. “Here’s My Heart” made it to #2, “Count On Me” to #24, and finally “Love Has A Place” made it to #12. It’s rare when I agree with the CCM charts but on this album I do, though their choices of singles doesn’t line up with mine. This album however did mark the departure of Keith Thibodeaux, long time drummer of the band (though he would return in 2007). Lance Huff (David’s Son) stepped in with drum duties for the subsequent tour and future albums. This album falls in the “should listen to” category in case you missed it in 89.
Tracklist 1 – R U Gonna Stand Up – 3:59 2 – I’ll Stay With You – 4:19 3 – Love Has A Place – 4:30 4 – Joy Up In The Sky – 3:40 5 – Evolution Is Pollution – 4:20 6 – Here’s My Heart – 4:08 7 – Everybody Got A Story – 3:52 8 – Living On High Hopes – 3:36 9 – Count On Me – 3:58 10 – Everybody Needs Love – 3:52 11 – He’ll Be There – 4:22
Credits Arranged By – Tommy Sims Backing Vocals – Kellye Huff (tracks: 9), Tim Pedigo Bass, Backing Vocals – Clayborn Huff Drums, Backing Vocals – Keith Thibodeaux Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Remix – David Huff Harmonica – Terry McMillan Keyboards, Programmed By, Backing Vocals, Arranged By – Rayborn Huff Mastered By – Hank Williams Percussion – Lance Huff Photography – Richard Gazowski Producer – David Huff Remix [Assistant Remix Engineers] – Terry Ostovich Remix [Assistant Remix Engineers], Arranged By – Scott Carter
Companies, etc. Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Giant Records Copyright (c) – Giant Records Published By – Huff, Huff And Huff Publishing Recorded At – Huff Recording Studios Recorded At – Sound Barrier Studio, Nashville Mastered At – Mastermix Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Scarlet Red started out as a secular band called Lust but upon the drummer becoming saved they actually broke up. The story goes that the entire band became saved but not together but instead each separately and then came back together and chose a new name that honoured the blood of Christ. This appears to be the only album, they released which is too bad because it’s a pretty good commercial metal album. Personally I always liked my hard rock/metal with a female lead so this band fits well with my taste. Like I said this is a very commercial metal band and wit the female lead vocals it’s an album that must have played well.
Tracklist 1 – You Live Fast – 4:48 2 – Cry Out – 2:47 3 – Never – 3:33 4 – Knock Down The Walls – 4:06 5 – Fight Fire – 2:47 6 – Don’t Dance With Danger – 3:21 7 – Lost And Found – 2:42 8 – Hold On To Love – 4:20 9 – Why – 3:37 10 – Break The Chains – 3:57
Credits Bass – Jeff Warner Cover – Jim Null Drums – Davy Ledford Guitar – Curtis Lee Photography By – Dennis Carney Producer – Armand John Petri Vocals – Danis
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Pure Metal Copyright (c) – Pure Metal Distributed By – Mainroads Music Group