77’s – Sticks And Stones – 1990

How great of a band is The 77’s? Well, how many bands could release a collection of rejects, B-sides, cast-offs, demos and throw-aways and still have it be one of the best album released for that year and one of the best albums of all time? Pretty much only The 77’s. After the dissolving of Exit Records and the greatest shame in the history of CCM rock music (the Island 77’s not becoming the biggest album at the time), Mike Roe and mates moved to Broken Records, headed by Ojo Taylor of Undercover, released a bunch of demos and rejects and made one of the most enjoyable and listenable albums in their storied career. It is actually one of the most commercially pleasing and accessible albums Roe has been involved with. Great alternative pop with killer hooks and a ton of memorable songs. In fact, the lead track (MT) made its way onto popular teen television show, Beverly Hills, 90210. But that was not the only hit song from the album. Christian rock radio jumped all over Nowhere Else and the reworked “This Is the Way Love Is.” But it is the more self-indulgent songs that became long standing concert favorites and true 77’s classics. Perfect Blues had been a long standing live favorite that finally saw the light of day on this album and shows Roe’s mastery of guitar in all styles. “Don’t, This Way” is one of the most haunting and beautiful songs of Roe’s career and is also one of the best live songs the band performs. Here, it’s Roe’s subtlety as a musician that shines. Just stunning and mesmerizing. God Sends Quails is anything but subtle and shows Roe’s appreciation for the 60’s and 70’s psychedelic blues, jam bands and would even appeal to fans of Glass Harp and Blind Faith.

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

Tracklist
1 – MT – 3:57
2 – Nowhere Else – 4:13
3 – This Is The Way Love Is – 5:11
4 – Perfect Blues – 6:10
5 – Don’t. This Way – 7:31
6 – You Walked In The Room – 4:23
7 – The Days To Come – 4:25
8 – The Loop – 3:54
9 – God Sends Quails – 6:34
10 – Love Without Dreams – 4:52
11 – Do It For Love – 3:14
12 – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life – 3:23
13 – Pearls Before Swine – 8:18
14 – Bottom Line – 5:48

Credits
Bass – Jan Eric
Drums [Still More Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Guitar – Mark Toole, Michael Roe
Keyboards – Mark Toole
Mastered By – David Houston
Mixed By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Producer – Michael Roe, Steve Griffith
Recorded By – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Voice – Jan Eric, Michael Roe

Companies, etc.
Mastered At – Moon Studios, Sacramento
Distributed By – Word Australia
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – TT’s Ltd
Copyright © – TT’s Ltd
Recorded At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Mixed At – The Late Great Exit Studio
Recorded At – The Music Annex
Mixed At – The Music Annex

Creed – The Sign Of Victory – 1990

This Creed should not be confused with the mainstream Creed of the late 90’s. This Creed came out of Germany in the mid 80’s. They actually had a demo and 12″ in the mid 80’s both of which are very good. This however is the only proper album we got from them. I love that the opening track is a live cut that sets the pace for the whole album. I used to love back in the 80’s when bands would occasionally toss a live track onto an album. It always felt like a bonus. This album is quality metal and I am a little surprised we didn’t hear more from them. I understand they were not that well known in The U.S. but were very popular in Germany. For some reason the drumming on this album stands out to me as being above average. Drumming never really stands out to me on a Metal album but it did this time. This album deserves to be listened to and it deserved to be more popular when it came out.

Tracklist
1 – Sign Of Victory – 4:03
2 – Taken By Storm – 4:18
3 – Meet Again (Farewell) – 4:35
4 – Broken Heart – 4:23
5 – Child – 0:35
6 – Prayer Of Praise – 2:59
7 – Tonite – 3:56
8 – Break The Chainz – 4:15
9 – Forever On Fire – 4:01
10 – In The Dark – 3:53

Credits
Bass – Tichy Casni
Drums – Stefan Schütz
Engineer – Olaf Ritter
Guitar – Udo Libutzkij
Lead Vocals – Jessy Baron
Mixed By – Manfred Lohse, Olaf Ritter
Producer – Norman Barratt

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – CDT Berlin
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Pila Music
Copyright © – Pila Music
Recorded At – Tonstudio Leonberg

Holy Saint – Holy Saint – 1990

This is the second Demo from Holy Saint. The first was in 1988 entitled “Babylon”. Both were well received and the band developed a strong cult following. Strangely a couple of the band name used monikers and I can’t actually find any information on who they really were. Sadly information on them is lost to time as is so much info on these little known 80’s CCM bands. The album was finally reissued on CD in 2005 by Retrospect Records however they didn’t include the final track which is the band testifying to their listeners. Personally I think it should have been included as it’s a really well done testimony. That said this is a demo and the quality lacks a little bit but the quality of the band shines through and this is a much listen if you were a metal head in the day.

Tracklist
1 – Crying Out – 4:17
2 – Love Never Fails – 4:54
3 – Walking A Fine Line – 4:20
4 – 777 – 3:58
5 – Christ Is The Answer – 4:06
6 – Come Unto Me – 5:18
7 – Call On Your Name – 6:29
8 – Give Your Life Away – 4:45
9 – Message From The Band – 8:56

Credits
Chris Brooks – Lead Vocals
Radical Rad – Guitars
Pat Tharp – Bass
Bruce Atomic – Drums

Priority Paid – Sometimes We Scream – 1990

This was the second release from Priority Paid who were from Sydney Australia. I can’t really find much info on the band but I do know that their first album was very well received in Australia. This album appears to have been self released but was picked up by Round Music Group in the USA and was distributed in the US and Canada. That said the US and Canadian version included several tracks from their first release “Image” that I don’t believe was ever released in North America. This EP has that great late 80’s sound that came out of Australia. I really enjoyed this album and I’m sorry i missed it back in 1990.

Tracklist
1 – Back To The River – 3:29
2 – All Guns Blazing – 3:34
3 – Madame Trousseau – 3:11
4 – Counting The Gains – 5:03
5 – Footsteps In The Sand – 3:21
6 – Shine – 3:39

Credits
Bass, Vocals – O.M. Craig
Drums – R.E.S. Pye
Guitar – I.K.A. McDonald
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – P.D. Downey
Vocals, Keyboards, Harmonica – J.R. Burns

Breakfast With Amy – Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt – 1990/1995

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt is the first studio album by Breakfast with Amy and was first released in 1990. I’m a little confused at the release of this album. The band claims it was an Independent release but I see it was released on Narrowpath Records which was a small but established label. Also strangely it was reissued in 1995 on Gray Dot Records which was a new label that year. Furthermore the original version was distributed by Refuge and had a Refuge catalog number assigned to it. Oh and by the way the 1995 version had 3 bonus tracks which are demo’s from their previous sessions. We have included those tracks. Breakfast with Amy is/was an alternative/punk band out of La Habra California. It’s said that the band formed as “Friends Of Amy” as an emergency fill in for a cancelled act for a church in California. You certainly wouldn’t have heard anything like this is my Church which makes me wish I grew up in these California Churches. Apparently this album sold very well and this was the reason for a reissue but the fact that the reissue is on a different label leaves me to believe there was probably more to the story.

Tracklist
1 – Icky – 4:31
2 – Power – 4:09
3 – Cavewoman – 6:04
4 – This Train – 4:18
5 – Mr. Ed – 2:46
6 – Funeral – 3:44
7 – Everything – 4:02
8 – Ferris Wheel – 3:32
9 – Abandoned Houses – 3:37
10 – Social Studies – 4:10
Bonus Tracks
11 – Ferris Wheel (Demo Version) – 9:07
12 – Love Song (Demo Version) – 4:43
13 – Funeral (Demo Version) – 5:32

Credits
Drums – Paul Pelligrin
Electric Bass – Bob Wholer, Tennesee Beans
Engineer [Engineered By] – Dan Bush
Guitar – Christopher Colbert
Guitar, Vocals – Caryn Colbert
Photography By [Cover Photo] – Jack A. Smith
Producer [Produced By] – Amy
Recorded By – Chaz Ramirez
Vocals, Guitar – David Koval
Written-By [All Songs] – Breakfast With Amy

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Narrowpath Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Gray Dot Records
Copyright (c) – Gray Dot Records
Distributed By – GDR Distribution
Distributed By – Refuge Records
Recorded At – Casbah Studio
Recorded At – Half Moon Studio
Published By – Doll Light Music, Inc.
Pressed By – American Multimedia, Inc.

1990 Cover
1995 Cover
1995 Back

Say What? – Fresh Fish – 1990

This “gem” of an album showed up in 1990 and was released on Star Song records with much mystery. As far as I can tell we still don’t know who actually did this album. They used monikers and don’t ever appear to have taken credit for it. Personally I wouldn’t have taken credit either but I do not like Rap music. Apparently the track “I Can Sing Higher” is making fun of Sandi Patti which at least shows a good sense of humour, Anyway here it is, an 80’s style Rap album in the CCM music genre.

Tracklist
1 – Fresh Fish – 4:20
2 – Back In A Big Way – 3:53
3 – Step Off (The Stage) – 3:36
4 – Say What? – 2:40
5 – Brother-Brother – 5:03
6 – I Can Sing Higher – 4:42
7 – VG Veggies – 3:32
8 – We’re Stupid – 3:00
9 – Johnny Fencerider – 4:28

Credits
Art Direction – Toni Thigpen
Design, Illustration – Tufts Design Studio
Mastered By – Brian Gardner
Performer – TMOK (tracks: A5, B3), The Dean
Producer – Mix Master Mighty White
Recorded By, Mixed By – M.M.M.W.
Vocals [Guest] – Tiny Tina (tracks: A2, A5)
Written-By – Mighty White*, The Dean

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song
Copyright (c) – Star Song
Distributed By – Sparrow/Star Song Distribution
Recorded At – Queen Bee Studios
Mixed At – Queen Bee Studios
Mastered At – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Copyright (c) – Ariose Music
Copyright (c) – Shepherd’s Fold Music

Bryan Duncan – Anonymous Confessions of a Lunatic Friend – 1990

To say this was a successful album would be an understatement. Bryan squeezed 3 number 1 singles off this album. “We All Need”, “Blessed Are The Tears”, and “I Love You With My Life” all made it to number 1. I was a little surprised there wasn’t a fourth single that charted lower but nope. Don’t know that there’s another album with 3 #1’s and nothing lower. “I Love You With My Life” is actually a cover (is it really a cover when you performed it in the first place) from the 1979 Sweet Comfort Band album Breakin’ The Ice. This song actually made myself ask myself what if SCB actually had kept going and gone in the direction Bryan was headed. There was such great talent in the band that I would have far preferred hearing them back Bryan. That said I don’t want to take away anything from Bryan on this album. It really was the best album of 1990.

Tracklist
1 – Sunday Go To Meetin’ – 4:23
2 – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Now – 4:05
3 – Leave Your Light On (Hopeless Moon) – 4:28
4 – We All Need – 3:27
5 – Lunatic Friend – 4:24
6 – All Is Forgiven – 4:21
7 – Puttin’ In The Good Word – 4:23
8 – Walkin’ – 4:12
9 – Mr. Bailey’s Daughter – 4:03
10 – Blessed Are The Tears – 4:30
11 – I Love You With My Life – 4:40

Credits
Bass – John Pierce, Nathan East
Brass – Dan Higgins, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams
Composed By – Bryan Duncan
Drums – Jeff Porcaro
Executive-Producer – Tom Willett
Guitar – Dan Lee, Michael Hodges, Tim Pierce
Keyboards – Alan Pasqua, Jerry Peters, John Van Tongeren, Michael Omartian, Peter Wolf, Randy Kerber
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Csaba Petocz, Jeremy Smith
Percussion – Dan Posthuma, Jeff Porcaro, Rafael Pidilla*, Sandra Crouch
Producer – Dan Posthuma
Saxophone [Solo] – Dave Boruff

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Mastered At – Future Disc

Redeemer – The Light Is Struck And The Darkness Splits! – 1990

This is one of the odder releases I’ve stumbled across while researching Christian Metal music. This album was only released in Australia though it was reissued in Greece in 2020. Even though it was released in 1990 it was only issued on Vinyl with only 1000 copies printed. The album is a self release gatefold with the lyrics on the inside. I was told they were a thrash band so I prepared myself for that horror when I sat down to listen to the album. Instead I found a project as opposed to an album with several of the tracks having a progressive feel. At best I would describe the thrash tracks as thrash lite. It is actually quite a bearable album and I admit that there are a couple really good tracks here. Remember I detest thrash so this is saying a lot. I was also delighted to hear a female vocalist on a “thrash” album. This is a fascinating project and I congratulate the band on a job well done. Again not my style but really this is a pretty good album.

Tracklist
1 – The Light Is Struck – 2:29
2 – Heavy And Loud – 4:37
3 – Sinner – 4:07
4 – Transmuter – 4:24
5 – Magician – 5:18
6 – Metallic Frenzy – 6:53
7 – Apocalypse Riders – 5:07
8 – Burn In Hell – 5:36
9 – The Darkness Splits – 0:39

Credits
Mick Johnson – Bass
Scott Cooper – Drums
Adam Johnson – Guitars
Craig Vine – Guitars
Cindy Greenwood – Vocals

Seventh Angel ‎– The Torment – 1990

This is the first album from Seventh Angel after 3 fairly popular demos. They signed with the UK’s Under One Flag but I think had some sort of deal to retain the masters. I say this because over the years this album has been re-issued on at least 9 other labels. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Anyway Ian Arkley started the band up in late 1989 and the band quickly rose to be one of the top Thrash bands around. In fact this album was ranked #51 on the Top 100 Christian Metal Albums of All Time in 2010 by HM Magazine. If you’re into thrash this album will give you everything you want from a Thrash album. Normally all these varying styles would leave people questioning an album but not this one. It supplies everything thrash has to offer on one album including a nearly 10 minute track which is pretty rare in the Thrash genre.

Tracklist
1 – Tormented Forever – 4:18
2 – The Charmer – 7:16
3 – Forbidden Desires – 3:43
4 – I Of The Needle – 5:38
5 – Expletive Deleted – 3:23
6 – Dr. Hatchet – 6:04
7 – Locked Up In Chains – 5:07
8 – Acoustic Interlude – 0:39
9 – Katie – 9:41
10 – Epilogue – 1:48

Credits
Artwork – Rodney Matthews
Bass – Simon Bibby
Drums – Tank (7)
Guitar [Rhythm] – Scott A. Rawson
Producer, Engineer – Paul Hodson
Vocals, Guitar – Ian Arkley

Companies, etc.
Licensed From – Edge Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Edge Records
Copyright (c) – Edge Records
Glass Mastered At – MPO

Scarlet Rayne – Theater Humanitarian – 1990/2008

Scarlet Rayne was a late 80’s metal band out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They released a 3 track demo in the late 80’s but at this time we are unable to find a copy. The internet tells me that they actually turned down a record deal and instead chose to release this album independently. They released 1000 CD’s and 1500 Cassettes. Not big numbers but it must have been well received as they became quite popular. The internet also tells me that after some personnel changes they changed names to SolScape and recorded a second album but unfortunately the band split and never released the album. This album was reissued in 2008 by Arkeyn Steel Records with 4 bonus tracks. We have included those bonus tracks here. As for the album it’s a fairly commercial Metal sound but the vocals do stand out as being well above average for the time of the recording. Pretty good metal album here and if that’s your style of choice you should definitely give it a listen.

Tracklist
1 – Scarlet Rayne – 5:58
2 – Alpha & Omega – 4:41
3 – Tales Of The Lost – 4:31
4 – Covered Fear – 5:40
5 – C.F.C. – 4:40
6 – Sands Of Time – 6:50
7 – Through Eyes Of The Past – 6:51
8 – Midnight Excursion – 0:41
Bonus Tracks
9 – Razorback – 4:12
10 – Lost Meaning – 5:04
11 – Lions Den – 3:18
12 – How Now – 3:59

Credits
Artwork, Layout – Kostas Athanasoglou
Bass, Vocals, Guitar – Kyle David
Drums, Percussion – Crash
Guitar, Vocals, Bass – Danyl J.

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Arkeyn Steel Records
Copyright (c) – Arkeyn

1990 Release

2008 Release