Michael Omartian – The Race – 1991

So we have about 500 albums we still have to upload to YouTube and sometimes the selection of what album to do next takes a funny turn. This is one of those albums. For some reason I said to myself hey lets listen to this Michael Omartian album. Now normally Michael would not be one of my go to albums as I’m not really a fan of his usual style of music. Imagine my surprise when I picked up this great pop album. Strangely this was pretty well Michael’s last solo project though he did some work in the 2000’s. I’m a little mystified as I think this is his best album yet. It’s not piano heavy at all and he just seems to play keyboards without trying to stand out. If you usually find Michael’s music a bit dull give this one a listen. I think you’ll be surprised.

1 – Faithful Forever – 4:35
2 – Heartbreak City – 5:28
3 – Let My Heart Be The First To Know – 3:48
4 – Kingdoms – 4:32
5 – Cry From The East – 6:29
6 – Alone – 5:05
7 – Last Night On Earth – 5:01
8 – Morning Light – 5:45
9 – Burn It Up – 3:42
10 – Kingdoms (Instrumental Reprise) – 3:20

David Ahlert – Engineer
David Boruff – Saxophone
Raymone Carter – Background Vocals
Terry Christian – Engineer, Mixed
Bryan Duncan – Background Vocals
Alice Echols – Background Vocals
Steve Hall – Engineer, Mastered
Jean Johnson – Background Vocals
Don Kirkpatrick – Guitar
Michael Omartian – Producer, Songwriter, Arrangements, Drum Programming, Keyboards, Bass, Vocals
David Raven – Drums
Susanne Schwartz – Background Vocals
Stephen Tavani – Background Vocals

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Epic
Distributed By – Epic
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound House, North Hollywood, CA
Mixed At – Sound House, North Hollywood, CA
Mastered At – Future Disc
Glass Mastered At – DADC – DIDP-073855

Phil & John – Reunion Of The Heart/Shine Like America – 1991

Strangely in the U.S. this album was called “Reunion Of The Heart” but in the U.K. it was called “Shine Like America”. Continuing on the strange Phil & John were from the U.K. and the album was recorded in the U.K. so where did Shine Like America come into play? The U.K. release was on What? Records which was a joint label owned by Word and A&M so maybe someone at A&M came up with this idea. Well it doesn’t effect the quality of the album which of course is great because Phil & John were great artists. This album is more their easy listening pop style than their humour style. They we’re likely trying to recreate the success of Lonely Dancer but didn’t quite make it although “Reunion Of The Heart” did make it to #22 on the CCM charts.

1 – My Potential – 4:33
2 – Wait Patiently For Me – 4:10
3 – Reunion Of The Heart – 4:25
4 – Jennifer Jones – 4:14
5 – Fire Of Ambition – 4:16
6 – Quiet Storm – 4:43
7 – Every Little Step I Take – 4:09
8 – Don’t “Shoot Them Down” In Flames – 4:14
9 – Sweet Rose Tuesday – 4:02
10 – Shine Like America – 3:59
11 – April Rain – 3:33

A&R – Lynn Keesecker
Backing Vocals – Miriam Stockley
Design – James Kessell
Executive-Producer – David Bruce
Photography By – Simon Anderson
Producer, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Engineer, Mixed By – Neil Costello
Producer, Keyboards, Drum Programming, Backing Vocals – Chris Eaton
Saxophone – Martin Green
Vocals – John Hartley, Phil Baggaley

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – The Music Shed
Mixed At – The Music Shed
Edited At – The Digital Audio Co.

Code Of Ethics – Visual Paradox – 1991

This is the first album from Code Of Ethics though they have a demo put out in 1990 that we have been unable to find it. The lineup for the band on this album is as mysterious as the rest of their albums. The credits list Barry Blazs as the sole performer but history says that Eric Switzer and Mark Tanner also performed on the album. This whole issue of who was on the albums continues through the history of the band and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe Barry Blazs was a little difficult to work with. Anyway lets talk about the album. R.E.X. Music liked what they heard on the demo and quickly wanted to get an album out. The album has their trademark synth pop sound. That wasn’t a common sound in the Christian genre so these guys were actually a bit of a risk. Personally I think the risk was putting a 1985 sounding album in 1991 but we’re talking about the Christian genre where that was okay. Anyway get your dance shoes on and enjoy this great album.

1 – One Way – 4:10
2 – Through Your Eyes – 5:01
3 – I Need Your Love – 2:54
4 – Heaven Help Me – 4:18
5 – Greater Love – 5:36
6 – Hold Me – 4:39
7 – Breaking Down – 3:49
8 – Taking You Down – 4:18
9 – Visual Paradox – 3:45
10 – Being With You – 4:02

Art Direction, Design – Jeff Spencer
Engineer – Danny Drak
Engineer [Assistant] – Ben Debiase, Ed Marx
Executive-Producer – Doug Mann
Mixed By – Jeff Alford
Mixed By [Mix Consultant] – Rick Brainer
Performer [Code Of Ethics Is] – Barry Blazs
Producer, Written-By – Barry Blazs, Gerald Josef
Remix – John Jaszcz

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Copyright © – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Distributed By – Starsong Communications
Recorded At – Bethesda Christian Cathedral Studio
Mixed At – Mangum Alford Studios
Remixed At – Studio A, Dearborn Heights, MI
Designed At – Sudden Images Studio
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
Copyright © – Starstruck Music

Ezra – The Key – 1991

There is very little info out there on Ezra. In fact there’s none I can find other than the liner notes and none of the members went on to do any other projects that I can find. The album is on Asaph Records which is the music ministry label of Calvary Chapel, based in Santa Ana. So I guess we can guess that they were a southern California band but that’s just a guess. Anyway the album is fantastic. While described by some as metal it’s not. It leans more towards Arena Rock and some of the tracks are Hard Rock. I’m really surprised there isn’t more info on these guys out there given the quality of this album. Was the album a little late in 1991? I don’t think so, there was still lots of Arena Rock at the time. Anyway give it a listen and if you only have time for one track go with Frontline.

1 – Key To Heaven – 4:12
2 – Frontline – 4:30
3 – Listen To Your Heart – 3:56
4 – Shadow Of The Son – 3:05
5 – Carry Me Home – 4:23
6 – The Return – 5:21
7 – Here For You – 4:15
8 – That’s Right – 2:48
9 – Take Me – 5:16

Arranged By, Producer – Ezra
Art Direction, Illustration, Layout – John Shaffer
Backing Vocals [Additional Backing Vocals] – Andy Allen
Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Greg Lambas
Design [Cover Design And Concept By] – Greg Lambas
Drums – Jeff Chubb
Drums [Additional Drumming By] – Terry McNab
Executive-Producer – Brian Broderson
Guitar, Vocals – Howard Anderson
Lead Vocals, Keyboards – Thomas Potter
Mixed By [Assisted By] – Andy Allen
Photography By – Rick Gould
Producer, Mixed By – Chip Cimino
Recorded By, Mixed By – Alan DiCato

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Frontline Distribution
Distributed By – Christian Marketing Canada

Ken Tamplin – Soul Survivor – 1991

You could never say that Ken Tamplin was lazy. Between Joshua, Magdallan, Shout, and his solo projects his fans were never left wanting for an album. This is his second (if you count Ken Tamplin & Friends) solo project though there were very few “friends” on this album as he played almost all of the instruments on all the track himself though he did have some help on a few tracks. For this album Ken turned it down a little bit from Ken Tamplin & Friends. This is a more straight up Rock & Roll album with very few hints of Metal. As I start listening to Ken’s 90’s stuff I get the feeling my favourite album by him is going to constantly evolve. But for now this is my favorite. So if you like straight up Rock & Roll, this album is a must listen.

1 – Media Mania – 4:17
2 – (I’m Gonna) Live Forever – 3:36
3 – Hard Times Comin’ – 3:37
4 – Stand Up – 4:29
5 – Midnight ‘N Peru – 3:15
6 – Take It Now (Or Nothing) – 3:09
7 – Love’s Eternal Road – 4:16
8 – Stay By My Side – 3:25
9 – Come And Save Me – 4:02
10 – Heart And Soul – 3:07

Acoustic Guitar – Ken Tamplin, Scott Van Zen
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Ken Tamplin, Vicki Lyn Reynolds
Bass – Ken Tamplin, Roger Mielke, Scott van Zen
Design – Joe Potter
Drums – Ken Tamplin
Harmonica – Jimmy Woods
Keyboards – Roger Mielke
Lead Guitar – Ken Tamplin, Scott Van Zen
Lead Vocals – Ken Tamplin
Mixed By – Ken Tamplin
Percussion – Ken Tamplin
Photography By – Nigel Skeet
Producer – Ken Tamplin
Rhythm Guitar – Ken Tamplin, Scott Van Zen
Saxophone – Jergen Swartz

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Intense Records
Copyright © – Intense Records

Brighton – Promise Of Love – 1991

Brighton was fronted by David Brighton. On bass was Mark Robertson who would go on to be in several bands including Altar Boys, The Stand, and Rich Mullins to name a few. Drummer Steve Latanation was and has also been in a ton of bands but none of them Christian that I can tell. Guitarist Dave Wronski and Keyboardist Denny Bouchard rounded out the band. This is a 90’s band that I think would have fit better in the 80’s. That is not a negative comment because I absolutely love their sound. I first heard these guys through a live clip recorded at the 1991 Flevo festival and knew I had to find and upload the album. This is a great Rock/Pop album with the standout track being “(Doesn’t Sound Like) Love To Me”. Also of note is Boulevard which has a pretty good early 90’s rock feel. The novelty track on the album is “Anytime At All” which is a Beatles cover and the band does a pretty good cover which is very much like the original. This is the only album we got from them though they did have a demo before this with the same name and many of the same tracks. If we find it we will post it. The Elefante brothers must have liked what they heard in the demo and signed them for a deal on Pakaderm records which generally had more hard rock oriented bands but I still think these guys were a good fit for the label. So in closing if you missed this one in the 90’s you really should give it a listen.

1 – Promise Of Love – 4:13
2 – On Any Sunday – 3:40
3 – Wash Me In The Rain Again – 4:05
4 – I Would Die For You – 3:55
5 – And You Know – 3:30
6 – Anytime At All – 2:07
7 – (Doesn’t Sound Like) Love To Me – 3:40
8 – Run Through The Flames – 4:10
9 – Boulevard – 3:12
10 – Cursing The Night – 3:50

Art Direction, Design – Terry DeGraff
Backing Vocals – J. Elefante, Linda Elias
Bass, Vocals – Mark Robertson
Booking – Street Level Booking Agency
Design Concept – Jeff Michaels
Drums, Vocals – Steven W. Latanation
Engineer – Randy Thomas
Engineer [Assistant] – Jeff Simmons
Engineer, Mixed By – Mike Mierau
Executive-Producer – John Elefante
Executive-Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Guitar – Dino Elefante
Guitar – Dave Wronski
Keyboards – Denny Bouchard
Photography – Karen Brighton
Producer – The Pakaderm Company
Vocals, Guitar, Producer, Design Concept – David Brighton

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Manufactured By – JVC
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word, Inc.
Copyright © – Word, Inc.
Published By – Word Music
Published By – MacLen Music
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Recorded At – Allies Recording Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

Steve Grace – One Night In A Million – 1991

Following up on the phenomenal success of his Children Of The Western World album Steve took his ministry on the road. At a 1991 concert in Mansfield Queensland Steve recorded this live release. It features some of the tracks from his previous album and a lot of new/other tracks. I know this might cause some controversy but personally I truly believe he is the Bruce Springsteen of Christian music. Again the album was only initially released in Australia so us in North America were robbed of getting to hear this great album. It did get a re-release in Europe but I don’t know when. Anyway I’m not going to bore you any further as your time should be spent listening to this fantastic album.

1 – Land Of The Rock – 5:31
2 – One Night In A Million – 3:55
3 – Stand Your Ground – 4:13
4 – Unknown Hero – 3:52
5 – Men Of God – 4:59
6 – Travelling Man – 3:12
7 – Kids On The Street – 5:05
8 – Lonely Feeling – 5:17
9 – World Turn Around – 3:34
10 – Reach Out – 3:04
11 – That’s Alright – 3:21
12 – I Live To Know You – 5:44

Acoustic Guitar, Blues Harp – Steve Grace
Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Blues Harp – Peter Shurley
Backing Vocals – Chris Butson, David Vine
Bass – Jason Chandler
Drums – Steve Francis
Electric Guitar – Phil Yates
Electric Guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guitar – Phil Butson
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – David Richard, Greg Dore
Engineer [Live Engineer] – Steve Hartley, Wyn Wynard
Executive-Producer – Colin Dyer, Mike Jeffs
Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals – Karl Laurens
Producer, Engineer – Phil Butson

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Christian Outreach Center, Brisbane
Mixed At – Sing Sing Studios
Distributed By – Word Australia
Glass Mastered At – Disctronics USA – 114451

Age of Faith – Age Of Faith – 1991

This is the first album from Age of Faith who at this point were just Jimi Ray and Rick Harwell. That said for this album I think they had the entire Huff family join them. Brothers David, Clayborn, and Rayborn Huff along with David’s son Lance are all on this album. David Huff also sat at the production table where is well suited. With all these great people involved it’s no surprise that this album is outstanding. There’s even an excellent cover of Donna Summer’s song Unconditional Love. I was actually quite surprised how great this album was. In my opinion 1991 was the era of Christian music going to the dogs but not this album. It’s definitely a must listen.

1 – God’s Got An Army – 4:56
2 – Take The Low Road – 3:32
3 – Sarah – 3:33
4 – Love – 3:59
5 – For Heaven’s Sake – 4:19
6 – Unconditional Love – 3:39
7 – The Way That You Trust Me – 4:37
8 – Arms Of Mercy – 3:38
9 – Tender Mercies – 3:51
10 – Last Night – 4:54
11 – Grace – 3:42

Mark Baldwin – producer, arranger, arranging, songwriter, guitar, keyboards, slide guitar, solo, acoustic guitar
Andy Ivey – executive producer
Bret Teegarden – keyboard, overdubbing, keyboards, additional recordings, mix engineer
Ronnie Brookshire – recording engineer
David Huff – producer, guitar, background vocals, engineer, remixing
Jimi Ray – songwriter, guitar
Rick Harwell – songwriter, keyboards, background vocals, hammond, melodica
Leonard Ahlstrom – songwriter
Ron Collins – songwriter, background vocals
Billy Smiley – songwriter
Donna Summer – lyrics
Michael Omartian – music
Brian White – songwriter
John Hammond – drums, drum, samples
Gary Lunn – bass, drum programming
Chris Rodriguez – background vocals
Rick Florian – background vocals, harmony vocals
Mark Pogue – background vocals
Youth of First Baptist Church – guest, children’s chorus
Lance Huff – drums
Clayborn Huff – bass guitar, background vocals
Rayborn Huff – keyboards, additional programming, background vocals
Lloyd Bustard – background vocals
Joe Hogue – keyboards
Eric Darken – percussion
Kim Thomas – guest, vocals, autoharp
Scott Carter – engineer, assistant mixer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Copyright © – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Distributed By – Benson Music Group
Distributed By – R.G. Mitchell Family Books, Inc.

Sure Conviction – Fightin’ The Battle – 1991

I’m a little hesitant about writing this review but I feel I should be honest. This is the bands first album and they self produced and released it so I give them credit for that. They shared vocal duties which is not something I usually care for because it makes for a disjointed album and this one suffers from that. My second complaint is that the vocals don’t suit the music. This is a hard rock album but the vocals almost have a worship tone to them. I feel like I’m listening to a church band who put out a rock album. But now onto the good. There is real musical skill here. The songs are well written and tight. In fact some of them are better than some published music. Now I understand they overcame these vocal issues on their next album and I can honestly say I’m looking forward to listening to that album as there is some real talent here.

1 – Fightin’ The Battle – 3:54
2 – Proclaiming – 3:21
3 – Time Will Tell – 3:45
4 – Turn Around – 2:56
5 – Shining Our Light – 3:33
6 – War – 2:56
7 – We Are The People – 3:31
8 – Not Ashamed – 3:46
9 – Keeping On – 3:48
10 – Bye Bye – 4:46

Matt Liffengren – rhythm and acoustic guitars
Paul Liffengren – keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Dewayne Holcomb – lead vocals on tracks 3 and 10, background vocals
Alonzo Martinez – lead vocals on tracks 6 and 8
Christopher Midgyette – backging vocals
Phil Milan – lead vocals on tracks 1, 2, 5 and 7, backing vocals
Karyn Rondeau – lead vocals on tracks 4 and 9, background vocals
Mark Siefert – backing vocals
Robert Berry – Arranged By, Instrumentation By
Mike Wible, Peter Roberts – Engineer
Peter Roberts, Robert Berry – Mixed By
Matt Liffengren, Paul Liffengren – Producer
Kelly Husted (tracks: 9), Matt Liffengren (tracks: 1 to 10), Paul Liffengren (tracks: 1 to 10) – Written-By

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA

Randy Stonehill – Judgment Day At The Speede Mart – 1991

This is a rather odd release. Unfortunately that’s a pretty common phrase when working with Larry Norman releases. In 1991 Larry re-released Randy’s Born Twice album from 1971. As a bonus of sorts he included an album of very early Randy live cuts. Now the odd part, the new album got released as a b side on both vinyl cuts of the album meaning, The black vinyl has side one of “Judgment Day At The Speede Mart” and side two of “Born Twice”, the blue vinyl has side one of “Born Twice” and side two of “Judgment Day At The Speede Mart”. Also there was nothing printed on the labels of either album. Pretty rare error except when it came to stuff from Larry. Anyway we’ve gathered it here into one album. As I said this is a collection of early live Randy cuts and you can tell it’s early as at times the audience doesn’t kind of get Randy’s humour. Also Randy is not as confident with his humour. The album has a few Larry tracks which is kind of fun to listen to. This is a must have if you’re a fan of Randy’s and if you’re a fan of Larry’s I’d consider it a should have.

1 – Forget Your Hexagram – 2:53
2 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus? – 2:32
3 – Lonely By Myself – 3:49
4 – God’s Not Dead – 2:46
5 – I’m a Servant – 3:13
6 – Norman’s Kitchen – 6:26
7 – Pardon Me – 3:46
8 – Sunset Road to Nowhere – 4:04
9 – Hasty Heart – 3:47
10 – He’s A Friend Of Mine – 4:06