Matthew Ward – Point Of View – 1992

This was Matthew’s first and only album on Benson Records after the untimely closing of Live Oak Records. I’m not really too sure how much effort he put into this album as quite frankly it’s a little dull. It leans to easy listening and quite frankly there aren’t many tunes that caught my attention though “Talk About” did interest me. I’m not saying it’s a bad album it’s just kind of dull. It only had one charting single, “Forever Stay” which made it to #10 but don’t expect much it is a frightfully easy listening track. Snooping through the credits I found that the drummer for the album was Dean Castronovo who is better known as the drummer for Bad English. Strangely I can only find that he ever appeared on 2 Christian albums, both by Ward. Also it was interesting to see Phil Keaggy played guitar on “Waterfall”. The song doesn’t have a guitar solo and I’m not really too sure why Keaggy was on the track as you can barely even make out the guitar track. All that said I am glad I have listened to the album for at least the historical value.

Tracklist
1 – Point Of View – 3:12
2 – Black And Blue – 3:25
3 – Waterfall – 3:48
4 – Too Late – 4:03
5 – Forever Stay – 4:14
6 – Teach My Heart – 3:40
7 – Faces Once More – 3:14
8 – Talk About – 3:43
9 – Sin For A Season – 4:17
10 – I Will Bless The Lord – 2:18

Credits
Art Direction – Connie Harrington
Backing Vocals – Bob Carlisle (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 6, 8, 9), Debi Lee (tracks: 1, 4 to 6, 8, 9), Matthew Ward (tracks: 1, 4 to 6, 8 to 10), Nelly Greisen (tracks: 3, 7)
Bass – Leon Gaer
Design – The Riordon Design Group Inc.
Drums – Dean Castronovo
Engineer, Arranged By – Greg Hunt
Guitar – Martin Walsh, Phil Keaggy (tracks: 3)
Keyboards, Arranged By – Gary Leach
Mastered By – Denny Purcell
Photography – Russ Harrington
Producer, Arranged By – Matthew Ward

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Benson Music Group, Inc.
Recorded At – Rosewood Studio
Mixed At – Rosewood Studio
Mastered At – Georgetown Masters

Ransom – Soul Asylum – 1992

This is the second and unfortunately last album from Ransom. The album leans a little more Rock and a little less Metal than their first release but it should satisfy fans of both genres. I’m more Rock oriented and I love this album. Lisa Faxon’s vocals shine again and are even better than their first release. Producer Lanny Cordola stepped in for this album and though he didn’t have many productions under his belt at this point he knocked it out of the park with this one. It is a very very well produced album. The last track is rather odd in that it’s a blues tune that doesn’t fit with the rest of the album BUT it features Oz Fox (Stryper) so it is a must listen. I’d love to hear the story of how that arrangement occurred. Anyway this is a great Rock album and deserves to be listened to.

Tracklist
1 – Soul Hymn – 4:29
2 – Exit (Euthanasia) – 4:35
3 – Windows Of My Heart – 4:22
4 – The Lies – 3:20
5 – Prayer Asylum – 4:37
6 – Only The Just Let Go – 4:12
7 – Not That Kind Of Girl – 4:19
8 – Watching Over Me – 4:42
9 – Higher Ground – 4:13
10 – Sister Blue – 4:16

Credits
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Bass – Michael Preciado
Co-producer, Engineer – Mike Mierau
Drums [Additional Musicians], Percussion [Additional Musicians] – Joe Calletta
Guitar – Tony Ortiz
Illustration [Original Illustration] – Kevin Short (2)
Keyboards [Additional Musicians] – Roger Mielke
Layout – Brian Godawa
Mastered By – John Matousek
Other [Hair And Make-Up] – Dawn Gill
Photography – Wayne Armstrong
Producer – Lanny Cordola
Vocals – Lisa Faxon

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Mixing Lab A
Recorded At – Mixing Lab B
Mixed At – Front Page Recording
Mastered At – Soundworks West

XT – XT – 1992

XT was a project / partnership between Leviticus guitarist Bjorn Stigsson and Motherlode vocalist Sonny Larsson. I was just introduced to Motherlode last week so when I read about their XT project I couldn’t wait to hear it. Larsson had contributed vocals to Stiggson’s solo project “Together With Friends” in 1987 and they must have meshed as they came back together years later after their respective bands shut down. While they were known for their Metal leaning work in the past this album with a little more hard rock with some keyboard influences. I think I preferred their work with their original bands there is nothing wrong with this album and it is well worth a listen. Stigsson and Larsson went on to release 2 more albums in the 90’s and got back together in 2017 & 2019 for two new albums. I’m looking forward to giving them a listen soon.

Tracklist
1 – Toccata – 0:36
2 – Looking For Love – 2:35
3 – The Rock Is My Life – 3:36
4 – All Your Love – 3:57
5 – Open Your Heart – 4:08
6 – I’m In Heaven – 2:53
7 – Theme Of Händel – 0:59
8 – Everything Is Possible – 3:13
9 – Call Your Name – 2:53
10 – Down The Street – 3:08
11 – White Knight – 3:37
12 – Standing For Jesus Christ – 4:03
13 – Voices In Heaven – 1:45

Credits
Bass – Håkan Andersson
Cover – Anders Bühlund
Drums – Michael Ulfsgard
Guitar, Keyboards, Arranged By, Programmed By, Producer – Björn Stigsson
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Producer – Sonny Larsson
Mixed By – Magnus “MBee” Berggren*
Mixed By, Engineer – Niklas Windahl
Mixed By, Engineer, Bass – P-O Larsson
Photography By – Torleif Svensson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Viva Records AB
Copyright (c) – Viva Records AB
Made By – Zero Corporation
Recorded At – Eagle One Studios
Recorded At – Pol Music Studios
Recorded At – Studio Box-Room

Justice – Counting Down – 1992

Justice were a Hard Rock/Metal band out of Australia. They actually recorded this album in 1990 but struggled to find a label to take it. It was finally released in 1992 by the band themselves I believe as I can’t find any information on the record label. There is very little information out there about the band. What I do know is that Soundmass re-released the album in 2020 along with a ton of bonus material. The bonus material however was new stuff recorded by 3 of the 4 original members. Most of those songs appear to be aimed at the secular market. As for the album itself it is a great Hard Rock album and the band are tight and good. If you missed this one in the 90’s, and you probably did, give it a listen now, I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.

Tracklist
1 – Disciple – 3:15
2 – Race For Victory – 4:47
3 – Way Back Home – 5:19
4 – Giving it All – 4:05
5 – Jesus Is the Rock – 3:09
6 – Counting Down – 3:43
7 – Blood of His Son – 3:18
8 – Betterway – 4:10
9 – Stand Up – 3:30
10 – Grace of God – 3:27

Credits
Darren Grant – Guitars, Vocals (lead)
Shayne Curtis – Bass
Clem Sturgess – Guitars
Marty Smith – Drums

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Alpha & Omega Distributors
Distributed By – Brentwood Music, Inc.
Glass Mastered At – DADC – DIDX-012910

In Reach – Waterline – 1992

Brett Williams formed The Reach in 1984 and yo have to respect his dedication as the band didn’t get a record deal until 1992. In 1989 they had an independent release, “Under The Same Sky” using the band name The Reach. I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet but I’m looking forward to it. One of my compliments for the band is that even though they formed in the 80’s this is a purely 90’s album. It’s always great to see a band that even though they were unsigned they continued to evolve and move their music forward. David Zaffiro (Bloodgood) stepped in to produce the album and even played guitar on a few tracks. The album is very well produced and quite frankly is as good as anything that was being released in the secular market at the time. The album is a guitar oriented Pop album that is very easy to listen to and if you missed this one it’s worth a listen. The title track is good enough that it’s going in my personal regular rotation.

Tracklist
1 – Waterline – 4:33
2 – Faded Love – 3:58
3 – My Heart – 3:14
4 – The Other Fall Of Cambrai – 3:24
5 – God You Are – 4:00
6 – River – 4:08
7 – Giving Me Reasons – 3:33
8 – In The In Between – 3:32
9 – Manner Of Man – 3:05
10 – Not So Easy – 3:41

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Dale Wéhlacz
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Marlene Cochran
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Scott Burell
Creative Director – Tony Thigpen
Drums – Vince Grant
Engineer – David Dysart
Executive-Producer – Dez Dickerson
Guitar – Charles Mesrole, David Zaffiro
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Brett Williams
Keyboards – Mike Bell
Mastered By – Denny Purcell
Mixed By – Charles Mesrole, Chris Fuhrman, David Zaffiro
Mixed By [Mix Assistent] – David Raneses, Eric Janko
Photography – Karen Moskowitz
Producer, Engineer – Charles Mesrole, David Zaffiro
Sequenced By – Scott Weiss

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Star Song
Copyright (c) – Star Song
Recorded At – Triad Studios
Overdubbed At – Extra Sensory Productions
Mastered At – Georgetown Masters
Mixed At – Klub Key’s

CD Case Front
CD Case Back
Disc

Ordained Fate – Ordained Fate – 1992

Ordained Fate is odd in that 3 or the 4 members are female. The three girls started out the band in the mid 80’s under the name Cryptic Axe in Zion, IL. They started out as a secular metal band and even recorded a demo. The band became Christians in the late 80’s and went into the studio in 1989 to record a demo as Ordained Fate. The demo did fairly well and they recorded a second one in 1990. They were subsequently signed to a one album contract with Wonderland which was a sub label of Word. The album was well received but not widely available unfortunately. Wonderland/Word didn’t bring the band back in for a second album. They did however do a self produced effort in 1995 but of course with no distribution it was not widely available. This album is refreshing as it’s nice to hear some fairly hard metal from a female band. While not my style I was really surprised at the high quality of this release and I’m a little surprised it didn’t do better. I am guessing that it may not have been well promoted as Word really shouldn’t have been meddling in the Metal market as they knew nothing about it.

Tracklist
1 – Let’s Make A Deal – 4:33
2 – Gethsemane – 6:13
3 – Holy Wars – 4:45
4 – Wonderful Love – 4:15
5 – Gold Cross – 4:33
6 – Tame The Tongue – 5:23
7 – The Election – 3:53
8 – One Of The Insane – 5:19
9 – No Death – 4:26

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Marge Curtner
Design [Sleeve Design], Photography By – Lark
Drums, Vocals – Terry Cvengros
Engineer [2nd Engineer], Keyboards – Christopher Mosher
Executive-Producer – Caesar Kalinowski, Peter Gavin Morkel
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Anette Cvengros
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Pam Scott
Producer, Engineer – Caesar Kalinowski

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Communications Ltd.
Distributed By – Word Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word Ltd.
Manufactured By – JVC
Copyright © – Big Rage! Productions
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Big Rage! Productions
Recorded At – The Sonic Temple

CD Case Front
CD Case Back

Inside
Disc

Darrell Mansfield – Get Ready – 1980/1992

Several months ago someone asked me if there were and “jam albums” in CCM. Off the top of my head I struggled to come up with any according to my friends definition. What was being sought after was a rock and roll album that wasn’t afraid to have the musicians take over a song for a while and letting each instrument have it’s share of the spotlight. Get Ready is such an album! The average song lasts longer then 5 minutes with a very simple blues verse chorus structure which leaves ample time for long instrumental jams featuring guitar and harmonica (Mansfield’s instrument of choice). Solos are loud and long and a heavy blues influence. The album was actually released on Polydor and had very limited Christian distribution when originally released. There was hope of Mansfield breaking into mainstream AOR radio but it never really happened despite relatively positive reviews. It may have had to do with the very evangelistic lyrics, something artists has never compromised on. The title track sounds like something from Dylan’s “Saved” album with a gospel choir accompanying the great guitar work. There are no ballads on the original 8 song release and only one song that could be categorized as “pop.” This would be the last album before Eric Turner would be added to the band n guitar. Turner’s heavier rock influence would be felt on future releases, but here it is original guitarists, Dennis Carothers, who handles the slide and electric lead perfectly. Fans of blues and southern rock like Molly Hatchet, 30 Special, Lynard Skynard and the Allman Brothers will find something here to like, In fact, this is the album I originally hoped Rick Cua would have made with the Outlaws influence. Mansfield’s importance to Jesus Music and later CCM should not be understated, even though he primarily remained a Southern California regional star. Along with Glen Kaiser Mansfield single-handedly kept the influence of blues music alive in CCM.

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

Tracklist
1 – Get Ready – 4:45
2 – Mr. Rock ‘N’ Roll – 4:08
3 – Above The Water – 5:17
4 – Billy Joe – 3:45
5 – Heaven Southwestern – 6:45
6 – Never Be The Same – 3:37
7 – Power Of Love – 4:18
8 – Life Saver – 4:57
CD Bonus Tracks
9 – Not Far Away – 4:18
10 – When The Curtain Falls – 3:47
11 – Flow Like A River – 4:56

Credits
Backing Vocals – Biff Vincent (tracks: 1 to 8), Bryan Duncan (tracks: 1 to 8), Christina Dent (tracks: 1 to 8), Kathy Hazzard (tracks: 1 to 8), Katy Mahoney (tracks: 1 to 8), Lisa Whitcomb (tracks: 1 to 8), Robin Glick (tracks: 1to 8), Rosemary Butler, Scott Galbraith (2) (tracks: 1 to 8), Susan Curley (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Bass – Abraham Laboriel (tracks: 9, 10, 11), Charlie Sousa (tracks: 1 to 8)
Bass, Vocals – Jimmy Perez (tracks: 1 to 8)
Drums – Bill Maxwell (tracks: 9, 10, 11), Donny Vosburgh (tracks: 1 to 8), Paul Angers (tracks: 1 to 8)
Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Keyboards – Harlan Rogers (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Anthony Dean (2) (tracks: 1 to 8)
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar, Vocals – Dennis Corothers (tracks: 1 to 8)
Percussion – Alex Acuña (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Producer – Skip Konte (tracks: 1 to 8), Virgil Beckham (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Slide Guitar – Jerry Swallow (tracks: 9, 10, 11)
Vocals, Harmonica – Darrell Mansfield (tracks: 1 to 8), Darrell Mansfield (tracks: 9, 10, 11)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Polydor Incorporated
Manufactured By – Polydor Incorporated
Marketed By – Polydor Incorporated
Recorded At – International Automated Media
Mixed At – International Automated Media
Mastered At – International Automated Media
Pressed By – Bestway Products Inc.

Chris Lizotte – Chris Lizotte And Soul Motion – 1992

Chris Lizotte was part of the Wild Blue Yonder/Crystal Lewis group of friends in the late 80’s. He did not play with Wild Blue Yonder but did several albums with Crystal Lewis who actually helped with this album cover. This is Chris’s second album and is probably the best Christian Blues album I have heard up to this point. The album has a couple tracks that distinctly remind me of Stevie Ray Vaughn and the closing track actually reminds me of a Guns N’ Roses ballad. Interesting point of trivia is that Chris Wimber (The Lifesavors) produced this album. All in all probably one of the best CCM albums I have ever heard and definitely in my top 50.

Tracklist
1 – You Keep On Givin’ To Me – 3:52
2 – When It Dawned On Me – 4:19
3 – Change My Heart Oh God – 5:26
4 – Brother It’s Alright – 3:58
5 – Don’t Let My Heart Turn Back To Stone – 4:38
6 – Shine Your Light – 4:15
7 – Come Unto Me – 5:43
8 – At The Cross Of Jesus – 4:58
9 – I Cried Like A Baby – 2:45
10 – Tell Me – 4:49

Credits
Bass – Paul Martin
Cover [Cover Writing] – Crystal Lewis-Ray
Drums, Percussion – Brian Eichler
Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Raymond McDonald
Engineer [Assistant] – Jeff Dykhouse
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Chris Lizotte
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Stephen Anderson (tracks: 1, 4)
Organ [Hammond Organ], Piano, Resonator Guitar [Dobro], Accordion, Backing Vocals – Kevin Prosch
Photography, Art Direction – Brian Ray (2)
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Chris Wimber
Technician [Guitar Technician] – Shawn Tubbs

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Vineyard Music Group
Copyright (c) – Vineyard Music Group
Recorded At – Vineyard Studios (2)
Mastered At – Future Disc

Russ Taff – A Christmas Song – 1992

Russ Taff gives us his version of several traditional Christmas tracks both Christian and secular. Included is his version of “What A Wonderful World” which is not really a traditional Christmas song but works well on this album and others have used it on their Christmas albums.

1 – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – 4:34
2 – Angels We Have Heard On High – 2:57
3 – The Christmas Song – 2:19
4 – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – 4:01
5 – I’ll Be Home For Christmas – 4:01
6 – Let It Snow, Let It Snow – 2:39
7 – White Christmas – 3:51
8 – What Child Is This? – 2:41
9 – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – 4:07
10 – What A Wonderful World – 2:27

Credits
Bass – Byron House
Conductor [Strings Conducted By] – John Darnall
Drums, Bells [Sleigh Bells] – John Hammond
Executive-Producer – John Huie
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes] – Matt Rollings
Producer, Arranged By, Guitar, Backing Vocals, Recorded By, Mixed By – James Hollihan, Jr.
Recorded By [Strings Recorded By] – Lynn Fuston
Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Strings – The Nashville String Machine
Trumpet – Mike Haynes

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright (c) – The Sparrow Corporation
Produced For – Russ Taff Productions
Recorded At – Interociter Studio, Nashville, TN
Mixed At – Interociter Studio, Nashville, TN
Mastered At – Mastermix
Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia

Holy Soldier – Last Train – 1992

This was Holy Soldier’s second album and in my opinion was a step up from their first album. Turns out most fans at the time disagree with me. The album did not sell well. In fact it sold poorly enough that Word records dumped the band. After reading up on this I personally believe Word in fact dumped them as they wanted to take a turn at trying to attract a secular audience. If you were in the industry at the time Stryper was the only band allowed to do this for some reason. When anyone else tried it usually the label was not interested. It was a strange time in the industry. The cut that also probably caused them some problem is a cover of the Rolling Stones Vietnam era song “Gimme Shelter”. I actually think it’s a pretty good cover though they could have put a little more of their own signature on it. Anyway, that said this album leans to a more hard rock feel on several tracks and overall I think is well done.

Tracklist
1 – Virtue & Vice – 4:30
2 – Crazy – 4:44
3 – Hallow’s Eve – 4:18
4 – Gimme Shelter – 4:23
5 – Love Is On The Way – 4:54
6 – Dead End Drive – 3:53
7 – Tuesday Mourning – 4:23
8 – Fairweather Friend – 3:25
9 – Last Train – 4:34

Credits
Bass – Andy Robbins
Drums – Terry Russel
Guitar – Jamie Cramer, Scott Soderstrom
Producer [Produced By] – David Zaffiro
Vocals – Steven Patrick

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word Communications Ltd.
Copyright (c) – Word Communications Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Zaffiro Productions