Amy Grant – Home For Christmas – 1992

This is Amy’s second Christmas album. In fact I believe it’s the most successful CCM Christmas album of all time. According to Nielsen SoundScan it is actually the eighteenth best-selling Christmas album in the U.S. since 1991. It reaching No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Christian album chart. The album is a combo of traditional Christmas songs along with some originals just for this album.

1 – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – 2:36
2 – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – 2:26
3 – Joy To The World / For Unto Us A Child Is Born – 2:33
4 – Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song) – 5:29
5 – O’ Come All Ye Faithful – 3:01
6 – Grown Up Christmas List – 5:00
7 – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – 2:07
8 – Winter Wonderland – 2:17
9 – I’ll Be Home For Christmas – 3:27
10 – The Night Before Christmas – 3:52
11 – Emmanuel, God With Us – 4:56
12 – Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring – 4:47

Amy Grant – lead vocals
Shane Keister – acoustic piano (4, 10), keyboards (8, 10, 11), string arrangements (10)
Carl Marsh – synthesizer (4), keyboards (11, 12), orchestration (12)
Robbie Buchanan – keyboards (6)
Clare Fischer – acoustic piano (9)
Blair Masters – keyboards (10, 11)
Phil Keaggy – guitars (5)
Tom Hemby – guitar (6, 12), acoustic guitar (10)
Jerry McPherson – guitar (7), acoustic guitar (10)
Dann Huff – guitar (10)
Craig Nelson – bass (7, 9)
David Hungate – bass (8, 10)
Chris McHugh – drums (7)
Steve Forman – percussion (7)
Paul Leim – drums (8, 10), percussion (10)
Harold Jones – drums (9)
Mark O’Connor – violin (12)
Ronn Huff – orchestration (1, 2, 3, 9), choral arrangements (3, 5, 11), conductor
Alan Moore – orchestration (6)
The London Studio Orchestra – strings (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12)
Nat Peck – contractor
The American Boychoir (3, 5, 10), directed by James Litton
Chris Eaton – background vocals (2, 7, 11), acoustic piano (11)
Marty McCall – background vocals (2, 7, 10)
Marabeth Jordan – background vocals (2, 7, 10)
Bonnie Keen – background vocals (2, 7, 10)
John Darnall – children’s choir director (10)
Children’s choir (10) – Jessica Owen, Kristina Owen, Carrie Gardner, Lisa Pardin, Asher Larrison, Emily Estes, Bethany Wright, Skyla Carnahan, Katy Dunham and Ellie Bannister
Brown Bannister – producer
Ronn Huff – producer (2, 3)
Amy Grant – executive producer

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – A&M Records, Inc.
Copyright © – A&M Records, Inc.

Crystavox – The Bottom Line – 1992

This is the second and last album from Crystavox as they broke up shortly after it was released. I was quite surprised while I was researching this album that most reviews were either very positive or very negative. Personally I think it’s a pretty good album. It has a nice commercial metal feel and sits nicely amongst the metal albums of the day and I would rank it above average for the time. Luckily for their fans the band reunited and signed with Roxx Productions, who released a compilation album and DVD, “The 20 Year Mix”. In 2018 this album was reissued on a limited vinyl run of 500 pieces. 350 in black vinyl and 150 in translucent red.

1 – The Big Picture – 3:33
2 – Break Down The Wall – 4:41
3 – Rise Up – 4:59
4 – Snakes In The Grass – 3:44
5 – Stick To Your Guns – 3:34
6 – Paradise – 4:45
7 – Cry Out – 2:57
8 – Shame – 4:40
9 – Rockin’ A Hard Place – 5:46
10 – No Boundaries – 3:57

Bass Guitar – Brent Ford
Design, Layout – Fred Helm
Drums, Percussion – Fred Helm
Engineer – Loren Holmquist, Michael Geiser
Lead Guitar – George Ochoa
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar – Tony Lopez
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Mixed By – Adam Lee Kemp, John Sarappo, Loren Holmquist
Music By – Crystavox
Photography By – Andrew Watrous
Producer – Adam Lee Kemp, Loren Holmquist
Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards – Loren Holmquist
Vocals [Additional Vocals] – Jamie Rowe
Vocals, Keyboards, Lyrics By – Adam Lee Kemp

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Ocean Entertainment, Inc.
Copyright © – Ocean Entertainment, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Ocean Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – Digital Bros.

Steve Apirana – No Turning Back – 1992

New Zealander Steve Apirana is back with his second album and while I liked his first album this is a huge improvement from that album. This is a straight up blues album and it is good, real good. Again this album wasn’t released in North America which is a pity because I think it would have sold pretty good. Most people will recognize the title track as done by DeGarmo and Key bur in fact it’s a traditional so they didn’t get credited. That said this version is very good and I think I prefer it to the D&K version. Track 7 is kind of an instrumental but has some humming. The real gem of the album is the last track “It’s No Miracle”. It’s a spoken word track over a fantastic instrumental score and at 10 minutes long it’s definitely one not to miss. All in all this is probably the best album I have listened to this month and if you like blues I bet you’re gonna love this one.

1 – That Same Old Road – 4:54
2 – Hear Me Knocking – 3:51
3 – Postscript – 5:45
4 – No Turning Back – 4:19
5 – Song For The Bride – 6:33
6 – I Choose To Follow – 4:58
7 – E Te Ariki – 5:31
8 – It’s No Miracle – 10:02

Steve Apirana – Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals
Alison Ahu – Background Vocals
Ainsley Apirana – Lead and Background Vocals
Kuru Apirana – Drums
Tai Brown – Sounds, Haka, Vocals
Leza Corban – Background Vocals
Graham Flaws – Bass
Steve Garden – Producer, Engineer, Arranger, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards
Dallas Graham – Keyboards
John Misky – Sounds, Haka, Vocals
Pepe Nahu – Sounds, Haka, Vocals
Stuart Pearce – Keyboards
Donna Tai Rakena – Flute, Background Vocals
Jay Tamati – Sounds, Haka, Vocals
Ray Totorewa – Sounds, Haka, Vocals

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Someone Up There Records
Distributed By – Someone Up There Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Riverside Productions
Copyright © – Riverside Productions
Recorded At – Progressive Studios
Licensed To – Southern Heartland Music Company Pty Ltd

Steven Curtis Chapman – The Great Adventure – 1992

This album is very tough for me. As readers of the original blog can attest, the Nashville music machine that put out very similar sounding, country infused, safe pop music was never in my wheelhouse. For decades the same singers, songwriters, record companies would put out similar sounding albums and then take home armfuls of Dove Awards. It was an industry that gave the “Rap Dove Award” to Carman! So, as a result, I came to this album very , very late. The first few Steven Curtis Chapman albums were so wrapped up in that world, that when “The Great Adventure” was released I just ignored it. I knew that hits that were incessantly on Christian radio and as a record representative that sold accompaniment cassettes, I knew virtually every song. But they meant very little to me. It wasn’t until I began the painstaking process of creating the original “Top 500” blog that I decided to familiarize myself with the album and tried to listen with new ears. It still did not make the original blog, but I did gain a higher level of respect for the singer/songwriter himself. I then saw Chapman in a solo acoustic concert several years ago where he performed several of the songs from this album with just his guitar, and even acapella. I started to discover the songs behind the processed production and my appreciation grew even more. But albums have to be judged according to their time and the way they were produced. And so the album is included here. But let’s be honest upfront…”Got to Be True” is just an awful, awful song! Most are very, very familiar with the bigger hits from the album like the title track, “Where We Belong,” and “Go There With You.” All are deserving of their success and I struggle to really be too critical here. For me the John Mellencamp ( or was he Cougar then?) inspired “That’s Paradise” is the stand out cut on the album. If Chapman only didn’t have such a pleasant voice, it could have been a mainstream radio single. Chapman also really shines here and throughout his career when accompanied by a more simple, sparse production as heard on “Don’t Let the Fire Die.” Chapman excels on simple ballads, especially when they are more focused on relational issues. “Maria” falls into the same category. Even this song has just too much going on musically. A stripped down acoustic guitar and nothing else would have been plenty. “Hearts Cry” is the very best example of what I am referring. No strings needed! With “The Great Adventure” Chapman truly broke as an artist. He had quite a bit of previous success, but this album was certified gold pretty quickly and brought previous albums along with it. It was from this point that the Gospel Music Association just backed up the Dove Award delivery truck to the Chapman estate annually. This isn’t the last album to be discussed here, but it is the one that fit the most securely in the Nashville Music Machine category, but worthy or more.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Prologue – 2:37
2 – The Great Adventure – 4:35
3 – Where We Belong – 4:19
4 – Go There With You – 5:21
5 – That’s Paradise – 4:59
6 – Don’t Let The Fire Die – 4:48
7 – Got To B Tru – 4:18
8 – Walk With The Wise – 4:34
9 – Maria – 5:01
10 – Still Called Today – 6:00
11 – Heart’s Cry – 5:10

Accordion – Jo-El Sonnier
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Steven Curtis Chapman
Arranged By [Strings, Brass], Conductor – Don Wyrtzen, J.A.C. Redford
Backing Vocals – Brent Lamb, Chris Rodriguez, Herb Chapman, Kip Raines, Lionel Cartwright, Mark Heimermann, Ricky Skaggs, Steven Curtis Chapman, Trace Balin
Backing Vocals [Yells] – Chad Ballantyne, Chris Moore, Herb Chapman, James Isaac Elliott, Jason Cole, Marty Funderburk, Phil Naish, Steve Charles, Steven Curtis Chapman, Todd Robbins
Bass – Jackie Street
Contractor [Orchestra] – Carl Gorodetzky
Design – Carol Bobolts, Red Herring Design
Dobro – Scott Sanders
Drum Programming – Mark Hammond
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer – Ronnie Brookshire
Engineer [Additional] – Carry Summers, Patrick Kelly, Steve Bishir
Engineer [Assistant] – Carry Summers, John Kunz, Patrick Kelly, Todd Robbins
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Guitar – Dann Huff, Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Phil Naish
Lap Steel Guitar, Dobro [Additional] – Rusty Young
Mixed By – Bill Deaton, Ronnie Brookshire
Orchestra – The Nashville String Machine
Photography By – Frank W. Ockenfels
Piano – Cheryl Rogers
Producer – Phil Naish
Rap, Guest – Toby McKeehan
Soprano Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Vocals [Duet] – BeBe Winans

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Made By – EMI Jax
Produced For – NT Productions
Recorded At – Studio At Mole End
Recorded At – Nightingale Studio
Recorded At – Quad Studios
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Skylab Recording Studio
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Mixed At – Studio At Mole End

Reverend Dan Smith – Just Keep Goin’ On – 1992

On November 16th, 1994 Reverend Dan Smith died. He was 84 years old. To most of the world, including the world of CCM, the passing went by without much of an acknowledgement. But for 80 of his 84 years, Smith was a blues crooning, harmonica blasting, Gospel/folk, street preaching treasure. I challenge people to try to listen to this amazing album with being moved emotionally or spiritually. His life was filled with difficulties, trials and pain. Born in Alabama under Jim Crow laws he faced racism, depression and financial hardship. He struggled to educate himself while living the life of southern sharecroppers. He eventually landed a decent paying job the 1940’s, but was blinded in an industrial accident. All the while he played, sand and preached anywhere and everywhere. He even joined Pete Seeger in the fight to clean up the Hudson River. But despite all that, it is hard not to feel, sense, experience the sheer joy he expresses in every note. His love for his Savior is so obvious it drips from every note. His harmonica playing was very influential in the 60’s folk and blues world. The album being discussed here was recorded intermittently at his home as he was in poor health. The album was produced by Buddy Miller and features Miller’s wife and CCM icon, Julie Miller along with Victoria Williams and Bryan Duncan. Almost 30 years after it’s unheralded release and over 25 years since Smith’s death this masterpiece reminds us not only of a great musician, preacher, singer, but hopefully reminds of a long and treasured tradition of this truly American musical expression. If you do not own this amazing album…just find it!

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – God’s Radar – 3:23
2 – Just Keep Goin’ On – 2:48
3 – Introduction – 0:59
4 – I’ve Never Been To Seminary, But I’ve Been To Calvary – 4:38
5 – I Walk By Faith – 3:24
6 – To Another Room – 4:51
7 – Dan Speaks – 0:15
8 – It Takes God To Build A Home – 3:37
9 – When Your Time Comes To Die – 2:52
10 – Jesus Knows My Name – 4:06
11 – This Is The Lord’s House – 3:14
12 – Down Through The Years (Testimony) – 8:47

Acoustic Bass – Denny Croy
Acoustic Guitar – George Ward
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass – Buddy Miller
Backing Vocals – Dexter Dickerson, Julie Miller, King Cotton, Mark Heard, Victoria Williams, Willie Greene Jr.
Dobro, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo – Dennis Caplinger
Drums – Scott Babcock
Mastered By – Doug Doyle
Organ [Hammond], Piano – John Andrew Schreiner
Percussion – Steve Hindalong
Producer – John Flynn
Producer, Mixed By – Buddy Miller
Resonator Guitar – Michael Hackanson-Stacy
Vocals [Duet] – Bryan Duncan
Vocals, Harmonica – Rev. Dan J. Smith
Written-By – Rev. Dan J. Smith

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Made By – JVC

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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