Steve Archer – Through His Eyes – 1983/1994

There are a handful of families who could possibly lay claim to being the “First Family of CCM” including the Wards, Rambos, Winans, Cruze’s and the Archers. There was a time from the late 1970’s until the mid-80’s that the Archers were the biggest thing in CCM. Not too many CCM artists can claim to be invited to the Grammy Awards during that time, let along being asked to perform on the program…twice! The siblings of Steve, older brother Gary and little sister Janice recorded several albums, hit the top of the charts regularly, toured extensively and were the face of CCM for many years. One of their albums will also appear later on this last. In the early 80’s Steve was wanting to broach a solo career while maintaining a schedule with the family’s music plans. His first release “Solo” was warmly received and caused enough reaction to call for a follow-up. That follow-up was “Through His Eyes,” an album that, for the time, would be considered a “mega-hit” record with strong sales, topping the CCM sales chart and unbelievable radio support. It also featured what many people consider the first legitimate music video in CCM. Most albums start with an upbeat tune to grab the listener’s attention. Archer went against the norm and started with the title track, one of the few songs in CCM to deserve the “classic” title. The ballad was huge…I mean HUGE! Despite its sugary string arrangement (I want to blame Chris Christian) the song actually has an emotional center where concern for the lost and hurting around us is authentic. The song is call for those disenfranchised to see themselves as Christ sees them. This was not the normal “Jesus makes me happy” lyric that dominated (still?) Christian radio. Archer’s “blue-eyed soul (is that term overused enough?) is reminiscent to Hall and Oates (I’ll Do My Best) or a softer Bryan Duncan (Believe It). The album is filled primarily upbeat pop numbers and strong, radio friendly ballads. Archer bridge a generational gap and was a safe artists within Church circles, which allowed him to benefit from programs like “Hour of Power” and other national programs. This only increased his fan base. This fan base carried him for several more years both as a solo artist and with his family. I understand that music critic elitist simply do not understand the world of pop music and shutter when certain genres receive recognition. But within every genre are artists who are clearly superior in their craft. In the world of family and Church safe CCM no artists in his generation matched what Archer was able to accomplish.

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

Tracklist
1 – Through His Eyes Of Love – 4:20
2 – Safe – 4:08
3 – I’ll Do My Best – 3:48
4 – Holy, Holy – 4:11
5 – Believe It – 3:52
6 – Renew Me Lord – 3:30
7 – Teach Me To Be Like You – 4:19
8 – New Heart – 4:10
9 – Must Be You – 4:47
10 – Unless God Builds Your House – 3:21
11 – Eye Of The Storm – 4:01
12 – Blood Of Jesus – 3:26

Credits
Bass – Nathan East
Drums – John Robinson
Executive-Producer, Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar – Dann Huff, Michael Landau
Keyboards – Robbie Buchanan

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – LCS Music Group, Inc.
Distributed By – LCS Music Group, Inc.

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Modest Attraction – Modest Christmas – 1994

Modest Attraction are Simeon Liljegren and Christian Liljegren from Borderline, Mick Nordström from Jerusalem, and Stephan Mohlin. They had a demo and an album before this “Christmas” EP. Normally we don’t post 90’s bands but we couldn’t resist this Christmas album. The first 2 tracks are Christmas songs. One of them an original and one a cover of a legendary Larry Norman song. The last 2 tracks I am assuming were a gift to their fans.

Tracklist
1 – Modest Christmas – 3:15
2 – Christmas Time – 5:02
3 – Feed Your Fire (Live) – 4:11
4 – Give You My Song (Live) – 8:03

Credits
Band [Modest Attraction Is], Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Simeon Liljegren
Band [Modest Attraction Is], Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mick Nordström
Band [Modest Attraction Is], Guitar [All Guitars], Backing Vocals – Stephan Mohlin
Band [Modest Attraction Is], Lead Vocals – Christian Liljegren
Co-producer – The Rest Of The Band
Engineer [Assisted By] – Olle Kristensson, Stephan Mohlin
Engineer [Engineered By] – Mick Nordström
Mastered By – Mick Nordström, Peter Dahl
Organ, Bass – Niklas Jonsson
Producer [Produced By] – Mick Nordström

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Viva Records AB
Copyright (c) – Viva Records AB
Recorded At – Stable Hill Studios
Mixed At – Stable Hill Studios
Mastered At – Cutting Room
Pressed By – CD-Linja OY
Published By – Cantio Music
Published By – Glenwood Music Corp.
Published By – Straw Bed Publ Co
Published By – New Generation

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Larry Norman – A Moment In Time – 1994

A Moment In Time is was released on CD in 1994 and contains all new songs, which is something that Larry Norman fans had been waiting for for a while. Stop This Flight was ten years earlier in 1984, and there had been only two studio albums since then: Home At Last (1989) and Stranded In Babylon (1991).

Larry had been hospitalized for his heart condition a couple of months before recording this, but he felt some urgency to do the project because he needed to keep some income going to pay for another operation. Most of the vocal tracks were done once with no retakes due to Larry’s health at the time.

The musicians who apparently donated their time for this project were Herb Manuputy, Dave Mansfield, The Dave Nicar Band, Keith Turbet, and Steve League.

Overall the sound is a bit of well paced boogie-woogie blues with a bit of country twang.

The radio spot is a pitch for signatures for an anti-child porn amendment for the state of Oregon. I don’t know how that turned out in the end.

“Down the Line” is a studio rough cut with a country twang. Larry’s commentary for the studio musicians is left in the mix rather than edited out. It makes it a little more fun, although the song probably could have stood on its own.

“Long Hard Road” is a wordy country/blues tune. It has a lot of “some people…” lines in it, lamenting how he feels he has been treated and viewed over the years. “Some people don’t know truth from lies so they just make it up” is the gist of it. It’s a nice smooth blues tune with a good guitar sound.

“Elvis Has Left the Building” is a tribute, a lament and an ode to Elvis Presley. It is a phrase that even has its own Wikipedia page now. “…often used by public address announcers at the conclusion of Elvis Presley concerts in order to disperse audiences”

The expression took on a meaning of its own but Larry had a genuine place in his heart for Elvis. He frequently mentioned him when talking about the evolution of rock’n’roll, and how popular music took the style used in Black churches to record love songs for the radio. Stylistically I think that Larry admired Elvis, but he always held a tone of concern for him.

There has been plenty of theological debate for several centuries over whether one can “lose their salvation” or not, but this seems to be part of the concern of this song. When Elvis “left the building” is Larry thinking about him leaving this world, or leaving his faith? A little of both most likely. However, the last words reported to be called out when Elvis died are perhaps words of faith.

The three bonus tracks are included here probably because this would have been a very short album without them, but they were not all part of the same studio sessions as the rest of the tracks. Most of them, with the exception of Right Here In America had not been previously released.

Track Listing:
01 Radio Spot
02 Down the Line
03 Long Hard Road
04 When the Son Comes Back
05 Elvis Has Left the Building
06 Lay My Burden Down
07 Toxic Tea and Toast
08 You Shall Be Saved
(Bonus Tracks)
09 The Children of Nimrod
10 The Solid Rock
11 Leave It Up to God to Handle
12 Right Here in America

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