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

The 77s – Tom Tom Blues – 1995

A lot of stuff happened between 1984’s All Fall Down and Tom Tom Blues. Six other albums in fact, so the fact that this one stands stark against their 1980s style isn’t that strange. However, here at Real 80s CCM we really like the 80s stuff so I have to talk about it. I first discovered this album in the used CD bin at a local record shop in the mid-90s. I think someone else must have bought it expecting that cutting, pop-new wave and found something else instead. Not that this isn’t a good collection of songs, but it required seriously resetting some expectations. Having said that, I don’t like it as much as some of their other work, such as their self-titled album in 1987. This 1995 release isn’t what I would call grunge, but it came from the grunge era and in retrospect, that is probably the most noticeable influence on the sound. 77s do not really excel at the grunge sound. The lead track, Rocks In Your Head comes on strong, and may be the most memorable one here. Throughout the album there is a lot of rumbly bassline and gutsy guitar. It did make me think back to Ping Pong Over the Abyss with the guitar sound. If there is such a thing as new wave grunge, maybe this is it.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPcTOx34g9XRXbJ9vRQ1CpVQtjCAKdvOn

Tracklist
1 – Rocks In Your Head – 3:37
2 – Honesty – 6:21
3 – You Still Love Me – 5:22
4 – Outskirts – 4:42
5 – Flowers In The Sand – 4:51
6 – Don’t Leave Me Long – 4:21
7 – Gravy Chain – 3:17
8 – Five In The Nave – 1:01
9 – Earache – 6:06
10 – Deliverance – 8:53

Credits
Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Bass, Backing Vocals, Other [Bottom] – Mark Harmon
Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Other [Everything In Between] – Bruce Spencer
Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Guitar [Guitars], Lead Vocals, Other [Top] – Michael Roe
Cover, Illustration – Rachel Thornton
Design Concept [Art Concept By], Design – Seventy Sevens
Engineer [Engineered By] – Craig Long, Kirt Shearer, Scott Reams
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Guy Niosi, John Flanagan
Executive-Producer – Gene Eugene, Ojo Taylor
Featuring, Percussion, Other [Cool Vibes] – Cary Avery
Illustration [Inside B/W Illustration] – Kathryn Garcia Smith
Mastered By – Michael Romanowski
Photography By – Pat Johnson
Producer [Produced By] – The 77’s
Songwriter [All Songs Written By] – The 77’s

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Brainstorm Artists International
Copyright © – Brainstorm Artists International
Distributed By – Diamante Music Group
Recorded At – Paradise Studios, Sacramento, CA
Recorded At – Plaid Jacket
Mixed At – Plaid Jacket
Mastered At – Rocket Lab
Pressed By – Disctronics USA – 138314
Published By – 7 And 7 Is Music

CD Case Front
CD Case Back
Inside 1
Inside 2
Disc

The 77’s – All Fall Down – 1984

All Fall Down was the much anticipated second album by The 77s. Expectations were high after Ping Pong Over The Abyss and the band didn’t let us down. The band and record label picked Charlie Peacock to produce this album. Strangely Charlie was recording his own album as he was producing this one but this doesn’t appear to have had any effect on the quality of his work. Video’s were produced for both “Mercy Mercy” and “Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba ” and both did get some limited airplay on MTV. In my opinion the quality of both videos were as good as anything on MTV at the time. I remember at the time really hoping that this would be the crossover album from CCM to secular but alas no it didn’t. The album will go down as one of the best ever CCM albums ever and is in my personal top 10.

 

Tracklist
1 – Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba – 4:14
2 – Under The Heat – 3:19
3 – Mercy, Mercy – 2:50
4 – You Don’t Scare Me – 5:51
5 – Make A Difference Tonight – 3:05
6 – Caught In An Unguarded Moment – 3:17
7 – Someone New – 3:35
8 – Something’s Holding On – 3:13
9 – Your Pretty Baby – 3:59
10 – Another Nail – 4:47

Credits
Art Direction – Mark Swanson
Bass, Guitar, Vocals [Vocal] – Jan Eric
Coordinator [Executive Coordinator] – Jan Volz
Drums [Pounding & Thrashing On Gretsch Drum Kit] – Aaron Smith
Engineer [Assistant], Featuring [Background Vocal] – Steve Griffith
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Featuring [Ethnic & Orchestral Percussion] – Bongo Bob Smith
Featuring [Linn Program, Background Vocal, Keyboard] – Charlie Peacock
Keyboards [Keyboard], Vocals [Vocal], Guitar – Mark Tootle
Mastered By – John Golden
Mixed By – David Coe, Patrick Cyccone
Other [Special Thanks] – Don McKenney
Photography By [Back & Sleeve] – Dave Howard
Photography By [Front] – Sam Emerson
Producer – Charlie Peacock
Recorded By, Mixed By – Daryl Zachman
Vocals [Vocal], Guitar, Organ [Mouth] – Michael Roe
Written-By – D. Saterlee (tracks: A1), G. Mascoli (tracks: A1, B2, B3, B4), J. E. Volz (tracks: B1), M. Proctor (tracks: A3, A5, B1), M Tootle (tracks: A2, A5, B5), M. Roe* (tracks: A1, A3 to A5, B1, B2 to B4)

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – A&M Records
Distributed By – A&M Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sangre Studios
Recorded At – The Warehouse, Sacramento
Mixed At – Salty Dog Studios
Mastered At – K Disc Mastering
Published By – Sangre Productions
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Western Sierra Music
Published By – Dayspring

Rock & Religion Radio Special – 1980 – The Scratch Band (77s)

This is a 1980 episode of Rock & Religion Radio featuring The Scratch Band (better known as the 77s). It features very early live tracks and demos.

00:05 – Let Us Change
04:29 – Don’t Let A Good Love Go Bad
09:17 – Windwind Sail
13:10 – Crosswork Puzzle
16:29 – That’s All
18:18 – Wild Boys
22:50 – Ping Pong Over The Abyss

The 77’s – Ping Pong Over The Abyss – 1982/1995

This was the introductory album from The 77s and many consider it to be one of the most important albums in the history of CCM music. This album premiered a new wave sound listeners were waiting for though there are a couple songs that lean more to Rock and Roll. Lyrically this album was way ahead of the curve in CCM music which I believe was one of the reasons it was so well received. In 1995 the album was re-released on CD with 6 bonus tracks. Those tracks are represented here.

Tracklist
1 – A Different Kind Of Light – 4:17
2 – How Can You Love – 4:38
3 – It’s So Sad – 5:04
4 – Falling Down A Hole – 4:18
5 – Someone New – 4:21
6 – Renaissance Man – 3:35
7 – Ping Pong Over The Abyss – 4:13
8 – Time Is Slipping Away – 5:04
9 – Denomination Blues – 4:54
1995 CD Bonus Material
10 – A Different Kind Of Light (Live) – 3:25
11 – How Can You Love (Demo) – 4:33
12 – It’s So Sad (Live) – 5:04
13 – Falling Down A Hole (Live) – 3:53
14 – Ping Pong Over The Abyss (Demo) – 4:17
15 – Denomination Blues (Live) – 5:05

Credits
Backing Vocals – Jan Eric Volz
Bass – Jan Eric Volz
Drums – Mark Proctor
Engineer – Daryl Zachman, Larry Hirsch
Guitar – Jan Eric Volz, Mark Tootle, Mike Roe
Keyboards – Mark Tootle
Mastered By – John Golden
Mixed By – Larry Hirsch
Producer – Steven Soles
Vocals – Mark Proctor, Mark Tootle, Mike Roe

The 77s – Cornerstone Is Dead… Long Live Cornerstone – 2012

Upon the death of Cornerstone Festival in 2012 The 77’s requested and received copies of all of their performances over the years. This album represents what they thought we’re the highlights of their appearances. The album is an excellent collection of their songs and historic appearances. The quality is not the best but I don’t know if it’s just because my copy is poor or if the recordings are poor. Poor or not it’s still a great listen.

Tracklist
1 – Ping Pong Over The Abyss (1984) – 3:46
2 – A Different Kind Of Light(1984) – 3:48
3 – Caught In An Unguarded Moment (1986) – 3:17
4 – I Can’t Get Over It (1990) – 6:15
5 – Don’t This Way (1990) – 7:48
6 – This Is The Way Love Is (1992) – 9:05
7 – God Sends Quails (1992) – 6:51
8 – Make A Difference Tonight (1992) – 5:33
9 – Mezzo (1994) – 2:39
10 – Nuts For You (1994) – 6:23
11 – Nobody’s Fault But Mine (1995) – 6:04
12 – Tattoo (2000) – 4:56
13 – Woody (2000) – 5:28
14 – The Jig Is Up (2001) – 4:43
15 – The Years Go Down (2001) – 6:03
16 – Medley 1 (2002) – 12:00
Unbalanced
Indian Winter
Bright Star
Rocks In Your Head
Snowblind
Honesty
17 – Mercy Mercy (2003) – 3:18
18 – Unbalanced (2003) – 8:32
19 – Blue Sky (2006) – 4:39
20 – Outskirts (2006) – 10:58
21 – Medley 2 (2008) – 13:48
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Riders On The Storm
Pearls Before Swine
Money (That’s What I Want)

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Marc Ludena
Bass, Vocals – Jan Eric, Mark Harmon
Drums [Forever Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Drums, Vocals – Bruce Spencer
Executive-Producer – Jeffrey Kotthoff, Jimmy Perry
Guitar – John Flanagan
Guitar, Keyboards – David Leonhardt
Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – Mark Tootle
Keyboards, Guitar, Percussion – Scott Reams
Mastered By [Audio Restauration & Mastering] – Kevin Fromer, Scott Reams
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Roe

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lo-Fidelity Records
Copyright (c) – Lo-Fidelity Records
Recorded At – Cornerstone Festival
Mastered At – EnergyGlass
Mastered At – Chubs The Clown’s Studio
Manufactured By – Oasis Disc Manufacturing
Pressed By – Disc Makers

Various – No Sense of History – 1992

This is a 2 disc CD release that features Alternative Records artists on Disc 1 and Stunt Records on Disc 2.

It is the sister release to “Shirley, Goodness, And Misery”, a sampler from the same labels. Unfortunately it doesn’t even approach the quality of “Shirley, Goodness, And Misery.”

Now I admit there are some great tracks on this album but I personally found a lot of them to be boring. The tracks that were not released on other albums are cutting room floor material.

Quite frankly some songs belong on the cutting room floor. Anyway check out the excellent 77’s tracks and when you have time the others. They’re not as bad as I make out, I’m just being a bit melodramatic.

Track Listing:
1 – Two-Pound Planet – No Room – 3:52
2 – Two-Pound Planet – One Time/Bop Apocalypse – 3:55
3 – 7 & 7 is (77s) – Miserable – 4:07
4 – 7 & 7 is (77s) – Treasure In You – 4:53
5 – Steve Scott – Not A Pretty Picture – 4:07
6 – Steve Scott – Call Of The Wild – 4:16
7 – John Nau – Burn It Low – 3:32
8 – Two-Pound Planet – Sinister Sun [Demo] – 3:51
9 – Steve Scott – Memory Babe (Live) – 3:19
10 – Silver Express – Steel Guitar Rag – 1:28
11 – Daniel Amos (Crime Horse) – Like Lazarus – 3:26
12 – Daniel Amos (Crime Horse) – Stones Of Venice – 3:56
13 – Smokin’ Globes – Roll The Stone Away – 3:33
14 – Mojo Monkeys – Eye Of The Sun – 4:02
15 – Boy-O-Boy – She Makes Love With Her Eyes – 4:40
16 – Boy-O-Boy – That’s What You Get – 3:09
17 – Rob Watson – Wall Around My Heart – 3:39
18 – Rob Watson – The Graylands – 8:15

Credits:
Compilation Producer [For Alternative Records] – Randy Layton
Design, Layout – Patton Brothers Design
Executive-Producer – Randy Layton, Tom Gulotta
Mastered By – Doug Doyle

Tracks 1 & 2 from 2 Pound Planet* – Songs From The Hydrogen Jukebox
Tracks 3 & 4 from 7 & 7 Is* – More Miserable Than You’ll Ever Be
Tracks 5 & 6 from Steve Scott – Lost Horizon
Track 8 is a brand new song, in demo form
Track 9A (1st 3:19 of track 9) is a live version from 1985
Track 9B (last 4:07 of track 9) is a hidden and uncredited song, a sort of a Riverhouse outtake per Randy Layton of Alternative Records
Track 10 is “intermission music”
Tracks 11 & 12 are demos recorded in 1988
Track 15 recorded in 1986 at Whitefield Studio Annex
Track 16 recorded in 1984 at Poeima Studio
Tracks 17 & 18 produced and engineered at Goldmine in Ventura

Various – Surely, Goodness and Misery – 1992

This 1992 sampler is full of great 80’s stuff.

First of all there are 4 Scratch Band songs. Scratch Band is an early version of the 77’s. One of these songs features Steve Scott and another Sharon McCall. It’s nice to hear where it started for the 77’s.

There are 3 cuts from Gloryhouse who were an early incarnation of Robert Vaughn and The Shadows. More really good tunes the best being The Promise in my opinion.

There is one more tune from Body and Soul (Rob Watson) bringing the total to 3 I have found to date.

There is also an alternate extended remix of Someone New from the 77’s which might be the best version I’ve heard.

Finally there are 6 songs from Daniel Amos mostly recorded between 1978 and 1980.

Here are the notes with more detail from the album description;

1, 2 & 7 – The Scratch Band (2) was the first incarnation of The 77s. Track 1 was issued originally as the b-side to the vinyl 45 of Jesus released in 1990 (as part of the 7&7is box set). This live recording dates to 1981. Tracks 2 and 7 are Steve Scott songs recorded live in 1980. Much of their sets in those days consisted of Scott’s songs. These two were also recorded for Steve’s unreleased “Moving Pictures” album in 1980.

3 – This is a very rare alternate extended remix of Someone New from 1984’s All Fall Down. Differs from the 12″ single extended version (Someone New).

4 to 6 – Gloryhouse is an earlier incarnation of Robert Vaughn and The Shadows (5). Track 4 is the first version of the song that appeared on Love And War (and performed on American Bandstand). Track 5 dates to 1985 and Track 6 is from around the same time. This live version (from 1986) is from a problematic video mix (Anthony Daluz’s guitar disappears at times).

8 to 12 & 15 – 1978 through 1980 were Daniel Amos’s lost years. During the delay of Horrendous Disc, they recorded almost twenty new songs as demos to shop to mainstream labels. Some of them were recorded with very high quality on 24-tracks and others were ping-ponged on 4-track. These songs are a sampling from that period. Track 8 was a concert favorite and appears on many bootleg tapes from ’79-’80. Tracks 9 and 10 were recorded in 1981 and feature a young Ojo Taylor on keyboard! Track 11 is a Mark Cook (2) song which was recorded for “Horrendous Disc” but was later replaced by “Hound of Heaven.” Track 12 was a 4-track demo for ¡Alarma! (The Alarma Chronicles Vol.1) which was later recorded by Wild Blue Yonder (2) and even later wound up on the The Miracle Faith Telethon with Terry’s vocals. Track 15, one of Terry’s favorites from the period showcases the pop sensibilities that defined Daniel Amos during that period.

13 – Sharon McCall was the original lead vocalist for the Scratch Band. This is a demo she recorded with the band right before she left the group in 1979. Michael Roe plays guitar and Jimmy Abegg plays bass. Sharon married Jerry Chamberlain in 1980, so she provides an interesting link between the Sacramento/Exit gang and the Orange County/Daniel Amos crowd.

14 – Rob Watson’s own group in the mid 80’s was called Body And Soul and recorded an album’s worth of material which unfortunately never surfaced, except for a rare 45 from 1984 (Something’s Going On Here / The Graylands).

Track Listing:
1 – Scratch Band – Unsatisfied – 5:54
2 – Scratch Band With Steve Scott – Wild Boys – 6:02
3 – 77’s – Someone New (Alternate Extended Remix) – 5:54
4 – Gloryhouse – Justice – 5:42
5 – Gloryhouse – The Promise – 5:14
6 – Gloryhouse – The Beauty Of Innocence – 5:08
7 – Scratch Band – Thief Song – 6:04
8 – Daniel Amos – So Certain – 3:56
9 – Daniel Amos – Little Things – 4:29
10 – Daniel Amos – Off My Mind – 4:14
11 – Daniel Amos – Fairy Tale – 4:05
12 – Daniel Amos – Only One – 3:48
13 – Sharon McCall With Scratch Band – When The Victims Control – 6:37
14 – Body And Soul – Locked Away – 3:59
15 – Daniel Amos – Laissez-Faire – 3:39

Credits:
Compilation Producer [For Alternative Records] – Randy Layton
Design, Layout – Patton Brothers Design
Executive-Producer – Randy Layton, Tom Gulotta
Mastered By – Doug Doyle

The 77s – (self titled) – 1987

Most people believe this was one of the most important albums in the 80’s CCM scene.

This album was released on Island records not a Christian label. And this wasn’t some unheard of label, Island records was home to U2 at the time. The hope was that this was going to be the true entry of a CCM band into the secular music scene.

Unfortunately not everything worked out as hoped and the album was not a huge commercial success. But that said many believe this was one of the greatest CCM albums of all time.

It is in my top 10 and usually dances in the top 3. As I remember it “Do It For Love” was the radio single and is a darn good song but my favourite was “What Was In That Letter”. Final thought is that the album is solid and there’s no filler content here, just quality music.

Track Listing:
1 – Do It For Love – 4:26
2 – I Can’t Get Over It – 4:38
3 – What Was In That Letter – 3:07
4 – Pearls Before Swine – 8:20
5 – The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life – 3:50
6 – Frames Without Photographs – 4:18
7 – Don’t Say Goodbye – 4:30
8 – Bottom Line – 3:50
9 – I Could Laugh – 7:50

Credits:
Art Direction, Graphic Design – Marty Gessler
Band [The 77’s Are], Bass [Fender Bass], Backing Vocals [Support Vocals] – Jan Eric
Band [The 77’s Are], Drums [More Pounding & Thrashing] – Aaron Smith
Band [The 77’s Are], Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals [Support Vocals] – Mark Tootle
Band [The 77’s Are], Vocals, Guitar – Mike Roe
Engineer [Assistant Engineer At Quadrasonic] – Peter Sturge
Engineer [Assistant Engineers At Exit] – Daryl Zachman, Steve Griffith
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Featuring, Backing Vocals, Keyboards – Steve Griffith
Featuring, Bass [Fender 6-String Bass], Electronics [Ibanez Midi Guitar Controller] – Sam Ching
Featuring, Percussion [Ethnic & Orchestral Percussion], Other [Hat Hair] – Bongo Bob Smith
Featuring, Piano [Prepared Piano] – The Cleverly Brothers
Featuring, Saxophone – Jon Skinner
Featuring, Sounds [A.M.S. Sampling] – Pete “Fastfingers” Sturge
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Deborah Wiley, Linda Pearson
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Robert Musso
Recorded By [Live Remote Recording], Recorded By [Pre-Production Demos Extraordinaire] – Steve Griffith

Vector – Mannequin Virtue – 1983

This was the introductory album from Vector.

The band was packed with talent including Charlie Peacock, who would go on to a solo career as well as producing many albums. He was only on this release from Vector and wrote some of the songs on this album.

The rest of the band were famous in their own rights, including members of The 77’s. The album is very heavily new wave with influences from Genesis to Bowie.

It was just what secular radio was looking for at the time, but alas, it would be relegated to Christian radio only which happened to far too many quality bands of the time.

Track Listing:
1 – Mannequin Virtue – 2:44
2 – Substitute – 2:32
3 – Running From The Light – 3:25
4 – Lost Without Love – 3:16
5 – The Shore – 3:50
6 – The Hunger And The Thirst – 3:48
7 – Desperately – 3:45
8 – All Around The World – 3:25
9 – Only To Fail Again – 3:21
10 – I Love Them All – 3:50

Credits:
Coordinator [Executive Coordinator] – Jan Eric Volz
Design – Jim Abegg, Mark Swanson
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Jim Abegg, Michelle Abegg, Steve Griffith
Drums [Drum Kit] – Aaron Smith
Engineer [Assistant] – Steve Griffith
Engineer [Engineered By] – Daryl Zachman
Executive-Producer – Mary Neely
Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Jim Abegg
Illustration – Mark Swanson
Lead Vocals, Bass, Backing Vocals – Steve Griffith
Mastered By – John Golden
Mixed By – Larry Hirsch
Photography By – Jim Abegg, Sandi Robinson
Producer [Produced By] – Steven Soles
Synthesizer [Memorymoog], Backing Vocals – Charlie Peacock