Dave Kelly – Crowning Of A Simple Man – 1980

Dave Kelly was a member of a great band called “Ark” that released one incredible album that will be featured later on this list. Ark was a wonderful band that escaped the attention of most fans but critics loved for very good reason. Dave Kelly was an integral part of Ark and his songwriting prowess shows on this solo debut. Fans of British pop will love it immediately with a Beatlesque quality and an overall sound comparable to Alwyn Wall and Cliff Richard. Very catchy hooks and memorable melodies from start to finish and a message that was upfront but without a “preachy” quality to it. The albums closer is worth a mention here. A Scottish inspired acoustic number with violin and bagpipes accentuate a story of kings and dragons and knights in a castle. Lyrically sounding like something Kemper Crabb may have written, but musically closer to Van Morrison. All the imagery points to the redemptive work of Christ. Anyone even remotely interested in the early days of CCM in England and the influence of the birth of a more legitimate musical expression in the states should try and obtain a copy of this great album.

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

1 – King of Love 02:39
2 – God Knows 03:46
3 – Tonight 02:25
4 – Turn Your Back 02:49
5 – Dead Or Alive 02:13
6 – Trouble 02:49
7 – Love Night and Day 01:56
8 – Supernatural Man 02:21
9 – Sandy 02:19
10 – Ballad of J.C. 02:32

Background Vocals – Mary Russell, Mona Lisa Young
Bagpipes – Alex McGilvery
Bass – Dennis Belfield
Drums – Jim Keltner
Harmony Vocals – Jim Seatter
Lead Guitar – Billy Joe Walker
Lead Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Dave Kelly
Organ, Piano, Background Vocals – Terry Young
Penny Whistle, Fiddle – Stewart Hamilton
Prophet Synthesizer – Dale Ocherman

‘Ark – The Angels Come – 1979

This album is really a one off gem that left us wanting for more. Dave Kelly and Derek Jeffery formed the band bringing David Mackay in on bass. When a producer was brought in Al Perkins filled the bill and he jumped in on lead guitar. Al Perkins had produced some of the biggest CCM albums of the time including Daniel Amos, Gentle Faith, and Terry Talbot. Anyway, personnel explanations out of the way lets talk about this album. The sound is often compared to The Byrds, Beatles, Crosby Stills & Nash and The Stones but personally I think it sounds most like the Byrds. This is a very very good album and it is such a pity it ended up being the only album from them. I don’t mean this album was a good CCM album, I mean this was a great album in all markets. I believe this album could have received air play on secular radio but I think it was just a little too late. The only track that I believe was timely was “Why?” and I think it would have done well on the radio. As for my favourite track those who know me know I almost always like the hard rock track but not on this one. On this one I love the ballad “Arms Of The Lord” in which I can hear a tinge of what was coming in the early 80’s. So to sum up, you need to listen to this album!!!

1 – Hold Me Tonight – 2:25
2 – Birthsong – 2:35
3 – For All You Know – 3:25
4 – A Place For Love – 2:56
5 – Hungry World – 3:03
6 – Don’t Look Now – 4:02
7 – All To Pieces – 2:28
8 – Standing At The Door – 2:23
9 – Arms Of The Lord – 3:25
10 – Why? – 2:40

Arranged By [Orchestra Arranger], Conductor – Greg Nelson
Bass – David Mackay
Design – Lynn Robb, Stan Evenson
Lead Guitar – Al Perkins
Mastered By – Lanky Linstrot
Photography By – Gary Heery
Producer, Engineer – Al Perkins
Strings – Edinburgh Symphony
Vocals, Drums, Percussion – James Kehn
Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Dave Kelly, Derek Jeffery

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Spirit
Distributed By – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Recorded At – Soundcastle
Mastered At – ABC Records