White Heart – Vital Signs – 1984

White Heart’s second album, Vital Signs was a masterpiece of finely produced songs. The band self-produced, with executive help from Chris Christian. The album was released on Chris Christian’s Home Sweet Home Records.

The opening song, “Sing Unto The Lamb” is a big sounding song that would qualify for a modern major Broadway number. The vocals stay true to this big performance sound all the way through the album, which is one of the things that made White Heart so popular. Standout tracks include the high energy “Carried Away” and power ballad “Let Your First Thought Be Love.”

The album was recorded in Nashville and attracted a who’s who of contributing artists. The closing song, “We Are His Hands” includes a choir with (among others) Bob Farrell (of Farrell and Farrell), Scott Wesley Brown, David Meece, Amy Grant, Steve Green, Russ Taff, Chris Christian and Kathy Troccoli. We Are His Hands was their first number one radio single.

Former lead singer, Scott Douglas went to prison in 1986. White Heart continued on with a new lead singer after this album, Rick Florian who was allegedly promoted from roadie to lead singer all at once. Florian remained in the lead post throughout the rest of White Heart’s existence.

Track Listing:
1 – Sing Unto The Lamb – 3:15
2 – Draw The Line – 4:38
3 – Walking In The Light – 3:56
4 – Carried Away (Safe On The Wings Of The Lord) – 4:19
5 – Quiet Love – 3:52
6 – Following The King – 4:05
7 – Let Your First Thought Be Love – 3:51
8 – Undercover – 3:54
9 – Vital Signs – 3:50
10 – We Are His Hands – 4:13

Credits:
Arranged By – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff, Mark Gersmehl
Arranged By [String Arrangements] – Ronn Huff
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt
Bass Guitar – Gary Lunn
Design Concept [Cover Concept] – Bill Brunt, Mark Tucker
Design Concept [Vital Signs Concept] – Kent Hunter
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Bill Deaton, Brent King, Mike Psanos
Engineer [Assistant] – Doug Sarrett
Executive-Producer – Chris Christian
Graphics [Vital Signs Logo] – Ken Wolgemuth, Ken Wolgemuth
Graphics [White Heart Logo] – Ellen Hodnett, Ellen Hodnett
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Billy Smiley
Producer – White Heart
Recorded By – Jeff Balding
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Dann Huff
Strings – Carl Gorodetzky, Craig Nelson, Dennis Molchan, Gary Vanosdale, David Boyle*, Pam Vanosdale*, Phyllis Hiltz*, Roy Christensen, The Nashville String Machine, Walt Schwede*
Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Vocals – Scott Douglas

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Twenty Twenty – (self titled) – 1985

This was the first album from Twenty Twenty before they changed their name to 20 Twenty.

Not much is written about Twenty Twenty so I know nothing about their background. The album is a well produced 80’s sound with good synth and guitar riffs. It’s a pleasant listen that will get some Classic Christian radio play.

Track Listing:
1 – You Are So True
2 – Security Code
3 – War Games
4 – His Fame
5 – Second Mile
6 – Love To Go
7 – He’s Still There
8 – Danger Zone
9 – You Can Know Them All
10 – World Premiere

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Marty McCall
Design, Art Direction – Paul Proctor
Drum Programming [Linn Drum Programming] – Gary Lunn
Drums – Greg Herrington
Drums [Simmons Drums] – Dennis Holt
Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Allen Brown
Executive-Producer – Mary Lynn Robbins
Guitar – Roscoe Meek
Guitar [Additional] – Greg Jennings (tracks: A5, B3, B4)
Keyboards – Earnie Chaney
Keyboards [Additional] – Billy Smiley (tracks: B1, B3)
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Photography By – Dean D. Dixon
Producer, Backing Vocals, Mixed By – Billy Smiley
Programmed By [Synclavier Programming] – Richard Head
Recorded By, Mixed By – Brent King
Soloist [2nd Keyboard Solo] – Mark Gersmehl (tracks: A1)
Synthesizer [Additional] – John Slick (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B1, B2), Mark Gersmehl (tracks: B3, B4)
Synthesizer [Synthesizer Bass] – Billy Smiley (tracks: B1)
Synthesizer [Synthesizer Tracs], Programmed By [Programming] – Shane Keister (tracks: A3, A5)
Vocals, Backing Vocals – Ron Collins (6)
Vocoder – Shane Keister (tracks: A3, A2, B3)

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Randy Matthews – The Edge of Flight – 1990

This was the final album Randy Matthews released using his own name.

He did release an album in 2008 using the name Red Beard which was pirate oriented. Yes songs and stories about pirates. So essentially this was his last album and what an album it was.

I believe this was his best album ever. Again, we have a Bob Seger sound that at this point he has polished to be his own. The guitar work on this album is absolutely brilliant.

The album doesn’t credit any musicians so I can only assume it was Randy’s work. This is simply one of the greatest CCM rock albums ever released.

Track Listing:
1 – Man Of The Morning Sun – 5:34
2 – Defender Of The Faith – 5:18
3 – Beautiful Hands – 4:56
4 – Heart’s Still Beating – 4:08
5 – Sir – 4:33
6 – The Dream – 5:19
7 – China Sea – 4:33
8 – Ti Chapé – 4:52
9 – What A Good Lady – 4:46
10 – Make Believe – 5:26
11 – Lookin’ Back – 3:59
12 – Morning Sun (Reprise) – 1:43

Credits:
Art Direction – Diane Painter
Mastered By – Ken Love
Mixed By – Billy Smiley, Lee Groitzsch
Photography – Paul Vozdic
Producer – Billy Smiley
Recorded By – Lee Groitzsch

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White Heart – (self titled) – 1982

This was White Heart’s introductory album. Formed in 1982 by two members of Bill Gaither’s group they decidedly recorded and performed a more upbeat style of music.

This album could not really be described as anything even vaguely close to Rock and Roll but it does have a pop feel but is still pretty easy listening. It did, however lay the groundwork for what would become a very well liked CCM band.

Track Listing:
1 – Hold On – 3:37
2 – You’re The One – 3:56
3 – Listen To The Lonely – 3:47
4 – He’s Returning – 4:23
5 – Carry On – 3:56
6 – Guiding Light – 3:40
7 – Everyday – 4:08
8 – Nothing Can Take This Love – 3:40
9 – Black Is White – 3:14
10 – Go Down Nineveh – 4:30

Credits:
Bass – Gary Lunn
Drums, Percussion – David Huff*
Executive Producer – Chris Christian
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dann Huff
Keyboards, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Billy Smiley
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals – Mark Gersmehl
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Steve Green (3)
Mixed By – Chris Christian, Jeff Balding
Producer – Billy Smiley, Dann Huff
Recorded By – Jeff Balding

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20 Twenty – Altered – 1987

20 Twenty (or Twenty Twenty) were an 80’s CCM rock band that apparently gained some popularity in secular radio.

I have been unable to find out anything about them other than what I have documented here. They had 2 albums, this being the second.

They changed their name from Twenty Twenty to 20 Twenty this album. The album was produced by Billy Smiley from White Heart. Strangely the album contains a cover of Hold Your Head Up by Argent.

Track Listing:
1 – Fine Line – 3:31
2 – Get Altered – 3:30
3 – Can’t Run From You – 4:06
4 – For Heavens Sake – 4:43
5 – Eternity In Every Heart – 3:44
6 – Hold Your Head Up – 3:48
7 – Caught Up In Heaven – 3:49
8 – Find Your Way Back – 4:47
9 – Material Things – 3:52
10 – The Tears You’ve Cried – 3:19

Credits:
Ron Collins – lead vocals
Roscoe Meek – guitars
Earnie Chaney – keyboards
Gary McAnelly, Tommy Sims – bass
Greg Herrington – drums
Billy Smiley – synths
Rick Florian – backing vocals
Executive Producer – Bob MacKenzie
Producer – Billy Smiley

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Margaret Becker – Never For Nothing – 1987

This is the introductory album from Margaret Becker.

While usually classified as easy listening I think it’s one notch closer to Rock & Roll though you won’t hear any screaming guitars. I do detect a Patty Smyth and Scandal sound but with less lead guitar riffs.

Track Listing:
1 – Fight For God – 4:02
2 – Standing On Top Of The World – 3:31
3 – Never For Nothing – 3:43
4 – Break The Silence – 3:32
5 – Sacred Fire – 4:32
6 – Love Was Waiting – 3:27
7 – What You Feel – 3:42
8 – Make It Right – 5:19
9 – Giants Will Fall – 4:09
10 – For The Love Of You – 4:24

Credits:
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Design – Stan Evenson Design*
Engineer – Brent King, Doug Sarrett, Jeff Balding, Joe Bellamy, Mike Psanos
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – David Schober
Photography By – Steven A. Heller
Producer – Billy Smiley

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