DeGarmo And Key – Rock Solid Absolutely Live – 1988

I believe D & K were trying to recreate the huge success of their 1982 Live album “No Turning Back”. This album also came out as a video entitled “Rock Solid…The Rock-U-Mentary”. I took in the “No Turing Back” tour and while this album is good it’s not even in the same ballpark. I have seen the video for this album and it is mainly the guys hamming it up for the camera and this effects the music quality in my opinion. Also the noted for the album state that the sound is raw and not enhanced. This is plainly obvious when you listen to it as the engineering is questionable. In my OPINION live albums need “enhancing” to relay the feel of the concert to the listener. Now all that said it’s a pretty good album and I enjoy listening to it but I strongly prefer “No Turning Back”

Tracklist
1 – Casual Christian (Chorus) – 1:11
2 – Rock Solid – 7:09
3 – Ready Or Not – 3:27
4 – Soldier Of Fortune – 4:24
5 – Six, Six, Six – 5:35
6 – Don’t Stop The Music – 6:16
7 – Holy Hustle – 3:54
8 – When The Son Begins To Reign – 3:04
9 – Are You Ready – 3:43
10 – Addey – 7:37
11 – Let The Whole World Sing – 1:22
12 – Alleluia, Christ Is Coming – 1:07
13 – Destined To Win – 2:21
14 – Rock Solid (Reprise) – 3:33

Credits
Artwork [Art Coordination] – Connie Sneed
Bass, Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Design – Katherine DeVault Design
Engineer – Gary Hedden
Engineer [Assistant] – Jim Kaiser
Executive-producer – Dan R. Brock, Ron W. Griffin
Guitar, Vocals – Steve Taylor
Keyboards, Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo
Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar – Dana Key
Management – Brock & Associates
Mastered By [Digitally Mastered] – Hank Williams
Mixed By [Assistant Engineer] – James Craft
Mixed By, Drums, Percussion – Greg Morrow
Photography By – Paul Wharton
Producer, Mixed By – Degarmo & Key
Recorded By [Remote Recording] – GHL Audio Engineering

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – ForeFront Records
Copyright (c) – The Benson Company, Inc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Mixed At – Crosstown Recorders
Mastered At – Mastermix

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
Side 1
Side 2

DeGarmo & Key – D & K – 1987

D & K continues their yearly offering in 1987 with this one. Let’s talk album titles. I previously bashed the album name “Commander Sozo And The Charge Of The Light Brigade” which I still think is the dumbest name for an album in the 80’s. So in turn they title this one “D & K”? That’s quite the path correction. Regardless titles don’t have anything to do with album quality so I should get over it. The vinyl for this album was offered in a serialized limited edition of 10,000 and apparently the first 100,000 copies of either the Cassette or CD came with a free copy for the purchaser to give away in hopes it will be given to a non Christian. Interesting marketing for this album and I generally applaud them thinking outside the box. The album had 2 singles with “When The Son Begins To Reign” doing very well and making it to #4. “Stand” also singled but only made it to #38. As for the album I feel it’s fairly guitar heavy with more great song writing which is really what we came to expect of D & K. Another good album that if you missed in 1987 is a must listen to now.

Tracklist
1 – Out Of The Danger Zone – 2:50
2 – Under The Son – 3:47
3 – Rock Solid – 4:20
4 – Teenage Suicide – 3:52
5 – Strength Of Love – 6:00
6 – Brother Against Brother (It’s Not Right) – 5:05
7 – War With The World – 3:06
8 – Stand – 3:40
9 – Radical – 3:26
10 – When The Son Begins To Reign – 2:45

Credits
Bass, Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Design [Album] – Mark Neubauer
Drums, Percussion – Greg Morrow
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Keyboards, Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo
Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar – Dana Key
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Paul Wharton
Producer – DeGarmo & Key
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – John Hampton

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Copyright © – The Benson Company, Inc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Produced For – Mint Productions (2)
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk

DeGarmo & Key – Commander Sozo And The Charge Of The Light Brigade – 1985

The 8th album from D & K wins for their dumbest named album. In fact it’s in my top 5 worst album names in CCM. That aside it is one of my favourite D & K albums. It is more synth driven than their earlier work and this is one of the things I like and D & K. If I’m in the mood for rock I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for synth I can listen to them. If I’m in the mood for New Wave I can listen to them. For most bands these varying styles would probably be a negative but as they they did all these styles so well it worked for them. The album did have 2 chart singles. Destined To Win made it to #5 and most people from this era will well remember that song. Casual Christian also singled but only made it to #20. This album was a solid effort and should be fondly remembered by most from this era.

Tracklist
1 – Activate
2 – Competition
3 – Temporary Things
4 – Apathy Alert
5 – Charge Of The Light Brigade
6 – Destined To Win
7 – No More Goodbye
8 – Jesus Is Coming
9 – Rise Up
10 – Casual Christian

Credits
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Carl Marsh
Art Direction, Design – Susan De Garmo
Bass, Backing Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Drums, Backing Vocals – Greg Morrow
Engineer [Strings] – Frank Baratta, John Timperley
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Management – Brock & Associates, Inc.
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Photography By – Dean Dixon
Producer, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Written-By – Ed De Garmo
Producer, Lead Vocals, Guitar, Written-By – Dana Key
Recorded By, Mixed By – John Hampton
Strings – London String Orchestra
Vocals [Duet] – Jessy Dixon (tracks: B1)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Power Discs
Copyright (c) – Power Discs
Published By – Paragon Music Corp.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Recorded At – Angel Studios
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Masterdisk

DeGarmo & Key – Mission Of Mercy – 1983

Childhood friends Eddie DeGarmo and Dana Key joined forces in their late teens to create music and for three decades were responsible for some of the popular CCM ever recorded. Millions of albums and millions of miles traveled. Even after they had gone their separate way musically their single minded ministry and deep, personal friendship never wavered. I had always hoped for one reunion tour. I, and everyone else, will have to wait for quite some time as earlier this year Dana Key went home to be wioth the Lord. D&K were the first band I ever used my own money to buy. It was their debut album, This Time Thru. I wore out three vinyl copies of their second album, Straight On, Their live album is one of the best live records ever recorded in CCM. And during the Summer after I graduated from High School I was eagerly anticipating their latest release. It was not what I expected. the progressive and blues infused, guitar centered rock and roll had been replaced by a heavy dose of synthesizers and strings. At first I was appalled and saddened that I had lost “my band” and that my childhood CCM heroes hadAs time went on, though, I not only earned to appreciate the album foir what it was, I actually began to love it. For what it is, it is very, very good. Top notch production, great and memorable arrangements and some very finely crafted pop tunes. And though they will never get the credit for it, they really were early pioneers in the world of modern worship music. “Let the Whole World Sing,” the monster number hit from the album is a modern worship chorus that should have been a church standard. Mission of Mercy would be the first in what I have dubbed, “The Techno Years.” Sandwiched between nearly two decades of straight ahead rock were three albums of keyboard driven pop. MoM, Communication and Commander Sozo built a substantially larger fan base for the group and expanded their ministry opportunity. Many years later I came to understand the duo was keeping with the times and would not be defined by any previous release. I learned to live with it. Of those three album the first, Mission of mercy, would be the best even though it featured the least amount of guitar. When it came right down to it, it contained the best songwriting with more than a handful of huge hits. “That the Way God Planned It” would remain a popular live song for the band while Ready or Not and When It’s Over would all top the charts. Oddly enough , for a band noted for their rock style they had always been an amazing ballad band, mainly because of Dana Key’s stunning and compassionate vocals. Of all of the songs on the album the most like their earlier music is the ballad “All the Losers.” This great song ranks up with Addey, Mary and Only the Meek Survive. It’s also the strongest song lyrically. A great record that was a record for its time and must be regarded as such. Also, when taken within that framework it is a wonderful record with wonderful songs by a wonderful and unforgettable band.

God Bless Dana Key. RIP…Rest In Paradise

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

Tracklist
1 – Ready Or Not – 2:47
2 – Special Kind Of Love – 3:23
3 – When It’s Over – 2:52
4 – All The Losers Win – 3:18
5 – The Gift – 2:24
6 – Fill Me Lord – 3:36
7 – Let The Whole World Sing – 3:38
8 – In His Love – 3:31
9 – Everlasting Love – 3:02
10 – You Can’t Run From Thunder – 4:14
11- That’s The Way God Planned It – 3:24

Credits
Arranged By [Strings], Conductor – Carl Marsh
Art Direction, Design – Susan DeGarmo
Drums – Greg Morrow
Engineer – John Hampton
Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock
Lead Vocals, Guitar – Dana Key
Management – Brock & Associates
Mastered By – Ken Love
Percussion – Chad Crowell
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Dana Key, Eddie DeGarmo
Producer [Vocals] – Ron W. Griffin
Recorded By [Strings] – Brent King
Strings – The Nashville String Machine
Vocals, Bass Guitar – Tommy Cathey
Vocals, Guitar – Tony Pilcher
Vocals, Keyboards – Eddie DeGarmo

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Copyright (c) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc.
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Overdubbed At – Sound Stage Studios
Mastered At – Mastermix
Pressed By – Discovery Systems
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Distributed By – Main Roads Music Group
Distributed By – Alpha & Omega Distributors
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Distributed By – Concorde Distributors Ltd

DeGarmo & Key – Street Light – 1986

This 1986 release from the D & K was the start of a more refined sound for the band. They finally started drifting away from so much electronics and started to lean to more guitar driven songs. The album opens with a Springsteenish track “Every Moment” which was well received though isn’t one of my preferred tracks. My preferred track is “She Believes” which is a strong rock tune in more of their traditional style. The album did not have a CCM chart single which is a nod to how good an album it really is. So if you liked the old D & K I think you will like the feel of this album and if you preferred their later stuff I believe this was a transition album to that more guitar feel.

Tracklist
1 – Every Moment – 3:51
2 – War Zone – 3:19
3 – Addey – 4:09
4 – Soldier Of Fortune – 4:00
5 – Don’t Stop The Music – 3:40
6 – Don’t Throw Your Love Away – 3:16
7 – Video Action – 3:39
8 – She Believes – 4:15
9 – Holy Hustle – 3:08
10 – Up On A Cross – 2:45
11 – Inside Out – 2:58

Credits
Dan Brock – Executive Producer
Tommy Cathey – Bass, Background Vocals
Eddie DeGarmo – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Background Vocals
John Hampton – Producer, Engineer, Mixed
Dana Key – Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Lead Vocals
Bob Ludwig – Mastered
Greg Morrow – Drums, Background Vocals
Gary Westman – Assistant Engineer

Companies, etc.
Manufactured By – Power Discs
Phonographic Copyright (p) – DeGarno & Key
Copyright (c) – DeGarno & Key
Distributed By – Capitol Records, Inc.

The DeGarmo & Key Band – No Turning Back – Live – 1982

This 1982 release from The Degarmo & Key Band was required listening in the early 80’s. Recorded in Oklahoma City, OK, this album sold very well and was a must have in every CCM listener’s library. The album is a great representation of their first 4 studio albums and ranges from an acoustic guitar cut or two, a strong blues song, a rather odd bass solo cut, and lots of Rock and Roll. I actually was able to attend one of the concerts on this tour and I remember really enjoying it. Perhaps one of the most Rock & Roll shows I had seen to that point.

Tracklist
1 – Light Of The World – 3:58
2 – Go Tell Them – 3:52
3 – Stella, This Ain’t Hollywood – 3:21
4 – When He Comes Back – 3:01
5 – Jericho – 4:44
6 – Alleyways Of Strife – 4:06
7 – Mary – 2:54
8 – Wayfaring Stranger – 3:40
9 – Bass Solo – 3:00
10 – Enchiridion – 1:50
11 – Long Distance Runner – 4:30
12 – Matter Of Time – 4:55
13 – Emmanuel – 7:27
14 – Oklahoma Blues – 6:08
15 – Preacher I’ll Need A Friend – 5:56
16 – Over And Over – 3:45
17 – Let Him Help You Today – 9:25
18 – Love One Another – 3:50
19 – I Have Decided – 3:20

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Bill Brunt
Bass, Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Drums – Greg Morrow
Engineer – Malcolm H. Harper Jr.
Engineer [Road Engineer] – Chris Taylor
Guitar, Vocals – Tony Pilcher
Illustration – Tracy Britt
Lighting Director – Jimmy Taylor
Management – Dan Brock Associates
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Mixed By [Monitor Mix] – David Knight
Photography By [Backcover] – Vernon L. Gowdy III
Photography By [Inside] – Larry Dixon
Producer, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixed By – Ed DeGarmo
Producer, Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mixed By – Dana Key
Producer, Mixed By – Dan Brock
Production Manager [Concert Productions By] – Darlene Brock
Recorded By [Recording Crew] – Mason Harlow, Paul Stutz
Stage Manager – Terry Mackie

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lamb & Lion Records
Copyright (c) – Lamb & Lion Records
Produced For – Mint Productions (2)
Mixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Ardent Mastering

DeGarmo & Key – This Ain’t Hollywood – 1980

The third album from DeGarmo & Key saw them turn towards a more commercial sound. That said you could still easily hear where they came from but still hardcore fans were not happy with the turn. Personally I believe that the evolving of music is normal and is just part of Rock & Roll. This album is without a doubt what propelled them to a more mainstream audience and they finally got some radio airplay, Christian Radio that is. There are a couple interesting notes on the album. “Mylon LeFevre helped write “Love Is All You Need” and this was a start of a great relationship between the two. “Nobody Loves Me Like You” featured a duet with lesser known at the time performer Amy Grant. It goes without saying that this song rocketed onto Christian radio and was a great help for the rest of the album.

Tracklist
1 – Stella, This Ain’t Hollywood – 3:24
2 – When He Comes Back – 2:43
3 – You Gave Me All – 3:30
4 – Never Be The Same – 2:55
5 – All Night – 4:22
6 – All You Need – 3:47
7 – Nobody Loves Me Like You – 3:22
8 – Light Of The World – 3:01
9 – Over And Over – 3:27
10 – One Step Closer – 3:28

Credits
Backing Vocals – Beverly Baxter, Jack Holder, Jimi Jamison, Mylon LeFevre, Suzanne Jerome
Bass, Producer, Mixed By – Joe Hardy
Design – Bill Brunt
Drums – John Hamptone
Executive-Producer – Michael “Blantone”
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer – Dana Key
Horns – The Memphis Horns
Keyboards, Producer – Ed DeGarmo
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Photography By – Mike Borum
Saxophone – Andrew Love
Slide Guitar – Roy (Dunno) Howell (tracks: A5)
Trombone – Jack Hale
Trumpet – Ben Cavley

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lamb & Lion Records
Copyright (c) – Lamb & Lion Records
Designed At – Private Eye Studio
Published By – Star Struck Music
Published By – Lamb & Lion Music Co.
Produced For – Mint Productions (2)
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Ardent Mastering
Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Richmond, IN

DeGarmo & Key – This Time Through – 1978

This 1978 debut album from DeGarmo & Key is one of their best. It has a range of styles, but for 1978, it was all right in the zone of 70s rock that was still more influenced by country music at the time, and the “Southern rock” that everyone wanted more of.

These guys came from the South and they brought just the right mix to launch a career in CCM, and help spark the genre.

On their later live album, he says “We tried country music, we really did. But nobody could recognize what country it was from.” Funny, but those country tones fit perfectly here even though the band really became known as a modern pure rock band later on.

The songs on this album had great longevity for the band and 3 of them made it onto the live album in 1982.

Tracklist
1 – Emmanuel – 3:03
2 – Addey – 4:11
3 – Only The Meek Survive – 3:03
4 – (Gone, Gone, Gone) Too Far, Too Long – 4:29
5 – Alleyways Of Strife – 3:10
6 – Sleeper – 2:45
7 – Wayfaring Stranger – 3:38
8 – In The Days Of Thy Youth – 1:26
9 – Chase The Wind – 5:21
10 – This Time Thru – 4:52

Credits
Art Direction, Management – Steve Lawhead
Backing Vocals – Joe Hardy, Phyliss Duncan, William C. Brown III
Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Grand Piano, Organ [Hammond] – Edward DeGarmo
Bass, Percussion – Ken Porter
Design [Album] – Stan Evenson
Drums – David Spain, Max Richardson
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion – Dana Key
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Producer, Engineer – Ron Capone
Programmed By [Arp], Backing Vocals – Carl Marsh

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Lamb & Lion Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Lamb & Lion Records
Recorded At – Ardent Studios
Remixed At – Ardent Studios
Mastered At – Ardent Mastering

DeGarmo & Key – Straight On – 1979

The second album from DeGarmo & Key was a bit of a transition album.

Their first album had a good rock, blues feel. This album had that also but started to incorporate more keyboards. I believe this album established the “Degarmo & Key sound.

As I re-listened to this album after not hearing it for several years I was struck that it came out in 1979 but I hear almost no remnants of the Jesus music era that was coming to an end at that time. Actually in my opinion this album was 3 or 4 years ahead of its time.

There are so many songs on this album that lived forever that I consider it one of the best CCM albums of all time.

Track Listing:
1 – Jericho – 4:34
2 – Livin’ On The Edge Of Dyin’ – 4:33
3 – Go Tell Them – 3:52
4 – Bad Livin’ – 4:36
5 – Enchiridion – 1:36
6 – Long Distance Runner – 4:09
7 – Let Him Help You Today – 4:15
8 – I Never Knew You – 4:04
9 – Mary – 3:03

Credits:
Art Direction, Design – Kristen Kasell
Bass – Ken Porter
Drums – Terry Moxley
Engineer – Joseph Hardy
Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Dana Key
Keyboards – Edward De Garmo
Mastered By – Larry Nix
Photography By – Gary Heery
Photography By [Inner Sleeve Photo] – Kristen Kasell
Producer – Dana Key, Edward De Garmo, Joseph Hardy
Recorder – Carl Marsh
Saxophone – Lewis Collins

DeGarmo & Key – Communication – 1984

This 1984 release from DeGarmo & Key featured more of what we expected from them.

Strong guitar tracks with keyboard support are the sound they followed. This album, while good, did not particularly stand out from the others and is considered a “fill in” album by some.

Personally I think it was a good stand alone album. Strangely the album offered a cover of Are You Ready by Pacific Gas & Electric which actually works pretty good.

Point of trivia is that the album cover changed slightly between first and subsequent pressings with the lettering of the band name switching from white to black.

Track Listing:
1 – Are You Ready – 3:17
2 – Rejoice – 3:31
3 – It’s A Shame – 3:24
4 – Alleluia, Christ Is Coming – 2:43
5 – Everyday’s A Celebration – 2:42
6 – Blessed Messiah – 3:46
7 – Perfect Reflection – 3:45
8 – He Has Risen – 2:48
9 – Six, Six, Six – 3:49
10 – Man Of His Word – 3:46
11 – Dear Friend – 1:40

Credits:
Bass, Vocals – Tommy Cathey
Drums, Vocals – Greg Morrow
Producer, Guitar, Lead Vocals – Dana Key
Producer, Keyboards, Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo
Vocals [Kid] – Breckon DeGarmo, Brian Tarrell, Shannon DeGarmo
Written-By – E. Allen* (tracks: 1), D. Key* (tracks: 2 to 11), D. Robbins* (tracks: 8), E. DeGarmo* (tracks: 2 to 11), M. Hill* (tracks: 1)