This 1991 offering from D&K pretty well followed along form their previous studio album. I have a strange opinion of this album. I think It’s a really good album but I think it was hurt with poor production. Ron W. Griffin mixed and produced the album. He is a very good producer and has produced several excellent D&K albums but I think I actually dislike his mix. Several tracks fade in which is rather odd. I don’t think I know of ay other album that has this many tracks that fade in. All that aside the album was nominated for a Grammy but lost to Russ Taff. Like I said I think this is a great album but not Grammy nomination good. Perhaps if the production had been better I would think different. That said I rarely agree with Grammy decisions so my opinion is tainted. All that aside the best track on the album is no doubt “Ultimate Ruler”. The ZZTopish intro and great riffs make it a favorite rock tune that is on my regular rotation.
Tracklist 1 – I Believe – 1:20 2 – Go To The Top (At The Top Reprise) – 4:09 3 – Against The Night – 5:12 4 – Ultimate Ruler – 5:00 5 – Soul Mender – 4:06 6 – Family Reunion – 4:06 7 – Still At Work – 3:12 8 – Stand, Fight, Win – 3:51 9 – Victory – 4:16 10 – March On – 5:11 11 – The Rest Of My Life – 4:00
Credits Tommy Cathey – Bass, Bass Arranger, Background Vocals Eddie DeGarmo – Songwriter, Keyboards, Organ, Lead and Background Vocals Ron W. Griffin – Producer, Engineer, Mixed Howard Irving – Assistant Engineer Dana Key – Songwriter, Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals Carl Marsh – Orchestral Arranger, Keyboards, Programming Roscoe Meek – Rhythm and Lead Guitars, Acoustic Guitar Doug Nightwine – Assistant Engineer Ken Pennell – Executive Producer Mark Pogue – Background Vocals Kevin Rodell – Drum Arranger
DeGarmo & Key are back with one of their most successful albums. When I say successful I am referring to radio play and sales numbers. Personally it’s not one of my favorites but I’m from the early 80’s crowd so of course I prefer their work from that era. That said I admit this is a pretty good album. D & K had album making down to a fine science at this point. In a 1989 interview with John Styll, Eddie DeGarmo said they “planned to place more emphasis (than before) in their ministry towards motivating young Christians and those in church to witness to people and win them to Christ, as well as motivating them to take a stand in situations that affect the public” and I think that’s where this album really shined. I have seen “Pledge” patches everywhere over the years and there are still places you can get one. As for the charts this album had 4 charting singles. “If God Is For Us” did the best at #3, “Hand In Hand” made it to a respectable #7, “I’m Accepted” to #15, and “Who Will” made it to #24. All in all a pretty successful album.
Tracklist 1 – Boycott Hell – 3:21 2 – Aliens And Strangers – 3:04 3 – I’m Accepted – 3:55 4 – Hand In Hand – 4:37 5 – The Pledge – 5:15 6 – Life In The New Age – 2:32 7 – Let’s Get Upset – 4:31 8 – Who Will – 3:20 9 – Right On Track – 4:30 10 – If God Is For Us (Who Can Be Against Us) – 3:30
Credits Art Direction, Design – Jackson Design Backing Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo, Steve Taylor, Tommy Cathey Bass – Tommy Cathey Choir – Christ Church, Nashville TN Drums – Chuck Reynolds Engineer, Mixed By – Billy Whittington Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock Guitar – Dana Key, Steve Taylor Keyboards – Carl Marsh, Eddie DeGarmo Lead Vocals – Dana Key Management – Brock And Associates Mastered By – Hank Williams Percussion – Carl Marsh Photography By – Dave Hawkins Producer, Engineer – Ron W. Griffin
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Copyright (c) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Copyright (c) – DKB Music Distributed By – Benson Music Group Made By – Discovery Systems – 56D0600A Recorded At – Ardent Studios Recorded At – OmniSound Studios Mixed At – The Castle Recording Studios Mixed At – Masterfonics Mixed At – Kiva Recording Studio Mastered At – Mastermix
This is Dana’s first solo album. It follows Eddie DeGarmo’s solo album in 1988. DeGarmo & Key were still a group but apparently the guys felt the need to do a solo effort. I listened to Eddie’s album back to back with this one and I gotta say I think this one is better. Dana is a far better vocalist and I think his songwriting is better. Looking at other reviews I think most people preferred Eddie’s album but not me sorry. The real highlight of the album is a cover of Larry Norman’s “The Outlaw” which was also released on the Larry Norman tribute album “One Way (The Songs Of Larry Norman)” and actually singled at #15 on the CCM charts. The album had 2 other singles, Up From The Dead made it to #7 and Pray For Peace to #6. This is another album I really liked and there’s a few cuts here that might end up in my regular rotation.
Tracklist 1 – We Need A Savior – 3:57 2 – The Outlaw – 4:27 3 – Bow Down – 3:58 4 – Sister (It’s A Mean World) – 2:52 5 – Come To Me – 3:23 6 – Live In The Light – 3:09 7 – Prelude: Here, There Or In The Air – 0:35 8 – Pray For Peace – 3:42 9 – Kingdom Of Grace – 4:10 10 – The Death – 1:49 11 – Up From The Dead – 3:41 12 – Here, There Or In The Air – 4:12
Credits Art Direction – Buddy Jackson Design – B. Middleworth, Jackson Design Engineer [Additional] – Billy Whittington (tracks: 11), Rusty McFarland (tracks: 6) Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock Guitar, Lead Vocals – Dana Key Mastered By – Hank Williams Mixed By – John Hampton Photography By – Ken Crenshaw Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Ron W. Griffin
Companies, etc. Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc. Produced For – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Copyright (c) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Published By – DKB Music Published By – Straw Bed Music Published By – Glenwood Music Corp. Recorded At – OmniSound Studios Recorded At – Crosstown Recorders Recorded At – Ardent Studios Mastered At – Mastermix
In 1988 Eddie DeGarmo was instrumental in the opening of ForeFront Records. I am guessing that he did this solo album to help jumpstart the label. Dana Key also did a solo album in 1990 which also went on ForeFront. Eddie assembled a group of studio musicians for this album but you can tell it was on a new label as most of them weren’t really first call material. Not that they are bad but it’s rather obvious that this is a group of people not under contract to another record company. As for the album I was a little surprised it wasn’t a little more keyboard oriented. Instead it is a blues rock album with an emphasis on guitar riffs. I think it’s a pretty good album but without Dana you can tell it’s just not quite as good without their team work. That said it deserves to be listened to.
Tracklist 1 – Heaven’s 911 – 3:40 2 – Stayin’ on the High Road – 4:51 3 – Feels Good to Be Forgiven – 4:47 4 – Pickin’ Up the Pieces – 4:58 5 – Turn On Heaven’s Power – 4:08 6 – Goodbye Mr. Heartache – 3:48 7 – Thank You – 3:39 8 – I Believe – 3:52 9 – Faith Like a Rock – 4:20 10 – I Ain’t Gonna Lose – 4:58 11 – I Wanna Praise You – 5:07 12 – Yes Indeed – 3:18
Credits Art Direction – Connie Sneed Backing Vocals – Helen Gray, Phyllis Duncan Bass – Warren Pease Design – Camille Engel Advertising Drums – Willy Lucius Engineer [Additional] – James Craft Executive-Producer – Dan R. Brock Guitar – Greg Redding*, Jack Holder Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Eddie DeGarmo Mastered By – Hank Williams Photography By – Dave Hawkins Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Ron W. Griffin Saxophone – Andrew Love Trumpet – Ben Cauley
Companies, etc. Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Copyright (c) – The ForeFront Communications Group, Inc. Published By – DKB Music Recorded At – Crosstown Recorders Remixed At – Crosstown Recorders Mastered At – Mastermix Glass Mastered At – Nimbus, Virginia
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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