DeGarmo & Key – The Pledge – 1989

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

Dana Key – The Journey – 1990

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

Eddie DeGarmo – Feels Good To Be Forgiven – 1988

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

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