Lifesavers Underground – Shaded Pain – 1987

Shaded Pain is Lifesavers’ fourth album, and it has its own unique sound, darker and more musically mature than their original works.

The band started out with a sound reminiscent of 1970s punk and with this 1987 release, they sound completely like the late 80s punk scene.

The record starts out with a somewhat chilling version of “Michael Row The Boat Ashore” in the opening track “Jordan River.” Lyrically, this album strives to tie contradictions together and it does so quite well in songs such as “Tether To Tassel” and “Our Time Has Come.”

The sound on this album is a rich, full guitar sound throughout with drums that pop, and a vocal that carries it all in a soothing/creepy fasion, depending on how the beat strikes you every moment.

Tracklist
1 – Jordan River – 3:55
2 – Bye Bye Colour – 4:02
3 – Die Baby Die – 2:25
4 – Lonely Boy – 3:49
5 – Our Time Has Come – 3:37
6 – Tether To Tassle – 3:36
7 – I’m Torn – 3:52
8 – Plague Of Flies – 1:27
9 – More To Life – 3:39
10 – Shaded Pain – 4:10

Credits
Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Artwork – Mike Knott
Drums, Cymbal – Kevin Lee
Electric Guitar [Les Paul Gold Top], Twelve-String Guitar [Ibanez Acoustic], Acoustic Guitar [Yamaha], Bass [Black] – Brian Doidge
Engineer – Chris Brigandi (tracks: B5), Joey Taylor
Photography By – Colleen Hammond
Producer – Chris Brigandi
Vocals – Bridgett Knott (tracks: A1, A4)
Vocals, Keyboards – Mike Knott
Written-By – Brian Doidge (tracks: A4, B3, B4), Kevin Lee (4) (tracks: B3), Mike Knott

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – 3-D Studios, Costa Mesa CA.
Recorded At – Asylomar Studios
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records (3)
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records (3)
Distributed By – The Benson Company
Distributed By – The Master’s Collection
Distributed By – Kingsway Publications Ltd.

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Lifesavors – A Kiss Of Life – 1986

Not only did they change the name from “Lifesavors” to “Lifesavers” on this one, but the band took a sudden turn with this album, sounding a lot more like Flock of Seagulls than like a Cali-punk band.

Smooth production, serious looking photography, and a clean sound make this a pop album. Subsequent releases from Lifesavers all share this mature style but some of them manage to bring the edge back rather than the adult contemporary sound of 80s oldies.

Throughout, they manage to keep thoughtful lyrics and passionate delivery.

The band’s energy comes through again on songs like “Choose To Be True,” a truly catch tune. The classic “Turn Turn Turn” also makes an appearance on this album. It seems to be more an homage to Ecclesiastes than to Pete Seger or The Byrds though.

Tracklist
1 – She’s On Fire – 3:39
2 – I Pray You Pray – 3:34
3 – I Can’t Wait – 3:42
4 – Choose To Be True – 2:28
5 – Highway To Zion – 3:02
6 – Dreamin – 4:20
7 – Love Boy Love Girl – 3:13
8 – Turn, Turn, Turn – 3:39
9 – We Live For The Sun – 3:44
10 – Free Her – 3:18
11 – See Me Fall – 4:48

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Frontline Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Frontline Records
Copyright (c) – Broken Songs

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Michael Knott
Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Backing Vocals – Kenny Samuels
Bass Guitar – Brian Doidge
Drums – Kevin Lee
Electric Guitar – Doug Doyle, Michael Knott
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Keyboards – Doug Doyle, Michael Knott
Layout – Ed McTaggart
Liner Notes – Craig A.J. Keyzers
Percussion – Kevin Lee, Michael Knott
Photography By – Brian Ray
Producer – Doug Doyle
Saxophone – Allen Palmer
Vocals – Michael Knott
Written-By – Bill Robinson (tracks: 2), Chris Lizotte (tracks: 2), Jim Akin (tracks: 2), Michael Gerard Knott (tracks: 1 to 6, 7, 9 to 11), Pete Seger (tracks: 2)

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Randy Stonehill – Between The Glory and The Flame – 1981

This follow-up to 1980’s The Sky Is Falling was a much more refined studio approach. Randy recruited a lot of top CCM artists to help out.
Producer Terry Taylor (of Daniel Amos) recruited his entire band to play on the album along with, Tom Howard, another Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records protege.

The result is a tight band performing Randy’s songs in the studio, giving a much more polished sound than we were used to getting from him up to this point.

The song “Die Young” is an example of Randy’s cynical but honest approach, calling out the typical Western lifestyle centered around short term thinking. His combination of humour and truth-telling was present throughout his career.

“Christine” is one of Randy’s reaches out to a lonely and desperate person. It has a significant parallel to the song Christmas at Denny’s, which we get many years later on the Return To Paradise album.

This album established Randy’s ability to move beyond performing as a singer-songwriter.

Tracklist
1 – The Glory And The Flame – 3:10
2 – Die Young – 3:15
3 – Fifth Avenue Breakdown – 2:50
4 – Granfather’s Song – 3:24
5 – Find Your Way To Me – 3:42
6 – Christine – 3:29
7 – Rainbow – 3:49
8 – Givin’ It Up For Love – 4:13
9 – Letter To My Family – 4:58
10 – Farther On – 2:56

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rebel Base Productions
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios
Published By – Prime Cut Publishing
Published By – CanaanLand Music
Published By – Tong Songs Music
Published By – Joyful Road Music

Credits
Guitars, Background Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Bass – Marty Dieckmeyer
Background Vocals, Songwriter, Synthesizer String Arranger, Piano, Harmonium, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Thom Roy
Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Producer, Slide Guitar – Terry Scott Taylor

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Bloodgood – Detonation – 1987

The second release from Bloodgood continues the raw metal sound they had in their first album.

This album is better produced and engineered but some fans preferred the edgier first album. But that said Detonation placed 8th in a poll by Heaven’s Metal fanzine of the top 100 Christian metal albums of all time.

Bloodgood is a mainstay in the Christian metal genre and most hold up this or their first album as their best work.

Track Listing:
1 – Battle Of The Flesh – 2:45
2 – Vagrant People – 3:26
3 – Self-Destruction – 3:29
4 – Alone In Suicide – 4:04
5 – Heartbeat (Of The City) – 3:25
6 – Eat The Flesh – 4:25
7 – Holy Fire – 3:10
8 – Crucify – 3:05
9 – The Messiah – 4:25
10 – Live Wire – 2:37

Credits:
Arranged By – Bloodgood
Art Direction, Layout – Ed McTaggart
Bass, Backing Vocals – Michael Bloodgood
Drums – Mark Welling
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Guitar, Backing Vocals – David Zaffiro
Illustration [Cover] – John Dickenson
Mastered By – John Matousek
Mixed By – David Zaffiro, Doug Doyle, Les Carlsen, Michael Bloodgood
Other [Litho Prep] – Graphic Masters, Santa Ana, CA
Other [Stage Clothes] – Brent Flemming
Photography By – Ken Baley, Lynn DeBon
Producer – David Zaffiro, Les Carlsen, Michael Bloodgood
Vocals – Les Carlsen

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Power Team Soundtrack – 1990

This is a rather odd sampler. The Power Team was a group of Christian body builders and marshal arts athletes headed by John Jacobs.

They toured schools and churches performing feats of strength and martial arts performances while delivering God’s word. In 1990 they released a VHS video and this album.

I can only assume this was the soundtrack for the video and their performances. This is one of the most diverse samplers I think I’ve heard. It’s all here, rap, rock, and easy listening. Kind of a wide sampling what was popular in the late 80’s

Tracklist
1 – Tim Miner – Power – 3:55
2 – Liaison – My God Is A Rock – 3:13
3 – Stephen Crumbächer – Tear Down The Walls – 3:41
4 – P.I.D. – Authority – 5:52
5 – Rick Elias – Run Or Hide – 3:27
6 – Cindy Cruse – Even Now – 3:56
7 – Steve Shannon – Break The Chains – 3:37
8 – Tim Miner – Amazing Grace – 4:20
9 – Angie Alan – It’s Not Worth It – 3:57
10 – D-Boy – God Gave Us The Power – 5:06
11 – Ken Tamplin – Take ‘Em Back – 3:32
12 – Rick Elias – I’ll Be There – 4:01
13 – Steve Shannon – Power To Win – 3:41
14 – Liaison – Who Can Heal The Pain – 4:00

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Common Bond – Heaven Is Calling – 1986

This was the first studio album from Common Bond though there was a highly produced Demo and an EP previous.

Guest appearances on this album included Jerry Chamberlain from Daniel Amos/The Swirling Eddies and Terry Taylor also from Daniel Amos/The Swirling Eddies and Lost Dogs.

The album is a well produced (Doug Doyle) album with a heavy New Wave sound. This is another lost album from the 80’s that should have been far better known.

Track Listing:
1 – Matter Of Time – 4:37
2 – I’m In Control – 2:45
3 – Heaven Is Calling – 2:51
4 – Bittersweet – 3:48
5 – Yshua – 3:05
6 – My Direction – 3:50
7 – Savor My Saviour – 2:40
8 – The Dickens – 3:50
9 – For You – 2:30
10 – Imagining – 3:20

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar – Steve Durham
Backing Vocals – Bruce Swift, Jerry Chamberlain, Ken Samuels, Rob Watson, Terry Taylor
Bass Guitar – Ken Samuels
Cover – Terl Bryant
Design – Ed McTaggart
Drums – Chuck Cummings, Terl Bryant (tracks: A1)
Electric Guitar – Steve Durham
Engineer – Doug Doyle
Guitar – Bobby Salsedo, Doug Doyle
Guitar [Solo] – Jerry Chamberlain (tracks: A4, B5)
Layout – Ed McTaggart
Lead Vocals – Ken Samuels
Percussion – Chuck Cummings, Terl Bryant (tracks: A1, A5)
Photography By – Craig Incardone
Producer – Doug Doyle
Written-By – Ken Samuels

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Youth Choir – Voices In Shadows – 1985

This is the introductory album from Youth Choir, later known as Choir.

They were one of the many great bands that came out of Calvary Chapel in Orange County, California in the 80’s. The band featured Derald Daugherty of Lost Dogs fame along with Steve Hindalong, and Mike Sauerbrey.

This album has a pure new wave sound with hints of U2. The single “Someone’s Calling” was well received and received regular airplay in Christian radio.

Point of trivia is that Steve Hindalong was credited with playing drums but the drums on the album are completely electronic.

Track Listing:
1 – Someone’s Calling – 4:27
2 – Wounds Of A Young Heart – 2:38
3 – Dreams – 3:48
4 – Another Heart – 3:32
5 – Why Are All The Children Crying – 4:31
6 – Another World – 3:54
7 – Here In The Night – 4:17
8 – Alright Tonight – 2:54
9 – Anyone But You – 3:34
10 – A Million Years – 3:41

Credits:
Bass [Uncredited] – Mike Sauerbrey
Design [Sleeve] – Ed McTaggart
Design, Layout, Artwork By [Photo Illustration] – Kevin Short
Other [Crewed By] – Bob Salcedo, Tim Curiel
Other [Live Sound] – Dave Hackbarth
Percussion [Uncredited] – Steve Hindalong
Photography – Scott Lockwood
Photography [Back Cover] – Linda Baley
Producer, Engineer – Thom Roy
Vocals [Uncredited], Guitar [Uncredited] – Derald Daugherty
Written-By, Performer – Youth Choir

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Daniel Amos – Shotgun Angel – 1977

Shotgun Angel is Daniel Amos’ second album, following their 1976 debut with this classic in 1977.

How many times did I have to explain to the record store staff that Daniel Amos is not a person? It’s the prophet Daniel and the prophet Amos. Maybe I didn’t have to explain it at all, but I felt like I did.

Had DA stuck with this format, they would have been one of the most progressive “Southern Rock” bands around. It sounds country, but it clearly has a different edge. It’s nowhere near top 40 country, and nowhere near Hank, but still has the right harmonies and the right instrumentation to make you think about it.

Upbeat songs like “Black Gold Fever” and “Meal” sound southern, Texan, and progressive all at once.

“Praise Song” has quite a dirge feeling to it rather than the upbeat feeling we usually expect from modern praise. It really is a praise song, but contemptlative, with the sort of thoughtful lyrics that DA became known for.

“Father’s Arms” has a soothing vocal track and a strong rock feel to it. A medley of violins and bold guitar sounds make this a compelling song that almost defies genre.

The title track “Shotgun Angel” is a good old trucker tune, which was a subgenre in the 70s. Anything that could be played alongside CW McCall’s Convoy would do just fine. This one is a good storytelling song that has a nice country twang to it, steel guitar, diesel sounds, CB radio and all.

“Bereshith Overture” is an orchestral interlude that fits right in, but it’s hard to explain why. By the time we get to “Better” we have already had some apocalyptic scenes and been introduced to what’s almost a Pink Floyd sound. The idea that they can play with the music and the story all along the way like this certainly is consistent with Pink Floyd’s contemporary work.

“Sail Me Away” and “Posse In The Sky” round this album out with more soothing sounds. It’s top quality stuff, but hard to believe that this was the setup for one of the best CCM punk/new wave bands of the 80s.

Track Listing:
1 – Days And Nights – 2:20
2 – Black Gold Fever – 3:01
3 – Praise Song – 3:51
4 – Father’s Arms – 4:26
5 – Meal – 2:07
6 – Shotgun Angel – 3:41
7 – Finale: Bereshith Overture – 2:19
8 – Lady Goodbye – 2:29
9 – The Whistler – 2:57
10 – He’s Gonna Do A Number On You – 1:57
11 – Better – 2:24
12 – Sail Me Away – 5:04
13 – Posse In The Sky – 4:35

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Ed McTaggart, Jerry Chamberlain, Mark Cook (2), Marty Dieckmeyer, Terry Taylor
Bass Guitar – Marty Dieckmeyer
Drums – Ed McTaggart
Guitar – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Keyboards – Mark Cook (2)
Lead Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain, Mark Cook (2), Terry Taylor
Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Producer – Jonathan David Brown

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The Swirling Eddies – Let’s Spin – 1988

This was the debut album from The Swirling Eddies.

Who were the Swirling Eddies? Well, when this album was released it was a secret and a contest asked listeners to identify the band members. It was eventually revealed that it was the Daniel Amos band reincarnated, but with a different drummer. This album is a fun loving rock, pop album with a slight taste of alternative sounds.

Track Listing:
1 – Let’s Spin!
2 – Catch That Angel
3 – The Unsuccessful Dutch Missionary
4 – The Big Guns
5 – Rodeo Drive
6 – Ed Takes A Vacation (a suite)
7 – Snowball
8 – I’ve Got An Idea
9 – Don’t Ask Me How I Feel
10 – Ed Again
11 – What A World, What A World

Credits:
Art Direction, Design – Jeb McSwaggert
Backing Vocals, Voice [Speaks] – Jany Macklebee (tracks: 7)
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Bass Guitar – Berger Roy Al
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Drums [Real Live Drums], Percussion – Hort Elvision*
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Spot (5)
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Electric Guitar, Keyboards – Gene Pool (3)
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Arthur Fhardi*
Band [The Swirling Eddies Are], Vocals [All Vocals], Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Camarillo Eddy
Concept By [Cover Concept By] – Camarillo Eddy, Jeb McSwaggert
Directed By [Horns] – Buckeye Jazzbo
Engineer [Engineered By] – Sir Douglas Jr.
Horn – Buckeye Jazzbo
Horns – The Horns O’Plenty
Mixed By – Camarillo Eddy, Sir Douglas Jr.
Photography By – R. Michael Seeley*
Producer [Produced By] – Camarillo Eddy

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Daniel Amos – Horrendous Disc – 1980

The album Horrendous Disc by Daniel Amos was a very popular early 80’s CCM album.

While it was released in 1981 it has a strong mid 70’s sound. The reason for this is that it was actually recorded in 1978. It was rejected by Maranatha Music and ended up in the hands of Solid Rock Records.

For reasons only known to Larry Norman (owner of Solid Rock at the time) it was not released until 1981. It played a part in a messy situation that ended up with Daniel Amos at Newpax Records.

All that said it was a well received album with the single “I Love You #19” still very popular.

Track Listing:
1 – I Love You #19 – 3:33
2 – Hound Of Heaven – 4:06
3 – (Near-Sighted Girl With Approaching) Tidal Wave – 3:05
4 – Sky King (Out Across The Sky) – 4:05
5 – On The Line – 5:20
6 – I Believe In You – 3:45
7 – Man In The Moon – 4:00
8 – Never Leave You – 3:08
9 – Horrendous Disc – 5:20

Credits:
Bass [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Marty Dieckmeyer
Drums [Uncredited], Percussion [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Ed McTaggart
Guitar [Uncredited], Lead Vocals [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Keyboards [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Mark Cook (2)
Percussion [Uncredited] – Alex MacDougal*
Producer [Uncredited] – Daniel Amos, Mike D. Stone

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