The 77s – Tom Tom Blues – 1995

A lot of stuff happened between 1984’s All Fall Down and Tom Tom Blues. Six other albums in fact, so the fact that this one stands stark against their 1980s style isn’t that strange. However, here at Real 80s CCM we really like the 80s stuff so I have to talk about it. I first discovered this album in the used CD bin at a local record shop in the mid-90s. I think someone else must have bought it expecting that cutting, pop-new wave and found something else instead. Not that this isn’t a good collection of songs, but it required seriously resetting some expectations. Having said that, I don’t like it as much as some of their other work, such as their self-titled album in 1987. This 1995 release isn’t what I would call grunge, but it came from the grunge era and in retrospect, that is probably the most noticeable influence on the sound. 77s do not really excel at the grunge sound. The lead track, Rocks In Your Head comes on strong, and may be the most memorable one here. Throughout the album there is a lot of rumbly bassline and gutsy guitar. It did make me think back to Ping Pong Over the Abyss with the guitar sound. If there is such a thing as new wave grunge, maybe this is it.

1 – Rocks In Your Head – 3:37
2 – Honesty – 6:21
3 – You Still Love Me – 5:22
4 – Outskirts – 4:42
5 – Flowers In The Sand – 4:51
6 – Don’t Leave Me Long – 4:21
7 – Gravy Chain – 3:17
8 – Five In The Nave – 1:01
9 – Earache – 6:06
10 – Deliverance – 8:53

Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Bass, Backing Vocals, Other [Bottom] – Mark Harmon
Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Other [Everything In Between] – Bruce Spencer
Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Guitar [Guitars], Lead Vocals, Other [Top] – Michael Roe
Cover, Illustration – Rachel Thornton
Design Concept [Art Concept By], Design – Seventy Sevens
Engineer [Engineered By] – Craig Long, Kirt Shearer, Scott Reams
Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Guy Niosi, John Flanagan
Executive-Producer – Gene Eugene, Ojo Taylor
Featuring, Percussion, Other [Cool Vibes] – Cary Avery
Illustration [Inside B/W Illustration] – Kathryn Garcia Smith
Mastered By – Michael Romanowski
Photography By – Pat Johnson
Producer [Produced By] – The 77’s
Songwriter [All Songs Written By] – The 77’s

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Brainstorm Artists International
Copyright © – Brainstorm Artists International
Distributed By – Diamante Music Group
Recorded At – Paradise Studios, Sacramento, CA
Recorded At – Plaid Jacket
Mixed At – Plaid Jacket
Mastered At – Rocket Lab
Pressed By – Disctronics USA – 138314
Published By – 7 And 7 Is Music

CD Case Front
CD Case Back
Inside 1
Inside 2

Adam Again – Ten Songs by Adam Again – 1988

The second album from Adam Again is a huge step up from their first. I am not saying the first album wasn’t good because it was. It is just that this album had a huge improvement in production quality and Gene was really developing his style whatever you want to label that style as. This album at times has a funk feel, sometimes a fusion feel and at times I hear R.E.M. While that description might lead you to believe the album is all over the place it isn’t. The album has a consistent feel and is very well assembled. The surprise on the album is a cover of the Bill Withers 1971 song “Ain’t No Sunshine” which is done perfectly. All in all I love this album though I will be honest I didn’t care for The Tenth Song. This was also their first album on Broken Records which I have read was actually owned by Gene and Ojo Taylor.

1 – Tree House – 6:53
2 – Beat Peculiar – 8:23
3 – Who Can Hold Us – 4:29
4 – Babylon – 1:45
5 – I’ve Seen Dominoes – 6:16
6 – Trouble With Lies – 5:16
7 – Ain’t No Sunshine – 2:38
8 – Eyes Wide Open – 5:52
9 – Every Word I Say – 5:46
10 – The Tenth Song – 5:47

Art Direction, Design – Norman Fog
Engineer [Occasional Engineering (Dave’s Not Here)] – Gene, Glenn Holland, Greg, Riki*
Guest [With], Percussion [All Percussions] – Nathan Alford, Jr.
Guest [With], Saxophone [All Saxophones] – Dan Michaels
Guest [With], Vocals – Archie Robinson (tracks: 1, 3, 8, 9), Arveal Johnson (tracks: 1, 3, 8, 9), Lanette Elkles (tracks: 1, 3, 8, 9), Larry Simpson (tracks: 1, 3, 8, 9), Laura Smith (9) (tracks: 1, 3, 8, 9)
Mixed By – Dave, Gene
Performer [Played And Sung By] – Gene Eugene, Greg Lawless, Paul Valadez, Riki Michele
Photography By [Photos] – Brian Ray
Producer [Produced By], Arranged By – Gene Eugene
Recorded By – Dave Hackbarth

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Brainstorm Artists International
Copyright (c) – Brainstorm Artists International
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Neverland
Published By – Chenka, Chenka Music
Published By – Interior Music
Made By – Discovery Systems

Various – The Broken Christmas – 1988

In 1988 some of our favourite Broken Records groups and singers came together to produce this upbeat Christmas album. We are familiar with all of these performers with the exception of House Party who never had an album. So put this on your Christmas playlist to spice it up.

1 – Riki Michele – The first Noel
2 – Undercover – O Come All Ye Faithful
3 – Level Heads – Born In A Stable
4 – J.C. & The Boyz – Rudy Red
5 – Ojo – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
6 – 4•4•1 – What Child Is This
7 – Adam Again – Angels We Have Heard On High
8 – The Reign – O Holy Night
9 – The Holidays – Silent Night
10 – House Party – Follow The Star
11 – Gene Eugene , Riki Michele, Ojo – O Come, O Come Immanuel

Art Direction – Brian Ray
Edited By, Mastered By – John Matousek
Engineer [Second Engineer] – Scott Macklin
Painting – Michael Gerard Knott
Producer, Engineer – Gene Eugene, Ojo Taylor
Recorded By – Alan Hill

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Brainstorm Artists International Inc.
Copyright (c) – Brainstorm Artists International Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Neverland
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Recorded At – Lakeshore Sound
Edited At – Hitsville
Mastered At – Hitsville

Lost Dogs – Scenic Routes – 1992

The “Lost Dogs” are a CCM supergroup that started in 1992. They are a collection of experienced musicians that have all been in multiple successful CCM bands. The name fits when things start out, but they went on to make a dozen or so studio albums.

Scenic Routes is the debut album from this group and on the cover it states “Lost Dogs are Terry Taylor, Mike Roe, Derri Daugherty.” That’s an impressive lineup to begin with.

That’s Terry Taylor (DA, Swirling Eddies), Mike Roe (77s), Derri Daugherty (The Choir, Swirling Eddies). They are also joined by Gene Eugene (Swirling Eddies, Adam Again) on this album. Of course these guys were all in other bands besides the ones I’ve listed, but this is an impressive group resume already.

Considering these guys are all from various CCM punk bands, this is an unexpected but excellent change of pace. The songs range from blues to folk to country to traditional, all with excellent arrangements that work well with the voices of all three singers. “Built For Glory, Made To Last” is a great example of hearing them all sing together, sharing both lead and backing vocals.

The Stephen Foster classic “Hard Times Come Again No More” is a 19th century standard that they have fit perfectly into this set. (Trivia: re-watch the barroom scene with the piano player in the movie Tombstone.)

“I Am A Pilgrim” was made famous by The Birds but is listed here as a traditional. Once again, the Dogs deliver on this one with a great country folk feel and strong harmony.

“Lord Protect My Child” is a Bob Dylan cover done well, which can be an extremely tricky thing to pull off. They stay true to the feel of a Dylan song, but don’t try to imitate too closely. That seems to be what makes it work.

There are some excellent original tunes with lyrics that range from serious and biting to funny and biting. The album moves along at a good pace, and although it goes through some dark places (“Why Is The Devil Red” and “The Last Testament Of Angus Shane” among others), at the end leaves you with a breath of fresh air.

Even the original songs on this album sound like traditionals and classics. It’s the hallmark of excellent writing.

Track Listing:
1 – Scenic Routes – 2:29
2 – You Gotta Move – 3:54
3 – Built For Glory, Made To Last – 5:29
4 – Bullet Train – 5:24
5 – The Fortunate Sons – 4:37
6 – The New Physics – 4:06
7 – I Am A Pilgrim – 3:41
8 – Lord, Protect My Child – 4:53
9 – Amber Waves Goodbye – 3:53
10 – Bush League – 1:53
11 – Old And Lonesome – 4:53
12 – I Can’t Say Goodbye – 5:00
13 – Why Is The Devil Red? – 2:52
14 – Smokescreen – 2:27
15 – The Last Testament Of Angus Shane – 4:09
16 – Hard Times Come Again No More – 2:13
17 – Breathe Deep – 3:34

Art Direction, Photography By [All Photography] – Anna Cardenas
Band [Lost Dogs Are], Guitar, Piano, Vocals – Gene Eugene
Band [Lost Dogs Are], Guitar, Vocals – Derri Daugherty, Mike Roe*, Terry Taylor
Engineer [Engineered By] – Gene*
Engineer [Engineered With] – Derri*, Rob Watson, Terry*
Guest [With], Dobro, Banjo, Pedal Steel Guitar – Greg Kellogg
Guest [With], Drums, Percussion – Burleigh Drummond
Guest [With], Violin – James Sitterly
Producer [Produced By] – Derri Daugherty, Gene Eugene, Mike Roe*, Terry Taylor