Imperials – One More Song For You – 1979

At this point in time the Imperials had the whole hit album thing down to a fine art and Dayspring/Word Records was in full profit mode even getting 2 albums out in 1979. The Russ Taff legacy was taking a strong foothold and they were churning out the radio hits. This album had 3 singles. The big one was “I’m Forgiven” which got stuck at #1 for an amazing 13 weeks. “What I Can Do For You” and “One More Song For You” peaked at #12 and #10 respectively. Of real note on this album is Michael Omartian coming on as producer and song writer. Personally this album just wasn’t that impressive to me. I really shouldn’t argue with radio success but at this point the guys could have put out an album of them all snoring and it would have been a #1 hit. CCM radio was only interested in playing tried and true performers and no one was more tried and true than the Imperials. That said I admit there was some good stuff coming on future albums when luckily they had to compete with up and coming acts that turned the electric guitar up past 3. That said to the normal Imperials fan this is a good album and I am sure they quite enjoyed it.

Tracklist
1 – What I Can Do For You – 2:59
2 – I’m Forgiven – 3:54
3 – All My Life – 3:24
4 – Living Without Your Love – 3:27
5 – Eagle Song – 3:14
6 – Closer Than Ever – 4:23
7 – One More Song For You – 4:38
8 – Higher Power – 4:20
9 – More Like You – 3:30

Credits
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Marti McCall, Myrna Matthews, Stormie Omartian
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Congas – Victor Feldman
Design [Album Design], Photography By – Bob Anderson
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer [Additional] – Jack Lees, John Banuelos
Engineer, Remix – John Guess
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Horns – Chuck Findley, Dick Hyde, Jackie Kelso, Steve Madaio
Horns, Soloist [Saxophone] – Kim Hutchcroft
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Performer – Armond Morales, David Will, Jim Murray, Russell Taff
Producer, Arranged By, Keyboards, Percussion – Michael Omartian

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Published By – See This House Music
Published By – Word Music, Inc.
Published By – Norman Clayton Publishing
Published By – I.A.M. Music
Recorded At – Jennifudy Studios
Recorded At – Hollywood Central Recorders
Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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The Imperials – Heed The Call – 1979

Heed The Call is perhaps the Imperials most iconic album. You can see them decked out in suits that would make the Oak Ridge Boys envious on the back cover. Some memorable songs here like “Oh Buddha” and “Old Man’s Rubble” make this album the one that really represents their body of work well. The Imperials started out in 1964 and their lineup changed many times over the years, but this version of them in 1979 was when they were in their stride. These songs were a slightly modern take on some traditional styles and were very popular as contemporary music in churches in the 80s.

Tracklist
1 – Overcomer – 3:37
2 – Praise The Lord – 3:35
3 – Oh Buddha – 3:28
4 – Old Man’s Rubble – 3:15
5 – Heed The Call – 3:01
6 – Let Jesus Do It – 3:27
7 – Growing Stronger – 3:29
8 – First Morning In Heaven – 2:41
9 – Whenever I Speak His Name – 4:33
10 – My Mind Forgets A Million Things – 3:48
11 – He Didn’t Lift Us Up To Let Us Down – 3:21

Credits
Cover, Illustration – Dave Gaadt
Engineer – Brown Bannister
Executive-Producer – Buddy Huey
Mastered By – Glenn Meadows
Photography By [Back Cover] – Goss Photography
Producer – Chris Christian

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Remixed At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Designed At – The Graphic Truth
Manufactured By – Prim
Distributed By – Prim

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The Imperials – This Year’s Model – 1987

This was The Imperials first album after the departure of long time tenor Jim Murray and lead singer Paul Smith. Apparently their departure made for a rather odd decision for this album. It is much more youth oriented, and in fact you could argue it was a total pop album. This caused all sorts of consternation from their regular fans who were expecting another worship oriented album. I actually snicker at how they would have reacted on their first listen to this album. The album is well done and actually quite enjoyable. Let’s face it these guys knew what they were doing and probably could have put out a top notch heavy metal album. Try envisioning that for a minute. But alas the new pop sound must not have sold well as the next album they were right back to their worship oriented sound. Pity actually, this was a good album.

Tracklist
1 – Holding On (First Love) – 5:22
2 – Fallin’ – 4:03
3 – Warriors – 4:54
4 – How Do I Get You? – 5:38
5 – Wings Of Love – 4:38
6 – Power Of God – 4:07
7 – Outlander – 6:47
8 – Get Ready – 4:38
9 – Devoted To You – 3:44

Credits
Arranged By [Rhythm Track] – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork [Jacket Concept] – Joan Tankersley, Lynn Nichols
Bass – Jimmie Lee* (tracks: A2, B4)
Drum Programming – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1)
Drums – Paul Leim (tracks: B4, B5)
Engineer [Second] – Bill Whittington, Danny Johnston, J.T., Spence Chrislu, Wade Jaynes
Executive Producer – Lynn Nichols
Guitar – Mark Grendel (tracks: A2 to A4), Tom Hemby (tracks: B2, B4, B5)
Keyboards – Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, A2, B1, B4, B5), Shane Keister (tracks: A4, B4)
Lyrics By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Ron Hemby (tracks: B2, B5)
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Nick Froome
Mixed By [Assistant] – Ed Goodreau, Rob Jaczko
Music By – Chris Eaton (tracks: A3, B3), Jimmie Lee (tracks: A2, B4), Keith Thomas (tracks: A1, B1)
Photography By [Back Cover] – Aaron Rapoport
Photography By [Front Cover] – Ellen Schuster
Producer – Brown Bannister
Programmed By [Fairlight] – Carl Marsh, Peter Kaye, Rhett Lawrence, Shane Keister
Programmed By [Synclavier] – Steve Schaffer
Recorded By [Overdubs] – J.B., Jeff Balding
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks, Assistant] – Joe Schiff
Recorded By [Rhythm Tracks] – Steve McMillan
Synthesizer [Fairlight Iii] – Carl Marsh (tracks: A1, A3)

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Imperials – Let The Wind Blow – 1985

The previous album to this one, “Side By Side”, was one of the Imperials least popular albums as it was just a little too Worship oriented. The Imperials returned with this album of far more pop oriented songs. Obviously they were going after a more youthful audience. The album succeeds relatively well in that regard with a few songs I would almost classify as pop, especially the first three tracks. After that the album dissolves into a normal Imperials album. Two of those first three tracks actually singled. “Let The Wind Blow” made it to #1 and “In The Promised Land” peaked at #3 on the charts. Also charting were “Jericho” at #12 and “Taking the Time” at #27. The people in charge should have noticed the success of this pop sound but alas on most albums we were only treated to one of two songs that had that sound. My final thoughts on this release is that it is probably one of their best albums from a youthful perspective. That said it never made it’s way into our collections at the time so maybe I’m completely wrong.

Tracklist
1 – In The Promised Land – 4:18
2 – Bread Of Life – 3:53
3 – Let The Wind Blow – 5:03
4 – Jericho – 4:54
5 – The Deeper Meaning – 4:08
6 – Sing For Joy – 3:31
7 – Today – 3:43
8 – Taking The Time – 3:56
9 – Miracles – 4:17
10 – Not To Us, O Lord – 4:18

Credits
Arranged By – Brown Bannister, Imperials
Arranged By [Horns] – Jerry Hey
Art Direction – Kent Hunter, Thomas Ryan Design
Bass – Mike Brignardello, Nathan East
CGI Artist – Daniel Buehler
Design – Kent Hunter, Thomas Ryan Design
Drums – Paul Leim
Electric Piano, Synthesizer – John Schriner, Michael W. Smith, Robbie Buchanan, Shane Keister Engineer, Mixed By – Jack Joseph Puig Executive-Producer – Dan Harrel, Michael Blanton
Guitar – Dann Huff
Horns – Berwyn Linton, William F. Reichenbach, Charles B. Findley, Doug Dana, Gary E. Grant, Jerry Hey, Lawrence L. Williams
Keyboards, Piano – Bill Purse, Keith Thomas, Michael W. Smith
Percussion – Paulinho Da Costa
Photography By – Mark Tucker (7)
Producer – Brown Bannister
Programmed By [Fairlight] – Rhett Lawrence

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Santa Barbara Sound Design
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – The Bennett House
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Mama Jo’s
Mixed At – Mama Jo’s
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.

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Imperials – Stand By The Power – 1982

Album #29 from the Imperials is a little more uptempo at times than their previous work. I attribute this to producer Bill Schnee stepping in for this album. This was the first album without Russ Taff and instead we got to hear Paul Smith who stepped in to the group starting on this album. The album spawned 3 singles with “Lord Of The Harvest” peaking at #3 with 28 weeks on the charts. “Somebody New” also did well peaking at #9. and “Because Of Who You Are” peaking at just #37. For a change they did not win their usual Dove award for this album being beaten out by Amy Grant’s “Age to Age”.

Tracklist
1 – Stand By The Power – 3:33
2 – Somebody New – 3:52
3 – Part Time Servant – 3:44
4 – This Heart – 4:26
5 – Lord Of The Harvest – 4:37
6 – Under His Reign – 3:26
7 – I Never Get Enough Of Your Love – 4:07
8 – How Can You Live – 3:46
9 – All For The Asking – 3:49
10 – Because Of Who You Are – 3:31

Credits
Arranged By [Horns Arranged By] – Bob Wilson (tracks: B4)
Arranged By [Strings Arranged By], Piano, Synthesizer – James Newton Howard
Bass – Nathan East, Neil Stubenhaus
Drums – Carlos Vega, Jeff Porcaro
Engineer [Assisted By] – David Schober, Scott Hendricks, Skip Moon
Engineer [Engineered By], Producer [Produced By] – Bill Schnee
Guitar – Carlos Rios (2), Dann Huff, Hadley Hockensmith, Steve Lukather
Percussion – Lenny Castro
Photography By [Album Back Photo] – Allan Messer
Photography By [Album Front Photo] – Michael Borum
Production Manager [Production Coordinator] – Susan Pyron

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab

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Imperials – Christmas With The Imperials – 1980

This 1980 release from the Imperials features a selection of traditional Christmas Carols sung in a traditional style. Sorry no Rock & Roll here.

Tracklist
1 – Child Of Love – 3:52
2 – It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – 2:51
3 – Mary’s Boy Child – 2:41
4 – Immanual – 3:30
5 – O Come All Ye Faithful – 2:02
6 – Christmas Praise – 2:49
7 – Silent Night – 2:47
8 – What Child Is This? – 2:38
9 – O Little Town Of Bethlehem – 2:22
10 – O Holy Night – 3:57

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Imperials – Live – 1978

This Live album features the most recent hits (in 1978) from the Imperials. Some of the versions were spruced up for the concert and some of them tamed down. The selection of songs and styles didn’t really work well in my opinion but I wasn’t at the concert so maybe it worked better in person. There’s one thing on the album that annoyed me. They introduce the song “Your First Day In Heaven” as being how they sounded in 1964. The song however is not from 1964 and appears to have been released the same year at this album (feel free to correct me). Why do a song in the old style when you could just pick and old song and do it the way it was originally done. This moment was just sort of strange to me. All that said if you love the early Imperials this live album is for you. The production quality is excellent and the song choices were overall good choices.

Tracklist
1 – Sonshine Day – 2:34
2 – Bread Upon The Water – 3:16
3 – Bread Upon The Water (Reprise) – 0:52
4 – New Creation – 5:47
5 – Your First Day In Heaven – 1:39
6 – Lead Me Gently Home Father – 3:17
7 – I Love The Way You Love – 4:09
8 – He Touched Me – 3:53
9 – Sail On – 5:03
10 – How Great Thou Art – 2:40
11 – The Old Gospel Ship – 3:07
12 – The Old Gospel Ship (Reprise) – 1:42

Credits
Bass, Electric Guitar – Dave Hollihand, John Lutz
Drums – Mike Kinard
Engineer – Gaston Nichols, Max Moseley
Piano, Electric Piano – Bill George
Producer – Armond Morales, Buddy Huey, Chris Christian
Trumpet – John Lutz
Recorded Live: First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas The Kingsland Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri.

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Imperials – Priority – 1980

This was the final album from the Imperials with Russ Taff leading the group. A lot of fans believe he was the best the Imperials had to offer and among those people this album is generally thought to be his best. This album was actually fairly uptempo for the Imperials and personally I hadn’t listened to this album in 30 years so I was pleasantly surprised how good it actually was. It’s not my style but this is a good album. Most of the songs were written by the Omartians and Taff. Strangely the track “Into My Life” was written by Beeb Birtles (Little River Band) and appeared on his album released the same year.

Tracklist
1 – The Trumpet Of Jesus – 3:46
2 – Finish What You Started – 4:05
3 – I’d Rather Believe In You – 3:37
4 – Any Good Time At All – 4:02
5 – Be Still My Soul – 3:51
6 – There’s No Time Till You Take It – 4:09
7 – Pieces – 4:06
8 – Into My Life – 4:42
9 – Seek Ye First – 5:00

Credits
Artwork By [Layout] – Bob Anderson
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Marti McCall, Myrna Matthews, Stormie Omartian
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Congas – Alex Acuña
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer, Remix – John Guess
Guitar – Martin K. Walsh
Keyboards – Michael Omartian
Leader [Concertmaster] – Assa Drori
Mastered By [Mastering Engineer] – Ken Perry
Other [Production Coordinator] – Yvonne Garcia
Photography – Bob Anderson
Producer, Arranged By – Michael Omartian
Saxophone – Jackie Kelso, Kim Hutchcroft
Trombone – Dick Hyde, Lew McCreary
Trumpet – Chuck Findley, Steve Madaio
Vocals – Russ Taff
Written By [Lyrics] – Stormie Omartian (tracks: A1 to A4, B1, B2, B4)
Written By [Music] – Michael Omartian (tracks: A1 to A4, B1, B2, B4)

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Imperials – No Shortage – 1975

This 1975 Imperials release provided their fans with more of what they loved. This album was more socially aware of the times. The title and lead track referred to the “shortage culture” of the mid 70’s. Other tracks spoke of negative issues and how God figured into them. Some pundits actually consider “No Shortage” as their best song ever. The album won both Grammy and Dove awards. No Shortage was probably one of the most popular Christian albums of all time but keep in mind the broad target audience of the album before you rush to correct me.

Tracklist
1 – No Shortage – 2:50
2 – Give Them All To Jesus – 3:32
3 – Would You Believe In Me – 4:07
4 – Holy Spirit, Speak To Me – 3:35
5 – My Child, Welcome Home 2:57
6 – Someday (It May Be Tomorrow) – 2:22
7 – I Just Came To Praise The Lord – 3:07
8 – Let Us Love One Another – 4:50
9 – Light At The End Of The Darkness – 3:42
10 – There Must Be A Better Way – 3:46

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Various – Rock of the Ages – Rock & Roll From The Third Dimension – 1983

This sampler is relatively unremarkable in that all the songs on it were very well known. The only thing that stood out about the release was that the album cover was 3D and the album came with 3D glasses so you could enjoy it.

Tracklist
1 – Leslie Phillips – Put Your Heart In Me (Beyond Saturday Night) – 4:00
2 – Randy Stonehill – The Glory And The Flame (Between The Glory And The Flame ) – 3:10
3 – Imperials – How Can You Live (Stand By The Power) – 3:46
4 – Maria Muldaur – Keep My Eyes On You (There Is A Love) – 4:01
5 – Kenny Marks – He’ll Finish What He Started (Follow Him) – 3:11
6 – Amy Grant – Too Late (Never Alone) – 3:15
7 – White Heart – You’re The One (White Heart) – 3:56
8 – David Edwards – Anything But Love (Get The Picture) – 3:34
9 – Dion – I Put Away My Idols ( I Put Away My Idols) – 3:08

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