Kansas – Drastic Measures – 1983

When it became public that Kerry Livgren of Kansas had been “born again” nobody knew what was next for the iconic 70s band. Drastic Measures is their first recording after that and it is a stellar album by any measure. The sound on Drastic Measures is harder than the sound that Kansas was known for due to songs like Dust in the Wind. The 80s demanded a little more modern and hard rock sound, and they delivered, but not without bringing in the softer sounds needed to bring the lyrics home, or the mood of a song like “Andi.” The opening track “Fire With Fire” lets you know they mean business right away. Even though it’s at a slower pace, “Going Through The Motions” still carries a strong rock vibe with a strong rhythm in it. After this album, Kerry put his efforts into his new band “AD” which was mostly new members, other than Dave Hope.

Tracklist
1 – Fight Fire With Fire – 3:40
2 – Everybody’s My Friend – 4:09
3 – Mainstream – 6:36
4 – Andi – 4:15
5 – Going Through The Motions – 5:43
6 – Get Rich – 3:43
7 – Don’t Take Your Love Away – 3:44
8 – End Of The Age – 4:33
9 – Incident On A Bridge – 5:37

Credits
Art Direction – Drennon Studio
Backing Vocals – David Pack, Kyle Henderson, Terry Brock
Backing Vocals [Additional] – Boxcar PeeWee And The Megapeople (tracks: A3), The Gang Of Men (tracks: B1, B2), Women At Work (tracks: B1)
Bass – Dave Hope
Crew [Kansas Crew] – Buren Fowler, Clay Schell, Davy Moire*, Jerry Gilleland, John Thompson (15), Merle McLain
Drums – Phil Ehart
Engineer [Recording Engineer Assistance – Bullet Recording] – Danny Mundhenk
Engineer [Recording Engineer Assistance – Le Mobile] – Cliff Bonnell, Guy Charbonneau
Guitar – Rich Williams
Keyboards [Additional] – Neil Kernon (tracks: A2)
Keyboards, Guitar – Kerry Livgren
Keyboards, Vocals – John Elefante
Lacquer Cut By – HW*
Management – Budd Carr, The Carr Company
Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
Photography By – Glen Wexler
Producer – Kansas (2), Neil Kernon
Recorded By, Mixed By – Neil Kernon
Steel Guitar – Jim Vest (tracks: A4, B3)
Words By, Music By – Dino Elefante (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to B3), John Elefante (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B3), Kerry Livgren (tracks: A3, B4, B5)

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – Corn & Blood, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – CBS Inc.
Manufactured By – CBS Records
Distributed By – CBS Records
Recorded At – Lakewood Fairgrounds
Recorded By – Le Mobile
Recorded At – Bullet Recording
Mixed At – Bullet Recording
Recorded At – Son Of Other Room
Mastered At – Masterdisk
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Carrollton, GA
Published By – Full Grown Man Music
Published By – Mastodon Music
Published By – Don Kirshner Music
Published By – Blackwood Music Publishing

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Mastedon – It’s a Jungle Out There – 1989

Mastedon was a studio project by John & Dino Elefante. The fact that they were dabbling in heavy metal right at the end of the 80’s kind of surprises me but then again it shows their versatility and their love of all styles of music. The “Band” were basically a bunch of high quality studio musicians. John & Dino Elefante both played on the album but left lead vocals to David Robbins who was also the vocalist on the 1989 X-Sinner album “Get It”, another Elefante project. John & Dino Elefante also wrote all of the tracks with the exception of the lyrics on “Shine On” written by Petra’s Bob Hartman. The album is a pretty high quality metal album but some tracks lean more Hard Rock. Most of the Metal songs have a commercial Metal Pop song. My final thought on this album is that it’s pretty good and I look forward to listening their album from 1990.

Tracklist
1 – It’s A Jungle Out There – 3:54
2 – Glory Bound – 4:17
3 – This Is The Day – 4:14
4 – Love Inhalation – 4:39
5 – Islands In The Sky – 3:42
6 – Get Up – 4:00
7 – Love That Will Survive – 4:02
8 – Innocent Girl – 3:42
9 – Shine On – 4:24
10 – Right Hand – 6:05

Credits
Backing Vocals – Dave Amato, Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Bass – Dino Elefante, Jimmy “Flim” Johnson, John Pierce
Drums – David Raven, John Elefante, Phil Rowland
Engineer [Additional] – Ben Rodgers
Engineer [Assistant] – Jeff Simmons
Engineer, Mixed By – Dino Elefante, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Fretless Bass – John Patitucci (tracks: 9)
Illustration – Robert Fischer
Keyboards – John Elefante
Lead Guitar – Dave “Pittsy” Amato
Lead Vocals – Dave Amato (tracks: 2, 4, 10), Dave Robbins (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 6), Perry Lee (tracks: 4, 8)
Lyrics By – Bob Hartman (tracks: 9)
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Music By – Dino Elefante (tracks: 9), John Elefante (tracks: 9)
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Rhythm Guitar – Dino Elefante
Vocals – Dave Robbins
Written-By – Dino Elefante (tracks: 1-8, 10), John Elefante (tracks: 1-8, 10)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – R.E.X. Music Inc.
Copyright (c) – Regency Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Regency Music
Mastered At – Future Disc
Recorded At – Pakaderm Studios
Recorded At – Pack’s Place
Pressed By – Disc Manufacturing, Inc., Huntsville – 27581

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Various – Voices – 1987

This was a sampler from Myrrh that featured known and unknown artists. Here is a bit about these artists and their respective tracks;

Tata Vega – “In Your Light” – Tata Vega is a secular artist who had great success in the 70’s with stage musicals. As far as I can tell she never released a Christian album. The track appears to be unreleased.

Bob Carlisle – “Heaven Is Waiting” & “Teach Me How” – Bob Carlisle is best known for being in the band Allies in the 80’s and had several solo projects in the 90’s. Both tracks appears to be unreleased.

Bryan Duncan – “Come As You Are” – Bryan is well known for being in Sweet Comfort Band and then a very successful solo career. The track appears to be unreleased.

Matthew Ward – “Light Of The World” – Matthew is well known for being in
2nd Chapter Of Acts and then a very successful solo career. The track appears to be unreleased.

Howard McCrary – “In Your Presence” – Howard released a solo album in 1985 but is better known for being a member of The California Raisins. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Kim Boyce/John Elefante – “Helpless” – Kim Boyce had several Pop Christian albums in the 80’s. John Elefante is well known as a member of Kansas and as a very successful producer in the Christian music scene. The track appears to be unreleased.

Rick Riso – “Heaven Must Have Sent You” – Rick has released 3 Christian albums and this track appeared on “Shouting At The Walls” as a CD Bonus Track.

Benny Hester – “Then You Call My Name” – Benny is a well known solo Christian artist. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Tommy Funderburk – “Lift Up My Voice” – Tommy is best known for being one of the members of The Front. He did also have a solo album in 2005. This track Appears to be unreleased.

Tracklist
1 – Tata Vega – In Your Light – 3:50
2 – Bob Carlisle – Heaven Is Waiting – 4:29
3 – Bryan Duncan – Come As You Are – 4:32
4 – Matthew Ward – Light Of The World – 4:30
5 – Howard McCrary – In Your Presence – 4:23
6 – Kim Boyce, John Elefante – Helpless – 3:28
7 – Rick Riso – Heaven Must Have Sent You – 3:48
8 – Bob Carlisle – Teach Me How – 4:29
9 – Benny Hester – Then You Call My Name – 3:19
10 – Tommy Funderburk – Lift Up My Voice – 4:14

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X-Sinner – Peace Treaty – 1991

The second album from X-Sinner took up where their first album left off. As with the first album this album was produced by the infamous Elefante brothers. They were able to recreate the AC-DC sound of the first album all over again. This was a little more difficult than you may think as Rex Scott took over lead vocals from David Robbins. The band found the album to have too soft a feel and they wanted more edge in their sound. Personally, I think this album is excellent, though admittedly I preferred “Get It” only because I felt there were more potential singles.

Tracklist
1 – Peer Pressure – 4:38
2 – Rollin’ Thunder – 4:32
3 – We Need Love – 5:14
4 – Getch Ya – 4:52
5 – Hold On – 2:58
6 – I Take Power – 4:36
7 – Gotta Let Go – 4:04
8 – You Got Me – 4:29
9 – All I Need – 3:38
10 – Don’t Go – 5:25

Credits
Drums – Mike Buckner
Engineer, Mixed By – Mike Mireau
Guitar, Bass – Greg Bishop
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Rex Scott
Musician [Additional Musician], Backing Vocals – Jamie Rowe
Musician [Additional Musician], Backing Vocals, Shaker, Cowbell, Tambourine, Bass [Bass on “Getch Ya”] – John Elefante
Producer, Engineer – John Elefante
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Dino Elefante

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X-Sinner – Get It – 1989

This is the first album from X-Sinner and what an album it was.

The comparison to AC/DC is rather obvious but there is a touch of Def Leppard on several tracks.

The album was produced by the Elefante brothers and they really performed their magic on this album. It is very well engineered and produced, in fact maybe a little over produced but really who cares, it came out great.

On a personal note I really wish I could have seen them live, from what I have read they put on a really good show.

Track Listing:
1 – Medicine – 3:22
2 – Steppin’ On Toes – 3:28
3 – Hearts On Fire – 4:13
4 – No Way In – 3:43
5 – Get It – 4:18
6 – Accountable – 4:13
7 – Walking Evil – 4:48
8 – Lift Him Up – 3:13
9 – Kick ‘Em Out – 3:17
10 – Livin’ On The Edge – 4:07

Credits:
Art Direction – Terry Degraff
Backing Vocals – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Bass – Rob Kniep
Drums – David Raven, Michael Buckner
Engineer [Assistant] – Jeff Simmons
Engineer, Mixed By – Dino Elefante, John Elefante, Mike Mierau
Graphics [Title] – Noah’s Art
Guitar – Greg Bishop
Keyboards – John Elefante
Layout – John Shaffer
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Photography By [Cover] – Jodi Summer
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Vocals – David Robbins
Written-By – Robbins (tracks: 1 to 9), Bishop

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Allies – (self titled) – 1985

Sometime in 1985 we were surprised to find this record in our local shop, arriving with no fanfare, but clearly a rock’n’roll album by the cover.

The military look doesn’t translate into the themes in the lyrics or the music too much. There’s no “Onward Christian Soldiers” here, just some straight-up radio rock something along the lines of Journey or Foreigner. Just enough synthesizer and guitar mix to remind you what decade this is, and some strong vocals make this a solid sound.

The Allies log is a capital A with (almost) a circle around it. It’s not the punk rock A for Anarchy, but it’s close, just not very punk. There is no punk connection on this album at all. It seems like the marketing approach was a shotgun approach rather than just selling the great musicianship that is on this album.

Track Listing:
1 – Surrender – 4:36
2 – Second Chance – 3:54
3 – Don’t Run Away – 3:28
4 – Send Me – 4:27
5 – Don’t Keep Him Waiting – 3:57
6 – Don’t You Worry – 5:07
7 – Morningstar – 5:03
8 – I’ll Be Your Brother – 3:56
9 – Pardon Me – 4:22

Credits:
Bass – Matthew Chapman
Design [Allies Emblem] – Coen Van De Poll
Design, Art Direction, Artwork By [Illustration] – Kurt Triffet
Drums – Jim Erickson
Engineer [Second] – Mike Mierau
Guitar, Guitar [Solo], Bass, Vocals – Randy Thomas
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Bob Carlisle
Keyboards [Acoustic Keyboards& Electric], Vocals – Sam Scott
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Photography By – Ken Reece
Producer – Randy Thomas
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Dino Elefante
Sequenced By [Syntheizer] – Tim Heintz
Vocals – John Elefante

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Barren Cross – Atomic Arena – 1988

This is the second album from Christian metal band Barren Cross.

It is much like the first album but has been produced to a more radio friendly level. In fact the production is much better than the previous album which actually had fairly good production on its own.

Both albums were produced by the Elefante brothers who never really go wrong on any album.

Track Listing:
1 – Imaginary Music – 4:26
2 – Killers Of The Unborn – 3:28
3 – In The Eye Of The Fire – 4:57
4 – Terrorist Child – 3:30
5 – Close To The Edge – 4:55
6 – Dead Lock – 4:18
7 – Cultic Regimes – 2:48
8 – Heaven Or Nothing – 4:10
9 – King Of Kings – 3:30
10 – Living Dead – 6:50

Credits:
Art Direction – Marco Registrada
Artwork By [Album Cover Painting] – Steve Huston
Bass Guitar, Synthesizer [Taurus Synthesizer Pedals], Backing Vocals – Jim LaVerde
Concept By [Album Cover] – Ray Parris
Drums, Backing Vocals – Steve Whitaker
Engineer – Dino Elefante, Mike Mierau
Keyboards – John Elefante
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Mike Lee
Other [Costumes] – Sharon Shubin
Other [Hair And Makeup Artist] – Lisa Lee
Photography By [Additional Live Shots] – Rebecca May, Renee Parris
Photography By [Inside Photos] – ‘Nar’ Of Limelight
Producer – Dino Elefante, John Elefante
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Ray Parris
Vocals [Additional] – Dino Elefante, John Elefante

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