Mark Heard – Fingerprint – 1980/1995

The story goes that in 1980 Mark was having difficulties with Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records. As he was on contract in the USA he went to Europe to record and release this album. However there is a secondary story that is much simpler and in my opinion more possible. It is that Mark was essentially living in Europe and as such chose to release his next album there. The album was originally released on his own label in Switzerland which is a relatively odd business decision. All that aside this album was missed by most Mark Heard fans as it wasn’t released in the US until 1995. By now he was free and clear of Larry and Solid Rock Records so he released it on VIA Records. The album is about three quarters Mark’s signature acoustic guitar work but there are a few 70’s style rocking tunes. Mark rerecorded a few of these tracks between 1980 and 1995 to put on his North American releases so some of these versions may surprise you.

Tracklist
1 – I’m In Chains – 3:30
2 – Nowadays – 3:25
3 – One More Time – 3:03
4 – Epistle – 2:57
5 – Just The Same – 3:16
6 – Well-Worn Pages – 2:48
7 – Gimme Mine – 3:51
8 – All The Sleepless Dreamers – 3:33
9 – Negative Charge – 3:58
10 – Brown-Eyed Sue – 3:20
11 – Es Tut Mir Leid – 2:04
12 – Remarks To Mr. McLuhan – 2:02
13 – Threefold Amen – 0:20

Credits
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandolin, Synthesizer [Moog], Percussion, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mark Heard
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals, Slide Guitar – Jon Linn
Backing Vocals, Photography By – Janet Sue Heard
Drums – Peter Johnson
Piano, Synthesizer – Tom Howard
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Written By, Photography By – Mark Heard

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – King’s Records
Recorded At – Peace In The Valley Recording
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Palmfrond Communications
Copyright (c) – Palmfrond Communications
Manufactured By – King’s Records
Pressed By – Turicaphon AG

1980 Jacket Front
1980 Jacket Back
1995 Cover

Mark Heard – Mosaics – 1985

Mosaics is another folk-rock sounding album from Mark, a style he settled solidly into after releasing some softer, almost country albums and a few rock albums. This blend suited his creativity well. After this album he had a five year gap before putting out another one. Mark recorded few songs that were not his own writing, so this album stands out with a version of T Bone Burnett’s “Power Of Love.” It’s a pretty close cover of the original on T Bone’s 1980 album “Truth Decay.” An interesting coincidence with the T Bone cover is the appearance of David Mansfield playing lead guitar on four of the tracks on this album. However, David is not credited on “Power of Love” despite having played with T Bone on his albums, as well as their work together in Alpha Band and on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. As always, Mark was able to attract top level musicians to his project. It seems like everyone wanted to work with him and the results suggest the reason why. Leslie Phillips (aka Sam Phillips) appears on backing vocals on a few tracks, Tom Howard plays keys on several tracks, and John Mehler adds his drumming to make this another all-star cast project.

Tracklist
1 – With Broken Wings – 4:23
2 – Schizophrenia – 3:48
3 – All Is Not Lost – 3:05
4 – Heart On The Line – 4:08
5 – He Plays The Game – 3:20
6 – The Golden Age – 4:08
7 – The Power Of Love – 3:42
8 – I Want You – 4:04
9 – It Will Not Be Like This Forever – 4:18
10 – Miracle – 4:58

Credits
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Backing Vocals – Dave de Coup-Crank (tracks: 2), Dori Howard (tracks: 10), Leslie Phillips (tracks: 1, 3, 4), Mark Heard
Bass – Bill Batstone (tracks: 4)
Cover [Front Cover Concept] – Tim Alderson
Design, Illustration [Computer Art] – Mark Heard
Drums – John Mehler (tracks: 1-6, 8, 9)
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals – Mark Heard
Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – David McSparran (tracks: 7, 9)
Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard
Harmonica – Buddy Rufus Greene (tracks: 3, 6)
Lead Guitar – David Mansfield (tracks: 2, 4, 8, 9)
Organ – Barry Kaye (tracks: 9)
Percussion, Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – Harry Stinson
Photography By – Stewart Ivester
Producer – Mark Heard
Synthesizer – Tom Howard (tracks: 2, 3, 6)

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word Ltd.
Printed By – Shorewood Packaging Co. Ltd.
Recorded At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back

Mark Heard – Eye of the Storm – 1983

Mark Heard tried something a little different for this album. He put down the electric guitar and did everything on an acoustic. The album definitely has an acoustic feel but I’m not comfortable calling it an acoustic album, it’s much more than that. Mark recorded most the tracks himself at home with his wife Janet manning the board. Additional tracks were recorded at Gold Mine studios but there weren’t many. For the most part Mark recorded and played this album himself. Tom Howard did come over one day and they played around with an Emulator Synthesizer. This album gives us a little exposure to another side of Mark and I would say it’s a nice exposure. This album definitely goes down as one I remember well from those days.

Tracklist
1 – Eye Of The Storm – 3:00
2 – The Pain That Plagues Creation – 3:57
3 – Castaway – 3:16
4 – Well-Worn Pages – 2:44
5 – He Will Listen To You – 2:58
6 – In The Gaze Of The Spotlight’s Eye – 3:59
7 – Gimme Mine – 3:33
8 – These Plastic Halos – 3:02
9 – No One But You – 2:27
10 – Moonflower – 2:24

Credits
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Mark Heard
Design [Cover Design], Art Direction – Tim Alderson
Drums [Linn Drums], Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Accordion, Mandolin, Harmonica, Xylophone, Percussion, Other [Voicehorns, Voicestrings] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Assistant], Photography By – Janet Heard
Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mastered By [Assistant] – Wally Grant
Pedal Steel Guitar – Al Perkins
Producer – Mark Heard
Saxophone – Brandon Fields
Synthesizer [Emulator], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer – Tom Howard
Synthesizer, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Phil Madeira
Tambourine, Shaker, Other [Toothbrush, Bowling Pins] – Harry Stinson
Written-By, Design [Cover Design], Photography By – Mark Heard

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records, Inc.
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Recorded At – Gold Mine
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △25939

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Sleeve Back
Sleeve Front
Insert Page 1
Insert Page 2
Insert Page 3
Insert Page 4
Side 1
Side 2

Mark Heard – Ashes and Light – 1984

This was Mark’s seventh album but it was actually released out of order. It was recorded after “Mosaics” but for some reason Home Sweet Home Records wanted it released first. My personal opinion is that it is a better album so of course they wanted it out first but that’s just my opinion of the reason. Bruce Brown at CCM Magazine described the album as an “acoustic effort”. I don’t really understand what album he was listening to as while there may be an emphasis on acoustic instruments on some tracks this album is not and “acoustic effort” in my opinion. It has a Dylanesque light rock/folk feel to me and in my opinion is one of Mark’s best albums. That said Bruce’s further review of the album is pretty spot on so I’m not entirely bashing the guy. There are often comparisons of this album to T-Bone Burnett and while T-Bone was not involved with the album (that we know of) David Mansfield had a strong presence on the album and of course David and T-Bone worked together for years. Mark notes on the liner notes that the album is dedicated to the memory of Francis A. Schaeffer.

Tracklist
1 – The Winds Of Time – 3:56
2 – True Confessions – 3:30
3 – I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved – 3:34
4 – Washed To The Sea – 3:18
5 – We Believe So Well – 3:26
6 – Straw Men – 3:57
7 – Age Of The Broken Heart – 4:13
8 – Can’t See Light – 4:56
9 – Threw It Away – 4:00
10 – In Spite Of Himself – 3:05

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Pat Terry (tracks: B4)
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Accordion [Accordian], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Twelve-String Guitar – Mark Heard
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Art Direction [Art Director] – Tim Alderson
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Dori Howard
Bass – Bill Batstone, Mark Heard (tracks: A4, B4)
Cover [Concept] – Mark Heard, Stewart Ivester
Drums – Dave McSparran
Electric Guitar – Pat Terry (tracks: A4)
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Dan Reed
Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard
Fiddle, Dobro – David Mansfield
Lead Guitar – David Mansfield (tracks: B4)
Organ [Hammond] – Carl Pickhardt
Percussion – Harry Stinson
Photography By [Cover], Artwork – Stewart Ivester
Producer – Mark Heard
Synthesizer – Mark Heard (tracks: A2), Pat Terry (tracks: A5, B1, B5), Tom Howard (tracks: A3, A5, B3)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Bug & Bear Music
Copyright (c) – Word Music
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.
Published By – Bug & Bear Music
Published By – Word Music
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders

Mark Heard – Victims of the Age – 1982

I do not cry very often. I will cry in a movie before I cry about things in my own life. I have only cried once at a funeral, but never have I cried when hearing about the death of someone I did not know extremely well. Except on August 17th 1992 when I had learned of the death the previous day of Christian artist Mark Heard. And I don’t know why… Perhaps I was so moved by his music and felt such a connection to it that his death simply moved me. Or I have considered I was familiar enough with the story of his life and trials and struggles he endured for his art that I felt an empathy previously unknown. Sometime I believe it is because I realized the world lost a beautiful soul, a loving man and brilliant artist…and the world didn’t even know it. That is the great shame of the life and death of Mark Heard. It is a shame that most of the world had no idea who the man was and what an amazing collection of art he had created in his 20 years as a musician, poet, producer and performer. “Victims of the Age” was the second album of Mark’s that I would own (though I now own them all) and its consistently carried theme of city life and isolation and the ever-present Gospel ring as true today as it did in 1982. Plus I firmly believe that Victims, more than any other Heard release, walked the very fine line between commercially accessible and artistically intriguing as any other.

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Victims Of The Age – 3:14
2 – City Life Won’t Let Up – 3:40
3 – Faces In Cabs – 3:22
4 – Nothing Is Bothering Me – 4:22
5 – Some Folks’ World – 4:32
6 – Growing Up Blind – 4:57
7 – Dancing At The Policeman’s Ball – 3:53
8 – Everybody Loves A Holy War – 4:24
9 – Heart Of Hearts – 3:14

Credits
Backing Vocals – Larry Norman, Leslie Phillips
Bass, Backing Vocals – Billy Batstone
Drums – John Mehler
Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Harmonica, Accordion [Accordian], Mandolin – Mark Heard
Engineer – Bill Cobb
Engineer, Photography By – Janet Sue Heard
Keyboards – Carl Pickhardt, Tom Howard
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By, Arranged By, Design [Cover] – Mark Heard
Tambourine, Shaker – Harry Stinson

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Home Sweet Home Records
Copyright (c) – Home Sweet Home Records
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
Recorded At – Poiema Studios
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio West
Mixed At – Wilder Bros. Studios, Los Angeles
Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios

Pat Terry – Film At Eleven – 1983

Mark Heard produced this Pat Terry album, and if you like Mark’s own albums then you’ll probably like this one too. The harmonies and chorus work is very reminiscent of Mark’s Stop The Dominoes album.

Having said that, Pat Terry has his own contribution to the CCM genre here. He is a witty lyricist and a good musician.

Film At Eleven features a solid collection of songs that can stick with you, starting from catchy, quirky tunes like “Cats and Dogs” and “Yard Sale” to contemplative pieces like “Growing Up and Growing Old.”

Every song on this album is a thoughtful piece if you’re listening.

The style is a little more rock than what the typical country music sound was at the time, but a little less rock than the popular hits. I think this in-between status probably held this album back from broader success.

Pat is an accomplished songwriter, having had songs recorded by Mark Heard, Mylon Lefevre, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt, B. J. Thomas and many others.

Pat released seven albums under “The Pat Terry Group” in the 1970s before doing three solo albums in the 1980s.

You can also hear Pat on the Mark Heard tribute album from 1993 “Strong Hand of Love.”

Still going strong, Pat’s most recent album was released in 2018.

Tracklist
1 – Cats And Dogs – 3:18
2 – Yard Sale – 4:20
3 – The World Around Us – 2:58
4 – Change Takes Time – 3:15
5 – In My Dream – 4:32
6 – Common Bond – 3:17
7 – Shadows – 5:12
8 – Growing Up And Growing Old – 3:52
9 – Christ Alone Will Wear The Crown – 4:40

Credits
Acoustic Guitar – Pat Terry
Backing Vocals – Mark Heard (tracks: A3,B2,B4)
Bass – Billy Batstone
Drums [And “Giant Hamster Cage Drums”] – John Mehler
Electric Guitar – Pat Terry
Engineer – Mark Heard
Engineer [Assisting] – Mike Ross, Wally Grant
Guitar – Mark Heard (tracks: B1)
Handclaps – Mark Heard, Pat Terry
Harmonica – Pat Terry
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Mark Heard
Musician [Assorted Techno-Musical Contributions] – Mark Heard
Organ [Hammond] – Carl Pickhardt (tracks: B1,B3)
Percussion – Harry Stinson
Piano – Pat Terry
Producer – Mark Heard, Pat Terry
Programmed By [E-mu Systems Emulator, Voice Programming And Arrangements For Emulator] – Tom Howard
Slide Guitar – Pat Terry
Snare [Marching] – John Mehler (tracks: B2)
Synthesizer [Korg Polysix] – Pat Terry
Vocals – Pat Terry

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Weddington Studios
Mixed At – Weddington Studios
Mastered At – Future Disc
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △25998
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Published By – Word Music (2)
Published By – Bug & Bear Music

Randy Stonehill – Celebrate This Heartbeat – 1984

Celebrate This Heartbeat starts out with an overture, which really does have a strong orchestral sound that only stops a little bit short of sounding like an outtake from The Nutcracker.

“Who Will Save The Children” is an important song on this record. The liner notes included a sign-up form to sponsor a child. Sally Struthers was working hard to get children sponsored at the time, and Randy had his hat fully in the ring starting around this time.

As usual, Randy gives us a fun song to both entertain us and challenge us on this album
Stop the World / I wanna get off / This place is too weird for me

This album is another polished studio approach from Randy, and a little farther from his rock’n’roll roots than what we were used to hearing. Fortunately we wouldn’t have to wait long for him to come back to the rock style we got to know him for.

Tracklist
1 – Overture: Celebrate This Heartbeat – 3:25
2 – Still, Small Voice – 4:04
3 – Celebrate This Heartbeat – 4:08
4 – Modern Myth – 3:51
5 – Who Will Save The Children – 5:27
6 – When I Look To The Mountains – 3:41
7 – Allison – 3:18
8 – Whatcha Gonna Do About That – 3:19
9 – Stop The World – 4:34
10 – I’ll Remember You – 4:26

Credits
Acoustic Guitar [All Acoustic Guitars] – Randy Stonehill
Arranged By [Rhythm Section And Vocal Arrangements] – Barry, Randy
Art Direction – Tim Alderson
Congas, Bongos, Percussion – Rick Geragi
Electric Guitar [Electric Guitars] – Danny Jacob
Electric Guitar [Electric Twelve String Guitar] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Engineered By] – Mark Heard
Engineer [Second] – Dan Reed
Flute, English Horn – John Clarke
French Horn – Darrel Gardner
Harp – Michael Amorosi
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Oboe – Barbara Northcutt
Orchestrated By, Arranged By, Conductor [Conducted By] – Tom Howard
Photography By – Aaron Rapoport
Piano, Electric Piano [Electric Grand Piano], Synthesizer, Timpani – Tom Howard
Producer [Produced By] – Barry M. Kaye
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute – Jay “Shotgun” Leslie*
Vocals [All Vocals] – Randy Stonehill

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – Δ26410
Engineered At – Fingerprint Recorders
Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders
Edited At – Wilder Bros. Studios, Los Angeles
Mastered At – Future Disc
Published By – Stonehillian Music
Published By – Word Music
Published By – Tom Howard Music

Mark Heard – Stop The Dominoes – 1981

Mark Heard created a tradition of going the extra mile on his records. He wrote lyrics that had real honesty packed in tight, and yet he still managed drop some tongue-in-cheek one-liners. The effect was that when he was cheeky, you still had to take him seriously. Stop the Dominoes is a classic version of this.

He had a lot to say. The liner notes are incredible. CCM records routinely included all the lyrics printed out on the sleeve, but in addition, Mark included 2 full pages of small print, written from his heart to his fans. Mark had a passion for reality. You can hear it in his song lyrics, and these notes include some personal diary entries from his tour stops through Europe. It’s hard to imagine this kind of thoughtful writing being shared with fans now.

These notes were written on his travels, and later collated into this form, typeset and arranged, sent out to print, manufactured, distributed to stores, and then finally brought home to read. I hope a lot of people read them, but then again, I know. In 1982 when we bought records, we read everything.

There was no Twitter feed. The Internet didn’t exist in any consumer form at that time. Mark died in 1992, well before fandom was available online. Long before we would be able to follow someone’s thoughts as they had them.

Sure, we can follow people on social media now, but that’s a different thing. Online posts are so disposable because they are so temporal. Reading someone’s deliberate writing, something that they know they would have to work on, proofread, and only be able to publish to the world once a year – that’s special in a different way.

Mark Heard was one of the most thoughtful songwriters, and gone much too soon and much too young.

Track Listing:
A1 One Of The Dominoes 4:23
A2 Stranded At The Station 3:30
A3 You Could Lie To Me 4:02
A4 One Night Stand 2:52
A5 I’m Crying Again 3:29
B1 Stuck In The Middle 4:39
B2 Call Me The Fool 3:11
B3 I’m In Chains 3:25
B4 Lonely One 4:35
B5 To See Your Face 3:31

Credits:
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Larry Norman, Leslie Phillips, Little Bobby Emmons, Randy Stonehill
Bass – John Patitucci
Electric Guitar – Tony Eisenbarger
Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Mark Heard
Engineer – Jonathan David Brown
Fiddle – Buddy Spicher
Keyboards – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Producer – Mark Heard
Saxophone – Karl Denson
Steel Guitar [Pedal Steel] – Sonny Garrish
Written By – Mark Heard

iDEoLA – Tribal Opera – 1987

This album was a concept album by Mark Heard under the pseudonym iDEoLA. Mark stated that there was no big mystery to the name. He stated “It’s not supposed to be mysterious or anything; I just put a band together and right now I happen to be the only one in it.” Mark played all the instruments with the exception of some percussion samples. All in all it’s actually a really good album. It has a solid Pop sound and I particularly like the percussion segments. While it’s a huge departure from Mark’s usual work I wish he’d pursued this line of music as well as his usual.

Tracklist
1 – I Am An Emotional Man – 4:29
2 – Is It Any Wonder – 3:49
3 – Watching The Ship Go Down – 3:52
4 – Talk To Me – 3:48
5 – Go Ask The Dead Man – 3:51
6 – Love Is Bigger Than Life – 3:36
7 – How To Grow Up Big And Strong – 5:06
8 – Everybody Dances – 4:07
9 – Why Can’t We Just Say No – 4:23
10 – Hold Back Your Tears – 3:46

Credits
Artwork By – Tim Alderson
Drums [People Who Hit Things For Digital Samples & Wengi Drum Machine Introduction On “talk To Me”] – David Baker
Drums [People Who Hit Things For Digital Samples] – Dan Michaels, David McSparran, Doug Matthews, Steve Hindalong
Edited By [Digital Pcm 1630] – Tom Hall
Instruments [All], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Ideola
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Mark Heard
Mixed By [Assistant] – Dan Reed, Jim Dineen, Steve Katayama
Photography – Stewart Ivester
Producer – Mark Heard
Recorded By – Mark Heard
Written-By – Mark Heard

Mark Heard – Appalachian Melody – 1979

This was Mark’s second album and his first on Solid Rock Records.

As is typical on Solid Rock albums the whole gang is on the album. I’ve always wondered why Larry felt the need to sing backup on every album (ok almost all) he produced, but I digress.

The album is a fairly light rock affair but Mark does get closer to the Rock and Roll rank on a few tunes. This is an album that will likely grow on you if a first listening doesn’t really capture you.

Track Listing:
1 – On The Radio – 3:38
2 – Castaway – 3:26
3 – Bless My Soul – 4:04
4 – Here I Am (Once Again) – 3:54
5 – With The Setting Sun – 1:42
6 – Appalachian Melody – 4:17
7 – Happy Cornbread Aniversary – 1:48
8 – Two Trusting Jesus – 4:13
9 – Jonah’s Song – 5:26
10 – Sidewalk Soliloquy – 3:18
11 – The Last Time – 3:16
12 – The Saints – 0:22

And here are the bonus tracks from the 2009 CD release:

Credits:
Mark Heard – acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mandolin, hambone, vocals, harmonies, arranging, co-producer, mixing, photography, album artwork
Larry Norman – background vocals, producer, arranger, photography, album artwork
Randy Stonehill – background vocals
Tom Howard – Fender Rhodes, orchestration
Jon Linn – lead guitar
Flim Johnson – bass guitar
Peter Johnson – drums
Al Perkins – pedal steel guitar, dobro
Chuck Long – electric and acoustic guitars, additional photography
Alex MacDougall – percussion and congas
Janet Sue Heard – harmony, additional photography
Tom Howard String Ensemble conducted by Tom Howard