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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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