Michael And Stormie Omartian – The Builder – 1980

Husband and Wife team Michael And Stormie Omartian bring us their second album together. I have to admit that I listened to this album very heavily back in the early 80’s (Don’t judge me). When I was reading up on this album I was very surprised that it wasn’t more popular. It didn’t seem to make anyone’s best albums list and there is almost no mention of it on most CCM album sites. I was further surprised that there was no charting single on this album. This really surprised me as there are several tracks on this album that should have charted. Maybe I’m just over evaluating the album but really I thought it was much better than all this. I remember that “Big Time” was on a lot of our mixed tapes from the period and I have fond memories of it. Did you miss this album back in 1980? If you did and you like AOR you really should give it a listen.

1 – Charlie’s Dream – 3:53
2 – The Only Thing Missing Is You – 3:58
3 – The Builder – 3:53
4 – Mr. Trash Man – 3:40
5 – Anything You Ask Of Me – 3:50
6 – Dr. Jesus – 4:20
7 – Big Time – 5:02
8 – Half Past Three – 3:20
9 – End Times – 5:53

Art Direction – Dennis Hill
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Concept By [Album] – Stormie Omartian
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Congas – Alex Acuna
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer – John Guess
Guitar – Marty Walsh
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Percussion – Michael Omartian
Lead Guitar, Soloist – Jay Graydon, Phil Keaggy
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Michael And Stormie Omartian
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By [Back Cover] – Harry Langdon
Photography By, Layout – Bob Anderson
Producer, Arranged By – Michael Omartian
Programmed By [Synthesizer] – Stephen Hague
Saxophone – Jackie Kelso
Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Soloist – Kim Hutchcroft
Trombone – Lou McCreary
Trumpet – Chuck Finley, Steve Madeao
Written-By – Stormie And Michael Omartian

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Jennifudy Studios
Recorded At – Hollywood Central Recorders
Mixed At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Mastered At – A&M Mastering Studios
Produced For – Rhema Productions

2nd Chapter Of Acts & Michael & Stormie Omartian – Together Live – 1983

This concert was recorded at Church On The Way, Van Nuys, CA. This is certainly not a Rock & Roll concert and though all we have is audio I think we can rest assured there wasn’t a light show or pyrotechnics. But seriously this is a decidedly easy listening and praise oriented album. The one exception was the one Matthew Ward song which even I found to be a little on the Rock and Roll side for a church concert in 1983. Nowadays it wouldn’t be an issue but in 1983 I’m betting there were some odd looks at the opening guitar riffs. Good version of the song however. Anyway, if you’re a fan of either of the headliners your gonna love this album, the songs are very well done and there is good testimony on a lot of the tracks.

1 – Rejoice – 3:05
2 – I Fall In Love / Change – 4:20
3 – Lightning Flash – 2:52
4 – Bread Of Life – 2:14
5 – Come Holy Spirit – 2:45
6 – Easter Song – 3:15
7 – Here I Go – 2:30
8 – ‘Til The Walls Fall Down – 2:53
9 – Nobody Can Take My Life – 3:24
10 – Mainstream – 4:33
11 – See This House – 3:04
12 – Believing For The Best In You – 3:27
13 – Dr. Jesus – 3:28
14 – Praise His Name And See It Happen – 3:07
15 – Which Way The Wind Blows – 4:22
16 – Killing Thousands – 4:12
17 – Mansion Builder – 3:23
18 – Haven’t You Heard – 3:37

Backing Vocals – 2nd Chapter Of Acts (tracks: B4 to C4)
Bass – Herb Melton
Cover [Cover Coordination] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Design – Stan Evenson Design
Drums – Jack Kelly
Engineer – Buck Herring
Guitar – Peter York
Photography By – Mark Hanauer
Piano – Michael Omartian (tracks: B4 to C4)
Piano, Vocals – Annie Herring (tracks: A1 to B3, D1 to D4)
Producer – Buck Herring
Synthesizer – Greg Springer
Vocals – Matthew Ward (tracks: A1 to B3, D1, D3, D4), Nelly Greisen (tracks: A1 to B3, D1, D3, D4)
Vocals, Written-By – Michael And Stormie Omartian (tracks: B4 to C4)
Written-By – Anne Herring (tracks: A1 to A3, A5 to B1, B3, D2 to D4)

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Cherry Lane Music Pub. Co.
Published By – Ears To Hear Music
Published By – Holicanthus Music
Published By – Latter Rain Music
Published By – MCA Music
Published By – See This House Music
Published By – Word Music
Recorded At – The Church On The Way
Edited At – Weddington Studios
Remixed At – Weddington Studios
Recorded live at Church On The Way, Van Nuys, CA.

Michael Omartian – Adam Again – 1976

Adam Again is a solid example of 1970s pop with an overall easy listening approach reminiscent of 1970s radio. There are some sounds reminiscent of James Taylor and Billy Joel. This album has a smooth sound that foreshadows the polish he brought to artists like Christopher Cross.

Michael may be more famous for his work producing albums for stars like Christopher Cross, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, Billy Joel, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, Steely Dan, Shania Twain, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Quincy Jones, Tim McGraw, and a lot of others..

Michael Omartian had a few solo albums through the 70s and 80s as well as some with his wife billed as “Michael & Stormie Omartian.”

From Michael’s website bio:
Michael Omartian has contributed his talents to over 350,000,000 albums and CD’s sold worldwide as a producer, composer, arranger, artist or musician. He is the first record producer to chart #1 hits in three consecutive decades. With seventeen Grammy nominations including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year and Gospel Album of the Year, Omartian is a multiple Grammy Award winner. Additionally, Michael has been recognized by The Recording Academy (NARAS) as Keyboard Musician of the Year and is a Yamaha sponsored artist.

Topical for the 1970s, “Whatchersign” warns against the cultural obsession with the zodiac. “Annie The Poet” is a strong storytelling piece that would have fit very well on a Billy Joel album. “Alive and Well” is a high energy song reminding us that Satan is alive and well and offering us everything we think we want.

1 – Ain’t You Glad – 2:52
2 – No Matter What Shape You’re In – 3:16
3 – See This House – 3:53
4 – Whachersign – 3:30
5 – Annie The Poet – 3:58
6 – Telos Suite (Prelude) – 1:31
7 – Telos Suite (Alive And Well) – 4:44
8 – Telos Suite (Adam Again) – 4:59
9 – Telos Suite (Here He Comes) – 6:00

Alto Saxophone [Solo] – Ernie Watts (tracks: A3)
Backing Vocals – Ann White, Carolyn Willis
Bass – David Hungate (tracks: B2, B3), Lee Sklar (tracks: A5), Scott Edwards (2) (tracks: A2, A4), Wilton Felder (tracks: A1, B4)
Concertmaster – Sid Sharp & The “L.A. Super Strings”
Drums – David Kemper (tracks: A1, A5, B2 to B4), Ed Greene (2) (tracks: A2, A4), Michael Omartian (tracks: A3)
Engineer – Tommy Vicari
Guitar – Dean Parks (tracks: A1, A2, B4), Larry Carlton (tracks: B3), Lee Rittenaur (tracks: A2, A4, B2, B4), Richard Bennett (tracks: B2, B3)
Guitar [Solo] – Larry Carlton (tracks: B4)
Horns – David Duke, Don Menza, Ernie Watts, Paul Hubenon, Vince DeRosa
Lyrics By, Backing Vocals – Stormie Omartian
Percussion – Victor Feldman (tracks: B2, B3)
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer, Arranged By, Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion, Music By – Michael Omartian
Synthesizer – Michael Omartian (tracks: A3, B1)
Trumpet [Solo] – Paul Hubenon (tracks: B2)

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Sound Labs, Hollywood
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Published By – American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
Published By – Holicanthus Music
Published By – Landers-Roberts Music
Published By – April Music Inc.

Notes: released also under the title “Onward”

2nd Chapter of Acts

This album from 2nd Chapter Of Acts is actually a compilation of songs from their albums In The Volume Of The Book, and With Footnotes.

These two albums were released in 1974 and 1975 respectively. I really have no idea why this album was released instead of re-releasing the original 2 albums. But then again record company decisions have always baffled me.

2nd Chapters of Acts were/are the quintessential Jesus Music band. The inclusion of Phil Keaggy and Michael Omartian makes this a superior album in the Jesus Music genre.

Track Listing:
1 – Which Way The Wind Blows – 4:58
2 – Easter Song – 2:20
3 – Last Day Of My Life – 3:08
4 – Psalm 63 – 1:51
5 – Prince Song – 3:27
6 – Hey Whatcha’ Say – 3:20
7 – Yaweh – 3:07
8 – Morning Comes When You Call – 3:10
9 – Love Peace Joy – 2:38
10 – He Loves Me – 5:07
11 – The Son Comes Over The Hill – 3:23

Arranged By – Michael Omartian
Bass – David Hungate, Emery Gordy, Michael Been. Joe Osborn
Drums – David Kemper, Jim Gordon, John Guerin, Michael Omartian
Engineer – Buck Herring
Guitar – Jay Graydon, Larry Rolando, Phil Keaggy, Al McKay, Art Munson, Mike Deasy
Guitar, Soloist – Phil Keaggy
Organ – Danny Timms, Michael Omartian
Percussion – Anne Herring*, Michael Omartian
Photography – Joel Strasser
Piano – Anne Herring*, Michael Omartian, Danny Timms, Tom Keene
Producer – Buck Herring
Strings, Arranged By – Michael Omartian
Synthesizer [Aarpvark] – Michael Omartian
Written-By – Anne Herring, Buck Herring, Matthew Ward, Richard Souther, Jesse Cosio, Nelly Ward, Ed Overstreet

The Richie Furay Band – I’ve Got A Reason – 1976

Richie Furay Was one of the founding members of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. He struck out on a solo career (as The Richie Furay Band) as a Christian performer with this album. This album has a rather usual 70’s sound, though considerably more easy listening than his secular works. All in all it’s a good album if you like the 70’s sound. Point of trivia about the album is that it was produced by Michael Omartian.

Track List:
1 – Look At The Sun – 5:07
2 – We’ll See – 3:02
3 – Starlight – 3:39
4 – Gettin’ Through – 2:59
5 – I’ve Got A Reason – 4:07
6 – Mighty Maker – 3:54
7 – You’re The One I Love – 3:40
8 – Still Rolling Stones – 3:54
9 – Over And Over Again – 7:09

Bass, Backing Vocals – Jay Truax
Drums – John Mehler
Guitar, Vocals [Lead] – Richie Furay
Keyboards – Tom Stipe
Producer – Bill Schnee, Michael Omartian

Matthew Ward – Toward Eternity – 1979

Toward Eternity is Matthew Ward’s debut album. It has a decidedly 70’s sound but the guitar work of Phil Keaggy (yes that Phil Keaggy) gave the album some appeal to those of us more interested in an 80’s sound.

This album is a who’s who of CCM music. Appearing on this album were, Phil Keaggy, Michael Omartian, as well as Keith Green.

A rather stange appearance on the album was Ray Parker, Jr. of Ghostbusters fame. Writing credits went to several people in addition to Matthew.

Point of trivia on this album is that 5 of the songs were written by Matthews sister, Anne (Ward) Herring and the album was produced and engineered by Buck Herring, Anne’s husband, Matthews brother in law.

Track Listing:
1 – It’s All Right – 2:34
2 – Soft Spot – 3:42
3 – Noah’s Song – 3:56
4 – Till The Walls Fall Down – 2:29
5 – Gotta Do Better Than This – 3:23
6 – Your Love Came Over Me – 4:07
7 – Hold On – 3:10
8 – Angels Unaware – 2:26
9 – Summer Snow – 3:36
10 – The Vineyard – 2:18

Vocals – Matthew Ward
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Drums – David Kemper
Guitar – Phil Keaggy
Percussion – Michael Omartian
Piano – Tom Keene
Design, Illustration – Larry McAdams
Lacquer Cut By – KPG
Photography By – David Pavol
Producer, Engineer – Buck Herring