Michele Pillar – Reign On Me – 1983

This was Michele’s second solo album and I noticed something rather odd about her album covers while researching this album. She had 3 albums with Sparrow Records and for some reason Sparrow chose to use a portrait picture of her for all 3 albums. I am assuming this was a strategy for the worship album sector as quite frankly it’s a little weird to me. Often an artists first or second album will have a good picture of the artist which helps people “identify” with the artist but to do it on 3 straight releases is just weird. Anyway on to the album itself. It was quite successful with the title track making it to # 9 and the follow up single “He Rolled Away The Stone” making it to #4. At the same time she had a #4 duet single with Steve Camp, “Love’s Not A Feeling” off of his 1984 album, Fire And Ice. As for the album itself it is your usual female vocalist worship album. I’m not trying to downplay the album but really there were so many of these cookie cutter albums at the time it is very difficult to get excited about them.

1 – Shout It From The Rooftop – 3:41
2 – He Rolled Away The Stone – 4:32
3 – Reign On Me – 3:21
4 – Look Up – 3:04
5 – There He Was – 5:00
6 – My Heart Is A Stone – 4:19
7 – Don’t Wait Too Late – 3:39
8 – When Love Draws Near – 4:04
9 – One Move Of Your Spirit – 4:12
10 – Song Of Praise – 2:43

Arranged By [Strings] – J.L. Wallace
Art Direction – Stan Evenson
Backing Vocals – Cindy Richardson, Gary Baker, J.L. Wallace, Lenny LeBlanc, Mac McAnally, Michele Pillar
Bass – Butch Ledford
Concertmaster – Earl Spielman
Cover [Coordination] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Design [Lyric Sheet] – Marlene Bergman
Drums – Owen Hale
Engineer – Jerry Masters, Steve Moore
Engineer [Additional] – Dan Garcia
Engineer, Remix – Ron Capone
Executive-Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Guitar – Will McFarlane
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Photography – Mark Hanauer
Piano, Keyboards – Larry Muhoberac, Steve Nathan
Piano, Keyboards, Guitar – J.L. Wallace
Producer – J.L. Wallace
Producer [Additional], Remix, Mastered By – Ken Pennell
Saxophone – Ronnie Eades
Vocals – Michele Pillar

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records
Recorded At – Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
Remixed At – Westwind Studio
Mastered At – Future Disc

Erick Nelson and Michele Pillar – The Misfit – 1979

As the world of “Jesus Music” was progressing into what is now known as CCM, there were several very good albums and some brilliant artists making music that was clearly in both genres and served as bridges and building blocks to this new industry. But there were not many “game changers” that forced the music world to consider the genre valid and worthy of consideration. Most great albums lacked quality production, originality or authenticity. The Misfit was a game changer. Completely original and just as good as anything in the pop music world at the time. Most “concept” albums suffer from content over quality and are often filled with songs that are forced to push the story forward and do not stand on their own as original compositions. The Misfit was a concept album that just happened to be filled 13 brilliant individual songs that have stood the test of time. This is not a concept album in the same way as something from The Who where it is a rock opera with a singular storyline weaving throughout each song. Rather, The Misfit is a concept album where a common thread of concept of being an “outside” or outcast weaves its way throughout each and every song. The different topics range from faith, love, loss, doubt and more, but all with a singular focus as coming from the outside looking in. Erick Nelson at this point had a very good and lengthy Jesus Music career going as both a solo artists and as members of popular bands like Good News. Michele Pillar was an up and coming and much talked about new female vocalist on the precipice of a wonderful career in the 1980’s. Her sweet and smooth Karen Carpenter (ballads) or Kiki Dee (pop) like voice matched Nelson’s more soulful and, at times, rocky voice perfectly and the blend just worked. It shocked many at the time that this would be their only album together. Nelson has said of himself that one his greatest strengths is his ability to surround himself with amazing musicians and performers. Though no slouch on the piano himself, he most certainly surrounded himself with the very best on this project. Guest musicians include Hadley Hockensmith, Dean parks, John Wickham, Jonathan David Brown, Alex MacDougall, Keith Edwards, Kelly Willard, Stan Endicott, Denny Correll and a host of others!

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

1 – The Misfit – 3:35
2 – Carry Me Along – 3:30
3 – Stand – 3:58
4 – Sail On – 2:35
5 – Can’t Find My Way Home – 3:22
6 – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – 1:56
7 – He’s Asleep – 3:20
8 – Hurting People – 3:42
9 – Take Me To The Light – 4:00
10 – First Prayer – 3:08
11 – Love Hurts – 2:47
12 – He Gave Me Love – 2:54
13 – Martyr Song – 3:40

Jonathan David Brown – Synthesizer
Alf Clausen – Orchestration
Darrel Cook – Bass
Denny Correll – Background Vocals
Tim Correll – Background Vocals
Keith Edwards – Drums, Percussion
Stan Endicott – Orchestration
Hadley Hockensmith – Bass, Guitars
Phil Kristianson – B3 Organ
Alex MacDougall – Percussion
George Marinelli, Jr. – Electric Guitar
Erick Nelson – Piano, Wurlitzer, Vocals
Dean Parks – Electric Guitar
Michele Pillar – Vocals
David Storrs – Electric Guitar
John Wickham – Electric Guitar
Kelly Willard – Rhodes

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music

Michele Pillar – Michele Pillar – 1982

Michelle came to prominence with her duet album with Erick Nelson “The Misfit” in 1979. It was well received and is considered a classic to this day. This is her debut album as a solo artist. This album was very well received and had 2 CCM chart singles including “Walk Across Heaven” which made it to #4, and More Than Just A Man that made it to #11. The album is solidly Easy Listening and on a couple tracks eases into AOR but for the main part it’s a nice comfortable listen. If you missed it in the 80’s give it a listen now.

1 – Walk Across Heaven – 4:03
2 – You Were There All Along – 3:30
3 – More Than Just A Man – 3:30
4 – You’ve Known Me All My Life – 3:15
5 – Free From The Night – 3:20
6 – Rock Of Love – 3:15
7 – The Things I Hope For You – 3:17
8 – In Nazareth There’s A Carpenter – 4:18
9 – You – 3:37
10 – I Can Do It All By Myself – 4:20

12-String Acoustic Guitar – Jerry Wallce
Acoustic Guitar – Jerry Wallce, Will McFarlane
Arranged By [Horns] – Harrison Calloway
Arranged By [Strings] – Jerry Wallace
Art Direction – Stan Evenson
Backing Vocals – Cindy Richardson, Jerry Wallace, Lenny Le Blanc, Michele Pillar, Robert Byrne, Will McFarlane
Bass – Butch Ledford
Bells – Jerry Wallace
Concertmaster [Strings] – Earl Spielman
Coordinator [Cover Coordinator] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Drums – Owen Hale
Electric Guitar – Will McFarlane
Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Jerry Wallce
Engineer – Steve Moore
Engineer [Assistant] – Keith Compton
Executive-Producer – Billy Ray Hearn
Guitar – Jerry Wallce, Will McFarlane
Guitar, Soloist – Will McFarlane
Harmony Vocals – Jerry Wallace, Lenny LeBlanc
Horns [The Muscle Shoals Horns] – Charles Rose, Harrison Calloway, Harvey Thompson, Ronnie Eade
Keyboards – Jerry Wallce
Oboe – Beth Smith
Organ – Clayton Ivey
Percussion – Mickey Buckins
Photography By [Cover] – Mark Hanauer
Piano – Jerry Wallce, Lenny Le Blanc, Steve Nathan
Piano [Acoustic] – Steve Nathan
Producer – J.L. Wallace, Lonnie Ledford
Saxophone, Soloist – Harvey Thompson
Strings – Earl Spielman, Jo Ann Cruthirds, Kristin Wilkinson, Martha Wiggins, Paul Tobias, Pauli Ewing
Synthesizer – Jerry Wallace
Synthesizer [Prophet] – Steve Nathan
Vocoder – Michele Pillar

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – East Avalon Recorders
Mixed At – East Avalon Recorders
Mastered At – Masterfonics
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sparrow Records, Inc.
Published By – Hall-Clement Publications
Published By – Muscle Shoals Sounds Publishing Co., Inc.
Published By – Birdwing Music
Published By – Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company Inc.

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Sleeve Front
Sleeve Back
Side 1
Side 2

Michele Pillar – Look Who Loves You Now – 1984

This was Michele’s 3rd solo album and probably her most successful. This album was also picked up and distributed by Capitol records for/with Sparrow Records. I do not believe it was pressed under the Capitol label so I suspect this was a distribution arrangement. The album had 3 charting singles with “Look Who Loves You Now” making it to #1. She also received 2 Grammy nominations, Best Gospel Performance, Female, and Best Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group. Unfortunately she did not win either losing out in the female category to Amy Grant who won way too many Grammy’s in my opinion. But that’s a whole other rant. Larry Carlton produced and played most of the instruments on the album. Larry was not active in the CCM community and as near as I can tell had nothing to do with Christian music as a whole so I believe his involvement was a business decision. This album would also see her step away from her solo career until 1991 as well as her record deal with Sparrow. She had some family drama in 1988 so her disappearance from then on is understood but not much is written about her disappearance from this album until then. She did not disappear entirely she did a fair amount of work with Steve Camp and appeared on his albums. Anyway historically this is one of the great all time female vocalist albums so it should really be on your playlist. Oh and she should have won the Grammy.

1 – Each Day He Gives Me – 3:30
2 – Look Who Loves You Now – 3:19
3 – He’ll Shine His Light On You – 3:06
4 – Just Take A Step – 3:33
5 – Emotions Wound Us So – 3:15
6 – Wandering The Night – 4:13
7 – To Worship You – 3:29
8 – Here We Go – 3:50
9 – One Day Like Him – 3:20
10 – I Want To Make A Difference – 3:27

Backing Vocals – Joe Chemay (tracks: A1, B1), Joey Scarbury (tracks: A1, B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B2, B3, B4, B5), Michele Pillar (tracks: A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, B4)
Bass – Larry Carlton (tracks: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B2, B3, B4, B5)
Design [Album Jacket] – Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Design [Lyric Sheet] – Steve Cox
Drum Programming [DMX] – John Ferraro (tracks: A3), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B3)
Drums – John Ferraro (tracks: A3), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2, A3, A5, B2, B3)
Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – John Ferraro (tracks: A1, B1, B4)
Guitar – Larry Carlton (tracks: All)
Horns – Don Markese (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4), Mic Gillette (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4)
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Mixed By – Hal Sacks, Michael Verdick
Percussion – Michael Fisher (tracks: All)
Photography By – Lisa Powers
Piano [Acoustic] – Brian Mann (tracks: B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: A2)
Producer, Arranged By – Larry Carlton
Recorded By – Hal Sacks, Larry Carlton
Synthesizer – Brian Mann (tracks: A1, B1), Larry Carlton (tracks: All)

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Room 335, Hollywood
Mixed At – Channel Recording
Mastered At – Future Disc