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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Larry Norman – Streams of White Light into Darkened Corners – 1977

Larry released this album in 1977 and it was labelled “Part 1.” Like many of his projects, the rest of it was never released.

The idea here seems to be to “expose” the pseudo-Christian songs that were radio hits in the 60s and 70s. Larry seemed to feel that they were exploiting the Jesus Movement for profit.

Randy Stonehill plays the part of the radio DJ, and the two of them record covers of popular songs that many people considered religious in spite of the rest of the bands’ repretoire. The songs are not recorded very seriously, and you can hear them making fun and holding back laughter in a couple of places.

From the back of the jacket:

This album was originally a newspaper article, but several different publishers backed down from printing it so I decided to record the music that is described in the article and release the soundtrack to the “newspaper movie.”

This is a Satirical Record and anyone who doesn’t have a sense of humor that leans toward the surreal, a cursory interest in pop music, and a healthy indifference/disdain for ego-lipped disc jockeys should definitely stay away from this album.
Larry Norman, 1974″

Track Listing:
A1 Spirit In The Sky Written-By – Norman Greenbaum
A2 Put Your Hand In The Hand Written-By – Gene MacLellan
A3 Bridge Over Troubled Water Written-By – Paul Simon
A4 Let It Be Written-By – Lennon-McCartney
A5 My Sweet Lord Written-By – George Harrison
A6 Presence Of The Lord Written-By – Eric Clapton
B1 I Think He’s Hiding Written-By – Randy Newman
B2 He Gives Us All His Love Written-By – Randy Newman
B3 Stranger In A Strange Land Written-By – Leon Russell
B4 Prince Of Peace Written-By – Greg Dempsey, Leon Russell
B5 Song For Adam Written-By – Jackson Browne
B6 Shine A Light Written-By – Jagger-Richard*

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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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Various – Rock of the Ages – Rock & Roll From The Third Dimension – 1983

This sampler is relatively unremarkable in that all the songs on it were very well known. The only thing that stood out about the release was that the album cover was 3D and the album came with 3D glasses so you could enjoy it.

Tracklist
1 – Leslie Phillips – Put Your Heart In Me (Beyond Saturday Night) – 4:00
2 – Randy Stonehill – The Glory And The Flame (Between The Glory And The Flame ) – 3:10
3 – Imperials – How Can You Live (Stand By The Power) – 3:46
4 – Maria Muldaur – Keep My Eyes On You (There Is A Love) – 4:01
5 – Kenny Marks – He’ll Finish What He Started (Follow Him) – 3:11
6 – Amy Grant – Too Late (Never Alone) – 3:15
7 – White Heart – You’re The One (White Heart) – 3:56
8 – David Edwards – Anything But Love (Get The Picture) – 3:34
9 – Dion – I Put Away My Idols ( I Put Away My Idols) – 3:08

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Various – Adventures in the Land of Big Beats & Happy Feets – 1989

This has to be the worst sampler in the history of Christian music. It’s not the songs that are bad, they are great songs from great artists. It’s what they did with them that is the problem. Let me explain. This album is constructed as follows. The opening, ending, and all odd number songs are studio dance beats attributed to non existent bands. All of the even songs are well known songs by well known artists BUT they have been “remixed and extended”. Now first of all this album came out in 1989 and the secular music scene was done with cheesy two bit extended dance tracks. But for whatever reason Word Records chose at this late time to jump on a bandwagon that had already left the building. So here we go. Every song we have heard of before on this album is an “extended remix”. I use the term “extended remix” term loosely as these are without a doubt the worst remixes I have ever heard. So what we have here is the business idea of re releasing the same content over and over again only this time they pretended to dress it up as something new. What a disaster. OK listen to the album once and forget about it, that’s what I did.

Tracklist
1 – Rakim D. & The Garden Beats – Prologue – 2:03
2 – Imperials – Fallin’ – 4:18
3 – Bunny Whop And The Hip Hop – Baow Baow Baow – 1:06
4 – Philip Bailey – Thank You – 5:29
5 – Randy McNally & The Road Dogz – Rappin’ Detail – 1:12
6 – Amy Grant – Wise Up – 6:28
7 – Billy B. & The Beez Nees – No Bout Adoubt It – 1:11
8 – Steve Taylor – Svengali – 5:46
9 – Billy B. & The Beez Nees – Doutout – 0:57
10 – Kim Boyce – I Just Want To Celebrate – 5:16
11 – The Nerf Wilson Ensemble – Tee Vee Whiz – 0:51
12 – Ideola – Jericho – 4:28
13 – The Nerf Wilson Ensemble – Gee Tee Vee – 1:12
14 – Russ Taff – I’ve Come Too Far – 5:39
15 – Snappo Schultz – BBBBBeatitudinal – 1:16
16 – Sheila Walsh – Ship Of Love – 7:00
17 – Snappo Schultz – BBBBBeatitudinal – Part II – 1:01
18 – Randy Stonehill Cold Rock The Groove – 4:35
19 – Rakim D. & The Garden Beats – Epilogue – 0:42

Credits
Art Direction, Design – Bradley Grose
Compilation Producer – Leon Mulczk
Coordinator [Cover] – Laurie Fink (2)
Executive-Producer – Tom Willett
Music By [Link Music By] – Lee Cahuenga (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19)
Remix [Re-mixes], Edited By [Edits] – Lee Cahuenga
Written-By [Links Written By], Producer [Links Produced By] – Linx, Inc. (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19)

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Distributed By – Word (UK) Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.


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Randy Stonehill – Between The Glory and The Flame – 1981

This follow-up to 1980’s The Sky Is Falling was a much more refined studio approach. Randy recruited a lot of top CCM artists to help out.
Producer Terry Taylor (of Daniel Amos) recruited his entire band to play on the album along with, Tom Howard, another Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records protege.

The result is a tight band performing Randy’s songs in the studio, giving a much more polished sound than we were used to getting from him up to this point.

The song “Die Young” is an example of Randy’s cynical but honest approach, calling out the typical Western lifestyle centered around short term thinking. His combination of humour and truth-telling was present throughout his career.

“Christine” is one of Randy’s reaches out to a lonely and desperate person. It has a significant parallel to the song Christmas at Denny’s, which we get many years later on the Return To Paradise album.

This album established Randy’s ability to move beyond performing as a singer-songwriter.

Tracklist
1 – The Glory And The Flame – 3:10
2 – Die Young – 3:15
3 – Fifth Avenue Breakdown – 2:50
4 – Granfather’s Song – 3:24
5 – Find Your Way To Me – 3:42
6 – Christine – 3:29
7 – Rainbow – 3:49
8 – Givin’ It Up For Love – 4:13
9 – Letter To My Family – 4:58
10 – Farther On – 2:56

Companies, etc.
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rebel Base Productions
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios
Published By – Prime Cut Publishing
Published By – CanaanLand Music
Published By – Tong Songs Music
Published By – Joyful Road Music

Credits
Guitars, Background Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Bass – Marty Dieckmeyer
Background Vocals, Songwriter, Synthesizer String Arranger, Piano, Harmonium, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Thom Roy
Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Producer, Slide Guitar – Terry Scott Taylor

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Various – The Rock of Gospel – 1987

This is a fascinating sampler album (CD). It came out on Arrival Records, which is a Sublabel of K-Tel International. I had no idea until I found this album that K-Tel had distributed Christian albums. Even more of a surprise for me is that there were several of these albums. The quality of the CD is horrible, but I’ve cleaned up the recordings as best I could. K-Tel’s vinyl releases were well known for their horrible quality which was a result of cheap vinyl and cheap pressing. This album was released on CD so there was no need for the poor quality. I’ve always suspected that the licensing agreements for these songs included a stipulation that the quality be horrible in hopes people would buy the original album.

Include below is the info on which album the songs were released on

Tracklist
1 – Michael W. Smith – You’re Alright – 4:39 – The Big Picture
2 – Petra – Back To The Street – 4:17 – Back To The Street
3 – Leslie Phillips – Love Is Not Lost – 4:03 – Black And White In A Grey World
4 – White Heart – The Beat Of A Different Drum – 4:17 – Don’t Wait For The Movie
5 – David Meece – All Is God’s Creation – 3:48 – Candle In The Rain
6 – Kim Boyce – Love Resurrection – 4:11 – Kim Boyce
7 – Randy Stonehill – Defender – 3:02 – The Wild Frontier
8 – Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart – Crack The Sky – 3:59 – Crack The Sky
9 – Rick Cua – This Raging Fire – 3:53 – Wear Your Colors
10 – Steve Camp – Cheap Grace – 5:11 – One On One
11 – David & The Giants – Cold Lonely Nights – 3:37 – Magnificat
12 – Margaret Becker – Fight For God – 4:06 – Never For Nothing

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.
Distributed By – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – K-Tel International (USA), Inc.

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Various – The ’50s in the ’80s – 1988

This is a very rare release from Dayspring Records and as far as I can tell it only came out on cassette. It is basically a collection of various artists that had a 50’s sounding track. Some of the choices are kind of a stretch but it works out pretty good for the main part. Most of the tracks we’ve heard on their original albums but their are a few tracks which while not exclusive to this album, are relatively unknown. The 2 stand out tracks are Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit, and Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza.

Tracklist
01 – New Song – Say Yes
02 – Dion – You Need A Love
03 – The Sharrets – Smile
04 – Randy Stonehill – American Fast Food
05 – Solveigl – My Starlight
06 – Daniel Winans & The Second Half – The American Way
07 – Kenny Marks – Bon Appetit
08 – Allies – It’s Never Easy
09 – Dion – Another Saturday Night In Heaven
10 – The Latinos – The Party’s Over
11 – Carman – Spirit-filled Pizza
12 – Randy Stonehill – Modern Myth 2

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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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Randy Stonehill – Paradise Sky – 2008

During filming of David Di Sabatino’s Larry Norman documentary, “Fallen Angel” the producers wanted to use various Randy Stonehill songs. This was a problem however, as the rights to those recordings were still owned by Larry Norman’s record labels who needless to say weren’t interested in working with the producers.

Randy however owned the rights to the songs so it was decided to send him back into the studio to rerecord the songs they wanted to use. The result is this album which includes songs from Randy’s first few albums.

The songs are very well produced and this album is an enjoyable visit back to the early days of Randy Stonehill.

Tracklist
1 – Keep Me Runnin’ – 4:57
2 – One True Love – 4:27
3 – King Of Hearts – 4:34
4 – Norman’s Kitchen – 4:11
5 – I’ve Got News For You – 4:30
6 – Even The Best Of Friends – 4:23
7 – The Winner – 3:38
8 – Counterfeit King – 5:34
9 – Trouble Coming – 4:34
10 – First Prayer – 3:20
11 – Good News – 4:10

Credits:
Design [Art Design] – Joe Redmond, Lara Kulczycki
Engineer [Engineered By] – Mike Pachelli
Executive-Producer – Ray Ware
Liner Notes – David Di Sabatino, Randy Stonehill
Photography By [Back Cover Photo] – Susan Uston
Photography By [Cover & Digipak Inset Photo] – Wayne Armstrong
Photography By [Insert Photos] – CCM Magazine*, Duane Pederson, Jerry Hauser, Leonard Stonehill, Pamela Newman, Pauline Stonehill, Hollywood Free Paper*, Randy Stonehill
Producer [Produced By], Arranged By – Mike Pachelli, Randy Stonehill

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