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.


Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor – I Predict 1990 – 1987

The first time I saw the cover of I Predict 1990, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know it (apparently) resembled a tarot card, or that Steve seemed to be making (apparently) some sort of weird hand signal. I did find it kind of unsettling, though. ‘Man, what is with that creepy expression…’ But, c’mon, this was Steve Taylor. I loved his music, his lyrics, his clever, skewering humour. Loved it so much that as a teenager I insisted my mom listen to the entire On The Fritz album in one sitting, while I explained every song in detail. And, sure – Steve was controversial. Challenging. Slightly possibly maybe verging on inappropriate, once in a while. (“Lifeboat”, anyone?)

So, I put on the album. And the first track hits me with:

Now I don’t care if it’s a baby or a tissue blob
but if we run out of youngsters
I’ll be out of a job, and so I
I did my duty cleaning up the neighborhood
I blew up the clinic real good

Steve, what the heck.

But I hung in there. And then came the line: “The end don’t justify the means anytime”

Okay. Okay. Phew. Steve hadn’t lost it completely. I got it.

But certainly, with this third studio album Steve pushed the ‘acceptable topics for CCM artists’ envelope to a pretty big tipping point. Or at least the ‘acceptable treatment of topics’. Listeners had come to expect his biting, uncomfortable-making lyrics; but people all along the conservative/liberal spectrum of Christian thought weren’t sure what to, well, think. Many simply closed the book on him after this album – some not making it past the first song.

And that was (and is) a real shame. Steve’s music asks listeners to really hear what’s being said in the lyrics – and to seriously consider that those lyrics might be holding a mirror up to stuff we might want to examine in ourselves. His stuff isn’t for lazy listeners. But when we let ourselves get so bound to tightly-held and well-reasoned opinions, we can lose our cool over a ‘shocking’ song like “Clinic” and miss the chance to engage in critical thinking and respectful debate. Do I agree with everything Steve Taylor says? Nope. (Some day I’d love to talk with him about “Jung and the Restless”…)

And hey – there’s a LOT of good stuff on this album. Some of my favourites are…no, that’s too many to list. But here are a few comments…

– “What Is The Measure of Your Success” – If you get a chance, watch the video – it’s pretty powerful. He nails the mood of a regretful, bitter, dying businessman.
– “Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better” – Another delightfully satirical lyric, having the opposite effect of making you smile (hopefully).
– “Jim Morrison’s Grave” – Fantastic song. Poetry and rock.
– “Innocence Lost” – Emotional piece about a visit to death row. Gets me every time.
– “Harder To Believe Than Not To” – A beautiful song, haunting and moving. Taking its title from the writings of Flannery O’Connor, an American writer, the song argues against the idea that Christianity is a crutch.

Tracks

1. I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good – 4:11
2. What is the Measure of Your Success? – 4:38
3. Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better – 3:25
4. Babylon – 4:48
5. Jim Morrison’s Grave – 4:29
6. Svengali – 4:28
7. Jung and the Restless – 4:32
8. Innocence Lost – 5:02
9. A Principled Man – 3:26
10 – Harder to Believe Than Not To – 4:31

Personnel

Some Band
Steve Taylor – vocals and backup percussion
Dave Thrush – saxophones
Jeff Stone – guitar
Glen Holmen – bass
Jack Kelly – drums
Steve Goomas – keyboards
Gym Nicholson – guitar

Additional musicians
Dave Perkins – additional guitar on all songs except “Jim Morrison’s Grave” and “Harder to Believe”
Greg Husted – assorted keyboard tracks and accordion
Papa John Creach – fiddle
Ashley Cleveland – vocal stylings on “Jim Morrison’s Grave”, “Svengali”, and “Babylon”
Annie McCaig – backing vocals on “Success” and “A Principled Man”
Nathan East: bass on “Clinic”
Gary Lunn – bass on “Hope”
Lisa Cates – percussion
Mike Mead – more percussion
Mary Bates – operatic vocal on “Harder to Believe”
Jim Horn – tenor sax on “Clinic”
Ross Holmen – French horn
John Andrew Schreiner – synth bass on “Svengali”
Janet Croninger – “Jung” woman
Fred Travalena – “Jung” doctor
Del Newman – orchestration on “Harder to Believe Than Not To”

Production notes
The Beaufort Twins (Dave Perkins and Steve Taylor) – producers and engineers
Dave Perkins – producer, engineer, mixing
Steve Taylor – producer, mixing
David Schober – engineer
Malcom Harper – engineer
Robert Wartinbee – assistant engineer
Michael Ross – engineer on “Harder To Believe”
Music Grinder, Los Angeles, California – recording location
Reelsound Bus, Nashville, Tennessee – recording location
Wayne Cook Studios, Los Angeles, California – recording location
CBS Studios, London – recording location
Reelsound truck, Austin, Texas (48 track) – mixing location
Bob Ludwig – mastering
Masterdisk, New York, New York – mastering location
Dave Perkins and Steve Taylor are listed as producers as “The Beaufort Twins.” A likely satire of the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards production/songwriting partnership billed as The Glimmer Twins

Please follow and like us:
error

Dave Perkins – The Innocence – 1987

This 1987 release by Dave Perkins was his only album in the 80’s. Don’t think you haven’t heard him though. He has worked with some of the best including Mark heard, Steve Taylor, Randy Stonehill, Steve Camp, Phil Keaggy, and many many more. His fingerprints are all over CCM music in the 80’s. His personal effort here is a solid Rock Pop effort and utilizes the wall of sound style. Among the names helping him on this album were Rick Cua and Steve Taylor. The real highlight of the album is a cover of the Byrds’ Turn, Turn, Turn where Perkins sounds like Elvis Costello and it works! It works good!

Tracklist
1 – Revolution – 3:33
2 – (You Can) Make Me Feel – 3:44
3 – Harvest Home – 5:00
4 – Fathers And Sons – 4:14
5 – Catacombs – 4:38
6 – Turn, Turn, Turn – 3:37
7 – Every New Day – 5:15
8 – The Innocence – 4:27
9 – Oribt – 4:57

Credits
Art Direction – Joan Tankersley
Artwork By – Albert Loudin
Engineer – Brian Tankersley, Dave Perkins, Malcolm Harper, Mike Fraser
Engineer [Additional] – Gene Ford, Lynn Fuston
Executive Producer – Lynn Nichols
Musician – Ann Richards, Brian Butler, Gregary Husted, Hank Carter, Jackie Cusic, Lisa Cates, Mike Mead, Phil Naish, Richard Price, Rick Cua, Rob Frazier, Steve Taylor, Stevie Butler, Tommy Greer
Photography – Caroline Greyshock
Producer – Dave Perkins

Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor – The Lost Demos Bootleg – 1988

Today’s offering is The Lost Demos, a bootleg of twelve classic Steve Taylor tunes. No-one’s sure where it came from, but I’m glad it surfaced.

I suggest listening to the demos back to-back with the officially-released versions. Listen for slight (or drastic) lyric variations, changes in instrumentation and tempo, and even differences in vocal delivery. Beyond the expected demo-to-pressing upticks in performance and production quality, some songs have a noticeably different feel.

Of particular note:

Hero – Compared to the Meltdown version, this is almost lullaby-like. The bell-like 80’s synth would become a harsher 80’s synth; the driving bass riffs aren’t here; and in the bridge, the ascending chord progression maintains the lighter, ‘major’ mood.

Bouquet – Starting out almost folks-y, it slides into 80’s elevator music territory – far more mellow than the officially released track (which ST has said he doesn’t much like, preferring Sixpence None The Richer’s acoustic version on the I Predict A Clone tribute album). Numerous lyric changes for this emotional story.

Whatever Happened To Sin – A faster tempo, and more lyric changes. The official version was controversial, but here we see that Steve had actually toned it down a bit.

Jenny – As with Hero, this has a different mood from the Meltdown version; slightly faster, more acoustic guitar – a lighter backing for a heavy lyric.

Lead Me – Written for the musical “Dreamer: What Really Happened To Joseph”. As far as I can tell, this version seems to have been released only on the album Jeremiah People: The Reunion.
—————————

Track Listing:
1 – I Want To Be A Clone – 2:40
2 – Written Guarantee – 2:44
3 – Steeplechase – 1:44
4 – Hero – 3:30
5 – Sin For A Season – 3:41
6 – Bad Rap (Who You Tryin’ To Kid, Kid?) – 2:57
7 – Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Number’s Up? – 4:07
8 – Guilty By Association – 3:27
9 – Bouquet – 3:04
10 – Whatever Happened To Sin? – 3:00
11 – Jenny – 3:48
12 – Lead Me – 2:45

Please follow and like us:
error

Weber and the Buzztones – (self titled) – 1983

Weber And The Buzztones were a little known band out of southern California.

Very little is actually known about them other than they regularly warmed up for Steve Taylor. The quality of this EP is very high so I have a suspicion that Steve Taylor may have been involved with this project, but I have no proof of this so it is merely a guess on my part.

There really should have been more from this band as I believe there is a high level of talent.

Track Listing:
1 – Lamb Chops – 2:50
2 – Ok – 3:50
3 – Runaway – 4:30
4 – Walk Away – 4:24

Credits:
Cover – Paul Carstensen
Design – Paul Carstensen
Drum Programming [Linndrum] – Pat Craig
Drum Programming [Simmons] – Mike Tuuri
Engineer – David Denny, Jammie Bridges
Executive Producer – Brian Martin
Guitar – Larry Weber
Mastered By – George Horn
Percussion – Mike Tuuri
Producer – Larry Weber
Synthesizer – Glen Repoza, Larry Weber, Nelson DiMarco, Tim Watt
Vocals – Larry Weber
Written-By – Larry Weber

Please follow and like us:
error

Sparrow Christmas – 1988

It’s Christmas time so here’s Sparrows 1988 Christmas album. Highlights on this album are, White Heart – Little Drummer Boy, Steve Taylor – Winter Wonderland, and Geoff Moore & The Distance – Jingle Bell Rock.

Track Listing:
1 – Bebe & Cece Winans – Silent Night, Holy Night – 5:43
2 – Margaret Becker, Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore, Bebe & Cece Winans, White Heart And Steve Camp – Home For The Holidays – 4:18
3 – White Heart – Little Drummer Boy – 4:12
5 – Michael Card – What Child Is This? – 2:47
6 – Deniece Williams – Do You Hear What I Hear? – 4:13
7 – Steve Taylor – Winter Wonderland – 1:56
8 – Margaret Becker – O Come, O Come Emmanuel – 4:52
9 – Steve Camp – O Holy Night – 4:09
10 – Tim Miner – The First Noel – 4:35
11 – Geoff Moore & The Distance – Jingle Bell Rock – 2:59
12 – Steven Curtis Chapman – Away In A Manger – 4:18
13 – Margaret Becker, Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore, BeBe Winans And White Heart – Angels We Have Heard On High – 3:31

Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor – Meltdown – 1984

This album was a followup to Steve Taylor’s EP “I Want to Be a Clone”. It is slightly more refined, but for the main part it followed the new wave sound of the previous EP.

The album features some strong “political” messages, something Steve Taylor was well known for. The album did well commercially, reaching the No. 10 spot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Christian chart and No. 18 in the 2001 book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.

The single was “Meltdown” though I preferred “Am I in Sync?”

Track Listing:
1 – Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud’s) – 4:26
2 – We Don’t Need No Colour Code – 2:43
3 – Am I In Sync? – 4:32
4 – Meat The Press – 3:48
5 – Over My Dead Body – 5:21
6 – Sin For A Season – 4:14
7 – Guilty By Association – 3:21
8 – Hero – 3:40
9 – Jenny – 4:04
10 – Baby Doe – 3:51

Credits:
Arranged By – Steve Taylor
Bass – Chris Richards
Cover – The Graphics Studio
Cover [Coordination] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Drums – Cactus Moser
Engineer – Jonathan David Brown
Guitar – Kerry Conner
Keyboards – Woody Waddell
Management – Rob Marshall
Photography By – Greg Wigler
Producer – Jonathan David Brown
Saxophone – Dave Thrush
Vocals, Other [Anything Else That Requires No Talent] – Steve Taylor
Written-By – Steve Taylor

Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor & Sheila Walsh – Transatlantic Remixes – 1985

Steve Taylor released yet another 12″ in 1985, continuing his highly productive streak that started with his debut in 1983.

This 12 inch EP from Steve Taylor & Sheila Walsh features 3 songs.

The first is an excellent duet cover of a David Edwards song. Track 2 is Sheila Walsh covering/reworking a classic Bryn Haworth song and rounding our the EP is a remix of Steve Taylor’s This Disco (Used to Be a Cute Cathedral).

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor – Meldown Dance Remix – 1984

Extended dance remixes were popular in 1984, often released on 12″ 45 RPM vinyl.

Steve Taylor was keeping up with the likes of Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode and other new wave artists with this release.

The Meltdown album came out, this 12″ EP, and videos produced for some of the songs on the album. It was a busy year, coming very quickly after 1983’s I Want To Be A Clone.

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Steve Taylor – I Want To Be A Clone – 1983

This debut album from Steve Taylor was considered to be one of the best new wave albums of the 80’s.

It was actually classed as punk by some pundits at the time but it was actually better described as new wave with an edge.

Steve wrote about some very touchy Christian issues at the time which are actually still issues today.

Though only 6 cuts (it was technically a mini LP) it provided many enjoyable hours of listening for owners at the time.

 

Please follow and like us:
error