Friday, May 15, 2015

V.A. - Voices (1987) [Japanese CD reissue COOL-089]

V.A. - Voices (1987) [Japanese CD reissue COOL-089]
Re-posted as requested, impossible to find album

Christian (CCM) albums / artists sometimes overwhelm secular listeners with their religious lyrics. But many of them have released wonderful albums musically speaking, especially in the during the '80s and early '90s.
In the case of this Various Artists compilation called "Voices", the result is excellent.

"Voices" was a charity project that brought together the cream of the CCM AOR scene, performing songs specifically composed for this album released in 1987 via the legendary Christian label Myrrh and conducted & produced by Mike Mierau (Petra, Halo, Mastedon, Guardian, etc.).
Mierau's liner notes words:
"There are certain singers which voices are instantly recognizable. The minutes you hear them, you know they're one of your favorites. Here on this record are ten new songs by ten great singers. It's a collection of amazing talents."

The main focus of this album are, obviously, the voices. We have beautiful performances by the likes of the exquisite Tommy Funderburk, Bob Carlisle, John Elefante, Rick Riso, etc, all highly respected singers from the AOR / WestCoast golden age.
There's smooth arrangements, elegant instrumentation by renowned session musicians and well crafted songs. My favorite is John Elefante's track, penned with his bro Dino, and of course, the mighty Tommy Funderburk, one of the greatest AOR singers of all time, forever in my top five.

Fortunately reissued on CD for the first time some years ago by specialized Japanese label Cool Sounds (but largely out of print), "Voices" is a little gem, nowadays a true rarity.
Grab it while it's hot...

01 - Tata Vega - In Your Light
02 - Bob Carlisle - Heaven Is Waiting
03 - Bryan Duncan - Come as You Are
04 - Matthew Ward - Light of the World
05 - Howard McCrary - In Your Presence
06 - John Elefante & Kim Boyce - Helpless
07 - Rick Riso - Heaven Must Have Sent You
08 - Bob Carlisle - Teach Me How
09 - Benny Hester - Then You Call My Name
10 - Tommy Funderburk - Lift Up My Voice

Guitars: Michael Hodge, Terrance Elliot, Dino Elefante
Bass: John Pierce, Michael Hodg
Keyboards: J. Schreiner, James Raymond, John Elefante
Drums: Rick Thomson
Programming, Overdubs: Rick Thomson, Mike Mierau
Sax: David Hlebo, Warren Ham
Horn Section: The Martin Brothers
Orchestration: Bill Kilpatrick
Produced by Mike Mierau, Rick Thomson & John Elefante

V.A. Voices (1987) [Japanese CD reissue COOL-089]