1980s Christian Music Awards

 
  1. Bullet Dance, particularly melodic vocal trance and other electronic styles, such as Eurobeat, techno, and synthpop

  2. Bullet Floating, fuzzed-out guitar alternative rock and shoegazer

  3. Bullet Pop punk

  4. Bullet Chill

  5. Bullet Industrial

  6. Bullet Gothic & darkwave

  7. Bullet World Beat, particularly with Middle Eastern and Indian sounds

  8. Bullet Rap

  9. Bullet Indie pop / Dream pop

  10. Bullet Reggaeton (not reggae)

  11. Bullet Modern rock if it’s interesting (too much of it is boring)

  12. BulletClassical, particularly baroque

  13. Bullet Classical crossover

  14. Bullet Experimental

  15. Bullet Psychedelia

  16. Bullet Funk / r&b

  17. Bullet Zydeco

  18. Bullet ...and more

  1. Bullet Bon Voyage

  2. Bullet Paradoxx

  3. Bullet Aleixa

  4. Bullet Broomtree

  5. Bullet Morella’s Forest

  6. Bullet Miss Angie

  7. Bullet Andy Hunter

  8. Bullet Michelle Tumes

  9. Bullet Viva Voce

  10. Bullet Cocteau Twins

  11. Bullet Regenerator

  12. Bullet Sarah Masen

  13. Bullet Shonen Knife

  1. Bullet Audile

  2. Bullet Bananarama

  3. Bullet Beckah Shae

  4. Bullet Capital Kings

  5. Bullet David Thulin

  6. Bullet DJ Jireh

  7. Bullet Andy Hunter

  8. Bullet Rengerator

  9. Bullet Miss Angie

  10. Bullet Joanna Beasley

  1. Bullet Rick Juler Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1989 & 1991: Live DJing at various locations, including dance clubs, a roller skating rink, a waterpark, and special events.

  2. Bullet United Skates Of America, Springfield, Ohio, 1979 & 1989.

  3. Bullet Various college and school dances

  1. Bullet 2013

  2. Bullet 2012

  3. Bullet 2011

  4. Bullet 2010

  5. Bullet 2009

  6. Bullet 2008

  7. Bullet 2007

  8. Bullet 2006

  9. Bullet 2005

  10. Bullet 2004

  11. Bullet 2003

  12. Bullet 2002

  13. Bullet 2001

  14. Bullet 2000

  15. Bullet 1999

  16. Bullet 1998

  1. Bullet Greatest Rock & Modern Rock

  2. Bullet Greatest Pop & Pop Dance

  3. Bullet Greatest “Other” Styles


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J Lee’s Soapbox is my “official” blog, where I post my latest thoughts on various topics. This includes my current thoughts on music.


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List #2: My Favorite Christian Pop & Pop Dance Albums

Of The 1980s

Music Central is a sub-website of J Lee Harshbarger’s personal website.  To visit other sub-websites, click the links below.

MUSIC CENTRAL
All about music!  My Annual Music Awards, my music Hall Of Fame, and other writings about music and musicians I like are found here.  This link goes to the opening page.Welcome.html
J LEE THE 
MEDIA CRITIC
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My political and religious beliefs, and my commentary
 on society and politics.../Society_Central/Society_Central_Index.html

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Photo albums from some of my travels outside of Michigan.  Eventually I hope to include travelogues too.http://www.jleeharshbarger.me/J_Lee_The_Traveler/Welcome.html

                   
                     Various photos
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PONDERING GOD & CHURCH
What does it mean to follow God?  What should the church be like?../Pondering_God_And_Church/Statement_Of_My_Religious_Beliefs.html
CHURCHES I’VE REGULARLY ATTENDED

A list of all the churches I’ve attended, plus full stories about some of them. ../Churches_Ive_Regularly_Attended/Churches,_Part_1.html

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Stories about churches I’ve visited../Churches_Ive_Visited/Churches,_Part_2.html
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KILLED BY APPLE & LIFLI

This list contains my favorite Christian pop/dance albums of the '80s.  (There was no out-and-out dance Christian music until the 1990s, after Scott Blackwell's conversion, so the only thing danceable in the '80s in Christian music was of the pop-dance variety.  Other albums on this list are just straight pop music.)


MY FAVORITE POP/DANCE CHRISTIAN ALBUMS OF THE 1980s


  1.  Kim Boyce (1987)

  2.  Russ Taff:  Medals (1985)

  3.  David Meece:  7  (1985)

  4.  Amy Grant:  Unguarded (1985)

  5.  Bash 'n' The Code:  Big Mouth (1988)

  6.  Kathy Troccoli:  Heart And Soul (1984)

  7.  Farrell & Farrell:  Choices (1984)

  8.  Leslie Phillips:  Dancing With Danger (1984)

  9.  Tramaine:  The Search Is Over (1985)

10.  Leslie Phillips:  Beyond Saturday Night (1983)

11.  Bash 'n' The Code (1986)

12.  David Meece:  Count The Cost (1984)

13.  Farrell & Farrell:  Jump To Conclusions (1985)

14.  Angie Lewis:  What's It Gonna Take (1986)

15.  Leslie Phillips:  Black And White In A Grey World (1985)

16.  David Meece:  Are You Ready (1980)

17.  Michael W. Smith:  2  (1984)

18.  Angie Lewis:  Heartdance (1985)

19.  Matthew Ward:  Armed And Dangerous (1986)

20.  Leon Patillo:  The Sky's The Limit  (1984)

21.  Michael W. Smith Project (1983)

22.  Connie Scott:  Hold On  (1988)

23.  Kim Boyce:  Time And Again (1988)

24.  Amy Grant:  Lead Me On (1986)

25.  Crumbacher:  Incandescent (1985)


       You may notice that the vast majority of these titles are from 1984-1986.  The best years for the modern rock titles were 1985-87, and for this kind of music, 1984-86.  What happened to Christian music in the late '80s?


NOTES


I always thought Sandi Patty had a great voice.  She went to college the same time I did and I heard her sing there.  In fact, she was in one of my classes, and I went to her senior recital.  Although I always thought she had an awesome voice, I didn't like the kind of music she sang.  Then KIM BOYCE came along.  There was a girl with a *powerful* voice, and great music too!  Her debut album is awesome--it showcases her incredible voice more than any of her other albums do, and it's all pop-dance music except for one ballad, and even it is *powerful*!    My wife & I have seen her in concert twice--once at Six Flags in LA and once at Azusa Pacific University.  The APU concert was DYNAMITE!!!!  All-out ROWDIE and totally awesome!!!  It's amazing how she can sing so powerfully and it looks like she's not even trying! 

       I now have seven of her eight albums.  Her first six are great, except for "Time And Again," which is significantly below the others in quality (but still good enough to make my Top 25!).  With her seventh album, I was shocked and disappointed to discover she had abandoned her energetic, powerful music for mellow, generic adult contemporary.  WHY???  Why would she leave a trademark sound for such a generic sound that it could be anybody????  Oh well, at least I've got six great albums of hers to enjoy.  (The other four great ones were released in the 1990s, so they're not on this list.)


RUSS TAFF, whose career began with The Imperials during their transition from Southern Gospel to Contemporary Christian music, made two great albums--"Medals," a blue-eyed soul, superb urban pop album, and the more rock oriented album that followed it.  After that, he went into Big Band and then country music, and I lost interest.  At least you can say his talent enables him to do a variety of styles.


DAVID MEECE's first album came out in 1976...very sleepy, mellow piano pop.  But then in 1979 he released a Bee Gees sound-alike album, followed in 1980 by a high energy, bright pop album ("Are You Ready?").  That worked, and he stayed in that vein, making great albums.  The power and energy in the songs on "7" are astounding.  Having been trained in classical music, he often incorporates riffs from classical compositions in his songs.


Remember Found Free?  I remember the first time they came to a youth rally at our church back in the 1970s.  I was totally shocked.  I thought they were sacrilegious.  How dare they do such stuff in church???  Oh, how narrow-minded I was back then.  I later began to broaden my views, seeing that we can have fun and enjoy ourselves in the presence of the One who made us with love.

       Although I can't prove it, I'm certain that BASH 'N' THE CODE was Found Free with a new name.  Clues:  First was Found Free cruises, then Bash 'n' The Code cruises.  Second:  those people looked an awful lot like Found Free, and in fact, even had the same approach in concerts as Found Free.  I'm sure it was the same group.  They made two albums of lots of fun and energy and interesting songs, but their third album showed they had run out of ideas.  I didn't even buy that one.


I got into LESLIE PHILLIPS' music because she was one of the first in Christian pop to express depression.  I could really relate to it.  One of her songs, "Strength Of My Life," is sung in churches all across America, but only as the chorus:  they leave off the depressing verses, with lyrics along the lines of "I stumble into the shower, how can I face another day?"  I liked that about her music, plus her pop-dance music.  In 1986, she completely changed musical styles, going for an acoustic guitar, beatless kind of music.  I didn't like the change, thus that album is not on the list.  However, now I like that album better than the others!  They sound dated while the 1986 album, "The Turning," sounds current.

        After that album, Leslie got very bitter about the Christian music scene and left it.  She changed her name to Sam Phillips and began recording on Virgin Records.  One of her songs appears on the Melrose Place soundtrack.  One of her beefs against Christians was that they tried to limit her musical topics, but actually, I think her lyrics were far more creative when she was in Christian music than what she has done in secular music.


It was 1977 or early in 1978.  I was in Logos in Springfield, Ohio, my favorite Christian book/music store at the time, and I heard an album that I immediately loved.  I asked who it was.  It was Amy Grant.  I bought of all her albums from that debut on, only missing her second live album in the early '80s.  I haven't bought any non-Christmas albums since "Lead Me On," but I rarely keep interest in even my favorite artists for more than ten years.  It's Amy Grant's honesty and thoughtfulness that makes her special.  Of course, the pop-dance music of "Unguarded" was right down my line.  I was even tempted to collect all four album covers, but only got one.





The list on this page originally appeared on my blog, J Lee’s Soapbox, on January 4, 1998.  The blog’s software was eventually abandoned by its maker, Lifli, such that it wouldn’t work on current OS X platforms, and it was hosted on Apple’s MobileMe, which they discontinued on June 30, 2012.  So, Lifli & Apple killed my blog.  Selected postings from my blog will re-appear here and there on my website, as has been done on this page.


This list was posted on this website on July 8, 2012.

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