Saturday, September 3, 2016

Michael Anderson "Sound Alarm"

Michael Anderson
Sound Alarm
1988 A&M Records
Produced By: Terry Manning

album cover


lyrics (click to enlarge)



Track Listings

Sound Alarm (5:31) (music video)
I Know That You Can Stand (5:14)
I Need You (4:51)
Sanctuary (5:43) (live version)
Little Bit O' Love (4:24)
Memphis Radio (4:47)
Soweto Soul (4:03)
Shine a Light (4:49)
Time to Go Home (5:10)


Michael Anderson: Vocals, guitars
Josh Sklair: Guitars
Jimmy Z: Harmonica
Chad Cromwell: Drums
Buck Silvertone: Bass, background vocals
Terry Manning: Keyboards, background vocals

The perks of having an older brother that used to work in Christian retail is that he knew his music. Not all artists that released an album on a Christian label started there. When I discovered Ashley Cleveland's awesome "A Bus Named Desire" album on Reunion Records, by brother enlightened me with the knowledge of her album that came earlier, "Big Town" released on A&M Records. Well the same thing happened when Michael Anderson released his first album for ForeFront Records.

I thought, great, his "Sound Alarm" is out of print and now that I know about it where am I going to find it? I ended up lucking out and finding the album in an old Camelot Music store in a mall. It's got the cut out in the top right corner of the jewel case, but I didn't care. I finally found this album that my brother told me about (now) some time ago.

When I finally got out to the parking lot and into my truck, I popped this CD into my player and I was immediately impressed by the album's opening track. Michael has a gritty, bluesy sounding voice that lends itself great to straight up rock and roll. I didn't grow up listening to much mainstream music, but I can hear John Mellancamp and Bruce Springsteen in his voice...maybe even a little Tom Petty.

The next track, "I Know That You Can Stand" was just as great as the first. The chorus' have that big sound that make it fun to sing along with. I absolutely love the harmonica on "Until You Loved Me" and on "Little Bit O' Love". The whole album sounds oh so good, even today after nearly 30 years.

As I continued to listen to the rest of the album I was really impressed at how blatantly Christian this album was...released by a mainstream label. I scanned the liner notes of the CD so you can click and enlarge them to read the lyrics for yourself. Michael wrote every song on the album and as I originally followed up on him it turns out that he not only writes his own music, but is a well known song writer for other artists. I believe his biggest hit, "Maybe It Was Memphis" was recorded by country artists Pam Tillis.

Michael Anderson is a very talented guy and I miss listening to his music. I no longer own his ForeFront albums, but will be picking those up again soon. In the mean time I still enjoy listing to this album, so much so that I recently picked it up on vinyl as well. I also grabbed his second album on vinyl he recorded for A&M. Haven't listened to that one yet because I just can't get enough of this album. Michael went on to release a few independent releases, some that I've heard on YouTube. They are a more praise & worship style, but with a heavy dose of Michael Anderson. If you've never heard of Michael or any of his music, I encourage you to at least watch the music video of "Sound Alarm" linked above, or pick up one of this albums. Today none of them are all that hard to find or expensive.

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