The Predators – Social Decay

The Predators
Social Decay
1983 Ears & Eyes

Kevin Smith – Vocals
Kelvin Allwood – Guitar
Brian Westhead – Keyboards, vocals
Andy Rayner – Bass, vocals
Francis Johnson – Drums, percussion

Side 1:

  1. Jack
  2. Free World
  3. Man in My Room
  4. Stand Up and Be Counted
  5. Lost at Sea

Side 2:

  1. 2 Out of 7
  2. One More Time
  3. Wipe the Tears
  4. Nasty Video
  5. Never Say Die

The Predators were an early pioneering new wave / pop / punk band in the Christian scene from England. By some people’s standards today, this would not be considered punk. I get that, but historically new wave bands like this were considered punk (what do you think the “new wave” was a new wave of anyways?). Or you could just look at it as alternative rock if you really wanted, because the pop sensibilities here definitely pull it in that direction. You really get a nice mix of faster, heavier numbers and slower, popier tunes here. This was their second full-length album (after their self-titled debut in 1982), which they followed up with a few more singles before their third full length Offensive in 1987.

BTW – this album made the “CCM Top 500 Best Albums of All Time” list. You can download mp3s of all of their three full-lengths on their website as well: http://www.thedeakin.net/predators/

Ben Okafor – Children of the World

Ben Okafor
Children of the World
1985 Ears & Eyes Production (EEC 047)
Leeds, England, United Kingdom

Ben Okafor – Lead vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals, keyboards, percussion
Neville King – Keyboards
Anthony Bartley – Bass guitar
Conrad Kelly – Drums, percussion

Side 1:

  1. What Could It Be
  2. Why?
  3. Children of the World
  4. Who is Jesus

Side 2:

  1. I Love You
  2. Just As I Am
  3. Messiah Man
  4. Jah Man

Ben Okafor is fairly well-known in many music circles. If you haven’t heard of him, well… that is your fault. From what I can tell, this is possibly his first album that he recorded, which was not too long after he moved from Nigeria to the UK. He is a fan of Bob Marley, and Marley’s influence shows on this tape. Okafor continued to develop his own style after this. This tape was produced by early UB40 producer Bob Lamb, so you can hear that influence as well. This was also released on vinyl (and that version seems to be easier to find). This is African roots reggae at its finest. Okafor went on to have albums released by Plankton Records, R.E.X. Music, and many others.

Royal Rendezvous – 7Trax

Royal Rendezvous
7Trax
1985 Ears & Eyes Productions (EEMC 035)
Surrey, England, United Kingdom

Mike King – Guitar, lead vocals
Mary King – Keyboards
Paul McArdle – Bass, backing vocal
Dave Meseg – Drums and percussion

Side 1:

  1. Racing
  2. More and More of You
  3. Lifeline Dover
  4. Future in His Hands

Side 2:

  1. Kingdom Come
  2. Ransom Paid
  3. I’ll Be There

7Trax actually is the name of the series that this tape is in – as the inside of the tape cover promotes two other releases in the series. However, the only two references to this tape online I can find call it “7trax,” so I will do so also for consistency. The sound here is very 80s – soaring keyboards, electronic sounding drums, and minimal strumming guitars. To be honest, this is mostly rock, but it leans just enough new wave to get me to call it new wave just because that is cooler and more definite. Most of the songs that are on here sound like the other tracks that were on 80s music soundtracks after the Kenny Loggins ones – you know, the ones that were good enough to set a “hip movie” vibe, but not rocking enough to compete with Kenny. I actually really like this demo – they play well and get a current (in an 80s sense that is) pop sound down pretty well.