An album of synthesiser versions of hymns and songs popular in that era - produced a little like the ‘Stars on 45’ for those who remember that. That was Executive Producer Norman Miller’s idea!
It was recorded on a very tight budget in a cellar in Didsbury, Manchester in the summer of 1983, with one of Cliff Richard’s drummers, Colin Larn and just an Oberheim OBXa synth.
It was Word Records ‘Album of the Month’ through their record club and went on to be one of the top selling religious albums in the UK selling over 12,000 copies…
A more sophisticated follow-up album on a similar theme, this time using the ubiquitous Yamaha DX7 Synth. Again a very popular CD in its day and sold many thousands.
Recorded in Carshalton at singer/songwriter Paul Field’s studio.
Lighten Our Darkness (1987) - Kingsway Music
A album of songs based on Church of England canticles and prayers from the Alternative Service Book 1980.
A meditative and reflective collection of songs, some of which are still sung around the world today.
Recorded at ICC Studios in Eastbourne with a group of friends including singer/songwriter Chris Eaton, BBC presenter Mal Pope, and others
Christ is Risen (1989) - Kingsway Music
An album of self-penned worship songs including some that are almost considered ‘standards’ in many churches today. Several have been translated into multiple languages and have been performed on TV & Radio all around the world.
Recorded in Swansea with Mal Pope and Pete King (members of Max Boyce's backing group at the time!), this album is now very rare.
It was only released on cassette and, despite excellent reviews, all of the stock (except a few copies that made it into the shops) was destroyed in a warehouse fire in Bromley, Kent, shortly after release.
Chris teamed up with Joanne Boyce and Mike Stanley for this first album of songs penned between the trio.
Recorded in Coventry, it featured some of Chris’s newer material, written not long before recording.
Jo Boyce had already written a set of songs about the crucifixion and resurrection (based on the “Stations of the Cross”) before meeting Chris but, with Mike, they collaborated to produce this semi-orchestral musical version, which still sells today. You can also listen to it on YouTube.
Live at the Crossing (1998) - Rolinson, Boyce & Stanley - CJM Music
A very rare CD recording of a live concert featuring the trio before they parted ways in early 1999.
Recorded in Chris’s home town of Walsall in September 1998, some of Chris's songs that debuted on this CD were later studio-recorded by Jo and Mike on their subsequent albums.
Very sadly, Mike passed away in 2013 at the far-too-young age of 48, so this album remains a unique record of the trio at their peak, if you can find one. The only mention I could find on the Internet is a very nice review by Trevor Kirk…
“The British Catholic liturgy group consisting of Chris Rolinson, Jo Boyce and Mike Stanley offer a diverse selection of pop, praise choruses and even the occasional Caribbean tinge. Recorded at St Paul's Church, Walsall in September 1998, this is a well-produced, happy, enjoyable listen, with RB&S in fine form. Excellent songs, excellent performances and 58 minutes' playing time add up to as good a live album as I've heard for many moons.”