Camp, Steve - 1986 One On One

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Camp, Steve
ALBUM: One On One
LABEL: Sparrow
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Steve Camp - lead and backing vocals, drum programming * Dann Huff, Mike Landau - guitars * Leland Sklar - bass * Smitty Prince - keyboards * Jeff Porcaro - drums * Jon Clarke - horns * Dan Greco - percussion * John Rosasco - orchestral arrangements * Bill Champlin, Steve Lively, Tommy Funderburk, Jason Scheff, Margaret Becker, Bob Carlisle - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Foolish Things * 02 The Other Side Of The World * 03 Judgement Begins With The House Of God * 04 One On One (duet with Margaret Becker) * 05 He Covers Me * 06 Cheap Grace * 07 Mr Brokenhearted * 08 Threshing Floor * 09 He's All You Need


A few months back, Eric threw the virtual sword at the 1983 album by Steve Camp entitled 'Fire And Ice'. It was Camp's first album for then new label Sparrow Records, after a good run of albums with Myrrh during the late 70's and early 80's.

Musically, Camp's albums are a hard ask of bible bashing and (as Eric cleverly put it..) sonic sermonizing. I too will run to the hills when the Jesus freaks start getting restless, but in the meantime, it shouldn't be too hard an ask to listen to Camp's albums.

Particularly from 'Fire And Ice' all the way up to 1988's 'Justice' LP. If you tune out from the lyrics (I know most of you might be inclined to) and focus on the music, you might come away impressed.

The album features members of Toto and Chicago in the mix, plus leading CCM singers Margaret Becker and Bob Carlisle along with six string studio wizards Dann Huff and Mike Landau.

Musically, it comes across as a mix of Al Denson, Rick Cua and Wayne Watson styled AOR, though Camp's vocals are not as smooth.

They can be a bit rough house at times, and this at least keeps 'One On One' from becoming too sterile.

The Songs

The production on this album is very good, with John Rosasco doing the majority of the honors.

The opening 'Foolish Things' is a lovely bouncy number reminding me of that sensational first Al Denson album.

'The Other Side Of The World' is a plaintive semi-ballad which has its spicy moments too, one part Liaison the other Rick Cua.

'Judgement Begins With The House Of God' is a bit of a mouthful, the message might be a bit OTT but the keyboard motif just sticks in your head.

Margaret Becker joins in on the title track 'One On One', a funky piece with parping synths, reminding us this is 1986 in its heyday!

Moving through the less than interesting ballad 'He Covers Me', we get to the very interesting 'Cheap Grace', an edgy AOR number with great keys, guitar lines and a Rick Springfield like delivery system.

'Mr Brokenhearted' is a somber tune, drifting and meandering on a bed of synth layers and slow drum patterns.

'Threshing Floor' is more organic sounding, where it talks about separating the wheat from the chaff, an obvious reference to sifting out the good from the bad when Judgement Day arrives.. it's something I don't believe in, but there you go..

Another ballad finishes the album.. 'He's All You Need' is a simple piano based tune with orchestral backing to provide a cinematic climax.

In Summary

Nine tracks, and it's a case of three's. Three ballads, three excellent tracks and three so-so tracks.

'One On One' may not have the same sense of dynamics than the three prior Sparrow albums to this one, but still it's worth picking up just for the reason that Huff, Landau and co are playing all over it.

Camp would release two more albums druing the 80's; '1987's 'After God's Own Heart' and the aforementioned 'Justice' from 1988.

There is a vast discography to research, and if you can navigate your way through it amid all the hardcore religious overtones, then all power to ya!

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