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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Sapphire - 1980 Crystal Clear
Sapphire - 1980 Crystal Clear

ARTIST: Sapphire
ALBUM: Crystal Clear
LABEL: Milk And Honey
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Amy Swartzedruber - vocals * Hadley Hockensmith - guitars * Richard Souther - keyboards * David MacKay - bass * James Ken - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Straight & Narrow * 02 Roots * 03 Through Lookin' * 04 Stand On The Promise * 05 Seed Of Love * 06 Calm Assurance * 07 Sarah * 08 Overture * 09 Rain * 10 Steppin' Up

In the 'what were they thinking?' category, two female and one male lead vocalist and none of their names appear as musicians on Sapphire's only album. Hmmm, I am sure their art director heard about it, a major error in my opinion but not uncommon with indie releases unfortunately. Thanks to the trusty internet we do know the band hailed from Iowa and one of the females in question - Amy Swartzedruber became Amy Wolter who many of you will remember as the lead vocalist of early 90's CCM group Fighter. Guitarist Hadley Hockensmith went on to join Neil Diamond's band as well as the founding member of the fusion/west coast group Koinonia. Keyboardist extraordinaire Richard Souther would go on to release several new age/ smooth jazz and soundtrack works, picking up a 'Grammy' along the way. Obviously a talented band, but does the music of Sapphire measure up?

The Songs
For a Christian rock album this early in the game it's a classy release and the first couple tracks instantly bring to mind RCR, Desmond Child & Rouge and Teri Desario. In other words influenced by the disco scene of the time but not overwhelmed by it, adding just enough rock elements to make it listenable. The closing track on side one 'Seed of Love' is my favourite of the lot, a nice sultry ballad with a blues touch. Side two's 'Calm Assurance' features some hot guitar work from Hockensmith and is about as close to AOR as the album gets although 'The Source' is a fun track reminding me of Olivia Newton-John's underrated 'Totally Hot' era.

In Summary
All in all a good record that surprisingly gets very little attention considering the stellar players involved, but it is getting expensive in the collectors circuit. Maybe this review will turn on a few more people to the charms of 'Crystal Clear'.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 08 2007 21:45:01
You are right Eric. Trying to find the listed personnel for this album is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Especially, who the other woman is. Someone close to members of the band may be able to offer up some assistance to complete the picture.
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