As mentioned, the troops albums were a couple of my favourites. Although both 1 & 2 were primarily aimed for children at our Glorie Company gatherings, a lot of the songs on these albums proved to be what we call crossover songs and were picked up by adults and sung at their meetings and services.Again I included a couple of instrumentals and the 1st track Andy and I wrote as the exit music for brother Timbo and his new wife Gill’s wedding service.But with all the great tracks on these albums my favourite has to be ‘What a long hard day it’s been’. Along with Father God I Wonder, this has proved to be one of the most meaningful songs that I have ever written. This song means so much to me personally.I’ve always loved singing Christmas Carols but so often they are played in such a dirgy and depressing way.I wanted children to enjoy singing these great traditional Christmas songs in a bouncy rocky way, hence why I saw the real need for this album.All these years later I still maintain that this is one of the most bouncy, lively yet sincere Christmas Carol albums performed by Christians available.
Now troops 1 & 2 are available on a double CD from us but sadly we had to drop 3 tracks from Vol 1 as there was not enough room on the CD for all of them.
Training up the Troops Vol 2 1989
1) Here comes the bride 2) Come on (Lets praise the Lord) 3) G L O R I E 4) Children of God’s family 5) Light a flame 6) A promise from Your lips 7) Almighty God is here 8) Marching orders 9) Begone you evil minded men 10) Nicodemus 11) Little troopers revisited 12) Lord I need to know you love me 13) Glorie electro-reel 14) The Marksman 15) What a long hard day it’s been (Angels)
After training up the troops 2 in 1989 we released ‘Hooked on Ishmael’ but I’ve not included this because this was not my recording. This was Tim Jupp’s wonderful instrumental album linking a whole host of songs from my previous albums together and really making them bounce along in the then popular ‘hooked on’ style.
Christmas Carol Celebration 1991
1) Oh come all ye faithful 2) The first Nowell 3) Good Christian men rejoice 4) Away in a manger 5) Angel’s from the realms of glory 6) Once in Royal David’s City 7) Ding dong merrily on high 8) See amid the winters snow 9) O little town of Bethlehem 10) God rest ye merry gentlemen 11) Silent night 12) Hark the herald angel’s sing
With the idea of ‘Training up the troops’ came some of the most exciting days in the Glorie Company. When I released this first Troops album I asked all my team to come to Spring Harvest dressed in army fatigues. The idea was to teach children that we are all in God’s army and in a battle against the evil one who wants to wreck the lives of both young and old. Pretty heavy stuff for 8 to 11 year olds maybe, but I believe they not only took it onboard, but also became a lot Spiritually stronger after learning (in a child friendly way of course) about Spiritual warfare. The 2 Training up the troops albums are 2 of my favourite recordings containing some very strong songs and strangely enough, I even wrote some instrumental tracks to include on them which we used for our ‘keep fit’ slot in the Glorie Company programme. Originally only released on cassette as cassettes were now the ‘in’ thing and the way everyone was listening to music on their Sony Walkmans!Now troops 1 & 2 are available on a double CD from us but sadly we had to drop 3 tracks * as there was not enough room on the CD for all of them.Songs for Little troopers was recorded all electronically and Tim Jupp (who travelled with me for many years playing keyboard) would now be the mastermind behind many of the albums to follow. This is a great bouncy recording for our little younger troopers who may have found some of the more ‘mature’ tracks on the troops recordings a little too old for them.
Training up the troops 1988
1) The commission (Instrumental) 2) We are in God’s army 3) We are all assembled 4) Little troopers 5) Training up the troops* 6) I will call upon the Lord 7) God is here God is present 8) We are the Glorie Company 9) We will praise You* 10) Don’t be lazy 11) The deserter 12) Lord I strive 13) May the peace and presence 14) We belong to an army 15) Mission accomplished (Instrumental)
Songs for little troopers 1989
1) I’m a little Glorie (Instrumental) 2) Lord we’ve come to worship You 3) I want to learn about Jesus 4) 39, thirty nine 5) The Grasshopper song 6) I don’t need to be big to be beautiful 7) Little man 8) So if you think you’re standing firm 9) 5000 + hungry folk 10) The Lord’s prayer 11) Lord You gave me joy in my heart 12) I will click my fingers 13) Down in a noisy small valley 14) Lord I want to be a Glorie 15) There’s nothing better 16) The Lord’s army 17) The Royal Prayer Force 18) Father God I wonder 19) I’m a little Glorie (Reprise)
With Scripture Praise Party I seriously got down to putting simple little tunes to Bible verses. My main aim was to help children to learn Scripture. I deliberately wanted the tunes to be annoyingly catchy and would aim to write each song in 10 minutes max. I would then test each song out on an audience and if they were not able to whistle the tune after I’d sung it through twice, i’d drop the song. To this day I still cannot remember what possessed me to put a nagging wife is like a dripping tap on a children’s album!
For many wonderful years I was a member of Gerald Coates Pioneer team along with my good buddy Noel Richards and a few others. I have to say these were fun and very exciting times and we saw God do some amazing things. I wanted to add a bit of finance to help support the team so I released a compilation album called as subtle as a sledgehammer because to be fair, Pioneer was famous for being just that! The songs were totally unsubtle and some of my favourites and the little profit that was made was ploughed back into Pioneer.
Scripture Praise Party 1987
1) I have hidden your word 2) Be merciful to me O God 3) Now the Lord is the Spirit 4) All Scripture is God-breathed 5) To all who received Him 6) He has shown you 7) For the Lamb 8) Wealth and possessions 9) Where O death is your victory 10) A nagging wife 11) Those who belong to Christ Jesus 12) Don’t be afraid 13) Wakey wakey 14) Jehovah Jireh 15) No matter how much you dream 16) There is no darkness 17) The still small voice 18) Jesus said ‘not everyone who says to me’ 19) A backslider gets bored with himself 20) The people cried with their voices loud 21) Beatitudes 22) For if you forgive men 23) Do not store up 24) Praise and glory
As subtle as a sledgehammer (Compilation) 1987
1) Its amazin what praisin can do 2) D is for dynamite 3) I wanna be free 4) Word of wisdom 5) Supernaturally 6) Praise Party 7) Lord you put a tongue 8) The fields are ripe 9) I will pour out my Spirit 10) We will praise, we will praise 11) The sky is filled 12) O Lord You’re great 13) Where oh death is your victory 14) Beatitudes 15) Father God I wonder
I updated the title and cover of ‘Antique Collection’ to Sting in the Tale’ but kept the recording exactly the same. I don’t think I’ve ever had such fun recording an album. I dragged a load of ‘the lads’ from our Church into a recording studio and we recorded lots of the most popular and crazy Ishmael and Andy tongue in cheek, parable songs that had never been recorded before. Far too mad for the rather serious Christian music scene of those days! This is the very best (probably only) Christian ‘Pub’ singalong you’ll ever hear, and of course I had to have the good old ‘honky tonk’ joanna rattling away in the background. Nearly all the vocals were done 1st take, they had to be. My ‘choir’ of working men were never going to be the most patient and want to hang around in a recording studio for too long.I recorded Family Praise Favourites because these were the very best songs of the day, probably the very best songs of any day in my opinion and I was keen that children should sing them and teach the world that they too can be serious worshippers as much as adults. I sneaked ‘Father God’ alongside these classics because it was just beginning to become quite a favourite.
Ishmael’s Antique Collection 1986 But I re-released it and changed the title to A Sting in the Tale in 1993
1) Rum, Gin and Cocktail 2) The Grunting Song 3) Glub Glub 4) Chain Gang 5) Bert’s a Cert-How about you? 6) Major Dee Deedle Dee 7) 2 Timothy 2 (to the lot of you) 8) A Steeple and 10 Veg please 9) Ronald Robot 10) Rumpug the Miser 11) And so the Race goes on 12) Eli the Fly 13) M.O.T 14) Fergusons Mule
Ishmael’s Family Praise Favourites 1986
1) O Lord our God (We will magnify) 2) Praise Him in the Sanctuary 3) Father in heaven how we love you 4) You laid aside Your majesty 5) Showers of blessing 6) Be bold, be strong 7) O Lord You’re beautiful 8) There is a Redeemer 9) We worship and adore You 10) Rejoice 11) Reigning in all splendour 12)God is good 13) We place You on the highest place 14) Let us praise His name with dancing 15) In heavenly armour 16) Father God I wonder
I was now getting more confident in writing praise / worship style songs and on ‘Ishmael’s Children’s Praise party Vol 2’ I decided to risk using mostly my own compositions. At this stage I must make mention of my buddy Mick Gisbey who was later to join me touring. Mick was writing some fantastic songs and I not only included a couple on this album but also included many more of his songs on albums to follow. Ishmael’s Children’s Praise Party Vol 3 was in many ways a breakthrough album for me. Again, the majority of songs were my own and now I had also started to put a few Bible verses to simple tunes which later inspired me to write more and more Scripture Songs. I also had just written a simple little song called ‘Father God I Wonder’ which some of you may have heard of. This was the very first time I recorded it and put it on an album with children singing it. Quite a few of the songs on this album became very popular and some, believe it or not, are still being sung today.
Ishmael’s Children’s Praise party Vol 2 1984
1) We’ll praise Him on the trumpet 2) Lord I ask 3) We give thanks 4) Spirit of God 5) I’m expecting great things 6) As Jesus back was whipped and beaten 7) I am a new creation 8) Create in me9) The fields are ripe 10) I will pour out my Spirit 11) Here for a moment 12) I rejoice in making Jesus happy 13) Taste and see 14) We will praise, we will praise 15) Shout for joy and sing 16) His was the pain 17) No wooden cross 18) Blessed are you 19) May the favour
Ishmael’s Children’s Praise Party Vol 3 1985
1) Creation Song 2) Have you got an appetite 3) The Word of God 4) Salvation is found 5) Hebrews 11 v 6 6) The sky is filled 7) Kiss the hand of Jesus 8) I worship you in holiness 9) As I look at myself 10) The most important thing 11 With the music that I play 12) O Lord you’re great 13) 5000 + hungry folk 14) Put on the sword 15) How beautiful upon the mountains 16) Jesus died to make me whole 17) When you really understand 18) I will show you I’m rejoicing 19) I’m not weary 20) I will wave my hands in praise 21) You give me peace 22) Father God I Wonder 23) I’ve made up my mind