The 500 Best Albums in CCM History
For those who followed the previous look at “The Greatest Christian Albums of All Time” may be wondering why another blog with a similar topic. You may also be wondering why 500!?!?!
After the overwhelming amount of feedback regarding continuing the discussion I decided to completely start over with a significantly different focus. Where the other blog dealt with albums that had significant impact in the CCM industry and I purposely limited myself to “one album per artist,” there was much discussion about albums that were “left out” of the countdown and/or which albums from a particular album should have been represented.
I then considered looking at the albums that were “on the bubble” or that I believe every Christian Music fan should own, I realized there was a real need for a exhaustive countdown of all of those albums under consideration.
Don’t worry, I know I’m going to leave several out and I’m ready for the “hey, what about” comments. But before starting there are some points the reader needs to take under consideration.
1. I am including pretty much every genre of music in this countdown and no genre will be adequately represented. The inclusion of Black Gospel, Soul, Rap, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock etc. makes it necessary to exclude some very worthy projects and artists.
2. Each album under consideration is being judged according to the time in which it was released. Musicianship, production quality and artistic diversity has grown over the years in Christian Music, so it is unfair to try and compare early Jesus Music albums with the latest from Jars of Clay and House of Heroes. So, the albums production value did not play as important of a role as it possibly should have.
3. Each album under consideration is physically owned by me! That means there are some that were not included simply because I could not fairly judge the album. Rest assured I own over 6,000 albums so there is no shortage of selection to choose from.
4. Each album under consideration is performed by an artists (or if a band has a band member) that has made, at one time or another, a public declaration of faith. It is not this blogs point to judge the current state (or actual real faith at the time) of the artists listed so the list does include Bob Dylan, U2, etc. The albums, though, are those recorded at a time and with content consistent with a Christian Worldview.
5. The readers of the previous countdown will notice a drastically different lists. This is because each album was considered on its own merits and without thought to general and long term impact of the album or artist. So, some albums not included in the previous countdown will rate higher than the one chosen in the previous edition. Also, there are a few more “recent” releases included, but probably not enough to satisfy the masses. An album really needs to stand the test of time in some manner to eventually be considered “one of the best of all time.”
6. The articles will not be as long. Check out the previous blog if you don’t know what I’m talking about. http://greatestchristianalbums.wordpress.com/
7. Careful and extra consideration was given to the Jesus Music era. This is because CCM has a sickening short shelf life and a lot of great music was lost or never discovered. I hope to rectify that.
8. There was purposefulness is treating each artist as respective to their genre. What that means is a particular album is judged within the framework of the genre it is found within and no genre is given a particular “value” greater than any other genre. If an album falls within the world of “corporate rock” it is not judged pejoratively because of the genre itself. If it is excellent within the framework of that genre, it is considered excellent and ranked accordingly. If not, the Top 25 could have been called “The Members of Lost Dogs and Mark Heard Top 25.”
9. As an addendum to point 8; the results of the above means that many Daniel Amos and mark heard albums that “should have made it” may not be seen. I wanted to make a conscious effort to represent ALL that Christian Music entails, and in doing so, some amazing titles have been left out.
10. Finally, this is my list and my list only. I checked out HM’s Top 100 Rock albums, CCM’s Top 100 albums and other resources only to make sure I did not miss anything of historic proportions. There are several titles in both that did not even make my Top 500. That’s the nature of lists.
A couple other notes to help when reading. I will try my best to include the release dates as well, but no guarantees. When you see the acronym (AYSO) that means it is an “Album You Should Own,” a note of special distinction for those not listed in the previous countdown.
Are we ready?