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.

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?

  1. October 7, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Excellent, my friend! So glad to see you getting back on the horse (but man, that is one big horse)!

  2. Alex
    October 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm


    I’m also thinking of making a site with my favourite CCM albums of all time. I want also add the albumcovers and some clips from Youtube on it. Is there a copyright on these items?

    I’m looking forward for your reply,


  3. October 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I don’t know if these albums were meant to be in order, with number one as the best. But I would start at the other end. Red Alert by Malcolm and the Mirrors is one of my favorite all time records (yes, records), my favorite song being “Sharon O”. Also, Nobody Special was also in the stratosphere. Both of these make my top 100 Gospel Rock albums on my dog site.

  4. Alex
    October 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I cannot find this list on your site.

    Can you give us a link to your Top 100?


  5. Mark
    October 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Great! What about those albums that are not published for English speaking audience? I wish you could include those also, because there are probably many of the best Christian albums of all time.

  6. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 22, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I second the request for a link to Gord’s list.

  7. Alex
    • low5point
      November 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      About 90% of the artists and 80% of the titles have or will appear here 🙂

  8. Shawn McLaughlin
    December 6, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Awesome….Thanks Gord.

  9. March 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Great list, thank you very much!
    Is there a chance to view the ‘top – 100 ‘of your list. Can’t find them anywhere.

    Greetings from Holland!

    • low5point
      March 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      When I am done I will be putting the whole list in a post

  10. Don
    April 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Where have you gone David low5point? The nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you….. It has been 5 long days since your last post (#74)

  11. Don
    May 22, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    While waiting for the next installment, I thought of a new post that David could do – most inappropriate CCM songs ever.

    I nominate

    Phil Keaggy – Nobodies Playgirl original ending – deep voice and whip sound
    Randy Stonehill – Lung Cancer – at the bridge he sings “suck baby suck”
    Larry Norman – Six O’clock News – “Bellboy gook”

    I deeply respect and like all these artists, but I think they has a moment each that they regret.

    And at the top of the list:

  12. don
    May 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Next time I shouldn’t post a comment and watch kids at the same time – sorry for the spelling and grammar oddities

  13. Doug Merkley
    February 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Who is writing these articles? You are amazing! I own or have heard more than half of these albums, and your descriptions of every single album are right on point! Your comparisons and similes are perfect. Keep up the good work.

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