Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 154. Second Hand – Mark Heard

154. Second Hand – Mark Heard

SECOND HAND (1991)

Mark Heard

I am sure as I type this that I am going to regret placing this album “too low” and even more I will probably regret admitting that Second Hand is actually one of my personal least favorite Mark Heard albums. That being said I also understand what a tremendous record it is despite my personal likings. Perhaps its that the album is a bit more “folky” than others and less rock oriented that sways my opinion.

But one thing I do know, that it is not about the songs. In fact, when these same songs are performed by others with different arrangements they become personal favorites. When Pierce Pettis (who I totally made a mistake not including) did “Nod Over Coffee” I was instantly in love with the song. Same with the cover of Lonely Moon.

There are some songs though that no one can touch Heard’s version: The first is “Worry Too Much.” What an amazing performance by heard here and is a personal favorite from the album. “I Just Wanna Get Warm” is another highlight with great mandolin and violin work.

But one must remember that even a “least favorite” Mark Heard album is still better and more enjoyable than 95% of the rest of the music I own!

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 17, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Yeah….this would be AT LEAST in my top 50. “Love Is Not The Only Thing” is so un-frickin’-believable. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous song…..love the whole album.

    • low5point
      February 17, 2011 at 4:34 am

      Trust me, I understand people have this unbelievable love for this album, but I would rank it third in the final three as far as how often I listen to them. Satellite Sky is still the one I listen far and away the most.

  2. February 17, 2011 at 4:52 am

    “Satellite Sky” is my personal favorite Mark Heard album as well, though any of the final ‘trilogy’ are off the charts. “I Just Wanna Get Warm” and “Nod Over Coffee” are two of Heard’s finest songs ever, and the allegory in ‘Lonely Moon’ is still as haunting today as ever!

    Ditto on Shawn’s comment about “Love Is Not The Only Thing” as well, a truly beautiful song that sums up 1 Corinthians 13 better than any song I’ve ever heard!

  3. Strawshine
    February 17, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I’d also say it’s my least favourite of the trilogy, but definitely in my top 10 (maybe even top 5?) albums nonetheless. It was while listening to “I Just Wanna Get Warm” that I had my “epiphany” about Mark Heard and about what a tremendous artist he was. But in terms of my personal taste “Second Hand” has a few weak songs and I wish he didn’t have the Lennon/McCartney cover, considering his own songwriting capability.

    However, I must disagree with the reviewer about “Worry Too Much” though. I think Buddy Miller’s version is terrific and one of – if only – the Mark Heard-penned songs that’s better than the original.

  4. paulkcc
    February 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I don’t think there is an album that Mark made that wouldn’t be in my top 500, so I would agree that this should probably be a little higher. If your comment in the parenthesis indicates that there will be no Pierce Pettis album on this list, you did make a mistake. Chase The Buffalo is a tour de force and should easily be top 100.

  5. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 18, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I was gonna mention the Buddy Miller cover of “Worry Too Much”, myself. That Buddy……what a complete stud. Not a prolific writer, however….so I’d like to see him adopt the Pierce Pettis policy (nice alliteration, huh?) and add one Heard song to each album he records.

    Paul….I could make a strong argument for every Pierce Pettis album being in a top 100 but as Dave says…..there is a lot of room on the internet for those of us who feel strongly about these things. I just don’t have David’s ambition ; )

  6. Bill B
    April 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I have to say that I find this album quite boring. Dry Bones Dance and Satellite Sky are SO MUCH BETTER. 🙂

  7. June 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I’ve never understood why this was even in top10 of CCM albums! Mark Heard has many greater albums, such as “Victims of the Age”, “Dry Bones Dance”, and “Appalachian Melody”. Still this album has many good songs.

  8. Greenchili
    December 30, 2011 at 8:03 am

    A little bit too “country/folk” for me. But then again that is not necessarily a bad thing. Just that I’m more of a Rock -n- Roll / Blues / Soul kinda guy. However I do like Folk/Rock. Just not always in the mood to listen to that style.

    Anyways the “countrified” version of “Looking Through You” is a pretty decent revision. Even if it does kind of take away from the “originality” of the original.

  9. Bill B
    March 13, 2012 at 6:47 am

    (Sorry if I ruffle anyone’s feathers.) I cannot understand how this album got rated as #4 in the book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music?? Admit that I don’t know the author’s criteria?? Still, Second Hand is a collection of very boring songs, in my opinion. Dry Bones Dance and Satellite Sky are far superior albums, again in my opinion.

  10. Steve Skafte
    April 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Not only is this is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard, it’s probably the only album that Mark Heard recorded that was consistently great. Usually, he’d only have a couple of really good songs per album. Here, he gives the lyrics full attention, and doesn’t drown his voice beneath over-produced pop-rock music. That’s why, out of everything he’s done, it’s aged the best. It could be current, no one would know the difference. This is the album to introduce the world to his music, and I use it at every possible opportunity.

    I love Second Hand with all my heart. So, so good. Every song holds my absolute attention, and gets right down to the bottom of me. It’s heartwaking, living-alive, completely joy-inducing, thought-provoking music. It’s a dark, deep, personal exploration of humanity. It’s a real shame that Mark didn’t live long enough to explore more in this vein. Satellite Sky fell somewhat short, but it still showed that he was headed in the right direction. The lyrics of “Orphans of God”, “Another Day in Limbo”, “Treasures of the Broken Land”, and “Hammers and Nails” were beyond brilliant.

    It’s too bad that his 1980s albums were so… well, 80s.

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