120. Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth – Rich Mullins
WINDS OF HEAVEN, STUFF OF EARTH (1988)
Here is another example of the different presuppositions between this list and the previous blogs list for determining placement. Though significantly more important to the overall progression of the CCM market, the album does not fair as well when compared to multiple releases per artist and exclusive artistic achievement guidelines. That is not so say this is not a great record, God Forbid. This is ana amazing record and no serious collector should have it missing.
“Winds of Heaven” is a lighter, sweeter, sometimes melancholy project that is punctuated with worship and promise. But ultimately it came down to impact and lasting impressions and nothing on “A Liturgy” (or too many other albums for that matter) can match what “Awesome God” has meant to a generation of believers despite being an overall stronger project. If the reader is only familiar with the classic worship tune then they are missing a truly great project.
On this album Mullins would change how many people approach the Lord every Sunday morning all across the globe. What started out as a quickly penned worship song for a Youth gathering in Michigan became the single most often sung modern worship song in history. It was also listed as the Number One Christian song in history in CCM Magazine’s countdown of the greatest songs.
Oddly enough the verse structure and content is nothing like any other worship song and, in fact, does not lend itself to corporate worship. But when the chorus kicks in there is nothing to compare it to. Memorable, large, boisterous, powerful and lasting. Generations later I am firmly convinced this chorus will still be a staple for God’s people in worship.
“If I Stand” follows and may be the strongest song on the project. This song ultimately is about the recognition of man’s frailty and God’s loving compassion toward man. It is a story of reliance on the creator by that which is created. Mullins points to the ultimate relationship a man must have…greater than anything he can find on Earth. One other radio hit from the project is “Such a Thing as Glory.” A musical backdrop bordering on world music sets the stage for a lyrical expression devoted to recognizing the great work of Jesus.
Other highlights from this album include “…and I Love You,” and “Home.” For those who may dismiss this album as a “one hit wonder” they have truly missed the heart of an artist that was just beginning to hit his stride. After two poorly received projects (though decent releases on their own), this project moved him into a whole new level of acceptance and the Church and music industry is the better for it.
The only thing I have noticed in Mullins music is the lack of humor that he so often displayed in concert. In fact, I remember the first time I saw him was when he opened up for Steve Taylor and Amy Grant (seriously, they toured together). He sat down to polite applause and said; “Now, I know most of you don’t know who in the world I am…but, then again, I don’t know who you are either!” That broke the ice with the crowd and he then proceeded to perform a medley of songs he had written for other artist including Amy Grant’s “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.” That, for some reason, is etched in my memory as much as his memorable songs.
He is missed.