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CCM’s 100 Most Important Artists

January 7, 2013 5 comments

Finally…the new blog is here!

http://ccms100mostimportantartists.wordpress.com/

 

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Tempest – Bob Dylan

September 13, 2012 9 comments

TEMPEST

Bob Dylan

Once upon a time I would be able to tell you the street date of an upcoming Dylan release and would bet I would be the first of my friends to purchase it. But the 1990’s and 2000’s became spotty for Dylan releases, both quantitatively and qualitatively. For every one “Modern Times” and “Time Out of Mind” there were two “Oh Mercy’s” and “Good As I Been To You’s.” But a few months ago I heard rumblings that not only was Dylan releasing an album of fresh new music, but that it was to be his most “religious” album thematically since “Shot of Love.”

My interest was piqued.

This week Dylan released his 35th album, “Tempest,” and delivered an epic album an so many levels. It is both epic in length with only two of the ten songs coming in under four minutes and the inclusion of a 13-minute tour de force.

It is folky, sweet and swinging music filled with dark, somber and deeply moving lyrics. yes, it is Dylan’s most religiously tinged project since the trilogy (Slow Train Coming, Saved, Shot of Love), but no more so than the brilliant “Infidels.” In fact, it is the latter album that this current release reminds me the most of. Not so much musically as lyrically. There are clear evangelical imagery, mixed with human frailty and the darker sensibilities of Dylan’s best.

Most enjoyable is the interplay between human emotions, sexual tensions and spiritual phrasings. Initially some may find this merging confusing or uncomfortable, but it is what makes the album so intriguing and compelling. It does not drag you to the bedroom kicking and screaming, it dances with you slowly and leads to the bed. There is nothing commercial here and don’t expect to hear the album much on radio.

I do not want to spoil the wonderful wordplay here, I only suggest you pick it up and discover it for yourself. The true brilliance is the lack of context of common phrases. What I mean by that is Dylan’s penchant for using a common spiritual phrase to describe that which is carnal and using carnal phrases to describe that which is deeply, authentically spiritual.

The only song I want to bring up is the epic title track. At first one is wondering where the song is going, but by the end wishing it would continue. It is my favorite Dylan ballad since “Every Grain of Sand.” The song uses painful human experiences like the sinking of the Titanic to describe the human condition and need for hope, mercy and grace. Its brilliance is in the simplicity and the emotional impact more than crafty words.

This first review of the blogs new direction is a clear choice for an album that will appear in any upcoming, comparable list.

New Direction

September 11, 2012 11 comments

OK…what to do with this blog. I haven’t posted in forever and yet it is still pulling in a ton of visitors a day. I know the countdown is done, but i want to continue with a similar theme without having to start a new blog. Plus, hopefully new posts will keep people coming and introduce new readers to the blog.
So, here is what my plan is to do.

I am going to make note and review albums that were released after the countdown started that, by rule, could not be included in the countdown. I will also review albums that should have been included, but i did not own at the time and believe would be counted if I was do the countdown all over again. The purpose will be to let readers know of quality releases that will receive heavy consideration when the Top 100 Albums blog starts in 2020!

So…stay tuned.

The Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda List

April 25, 2012 63 comments

Here is the famous (infamous) list of albums that in hindsight should have been included. Some were left off by pure and simple oversight while others were left off and, after further consideration, should have been included. Some were even missed because of being lost while cutting and pasting from several different compiling lists. Some will just be listed; others will receive more detailed explanation.I will also list where the album may have appeared.

The list is longer then anticipated originally.

100% PROOF – 100% Proof (1981) – Recorded in the late 70’s and finally making it’s way to record shelves (or at least the bands trunks at concerts), this debut rocked with a Southern groove that few other bands touched. More Molly Hatchet and Lynard Skynard than AC/DC (the band they are most often compared to), this debut was just really cool and actually had guitar solos. A real highlight is the rock ballad about the life of AC/DC’s late lead singer, Bon Scott. (High 400’s)

2ND CHAPTER OF ACTS – IN the Volume of the Book (1975) – One the groups best and most “rockin'” albums with Yaweh, Now That I Belong To You and hey Watcha Say. A young Phil Keaggy sounds really nice on many of these tracks. (Mid 200’s)

THE 77’s – Drowning with Land In Sight (1994) – As if Mike Roe was not represented enough, the hardest and most blistering rock record of the bands history was left off. The Zeppelin cover that kicks off the album should have been enough to force inclusion. For me, though, the real treat is Snowblind. Roe’s penchant for hooks can be found on the beautiful Film at 11. (Low 200’s)

ADRIAN SNELL – Firelake (1975) – How I missed this is totally a blow it on my part. Britain’s biggest selling CCM artist had two albums that easily should have made the list. His debut here is wonderful and fans of jesus Music will find much to enjoy. (Mid 300’s)

ADRIAN SNELL – The Passion (1980) – Combining classical, Jesus Music, Church Music and CCM, this musical look at the final week of christ’s life was a predecessor to many that would follow. (Low 400’s)

AGAPE – Gospel hard Rock (1971) – As one of the very first “hard rock” albums in CCM history, the album deserved inclusion for that fact alone. WAY ahead of the curve here. But the record itself is also quite good and combines a soulful jazz with the late 60’s blues rock. (High 400’s)

THE ALARM – Eye of the Hurricane (1987) – The bands most pop oriented release is still filled with enough great songs that I should have included it. Oddly enough, it is the album I listen to the most over 20 years later. (Mid 400’s)

ALBRECHT, ROLEY & MOORE – Take it to the People (1981) – The supergroup of sorts released a few albums and this one was leaps and bounds above most of the straight ahead pop music in CCM at the time. (High 300’s)

ANDRAE CROUCH – Soulfully (1972) – Should have been included. Period! (High 100’s)

ANDRAE CROUCH – Keep on Singin’ (1975) – A Gospel classic that also contains one of the Top 50 greatest songs of the CCM era with My Tribute. (Low 100’s – maybe higher)

ANDRUS BLACKWOOD & CO. – Following You (1978) – One of the truly first CCM albums. Very current for the day with touches of Chicago, the Commodores and Earth, Wind and Fire. The title track is awesome. (High 300’s)

ASHLEY CLEVELAND – God Don’t Never Change (2009) – Shawn is right. This should have been included. perhaps when i started the list it was just too fresh. No excuse, though. (Mid 200’s)

BJ THOMAS – Home Where I Belong (1976) – The first real crossover (at least from mainstream to CCM) album. It is filled with several songs that were just as good and memorable as any Thomas had as a megastar in pop music. The silky, soulful tones of Thomas’ voice is pure gold. The Pat Terry penned title track is a real classic.(Mid 300’s)

BARRATT BAND – Playing in the City (1981) – I had lost this album while doing the list and completely missed it. I have since tracked down a copy and believe it deserved to be there. Barratt is one the finest guitarists in CCM history. He passed away last year. (High 400’s)

BE BE & CE CE WINANS – Heaven (1988) – The brother-sister combo released more than a handful of very successful records. This was their best. It has Keith Thomas production written all over it. The album reached number one on the Billboard albums chart. (Mid 200’s)

BELIEVER – Extraction from Morality (1989) – Of all of the hard core, speed metal albums left off this list…this is one of them. Actually quite good and displays better musicianship than most. (Low 400’s)

BILLY CROCKETT – Carrier (1984) – As mentioned in a response elsewhere this album was one of two Crockett albums I had on the original list. the lead track is just a monster hit. (Low 400’s)

BILLY CROCKETT – Watermarks (1998) – Released as Crockett’s career was waning, it was his best. Wonderfully crafted, brilliantly and passionately performed. these are the best songs in Crockett’s repertoire. (High 200’s)

BOB AYALA – Joy By Surprise (1976) – better than most CCM for the time. Very well produced and finely crafted songs. In the style of John Denver, Harry Chapin and Dan Fogelberg. Ayala was one of the bridge artists from Jesus Music to CCM and his music was superior than most. (High 300’s)

BOB DYLAN – Modern Times (2006) – Was on my original list. Not sure where it went. A collection of 6 minutes tunes that are the most obvious expressions of faith since Infidels. (Late 200’s)

BRUCE COCKBURN – Salt, Sun & Time, The Trouble With Normal, Night Vision, Inner City Front, Joy Will Find a Way – Let’s be honest, pretty much everything Cockburn has done could have been included.

BRYN HAWORTH – The Gap (1980) – This is one of a few that should have been included. But this one was DEFINITELY on the original list. Best slide guitarist in CCM and a brilliant singer-songwriter. The Gap was the one album that truly made it across the pond. (High 100’s)

DANIEL AMOS, TERRY SCOTT TAYLOR, LOST DOGS & SWIRLING EDDIES – Everything Ever Recorded! (Will that satisfy everyone?) OK…if anything should have been added it would be Bibland and the self-titled debut.

DAVID CROWDER BAND – Church Music (2009) – My penchant for hating nearly everything called “modern worship” music kept this masterpiece off the list. It deserves inclusion. (Mid 200’s)

DAVID MARTIN – Stronger Than the Weight (1985) – This great pop album was on the list until the very last cut. In hindsight this fine songwriter deserves to be recognized. (Late 300’s)

DAVID MEECE – 7 (1985) David Meece deserved more than one album on the countdown. Not being a fan of his Gino Vanelli oriented later material it is clear that “7” is one of his best and should have been included. (Late 300’s)

DEGARMO & KEY – No Turning Back (1989) – In hindsight i should have blown off my “no live album” rule for this album. Not only one of the best Christian rock live albums, simply one of the best live albums ever. the extended jams on Jericho, Long Distance Runner and Emmuel make this a real treat. The band proved they were a collection of some of the finest musicians assembled in CCM. (50-100)

DEITIPHOBIA – Clean (1994) – One of my rules is that I had to own the album and have it in my possession to honestly review and include it. I had lost my copy and, therefore it did not make the list. It would now. (Low 300’s)

DENNY CORRELL – How Will They Know (1980) – One of CCM’s best voices deserved more than one album included. This title would be the best shot at making it. (Low 400’s)

ELI – Second Hand Clothes (1999) – Now the News could just have easily been included as well. What a great songwriter. this is one of those examples of losing a title in the cut and paste world. (High 200’s)

FARRELL & FARRELL – Portrait of Us All (1979) – This MUST have been a cut and paste loss. I had this ranked quite high. It is one of the best examples of taking Jesus Music into the CCM world with VERY current music, great production and songwriting that was not trite or silly. Several real classics can be found here. Possibly one of the 10 most important albums of the time. (Mid 100’s)

THE FRAY – How To Save a Life (2005) – I went back and forth about whether to include this album or not. I should have. Though not as blatant as other “mainstream” releases that were included, the faith of the band members is rather common knowledge and their content is smart and creative. (High 100’s)

GEOFF MOORE & THE DISTANCE – Foundations (1994) – Uh…duh! Should have been there. The cover of Lone Justice’s “I Found Love” is great and the whole albums Springsteenesque rock and roll was spot on for the times and still sounds good today. (Mid 200’s)

GLAD – Captured in Time (1982) – A group as original and ground breaking as Glad deserved more recognition. They did tend to suffer from having several good song on average albums. This album, though, was solid throughout. It also closes with one of the most beautiful songs of the CCM era, Be Ye Glad. (Low 300’s)

GLENN KAISER & DARRELL MANSFIELD – Trimmed and Burning (1990) – Another victim of cut and paste. Should be a top 100 contender, but most likely would have fallen somewhere in the mid 100’s. The first of several great acoustic blues album from both artists.

GREG AND REBECCA SPARKS – Field of Your Soul (1994) – This is one of the most embarrassing oversights. There is not a single tune not worthy of repeated listens. Though not a fan of Rebecca’s voice in the pop world of Bash-n-the-Code, this is real, stark and honest rock and roll, and the voice works…perfectly. Carve a Tunnel alone is worth including this album. That song will appear quite high in the Top 1,000 songs countdown. If this song does not send chills up and down your spine…you are dead! (Low 100’s)

GREG X VOLZ – The River is Rising (1986) – The omission of this album was based solely on my dislike of Volz’s vocals and some personal run-ins over the years. that should not have been enough to have the album excluded. (Low 400’s)

HARVEST – Only the Overcomers (1986) – The best album from a group that put out consistently really good releases. (Low 400’s)

IMPERIALS – Let the Wind Blow (1985) – The best of the later, more pop releases from the group that has had more personnel changes than any other CCM group. But there was no missing of stride here. Paul Smith took a more front and center position on this album, giving a much more contemporary sound. The title track was musically quite a stretch for the group and it worked quite well. (Late 300’s)

JOE ENGLISH – Held Accountable (1982) – For several years Joe English was the toast of the CCM world. Former drummer of Paul McCartney & Wings, any artist with mainstream success was given red carpet treatment in the CCM market. he did make several very good and one great album. He know claims to have not been a Christian at the time and an alcoholic and drug user during this era. Many people have refuted this part of his current testimony and believe he has been brainwashed by a cult. Seriously. It’s very odd. (High 400’s)

JOHN FISCHER – Johnny’s Cafe (1978) – In all honesty about 5 John Fischer albums probably deserved placement on the list. I did not own all of them until recently. One I did own that should have been included was this one. (Mid 300’s)

LIFEHOUSE – No Name Face (2000) – The proof that cutting and pasting can be dangerous is that no Lifehouse album made the list. Uh…not only would this album chart, so would Lifehouse (Mid 300’s) and Who We Are (Mid 200’s). This would be a Top 100 release without a doubt.

M. WARD – Hold Time (2009) – Probably would have caused a little stir if included, so i left it off. In retrospect it deserves inclusion if similar releases like Mercy Seat also made the list. (Mid 200’s)

MAD AT THE WORLD – Boomerang (1991) – serving as the transitional album from the Euro synth first two releases, Boomerang rocked with a pretty ferocious attitude. Isn’t Sex a Wonderful Thing along should have been enough to have the album included. (Low 400’s)

MALCOLM & ALWYN – Wildwall (1974) – Should have been included no doubt. (Mid 400’s)

MATTHEW WARD – Armed and Dangerous (1987) – Released nearly a decade after his debut the wait was clearly worth it. The album’s closing track, Love, is just stunning. (Mid 400’s)

MERCY ME – Almost There (2001) – I Can Only Imagine is probably enough to have included this album. Not a great record as much as a strong selection of individual songs. (High 400’s)

MICHAEL ANDERSON – Love is the Hardest Part & Saints and Sinners – Clearly both should have been included. the first in the low 400’s and the second in the high 100’s. Cut and Paste victim…had to be.

MICHELE PILLAR – Michele Pillar (1982) – Pillar’s CCM solo debut (after her masterpiece release with Erick Nelson) proved to be a real gem. Filled with great pop and smart lyrics. (Mid 300’s)

MO LEVERETT – For the Benefit of Desire (1993) – One of the first Storyville releases and one of the best. Edgy and challenging acoustic rock. For a bluesy Bruce Cockburn fan. (High 300’s)

PAUL FIELD – Restless Heart (1982) Easily one of the best pop rock releases of the early 80’s and was only not included because I had lost it. I recently found a copy and have no doubt it would rank amongst the best of its era. Field has written several hits for Cliff Richard and Rebecca St. James. A clear AYSO! (Low 100’s)

PHIL & JOHN – Pick one…doesn’t matter. Actually I originally had two albums included on the list. Carnival of Clowns was in the 200’s and Don’t Look Now was in the low 300’s.

RANDY STONEHILL – The Sky is Falling (1980) – I clearly let my general dislike for the album impact the fact that it probably deserves being listed. But my general dislike would not let me rate it higher than the low 400’s. The good songs are really quite good, but songs like bad Fruit and the seemingly never ending Through the Glass Darkly and Venezuela make it rough to listen to regularly. Someone could have used a little editing in the studio.

REBECCA ST JAMES – God (1996) – St. James most likely deserved to have some representation on the list. this would be her best effort. (High 300’s…maybe?)

RICHIE FURAY – I’ve Got a Reason (1976) – Seriously? I left this off? Moron! Former Poco front man put together a legitimate country driven progressive rock album for the ages. It was originally released on a secular label and featured Love Song members Truax and Mehler as well as help from Michael Omartian. Not a single “miss” on this. Deserved high placement. (Low 100’s)

SAM PHILLIPS – Martinis and Bikinis (1994) – Possibly the best “Sam” album (High 100’s)

SEAWIND – Light the Light (1979) – One of the last albums to be excluded from the list. My bad. In retrospect the sheer musical presence is overwhelming and deserves a placement on the list. (Low 300’s)

SEPTEMBER – SEPTEMBER FIRST (1981) – Would have easily made the list if I still owned a copy at the time of compiling the list. I lost it over the years (I’m guessing Shawn has it). I have tracked down a digital copy and it is even better than I remember it. Imagine Servant as an AOR and borderline progressive rock back in the vein of Styx with much more melody and more ballads. It is progressive for its musical diversity and changes within a single song. the opening track is a great example. An AYSO. (High 200’s)

SHADES OF BLUE – Shades of Blue (1994) This acoustic jazz project headed up by guitar god Lanny Cordola slipped through the cracks to most CCM fans. But it is really delicious. Cool and soulful. (High 400’s)

STEVE SCOTT – Lost Horizon (1989) – Possibly the most discussed omission. I really struggled with whether to include the album given just how much of the album appears on other projects. probably should have been listed. (High 100’s)

TONIO K. – Ole (1997) – What was I thinking? (High 200’s)

TWILA PARIS – Kingdom Seekers (1985) – In 20 years when someone decides to actually make hymnals again, there will be several songs from this album included. Lamb of God and he is Exalted are truly classics in the most authentic use of the word.

VIGILANTES OF LOVE – Blister Soul (1995) & Welcome to Struggleville (1994). Another artist that many complained was not represented enough (4 releases). If other albums were to be included I would say both of these easily qualify. Blister would be in the mid-300’s and Welcome in the high 200’s.

WES KING – The Robe (1998) – Should have been Top 100. Total cut and paste loss…my bad big time!

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Have fun!

Why the Long Pause

January 6, 2012 8 comments

I decided to write a quick note here to thank everyone for their patience with this extended pause over the Holidays (and longer) before finishing the countdown.

I would like to blame work, or the kids, or the wife, or even the Holidays themselves for the delay, but…

The truth of the matter is I am in the midst of an internal quarrel. I made several changes to the countdown as it proceeded, dropping some albums, adding others and even moving around several albums in the Top 100 to get the list exactly how I wanted it. I have had a firm 4 thru 10, though i did move one or two around in the weeks leading up to the Top 25.

But I have never had a solid Top 3. I have had the three albums I chose for the top 3 and they have never wavered. But each of them have found themselves listed in the 1, 2 or 3 spots countless times.

All three are amazing projects (obviously), but listing a number one over the other two has been difficult. One is deserving because it is the singularly most important release in the history of CCM while also being an artistic achievement for its time, or any time. Another is simply one of the greatest albums ever recorded in or out of Christian music and the third represents what I believe is the finest and most authentic collection of songs in a cohesive unit that any CCM artists have ever mustered to deliver. They literally could be 1a, 1b, and 1c.

But I believe I have justified to myself the finalized Top 3 ranking and will proceed with the reviews over the next several days…

9. Meltdown – Steve Taylor

November 18, 2011 23 comments

MELTDOWN (1984)

Steve Taylor

In 1983 I was a Senior in High School and always on the lookout for some new Christian album to play for unsuspecting friends. I was also working at a local Christian Bookstore and maintained my position as “thorn in the flesh” to Greg fast, the program director at KYMS, the famous Christian radio station in Orange County, CA.

One of my favorite things to do at the radio station was introduce the more “rock” oriented artist at the regular Christian Music nights at the local amusement parks like Disneyland, Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm. The more “popular” disc jockeys would lay claim to introducing artists like DeGarmo and Key, Amy Grant and Leon Patillo leaving me to introduce The 77′s, Rez Band and Undercover.

My first foray into this job was early in 1983 at Knott’s Berry Farm. The artist was the then unknown Steve Taylor and Some Band. Steve and Co. had just released their debut EP, “I Want to Be a Clone” on Sparrow and no one knew who he was. But I did! I asked Steve recently if he remembered that night and he said that he did remember, and for the same reasons I remember it.

Steve AND band were placed on the smallest stage in the known universe. It was a stage normally used by a DJ and had about enough room for two turntables and a chair. It was squeezed between a train depot and the long since removed “Tijuana Taxi” ride. For those unfamiliar with Taylor’s live performance he possessed a frenetic energy that had to be released or the space-time continuum was in jeopardy!

He also remembers, like I do as well, the fact I was a very nervous 17-year-old kid who went through the entire introduction of myself, the radio station, upcoming concerts, Steve’s record and label information and welcoming him to the stage in less than 11 seconds. As embarrassing as it was, I was introducing STEVE TAYLOR!!!

Over the years I would meet up with Steve at different events like Gospel Music Association week in Nashville complete with Dove Awards, the annual Estes Park Christian music event, concerts and once at a movie theater in Nashville. In every instance he has been the most genuine and kind person.

Steve got his start when Cam Floria of the Continental Singers asked Steve to join them for a tour of Poland. This was before any walls ever fell and the Gospel was not a prevalent ideology in the Eastern Block. The things he saw there, though, would be used as inspiration for at least one song on Meltdown.

Upon return Steve traveled to Estes Park, CO for the Christian Music Artist Seminar where he performed a handful of songs from a demo tape he had produced. He was signed to a contract immediately by Sparrow Records owner, Bill Hearn. This was seen as quite of stretch for the normally conservative label known more for Steve Green and Steve Chapman than for the music of Steve Taylor.

Clone was quickly recorded and released in early 1983 to rave reviews and more than a few raised eyebrows. Known for its frenetic pace and songs lasting upwards of two minutes, “Clone” had a distinctly “Oingo Boing” or Devo feel to the music and even had a rap (term used loosely) song. But the eyebrow raising was reserved for the intensely sarcastic and caustic lyrical content. No sacred cow was safe and in later album he would even “name names.”

Many in the evangelical world never have been able to understand the use of satire and sarcasm within Biblical standards. The Bible is not foreign to this type of literature and language, and is a very effective weapon in the oratory and written arsenal God has provided. He has made foolish the wisdom of this world and does using sarcasm and satire to do so. I would recommend Douglas Wilson’s great book “The Serrated Edge” for a study on the subject.

Since I was working at a Christian Bookstore when Clone was released I was able to buy it the day it came out. Those six songs were played over and over so many times at home that the first copy I had was eventually rubbed smooth. From critical looks at those who cannot find a Church (Steeplechase) and churches that demanded perfect compliance (I Want to Be a Clone) to relativism (Bap Rap) and humanism (Whatcha Gonna Do When Your Numbers Up), Clone took no prisoners.

I remember at the time a Youth Pastor of a church I was attending was just blasting Taylor for his content. He was upset that Taylor’s voice sounded so sarcastic that people might mistake him for someone who thinks we “shouldn’t all be exactly alike!” I guess “Clone” was written for him.

But it is “Whatever Happened to Sin” that steals the show. After generations of the Church no longer teaching about man’s culpability in relation to sin, Taylor was forced to ask the question. Whether it was political figures using the name of Christ to get elected, a “Christian” advising a young woman to seek an abortion or mainstream, liberal Church’s softening stand on moral imperatives, no one was beyond striking distance.

As caustic as “Clone” may have appeared to be, nothing would compare to the album that would follow.

“Meltdown” hit the market in 1984 and I really don’t think the industry was ready for it. Oddly enough the album did contain Taylor’s first radio hit in “Hero.” It was not originally released as a single, but KYMS and a few other stations started playing it and it caught on. The rock single “Meltdown” did make some waves on MTV and featured Lisa Welchel who was best known as “Blair” from the popular television show, “The Facts of Life.”

The album maintained the Oingo Boingo pace but also included a more mature, David Bowie type influence. ten finely crafted song that would remain staples for Taylor for many years to come, “Meltdown” remains the favorite among most fans even though later albums may have shown more artistic growth and merit. There was this absurd combination of anger, sarcasm and innocence that flowed from the songs.

Taylor’s victims were thinly veiled, and quite frankly clearly defined, as they made for easy targets. Whether it’s Bob Jones University’s former policy on inter-racial relationships or Jimmy Swaggart’s attacks on Christian Rock, it did not take a genius to know who the attacks were leveled against. Taylor’s later albums would also address similar themes with Bill Gothard and Robert Tilton also receiving the pointy end of the pen. But, as we will see, “Meltdown” also dealt with general issues of the sins of the world and the sins of the church.

The title track leads the album off with a satirical look at the “rich and famous” and how their money, popularity and importance will not keep them safe on judgment day. The video did make the rounds on both Christian and mainstream video outlets and was quite good considering the year and the media’s relative youth. Using the famed Madame Tussaud’s  Wax Museum as a backdrop for the song in which a rogue janitor turned up the heat on the famous statues.

Elvis and the Beatles have seen a better day
Better off to burn out than to melt away
Dylan may be fillin’ the puddle they designed
Is it gonna take a miracle to make up his mind?

Athletes on the floor
Meltdown
They’re running out the door

Bad boy McEnroe couldn’t keep his cool
Now he’s with the rest of ‘em, wading in the pool
“Howard Hughes–Billionaire” says the written guide
Pity that his assets have all been liquefied

The exclamation point is given at the song’s conclusion as he notes the importance of centering one life around that which will last.

“Celebrity status only got in the way
Had my hands in my pockets on the Judgment Day
You can’t take it with you–there’s fire in the hole
Had the world by the tail but I lost my soul”

There is a great throw away line at the end of the song as the chorus is repeating where the “inspector” from Scotland yard complains “A lot of bees gave there all for this…”

The not so subtle attack on the Bob Jones’ University stand on inter-racial relationships, “We Don’t Need No Colour Code” is done in a “tribal” sing and response format. This was easily the most controversial song on the record as the use of names (initials in this case) and the power the university possessed within Christian circles. The university finally abolished the practice in 2000.

Down Carolina way
Lived a man name o’ Big B.J.
B.J. went and got a school
Founded on Caucasian rule
Bumper sticker on his Ford
Says “Honkies If You Love The Lord”

One of the most controversial lines on the whole album is near the end of the song where he states “white supremest eat their young.” I attended three different concert in which I witnessed Steve having to explain that line. In fact, at an in-store album signing party at Maranatha Village I hosted someone challenged him on that song and particularly on that line.

What sounds like a great idea on paper does not always work in the studio. I am sure that many feel that way about the straying keyboard that accompanies the song, “Am I In Sync?” I actually like it and appreciate the supportive message it lends to the song.

When famed movie director Woody Allen was asked if he desired to achieve immortality  through his movie making he responded by stating he would rather achieve immortality by not dying. This line was the impetus for the song and its message of those who try to achieve greatness and immortality through their actions while avoiding the only who can provide that immortality. Here Taylor tells the story of two distinctly different people who attempt to find immortality whether through becoming famous (movie star) or by leaving a legacy (science).

Long before Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity found the mainstream media an easy target for attack, Taylor was already all over it. Actually he was way ahead of the curb for noting the liberal bias inherent within modern journalism. He even noted that it may not be within the editorial content, but also as a result of what the press decides to cover or not cover.

In concert he would tell the story of an event where to leading evangelicals came out in support of a woman’s right to choose. the press was all over it with every single paper present at the press conference and proclaimed it as a victory for human and woman’s rights. But at the same time in the same city hundreds upon hundreds of Christians met to voice their support of life and not one single journalist was present. Taylor discusses the eventual slippery slope results of a lack of oversight in “Meat the Press”.

When the godless chair the judgment seat
We can thank the godless media elite
They can silence those who fall from their grace
With a note that says “we haven’t the space”

Well lookee there–the dog’s asleep
Whenever we march or say a peep
A Christian can’t get equal time
Unless he’s a loony committing a crime

Listen up if you’ve got ears
I’m tired of condescending sneers
I’ve got a dog who smells a fight
And he still believes in wrong and right

“Over My Dead Body” is one of the most challenging and disturbing songs in Taylor’s catalog. After Taylor’s travels with the Continental Singers to Poland he was encouraged to take a second trip there. This song sprang from the injustice and persecution the Church was facing those countries. The song tells the true story of a young man following Jesus’ command to feed those in prison by taking food to Solidarity members who were being underfed while imprisoned. The young man was found out and beaten to death in the middle of a Warsaw street by two soldiers with the butt of their guns. This nearly has the feel of something U2 would have written during this same time period.

I was a victim of December 1981
I took a final beating from the blunt end of a Russian gun

You made a memory–the memory will multiply
You may kill the body but the spirit–it will never die

Over my dead body
Redemption draweth nigh
Over my dead body
I hear a battle cry

Try and blow out the fire
You’re fanning the flames
We’re gonna rise up from the ashes
‘Til we’re ashes again

Taking the sins of the world and making them much more introspective Taylor deals with the devastation sin leaves in its wake in “Sin for Season.” A David Bowie inspired vocal performance is haunting and leaves the listener questioning their own failings. In this song Taylor addresses marital infidelity, drunk driving leading to a death and how Christian will sin while feigning repentance.

Gonna get the good Lord to forgive a little sin
Get the slate cleaned so he can dirty it again
And no one else will ever know

But he reaps his harvest as his heart grows hard
No man’s gonna make a mockery of God

“I’m only human, got no other reason”
Sin for a season

“Guilty be Association” returns to the sarcastic form with a very “white man reggae”  or world music rhythm. This response to Jimmy Swaggart’s attacks on rock music remains a personal favorite, especially midway through when he imitates Swaggart.

“Well I have found a new utensil
In the devil’s toolbox
And the heads are gonna roll
If Jesus rocks”

“It’s a worldly design!
God’s music should be divine!
Try buying records like mine
Avoid temptation”

Now today it may be much easier for artist to take direct stabs at the foibles of religious and political leaders, but in 1984 it was simply not the case. It was a bold and refreshing move. Taylor was criticized for naming names. At the same in-store appearance I mentioned earlier he was questioned about using names or being painfully obvious about who the intended target was. He responded by noting Paul’s “outing” of Peter and his hypocrisy and Paul naming those who had deserted him and left the faith.

“Hero” remains my all time favorite Steve Taylor song. As I have mentioned several times previously, I was a young kid in 1984 trying to get Greg Fast at KYMS to open up the rotation to more edgy music. My thinking was if I could get a ballad on the air and it was a hit it would be easier to add more upbeat songs from the same artist. the reasoning being that if the station listeners were out buying the record they hearing the rest of the songs anyway,, so why not play them. “Hero” was my first real victory. I finally convinced management to play the song and it became a HUGE hit! They soon after added “Sin for a Season” and others from the album.

“Hero” comes across as the most autobiographical song on the album. It tells the story of a young boy who loved reading his comic books and fiction stories about heroes. But “real life” got in the way. His heroes disappointed him and were not real heroes after all. Eventually the subject finds the world’s true hero in Jesus Christ.

When the house fell asleep
From a book I was led
To a light that I never knew
I wanna be your hero

And he spoke to my heart
From the moment I prayed
Here’s a pattern I made for you
I wanna be your hero

“Jenny” at first glance appears to be a story about a young, small town girl who leaves her roots of faith and morals and leaves for the sin and temptation of the big city. The truth of the matter is the song is an allegory for America, who had long since abandoned her “Bible Belt” faith beginnings and had reached for the brass ring. This rejection of truth and morals leads to the death of the protagonist and to the nation.

“Baby Doe” is simply the saddest and most disturbing song Taylor has ever written. Taylor tells the true story of an Indiana couple in 1982 that went to court to fight for the right to let their Down Syndrome newborn die of starvation. The court allowed it despite the thousands upon thousands of people willing to adopt “Baby Doe.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Doe_Law

Unfolding today
A miracle play
This Indiana morn

The father–he sighs
She opens her eyes
Their baby boy is born

“We don’t understand
He’s not like we planned”
The doctor shakes his head

“Abnormal” they cry
And so they decide
This child is better dead

Taylor refuses to accept the argument of choice as he reiterates, “this baby has a voice.” But not content to simply criticize the parents, press and legal system that allowed the atrocity to unfold, Taylor points the finger back at himself and the Church for its lack of action and outcry.

It’s over and done
The presses have run
Some call the parents brave

Behind your disguise
Your rhetoric lies
You watched a baby starve

I bear the blame
The cradle’s below
And where is baby

Taylor would later start Squint Entertainment, a label that included artist like Chevelle and Sixpence None the Richer. He was also the lead vocalist for the amazing band, Chagall Guevara, a band signed to MCA that should have changed the world!

There is talk of a movie based on the popular “Blue Like Jazz” book and film making appears to be the passion. His fans always hold out hope that a new album may one day squeak out but nothing appears to be in the works though rumors of a 2012 release have been heating up recently. In the meantime we can enjoy his works, especially his first full length album, Meltdown.

11 Thru 500

November 18, 2011 25 comments

Before starting the top 10 I thought some of the long time readers might appreciate, and some of the more recent inquirers would find helpful, a rundown of numbers 11 through 500.

  1. The 77’s                                                               All Fall Down
  2. Phil Keaggy                                                         Love Broke Thru
  3. Leslie Phillips                                                      The Turning
  4. Tonio K                                                                 Romeo Unchained
  5. The Altar Boys                                                   GLM (Gut Level Music)
  6. David Edwards                                                  David Edwards
  7. Bob Bennett                                                      Matters of the Heart
  8. The Swirling Eddies                                         Outdoor Elvis
  9. Bob Dylan                                                            Slow Train Comin’
  10. Amy Grant                                                          Lead Me On
  11. DC Talk                                                                 Jesus Freak
  12. Love Song                                                           Love Song
  13. Chagall Guevara                                               Chagall Guevara
  14. DeGarmo & Key                                                               Straight On
  15. Larry Norman                                                    In Another Land
  16. Rick Elias                                                              Rick Elias and the Confessions
  17. Rich Mullins                                                        A Liturgy, A Legacy & a Ragamuffin Band
  18. Daniel Amos                                                       Doppelganger
  19. Bruce Cockburn                                                                Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws
  20. The Call                                                                Reconciled
  21. Barry McGuire                                                   Lighten Up
  22. Lost Dogs                                                             Scenic Routes
  23. Mustard Seed Faith                                        Sail on Sailor
  24. Switchfoot                                                          The Beautiful Letdown
  25. U2                                                                          War
  26. Undercover                                                        Branded
  27. Adam Again                                                        Dig
  28. Benny Hester                                                    Nobody Knows Me Like You
  29. The Choir                                                             Chase the Kangaroo
  30. Russ Taff                                                              Russ Taff
  31. LSU                                                                        Shaded Pain
  32. The Front                                                            The Front
  33. Prodigal                                                                Electric Eye
  34. Caedmon’s Call                                                 40 Acres
  35. Andy McCarroll & Moral Support              Zionic Bonds
  36. Stryper                                                                 To Hell With the Devil
  37. Daniel Amos                                                       Horrendous Disc
  38. Kerry Livgren                                                     Seeds of Change
  39. Burlap to Cashmere                                        Anybody Out There
  40. Paul Clark                                                            Hand to the Plow
  41. Sweet Comfort Band                                      Hearts of Fire
  42. Vigilantes of Love                                            Jugular
  43. Michael Omartian                                            Adam Again
  44. The Violet Burning                                           Strength
  45. Sixpence None the Richer                            Sixpence None the Richer
  46. Ideola                                                                   Tribal Opera
  47. Daniel Amos                                                       Shotgun Angel
  48. Charlie Peacock                                                                The Secret of Time
  49. After the Fire                                                     CBS Recordings
  50. Jerusalem                                                           Warrior
  51. The Alarm                                                           Declaration
  52. T-Bone Burnett                                                 Trap Door
  53. Michael Anderson                                           Sound Alarm
  54. Tonio K                                                                 Notes from the Lost Civilization
  55. Steve Taylor                                                       I Predict 1990
  56. Gospel Gangstas                                              Gang Affiliated
  57. Mute Math                                                         Mute Math
  58. Alice Cooper                                                      The Last Temptation of Alice Cooper
  59. Edin Adahl                                                           Alibi
  60. Jars of Clay                                                          Jars of Clay
  61. Vector                                                                  Mannequin Virtue
  62. Bruce Cockburn                                                                Humans
  63. Phil Keaggy                                                         Sunday’s Child
  64. Lifesavers                                                            Kiss of Life
  65. Matthew Ward                                                 Toward Eternity
  66. The Prayer Chain                                              Shawl
  67. Daniel Amos                                                       Darn Floor, Big Bite
  68. Randy Stonehill                                                 Between the Glory and the Flame
  69. Mark Heard                                                        Satellite Sky
  70. The Innocence Mission                                 The Innocence Mission
  71. Julie Miller                                                          Meet Julie Miller
  72. Bebo Norman                                                    Ten Thousand days
  73. Benny Hester                                                    Benny Hester
  74. 2nd Chapter of Acts/Phil Keaggy                 How the West Was One
  75. Andrae Crouch & the Disciples                   This Is Another Day
  76. Mat Kearney                                                      Nothing Left to Lose
  77. Sweet Comfort Band                                      Cutting Edge
  78. Gentle Faith                                                       Gentle Faith
  79. Charlie Peacock                                                                Love Life
  80. Erick Nelson & Michelle Pillar                      The Misfit
  81. The 77’s                                                               Pray Naked
  82. Children of the Day                                         Come to the Water
  83. The Choir                                                             Circle Slide
  84. Roby Duke                                                          Not the Same
  85. Johnny Lang                                                       Turn Around
  86. Ishmael United                                                 If You Can’t Shout Saved, You’ll Have to…
  87. Malcolm and Alwyn                                        Fools Wisdom
  88. Undercover                                                        Forum
  89. Michael W Smith                                              The Big Picture
  90. John Mehler                                      Bow and Arrow
  91. MxPx                                                    Life in General
  92. Chuck Girard                                      Chuck Girard
  93. Jennifer Knapp                                 Kansas
  94. Sam Phillips                                        The Indescribable Wow
  95. Darrell Mansfield                             Higher Power
  96. Arkangel                                              Warrior
  97. Kerry Livgren/AD                             Timeline
  98. Various Artists                                   At the Foot of the Cross
  99. Neal Morse                                        Testimony
  100. Steve Scott                                         Love In the Western World
  101. Randy Stonehill                                 Return to Paradise
  102. Steve Camp                                        Fire and Ice
  103. Petra                                                     More Power To Ya
  104. Scaterd Few                                       Sin Disease
  105. Pat Terry                                              Humanity Gangsters
  106. Stavesacre                                          Friction
  107. Hothouse Flowers                           People
  108. John Fischer                                       Dark Horse
  109. The Imperials                                     Priority
  110. Rich Mullins                                        Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth
  111. LYRIX                                                     Songs From the Earth
  112. Jon Gibson                                          Body and Soul
  113. 2nd Chapter of Acts                          With Footnotes
  114. POD                                                       Satellite
  115. Iona                                                       The Book of Kells
  116. Rick Elias                                              Ten Stories
  117. T-Bone Burnett                                 Truth Decay
  118. Pierce Pettis                                       Chase the Buffalo
  119. Margaret Becker                              Immigrants Daughter
  120. Lone Justice                                       Shelter
  121. DC Talk                                                 Free at Last
  122. Dashboard Confessional                               Alter the Ending
  123. Syn                                                         A Matter of Time
  124. Resurrection Band                           Awaiting Your Reply
  125. King’s X                                                                Faith, Hope, Love
  126. Plank Eye                                             The One and Only
  127. Amy Grant                                          Age to Age
  128. Adam Again                                        10 Songs
  129. Various Artists                                   Orphans of God – Mark Heard Tribute
  130. Toby Mac                                            Diverse City
  131. Daniel Amos                                       Mr. Beuchner’s Dream
  132. Vigilantes of Love                            Audible Sigh
  133. Lifesavers                                            Us Kids
  134. Poor Old Lu                                         Mindsize
  135. The Violent Femmes                      Hallowed Ground
  136. Kansas                                                  Vinyl Confessions
  137. Kemper Crabb                                   The Vigil
  138. U2                                                          Achtung Baby
  139. Crystal Lewis                                      The Bride
  140. Whitecross                                         Whitecross
  141. Newsboys                                           Going Public
  142. Barry McGuire                                   Seeds
  143. Lost Dogs                                             Little Red Riding Hood
  144. Mark Heard                                        Second Hand
  145. Waterboys                                          Pagan Place
  146. Various Artists                                   City on a Hill
  147. Avion                                                    Avion
  148. David Meece                                     Are You Ready
  149. Flyleaf                                                   Flyleaf
  150. White Heart                                       Redemption
  151. Fleming and John                             Delusions of Grandeur
  152. Tourniquet                                         Psycho Surgery
  153. Jennifer Knapp                                 Lay It Down
  154. Vigilantes of Love                            Killing Floor
  155. Randy Stonehill                                 Equator
  156. Margaret Becker                              Never For Nothing
  157. Magdallan                                           Big Bang
  158. Deliverance                                        Weapons of Our Warfare
  159. Aunt Bettys                                        Aunt Bettys
  160. Terry Taylor                                        Knowledge and innocence
  161. David Mullen                                     Revival
  162. Jacob’s Trouble                                 Knock Breathe Shine
  163. Van Morrison                                    Avalon Sunset
  164. Russ Taff                                              Medals
  165. Daughtry                                             Daughtry
  166. Servant                                                                Rockin’ Revival
  167. Petra                                                     Never Say Die
  168. The Imperials                                     One More Song for You
  169. Ashley Cleveland                             Big Town
  170. David Edwards                                  Get the Picture
  171. Phil Keaggy                                         Ph’lip Side
  172. Cliff Richard                                        Now You See, Now You Don’t
  173. Keith Green                                       No Compromise
  174. Charlie Peacock                                                Charlie Peacock
  175. Derek Webb                                      She Must and Shall Go Free
  176. Resurrection Band                           Lament
  177. FM Static                                             What Are You Waiting For
  178. Over the Rhine                                 Eve
  179. Take 6                                                   Take 6
  180. Living Sacrifice                                   Reborn
  181. 4-4-1                                                      Mourning Into Dancing
  182. 2nd Chapter of Acts                          Mansion Builder
  183. Phil Keaggy                                         Crimson & Blue
  184. Neal Morse                                        Lifeline
  185. Newsboys                                           Love Liberty Disco
  186. Creed                                                    Human Clay
  187. The Throes                                         All the Flowers
  188. White Heart                                       Don’t Wait for the Movie
  189. Plumb                                                   candycoatedwaterdrops
  190. Various Artists                                   Brow Beat
  191. Audio Adrenaline                             Underdog
  192. Prodigal                                                Just Like Real Life
  193. Steve Taylor                                       Squint
  194. Fireworks                                            Shatter the Darkness
  195. Lecrae                                                   Rebel
  196. Bryan Duncan                                    Have Yourself Committed
  197. Jon Gibson                                          Jesus Love Ya
  198. Bloodgood                                          Detonation
  199. Jimmy Hotz                                         Beyond the Crystal Sea
  200. Jeff Johnson                                      Icons
  201. DeGarmo and Key                           This Time Thru
  202. House of Heroes                              Suburbia
  203. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club       Beat the devil’s tattoo
  204. The Rocket Summer                       Do You Feel
  205. Third Day                                             Third Day
  206. Russ Taff                                              The Way Home
  207. Glass Harp                                           Glass Harp
  208. Daniel Band                                        On Rock
  209. In 3D                                                      No Glasses Needed
  210. Bob Dylan                                            Infidels
  211. Amy Grant                                          Behind The Eyes
  212. Vengeance Rising                            Human Sacrifice
  213. Bill Mason Band                                                No Sham
  214. Michael W Smith                              The Michael W Smith Project
  215. Twila Paris                                           The Warrior is a Child
  216. Larry Norman                                    So Long Ago the Garden
  217. Michael Omartian                            White Horse
  218. The All Saved Freak Band             My Poor Generation
  219. Benny Hester                                    Benny From Here
  220. Sheila Walsh                                       Future Eyes
  221. Ark                                                         The Angels Come
  222. Randy Matthews                             Son of Dust
  223. U2                                                          October
  224. The 77’s                                               Sticks and Stones
  225. Bourgeois Tagg                                 Bourgeois Tagg
  226. Robert Vaughn & the Shadows  Love and War
  227. Mad at the World                            Flowers in the Rain
  228. Sweet Comfort band                      Sweet Comfort Band
  229. MC Hammer                                      Hammer, Please Don’t Hurt ‘Em
  230. Oden Fong                                          Come for the Children
  231. World Party                                        Private Revolution
  232. Caedmon’s Call                                 Caedmon’s Call
  233. Tom Howard                                      Danger in Loving You
  234. Sufjan Stevens                                  Illinoise
  235. Adam Again                                        Homeboys
  236. Stavesacre                                          Speakeasy
  237. Edin Adahl                                           X-Factor
  238. Julie Miller                                          Blue Pony
  239. Out of the Grey                                                Out of the Grey
  240. Wayne Watson                                 Watercolour ponies
  241. Larry Norman                                    Something New Under the Son
  242. Mark Heard                                        Ashes and Light
  243. The Swirling Eddies                         Zoom Daddy
  244. Shai Linne                                            Atonement
  245. Midnight Oil                                       Dust and Deisel
  246. Denny Correll                                    Standing in the Light
  247. Robin Lane & the Chartbusters  Imitation Life
  248. TobyMac                                             Tonight
  249. Bruce Cockburn                                                Stealing Fire
  250. Barnabas                                             Hear the Light
  251. Undercover                                        Balance of Power
  252. The Silencers                                     A Letter From St. Paul
  253. Dave Kelly                                           Crowning of a Simple Man
  254. Bride                                                     Snakes in the Playground
  255. Giantkiller                                           Valley of Decision
  256. Precious Death                                 Southpaw
  257. Ginny Owens                                     Without Condition
  258. Mortal                                                  Lusis
  259. The Crucified                                     Pillars of Humanity
  260. Atomic Opera                                    Gospel Cola
  261. Earthsuit                                              Kaleidoscope
  262. Galactic Cowboys                             Galactic Cowboys
  263. The Call                                                                Let the Day Begin
  264. Daniel Amos                                       Fearful Symmetry
  265. Five Iron Frenzy                                                Upbeats and Beatdowns
  266. Vigilantes of Love                            Driving the Nails
  267. The Alarm                                           Strength
  268. Saviour Machine                              Saviour Machine I
  269. Owl City                                               Ocean Eyes
  270. The Winans                                        The Return
  271. Kyle Henderson                                                More Than the Look of Love
  272. The Archers                                        Fresh Surrender
  273. Fred Field and Friends                   Fred Field and Friends
  274. Plank Eye                                             Commonwealth
  275. Mortification                                      Scrolls of the Megilloth
  276. Steve Taylor                                       On the Fritz
  277. Brainchild                                            Mindwarp
  278. 16 Horsepower                                 Secret South
  279. Larry Norman                                    So Long Ago the Garden
  280. Charlie Peacock                                                Everything That’s On My Mind
  281. Starflyer 59                                         Silver
  282. Saving Jane                                         Girl Next Door
  283. Stryper                                                 Soldiers Under Command
  284. Bob Bennett                                      Songs From Bright Avenue
  285. Paramore                                            Brand New Eyes
  286. Mason Profitt                                    I Had a dream
  287. Glad                                                       Beyond a Star
  288. Holy Soldier                                        Holy Soldier
  289. Jacob’s Trouble                                 Jacob’s Trouble
  290. Kerry Livgren/AD                             Art of the State
  291. Leon Patillo                                         The Sky’s the Limit
  292. Bruce Hibbard                                   Never Turnin’ Back
  293. Evanescence                                      Fallen
  294. MxPx                                                    Teenage Politics
  295. Allies                                                     Allies
  296. The Predators                                   Social Decay
  297. Skillet                                                    Comatose
  298. Kenny Marks                                     Right Where You Are
  299. The 77s                                                 Ping Pong Over the Abyss
  300. Resurrection Band                           Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore
  301. The Waterboys                                 This Is The Sea
  302. Sacred Warrior                                  Obsessions
  303. Evie                                                        Mirror
  304. Third Day                                             Time
  305. Robin Lane & The Chartbusters Robin Lane & the Chartbusters
  306. Darrell Mansfield                             Get Ready
  307. John Michael & Terry Talbot        The Painter
  308. Annie Herring                                    Through a Child’s Eyes
  309. Phil Keaggy                                         Town to Town
  310. Mute Math                                         Armistice
  311. Youth Choir                                        Voices in Shadows
  312. Michael Card                                      Legacy
  313. Underoath                                          They’re Only Chasing Safety
  314. Bruce Cockburn                                                In the Falling Dark
  315. Guardian                                             Fire and Love
  316. Bethlehem                                         Bethlehem
  317. First Strike                                           First Strike
  318. Semaja                                                 No Burning Out
  319. Third Day                                             Third Day (Tunesmith)
  320. Idle Cure                                              Idle Cure
  321. Shawn Groves                                   Invitation to Eavesdrop
  322. Kim Hill                                                 Talk About Life
  323. Dave Perkins                                      The Innocence
  324. North Bound                                      North Bound
  325. Simple Minds                                     New Gold Dream
  326. What If                                                 What If
  327. Servant                                                                World of Sand
  328. Dan Peek                                             All Things Are Possible
  329. Relient K                                              mmhmm
  330. Elim Hall                                               Things Break
  331. The Alpha Band                                                Spark in the Dark
  332. 5 O’clock People                               The Nothing Venture
  333. Shout                                                    It Won’t Be Long
  334. Randy Stonehill                                 Thirst
  335. Daniel Amos                                       Vox Humana
  336. Adam Again                                        Perfecta
  337. Michael Roe                                       The Boat Ashore
  338. Mark Heard                                        Stop the Dominos
  339. Andy Pratt                                          Fun in the First World
  340. Altar Boys                                            Against the Grain
  341. Parable                                                 Illustrations
  342. Veil of Ashes                                      Pain
  343. Mr. Mister                                          Welcome to the Real World
  344. Kevin Max                                           The Blood
  345. The Elms                                              Big Surprise
  346. Various Artists                                   Streams
  347. Dion                                                       I Put Away My Idols
  348. DeGarmo & Key                                               Mission of Mercy
  349. Alwyn Wall Band                              The Prize
  350. Los Lobos                                            By The Light of the Moon
  351. Mylon LeFevere/Broken Heart  Sheep in Wolves Clothing
  352. The Echoing Green                          Defend Your Joy
  353. Steve Archer                                      Through His Eyes of Love
  354. Good News                                        Good News
  355. Grits                                                      Art of Translation
  356. Havalina Rail Co                                 Havalina Rail Co
  357. The Way                                              Can It Be
  358. Starflyer 59                                         Leave Here a Stranger
  359. The English band                              What You Need
  360. Ernie and Debbie Rettino             More Than Friends
  361. Dig Hay Zoose                                    Magenta Manta Love Tree
  362. Farrell and Farrell                             Choices
  363. Steve Curtis Chapman                   Beauty Will Rise
  364. Leslie Phillips                                      Beyond Saturday Night
  365. 12 Stones                                            12 Stones
  366. Barnabas                                             Approaching Light Speed
  367. Michael Knott                                    Rocket and a Bomb
  368. POD                                                       Fundamental Elements of Southtown
  369. Dead Artist Syndrome                   Prints of Darkness
  370. Kaja                                                       Crazy People’s Right to Speak
  371. Julie Miller                                          Invisible Girl
  372. Stronghold                                          Fortress Rock
  373. Nichole Nordeman                          Woven and Spun
  374. Barren Cross                                      Atomic Arena
  375. Sarah Laughing                                  Sun and Moon
  376. James Vincent                                   Waiting for the Rain
  377. Pat Terry                                              Film at Eleven
  378. Bob Bennett                                      First Things First
  379. Crumbacher-Duke                           World’s Away
  380. Crystal Lewis                                      Beauty For Ashes
  381. Donna Summer                                                She Works Hard for the Money
  382. JC Power Outlet                                               Forgiven
  383. Vince Ebo                                            Love is the Better Way
  384. In 3D                                                      Barrage
  385. T-Bone Burnett                                 Proof Through the Night
  386. Scott Wesley Brown                       I’m Not Religious
  387. Judson Spence                                  Judson Spence
  388. Curious Fools                                     Curious Fools
  389. Two Pound Planet                           Songs From the Hydrogen Jukebox
  390. PFR                                                        Great Lengths
  391. Walk on Water                                  WOW
  392. Prodigal                                                Prodigal
  393. OC Supertones                                 The Adventures of the OC Supertones
  394. Tim Miner                                           A True Story
  395. John Fowler & Harpoon                                Live
  396. Chris Taylor                                         Worthless Pursuit of Things on the Earth
  397. Parchment                                          Shamblejam
  398. Keith Green                                       So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt
  399. Collective Soul                                   Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid
  400. Mylon LeFevere                                               Mylon
  401. The Choir                                             Wide Eyed Wonder
  402. Paul Clark                                            Good to Be Home
  403. Dime Store Prophets                      Love is Against the Grain
  404. KJ – 52                                                  It’s Pronounced Five Two
  405. Rick Cua                                               Koo-Ah
  406. Ed Raetzloff                                        Drivin’ Wheels
  407. Randy Matthews                             Now Do You Understand
  408. Kim Boyce                                           Kim Boyce
  409. Isaac Air Freight                                                Fun in the Son
  410. Steve Soles                                         Walk By Love
  411. Jamie Owens-Collins                      Growing Pains
  412. Tommy Coomes                               Love Is the Key
  413. Quickflight                                          Decent Beat
  414. Pilgrim Outlets                                  Do You Know Him
  415. Don Francisco                                    Forgiven
  416. T-Bone                                                 The Hoodlum’s Testimony
  417. First Call                                               Undivided
  418. Wish for Eden                                    Pet the Fish
  419. Michael Been                                    On the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough
  420. Sweet Comfort Band                      Breakin the Ice
  421. Bob Dylan                                            Saved
  422. Squad 5-0                                            What I Believe
  423. Jeff Johnson                                      Fallen Splendor
  424. Sometime Sunday                           Stone
  425. Jimmy A                                               Secrets
  426. Chris Eaton                                         The Vision
  427. Carson Cole and RU4                      Mainstreet
  428. Toby Mac                                            Momentum
  429. Common Band                                  Anger Into Passion
  430. LSU                                                        Grace Shaker
  431. Creed                                                    My Own Prison
  432. Thousand Foot Krutch                   Phenomenon
  433. Beau MacDougall                             This Side of Heaven
  434. David and the Giants                      David and the Giants
  435. Poor Old Lu                                         Sin
  436. Lewis McVay                                      Coming Attractions
  437. Jan Krist                                               Decapitated Society
  438. Vector                                                  Please Stand By
  439. Mike Stand                                         Do I Stand Alone
  440. Crumbacher                                       Incandescent
  441. Imitators                                              Once and For All
  442. Jeremy Camp                                    Stay
  443. Scott Blackwell                                  Walk on the Wildside
  444. Hawk Nelson                                     Smile, It’s the End of the World
  445. Black Eyed Sceva                              Way Before the Flood
  446. Mad at the World                            MATW
  447. D-Boy                                                    The Lyrical Strength of One Street Poet
  448. Hokus Pick                                          Snappy
  449. Rick Altizer                                          Blue Plate Special
  450. Waterdeep                                         Everyone’s Beautiful
  451. Silverwind                                           A Song In the Air
  452. Steve Taylor                                       I Want to Be a Clone
  453. Gary Chapman                                  Sincerely Yours
  454. The Kry                                                 You
  455. Honeytree                                          Evergreen
  456. Idle Lovell                                            Idle Lovell
  457. Lights                                                    The Listening
  458. Jars of Clay                                          Good Monsters
  459. Fireworks                                            Sightseeing at Night
  460. Kathy Trocoli                                      Stubborn Love
  461. Mike Warnke                                     Hey Doc
  462. The Lifters                                           The Lifters/That What Love’s About
  463. The Mercy Seat                                                The Mercy Seat
  464. Karen Lafferty                                   Bird in a Golden Sky
  465. Nobody Special                                 Nobody Special
  466. Neal Morse                                        ?
  467. Morgan Cryar                                    Keep No Secrets
  468. Servant                                                                Light Maneuvers
  469. Jon Gibson                                          Change of Heart
  470. Kansas                                                  Audio Visions
  471. Maranatha Singers                          Praise 1
  472. Paul Clark                                            Songs for the Savior 1 & 2
  473. Mark Heard                                        Eye of the Storm
  474. Mark Farner                                       Just Another Injustice
  475. Randall Waller                                   Midnight Fire
  476. Lifesavers                                            Dreamlife
  477. Lone Justice                                       Lone Justice
  478. Seven Day Jesus                               Hunger
  479. Sheila Walsh                                       War of Love
  480. Undercover                                  God Rules
  481. Vision                                            Vision
  482. Various Artists                            The Everlasting Living Jesus Music Concert
  483. Petra                                              Back to the Street
  484. PID                                                 The Chosen Ones
  485. Steve Camp                                   Shake Me to Wake me
  486. Infinity Plus Three                      Setting Yesterday Free
  487. Stryper                                           Yellow and Black Attack
  488. Paul Q Pek                                     Touch the Ground
  489. Weber and the Buzztones           Weber and the Buzztones
  490. Malcolm and the Mirrors           Red Alert