Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Greatest Christian Albums Ever?

I had a dream. No, Not that kind of dream. It was just that I remembered this book that I bought back in 2001. CCM Magazine set about to make a list of the 100 Best Christian Albums Ever. Now I disagreed with them back in `01, and I think that now the list may have to be amended a bit, because some pretty awesome releases have occurred in the past 10 years.


What I am going to do is put out a series of posts. I want to start by going back, in reverse order, over the original list, and then I intend to submit a few contenders for a new list, which I think, considering it's been another 10 years, is warranted. As always, I would hope that you would use the comments below to offer your own suggestions as to what should, or should not be on the list of the new 100 Best. The Night Beat has an international readership, so I know we can do it (The U.S., Canada, and Australia have the most CCM Bands, but I can remember a few from the U.K. (Iona, Delirious?) and Sweden (Jerusalem, Leviticus) as well.

The 100 Best Christian Albums Ever, 2001
Good thing I am starting at the back of the pack. It is easier to argue that a lower ranked album should be higher on the list than to say, "that shouldn't be number one". A little on my history. I was saved in 1975, at the age of 9 and got my introduction to Christian Music shortly afterward. While I didn't get to hear some of these albums as soon as they came out, I did come across them fairly soon.

From Rock to Metal

Awaiting Your ReplyIn getting the conversation started, Let me say that Awaiting Your Reply should definitely be higher on that list. If you knew the State of Christian Music in the late 70's you would definitely agree that CCM, as it existed, was in its infancy. Most of the music was, in the words of Mike Warnke "Jesus, Jesus, Wo, Wo, Wo. Jesus, Jesus, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah." So when you put that against what would be a radical new sound, very polished at that, in a band such as REZ. The audio assault of Heavy Metal was beginning while most Christians were still afraid of the Acoustic Guitar, much less the Electric Guitar. I would have put it up in the top half. Keep in mind that this is the seventies. Some of the music is acoustic Jesus Music, but the Hard Stuff (Awaiting Your Reply, Waves, Lightshine) is where you know something special is happening.

Petra Means Rock

More Power to YaI came up in CCM with the Big Three, which are Petra, Servant, and Fireworks. I would challenge anyone out there to try to deny it. Remember, my trump card is that to be in the Three, you have to have started "Back Then" so, as much as a Skillet may be big now, that spot is long filled. You can argue for Rez or D&K or some other, but I think this will stand on its own. That said, while I came in on Never Say Die, I think this might be an accurate rating for More Power To Ya. My biggest Gripe is that the most seminal Petra album Not of this World is not on the list at all.

A Champion doesn't Break Mirrors

I wasn't able to track down Evie Mirror at the moment. I was always a Nancy Honeytree fan myself. Boy was her hair long. I only have one disagreement on this list, and I am sure it will get me a few comments. I don't think Carman belongs. I have The Champion on cassette, but, listening to it again, while it still is a good album, I don't think that it makes the 100 Greatest Christian Albums Ever.

I think that is a good beginning. I wish to ask in closing that all my loyal readers help me in the reconstruction of this project. A new list for a new millennium. Until the next time.

As a footnote, I have linked the list to Amazon, I hope you will click and buy the Albums on the list through my site, to help keep the Night Beat Going. This time things are a little different. I usually link to the mp3 Album, but here sometimes I do that, sometimes Vinyl, and sometimes CD. I am going for bargains in this post, because these are some great must have albums, call it your CCM Bucket List. Awaiting Your Reply.

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