Thursday, June 23, 2011

The 10 Greatest Christian Albums Ever?

All Good Things must come to an end, our journey through CCM Magazine's 100 Greatest Christian Albums in Christian Music finally comes to its conclusion, with the Top 10. These are the albums agreed to be THE GREATEST, the "definition" of Christian Music. Are they correct? or more appropriately, still correct? It has been a decade.

The Top 10 Christian Albums, 2001
Well, for the last time, here I go with my commentary. If I haven't done so already, and from the comments it appears that I haven't, I think that I shall dive into the hornest nest this time, or at least tip over some sacred cows.

If I were a cynic, I would say that one of the requirements for entry on this list is to have a premature death. Of course, even using flawed biblical interpretation one should consider any death short of 80 premature, but especially if illness or an accident is involved. A full 10 of 100 entries fit that Category. (Larry Norman, Gene Eugene(as Adam Again), DeGarmo & Key (Dana Key), Keith Green, Mark Heard, and Rich Mullins). Actually, BOTH Larry Norman and DeGarmo and Key don't fit the list perfectly, since they died after the list was published. Dana Key died unexpectedly Last June, and Norman in 2008. Of course on talent and influence alone there should have been more than one D&K entry on the list. As to Larry Norman, his influence in CCM is immense. I started playing around with a Six Degrees of Larry Norman a few days ago, and believe me he can be connected with virtually everyone in Christian Music today in 6 links or less. He belongs.

A cynic would also point out that a seeming requirement for entry to a list of Christian Albums is to not technically be a Christian Artist. Bruce Cockburn and U2 both contribute a pair of albums to the list. (Now in full disclosure, I think U2 belongs, but based on CCM Mags own description, I am not sure about Cockburn.) When those two items are combined with the usual Sandi Patty, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith Bias (another 9 off the list), that means the Top 100 is really the top 76. There could be a lot of room in that list for some really deserving albums, and that is our wiggle room.

Free At Last
Number Nine?
 Most of my complaints on the 10 Greatest deal mostly with position, we'll start with DC Talk. Straight upfront, I love the album. There's no doubt that it belongs on the list. Actually I think they should swap positions with Jesus Freak at Number 14 and I would be fine with that. Personally I never did get the mini skits (Greer, WDCT, Willpower, and the cringeworthy 2 Honks).  This may be one of those Chicken and Egg questions though. While Jesus Freak may be superior to Free at Last, would DC Talk have been able to make Jesus Freak if it had not first made Free at Last. For Your Consideration.

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking ForOn to the one of the greatest crossover acts among CCM fans, U2. The Joshua Tree was an awesome album, at least to me. Personally, if it was up to me, they may be a number one or two. Sorry Amy. I have always detected a little too much of "Amy Bias" in CCM. All she has to do is put out any album to be guaranteed it proclaimed the "Best Album Ever". On the other Hand, U2 consistently put out deep spiritual music all under the radar of the Christian Music Industry. Now even late recognition is better than no recognition at all, but I'm just saying. Would be number one on this list if I made it. (Now, would it still be number one? That remains to be seen. Stay Tuned).

That concludes my look back at the 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music, as determined by CCM Magazine in 2001. Now the fun begins. A lot of music came out since 1999, the last release year for an album on the list. I think we could, at a minimum, sweep off about 20 of these. While that is not my intention, facts are facts. I hope you will help me in the undertaking. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

P.S.- A personal Night Beat Shoutout to Alexandra from Sweden, Thanks for following. Don't know if you have heard of them, but I would encourage you to check out Blindside, a rock band from Sweden signed to CCM's Midas, Tooth and Nail Records, I think that With Shivering Hearts We Wait, which has a listening party at Jesus Freak Hideout, is a Solid 4.25 Emeralds, and should make next years Platinum Vinyl Awards. As to Alexandra herself, check out her blog.

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