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February 28, 2009

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Rusty Mitchell

Man, I wouldn't even want to start on the most influential albums. That sounds like work. The top 10 Christian albums is a lot easier. Let's be honest, there is just not much good stuff to choose from.

My ten Christian albums in no particular order:

1. 77's - Sticks and Stones: "Don't This Way", "God Sends Quails", "The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes & the Pride of Life" are all personal favorites. This is just an incredible album. There is likely no album I've listened to more than this Christian or otherwise.

2. The Violet Burning - Strength: I don't really even know what to say about this album. It could be argued that their later albums were better, but this is still my sentimental favorite. I couldn't stop listening to this album after I got it and could still listen to it today.

3. Vigilantes of Love - V.O.L.: Yes, I'm wussing out and including what is really a greatest hits album. It really isn't fair to put out a Christian top ten and leave Bill Mallonee off the list. I mean good grief, the guy is still at it going solo and the music is still good. He's put out somewhere close to a bazillion records. It's nuts. "Blister Soul", "Struggleville", and "Losin' It" are all great here. However, "Resplendant" off of "Audible Sigh" and "The Kidz On Drugz (or Life)" on "Dear Life" are my top Bill Mallonee songs overall.

4. Rich Mullins - A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band: Rich never had the best voice, but this record is inspired in a way that few Christian albums ever are. There are several fantastic songs on this album, but "The Color Green" and "Peace" are at the top of the list.

5. Adam Again - Dig: There are a couple weak songs on this album, but it's overall a solid album. Who am I kidding though, I would include this album for "River On Fire" alone.

6. Poor Old Lu - Straight Six: Does a six song EP really count? I'm counting it anyway. "Digging Deep" and "Speak Soft" are my two favorites.

7. Lost Dogs - Scenic Route: The Dogs first album. I'll admit that I came into Scenic Route after Little Red Riding Hood, but both albums are great. What do you expect from the top guys from Daniel Amos, 77's, The Choir, and Adam Again?

8. Lost Dogs - Little Red Riding Hood: The Lost Dogs are the only artist who warranted two albums on my list. I don't know what happened, because nothing they have put out since comes close to their first two releases. This is my favorite album of theirs, although Scenic Route is very close. "Dunce Cap", "Jimmy", and "No Room for Us" are the highlights in my opinion.

9. Jars of Clay - Who We Are Instead: Most of the albums on this list expose the era of Christian music when I was really a listener. That was before working at a Christian label would have ruined it for me even if the music quality hadn't deteriorated to lowest common denominator on it's own. This album by Jars is a rare exception of something put out after that time period that was actually really good. I had their demo CD and know how popular Flood was, but this is really their best effort. Completely out of left field for Jars. I wish they would record more songs like this. "Amazing Grace" and "Lonely People" are my highlights.

10. The Choir - Circle Slide: I am a fan of The Choir in general, but this is my favorite of all of their albums. "Kissers and Killers" would be a close second as far as their albums go. "Circle Slide" and "A Sentimental Song" are the two highlights off of this album.

David Bach

Rusty - Thanks for playing - awesome picks.

Adam Again - Dig: Fer shizzle! LOved that album and that band. Gene was a good friend of ours and Jon even pondered playing with Guardian for a day or so.

Love these other bands as well. Like I said...these lists are impossible to be accurate but they are fun.

Warren

Thank you for reminding me of LoveWar. Soak Your Brain spent a lot of time in the stereo back in the day.

My top 10 Christian albums would have to include:

Phil Keaggy -- Crimson and Blue and Sunday's Child: Two of my favorites, and two that I used to turn some people on to the possibilities of Christian music.

Jacob's Trouble -- pretty much anything they released. This is a band that was too far ahead of their time for their own good, I think.

Guardian -- Bottle Rocket. OK, maybe I'm kissing up here, but when I got this album, I was excited. Maybe because it had been a while since I got a Guardian album, but I really loved this one.

Allies -- Virtues and Long Way From Paradise. Long Way From Paradise convinced a girl that she shouldn't date me (I listened to that 'heathen' rock and roll). Allies was another band that I thought never got it's due.

Whitecross -- again, anything they released. Their first release and Stryper's Soldiers Under Command were my gateway into Christian metal.

Barren Cross -- Atomic Arena.

Probably more (Messiah Prophet spent some time in the tape deck back in the day, too), but I'm too old to remember them all ;)

David Bach

Warren - Good picks!

Allies - a great band - I remember seeing them live and thinking wow!

Shawn Kitchen

I don't think I can come up with a full Top 10 or 15 list, but I can tell you some of the albums that have left an impact on me (am I dating myself when I call them "albums"?)

Corey Glover - Hymns: Solo effort from the lead singer of Living Colour. "Sidewalk Angel" has some of the best in-the-pocket drumming I've ever heard. Pound for pound, I think Hymns is easily one of the best produced albums I have. There's not a dud on the album. Makes me want to play the drums every time I hear it.

Prince (In his symbol days) - Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic: I've said for years that I believe Prince is the most underrated musician of my generation. How anyone can play so many instruments and do it SO WELL is beyond me. Production values are outstanding on this one, and are a long way from the sexually laden tones of earlier works.

Dream Theater - Images and Words: One of my favorite bands of all time. Thinking man's rock. Pure, over-the-top, technical brilliance. The album that got me turned on to them forever. I bought my first guitar after hearing "Pull Me Under".

Whiteheart - Freedom: I was a DJ at a Christian radio station in my earlier days, when Freedom was a new release. "Let the Kingdom Come" still makes my neck tingle when the drums come in.

Guardian - Bottle Rocket: No kissing up intended. I like stuff that ROCKS. Much of Christian music tends to lack in that quality. I had a T-top Camaro when BR came out, and I used to crank up "Coffee Can" until my ears bled. Great heavy, solid bass work (Okay, so I kissed up there a little).

Petra - Beyond Belief: Arguably, the pinnacle of Petra's career. BB, Unseen Power, God Fixation, and Jekyll & Hyde are my fave works. I could get secular metalhead friends of mine to listen to Petra and not feel like I had to make excuses.

Allies: Pretty much anything they did was gold with me. I was so upset when Bob Carlisle got all Disneyfied with "Butterfly Kisses". This was the guy who sang "Feather In Your Cap", dangit! Allies rocked!

Gotta go to work... more to come later.

Shawn Kitchen

Continued from this morning...

Steve Taylor - Squint: Steve Taylor could sing the phone book and I'd buy it, but I think Squint was his masterpiece. I love satire to begin with (and Steve was a master), and the guy just has a sense of production that's unequaled.

Steve Vai - Passion and Warfare: If you love guitar work and don't have this album, you need your head examined. I still remember the day that I heard this for the first time. I listened to "Liberty" on a 3500W tri-amped PA rig with the volume just shy of painful (and in a very small room), and it made my whole body tingle. In fact, I just now got a shiver thinking about it as I typed this.

King's X - King's X: "Lost in Germany" just blew my mind with how technical Ty Tabor's playing was, yet he made it sound so familiar and comfortable. And ever since I heard Doug Pinnick play that Chapparal bass on "Ooh Song", I've been hooked on the sound of a 12-string. I've bought pretty much every album they've recorded with one or two exceptions.

Lyle Lovett - Pontiac: I don't always admit it in public, but I happen to like Lyle Lovett's songs (I know... which of these things is not like the other?). Rather than being awed by masterful displays of instrumentalism, I'm just constantly amazed at how the man just WRITES GOOD SONGS. I rather like the fact that he"s not widely popular, "cause it makes me feel like I know a secret that few others know.

There's my modest contribution.

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