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CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

I've noticed that, although published lists of the most critically acclaimed albums and songs in contemporary Christian music is a rarity, there are no (if any) lists included on Acclaimed Music.net. I do, however, remember seeing a list of "The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music," which was published by CCM Magazine in 2001. Even though I do not completely agree with the listing (dc Talk's "Jesus Freak" not #1, let alone in the top ten, and behind their own "Free at Last"?! Newsboys' sole ranking at #70?), but it is nice to see some Christian-themed mainstream albums on the list (U2, Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, etc).

1. Amy Grant - "Lead Me On"
2. Larry Norman - "Only Visiting This Planet"
3. Rich Mullins - "A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Regamuffin Band"
4. Mark Heard - "Second Hand"
5. Keith Green - "For Him Who Has Ears to Hear"
6. U2 - "The Joshua Tree"
7. Rich Mullins - "The World As Best As I Remember It, Vol. 1"
8. Leslie Phillips - "The Turning"
9. dc Talk - "Free at Last"
10. BeBe & CeCe Winans - "Different Lifestyles"
11. Russ Taff - "The Way Home"
12. Tonio K. - "Romeo Unchained"
13. Randy Stonehill - "Welcome to Paradise"
14. dc Talk - "Jesus Freak"
15. Charlie Peacock - "Love Life"
16. Bob Dylan - "Slow Train Coming"
17. Michael Omartian - "White Horse"
18. Steve Taylor - "Meltdown"
19. Sixpence None the Richer - "Sixpence None the Richer"
20. Phil Keaggy - "Crimson and Blue"
21. Michael W. Smith - "The Big Picture"
22. Jars of Clay - "Jars of Clay"
23. Love Song - "Love Song"
24. Andraé Crouch & The Disciples - "This Is Another Day"
25. Various Artists - "Orphans of God"
26. Charlie Peacock - "The Secret of Time"
27. Ashley Cleveland - "Big Town"
28. Bruce Cockburn - "Humans"
29. Mark Heard - "Dry Bones Dance"
30. Amy Grant - "Heart in Motion"
31. Rich Mullins - "Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth"
32. Mark Heard - "Victims of the Age"
33. Steven Curtis Chapman - "The Great Adventure"
34. Michael W. Smith - "Michael W. Smith Project"
35. Various Artists - "My Utmost for His Highest"
36. Russ Taff - "Medals"
37. BeBe & CeCe Winans - "Heaven"
38. Larry Norman - "In Another Land"
39. Kirk Franklin - "The Nu Nation Project"
40. Amy Grant - "A Christmas Album"
41. U2 - "October"
42. Bruce Cockburn - "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws"
43. Point of Grace - "Life, Love and Other Mysteries"
44. Amy Grant - "Behind the Eyes"
45. Michael W. Smith - "Change Your World"
46. Margaret Becker - "Immigrant's Daughter"
47. Out of the Grey - "Out of the Grey"
48. The Winans - "Tomorrow"
49. Keith Green - "So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt"
50. The Choir - "Chase the Kangaroo"
51. CeCe Winans - "Everlasting Love"
52. King's X - "faith hope love by King's X"
53. The Choir - "Circle Slide"
54. Take 6 - "Take 6"
55. Adam Again - "Ten Songs by Adam Again"
56. Gotee Brothers - "Erace"
57. Twila Paris - "Kingdom Seekers"
58. Rick Elias and The Confessions - "Rick Elias and The Confessions"
59. Andraé Crouch & The Disciples - "Soulfully"
60. Fred Hammond and Radical for Christ - "Pages of Life, Chapters 1 & 2"
61. The Winans - "Return"
62. Daniel Amos - "Alarma!"
63. Daniel Amos - "Horrendous Disc"
64. Phil Keaggy - "Love Broke Through"
65. Bob Bennett - "Matters of the Heart"
66. 4Him - "The Basics of Life"
67. Charlie Peacock - "Lie Down in the Grass"
68. Iona - "The Book of Kells"
69. Allies - "Long Way from Paradise"
70. Newsboys - "Going Public"
71. Petra - "Beyond Belief"
72. 2nd Chapter of Acts - "With Footnotes"
73. Kirk Franklin and The Family - "Kirk Franklin and The Family"
74. White Heart - "Don't Wait for the Movie"
75. Imperials - "One More Song for You"
76. Randy Stonehill - "Return to Paradise"
77. Julie Miller - "Invisible Girl"
78. Various Artists - "Streams"
79. Twila Paris - "Sanctuary"
80. Jennifer Knapp - "Kansas"
81. Cindy Morgan - "Listen"
82. Seventy-Seven's - "77's"
83. Lifesavers Underground - "Shaded Pain"
84. Lost Dogs - "Little Red Riding Hood"
85. Delirious? - "King of Fools"
86. Jaci Velasquez - "Heavenly Place"
87. Sandi Patty - "Morning Like This"
88. Stryper - "To Hell with the Devil"
89. Trin-i-tee 5:7 - "Trin-i-tee 5:7"
90. Jon Gibson - "Jesus Loves Ya"
91. Resurrection Band - "Awaiting Your Reply"
92. Amy Grant - "Age to Age"
93. 2nd Chapter of Acts, Phil Keaggy - "How the West Was One"
94. Michael English - "Michael English"
95. DeGarmo & Key - "Straight On"
96. Steve Camp - "Fire and Ice"
97. Crystal Lewis - "The Bride"
98. Petra - "More Power to Ya"
99. Carman - "The Champion"
100. Evie - "Mirror"

There is also a list of the "100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music," also published by CCM Magazine, in 2006:

1. Rich Mullins - "Awesome God"
2. dc Talk - "Jesus Freak"
3. Michael W. Smith - "Friends"
4. MercyMe - "I Can Only Imagine"
5. Amy Grant - "El Shaddai"
6. Delirious? - "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever"
7. Jars of Clay - "Flood"
8. Steven Curtis Chapman - "The Great Adventure"
9. Newsboys - "Shine"
10. Darlene Zschech - "Shout to the Lord"
11. City on a Hill - "God of Wonders"
12. Nicole C. Mullen - "Redeemer"
13. Larry Norman - "I Wish We'd All Been Ready"
14. Jaci Velasquez - "On My Knees"
15. Bill and Gloria Gaither - "Because He Lives"
16. Third Day - "Agnus Dei"
17. Michael English - "Mary, Did You Know?"
18. Bob Carlisle - "Butterfly Kisses"
19. Point of Grace - "The Great Divide"
20. Twila Paris - "How Beautiful"
21. Rich Mullins - "Step by Step"
22. Michael W. Smith - "Place in This World"
23. Avalon - "Testify to Love"
24. Third Day - "Show Me Your Glory"
25. Audio Adrenaline - "Big House"
26. Steven Curtis Chapman - "I Will Be Here"
27. Nichole Nordeman - "Holy"
28. Newsboys - "He Reigns"
29. Russ Taff - "We Will Stand"
30. Amy Grant - "Thy Word"
31. dc Talk - "What If I Stumble"
32. Third Day - "Consuming Fire"
33. Clay Crosse - "I Surrender All"
34. Amy Grant - "Sing Your Praise to the Lord"
35. Rich Mullins - "Hold Me Jesus"
36. Ray Boltz - "Thank You"
37. Steven Curtis Chapman - "For the Sake of the Call"
38. Bill and Gloria Gaither - "He Touched Me"
39. Michael W. Smith - "Above All"
40. Keith Green - "Oh Lord You're Beautiful"
41. Michael Card - "Love Crucified Arose"
42. Crystal Lewis - "People Get Ready, Jesus Is Comin'"
43. Amy Grant - "Breath of Heaven"
44. Steve Green - "People Need the Lord"
45. BeBe and CeCe Winans - "Heaven"
46. Michael W. Smith - "Secret Ambition"
47. Point of Grace - "Jesus Will Still Be There"
48. Twila Paris - "The Warrior Is a Child"
49. Randy Stonehill - "Shut De Do"
50. Switchfoot - "Dare You to Move"
51. Evie - "Mirror"
52. Dallas Holm - "Rise Again"
53. Don Francisco - "He's Alive"
54. Keith Green - "There Is a Redeemer"
55. God's Property - "Stomp"
56. Sandi Pati - "Via Dolorosa"
57. Andráe Crouch - "Jesus Is the Answer"
58. Chris Rice - "Welcome to Our World"
59. Andráe Crouch - "My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)"
60. Amy Grand - "Lead Me On"
61. 4Him - "For Future Generations"
62. Phil Keaggy - "Your Love Broke Thru"
63. David Meece - "We Are the Reason"
64. Andráe Crouch - "Soon and Very Soon"
65. Sandi Patti - "We Shall Behold Him"
66. Twila Paris - "He Is Exalted"
67. Imperials - "Praise the Lord"
68. Wayne Watson - "Watercolor Ponies"
69. 2nd Chapter of Acts - "Easter Song"
70. Stryper - "To Hell with the Devil"
71. Charlie Peacock - "In the Light"
72. Petra - "More Power to Ya"
73. Sandi Patti - "Love in Any Language"
74. Newsong - "Arise My Love"
75. Larry Norman - "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?"
76. P.O.D. - "Alive"
77. Wayne Watson - "Friend of a Wounded Heart"
78. Steven Curtis Chapman - "Dive"
79. Wes King - "The Robe"
80. 4Him - "Where Is Faith"
81. Benny Hester - "When God Ran"
82. Michael English - "In Christ Alone"
83. Mark Schultz - "He's My Son"
84. Susan Ashton - "He's My Son"
85. Larnelle Williams - "How Excellent Is Thy Name"
86. Twila Paris - "Runner"
87. Rich Mullins - "My Deliverer"
88. B.J. Thomas - "Home Where I Belong"
89. Cindy Morgan - "I Will Be Here"
90. Kathy Troccoli - "Stubborn Love"
91. Carman - "The Champion"
92. White Heart - "We Are His Hands"
93. First Call - "Undivided"
94. Jennnifer Knapp - "Undo Me"
95. Scott Wesley Brown - "He Will Carry You"
96. Chuck Girard - "Sometimes Alleluia"
97. Leslie Phillips - "Strength of My Life"
98. DeGarmo & Key - "Ready or Not"
99. Margaret Becker - "Say the Name"
100. The Choir - "Beautiful Scandalous Night"

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

I like God by Tori Amos, In God's Country by U2, and One of Us by Joan Osbourne.

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

I'm a bit surprised not to see some Marylin Manson here

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

Henrik, are these lists eligible for inclusion at Acclaimed Music.net?

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

I'm not sure how they came up with this list but it seems to me that the complete absence of David Meece in the albums list seems to ignore the fact that he practically created the contemporary christian music industry. And #63 for 'We Are The Reason?' Seriously?

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

Actually if the sole criterion is "creating" the CCM industry, I'd argue only 1 Evie inclusion is the equivalent of ignoring Elvis on a rock list. If artistry is the criterion though I think 1 by Evie is too many

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Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

As far as the list itself goes, it's far too weighted towards the "pop" side of CCM at the expense of more great alternative releases from Daniel Amos, The Choir, and Adam Again just to name a few not to mention a complete lack of rap/hip-hop unless you count DC Talk (which is debatable at the least). And I'll agree FREE AT LAST is a much stronger DCT release than JESUS FREAK even though I think a couple of their best SONGS are on that one.

The list is also too light on Randy Stonehill and Larry Norman...

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Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

1. Rich Mullins - "Awesome God"- Call me kooky but I much prefer "Jacob and 2 Women" as a songwriting achievement though it doesn't have the "hook appeal" of "Awesome".
2. dc Talk - "Jesus Freak"-Though not my favorite DCT album, this is probably my favorite track of theirs, Nirvana cop notwithstanding.
3. Michael W. Smith - "Friends"-Simple and poignant.
4. MercyMe - "I Can Only Imagine"-About the only thing I can stomach from their debut CD.
5. Amy Grant - "El Shaddai"- So many great songs from her (prior to HOUSE OF LOVE at least) but this is definitely one of the best she sings (Yes, I realize Michael Card wrote it but I prefer Amy's version. Card's is a little too staid for me..)
7. Jars of Clay - "Flood"-Pure energy..
8. Steven Curtis Chapman - "The Great Adventure"-The first SCC song I remember being excited to hear
9. Newsboys - "Shine"-Infectious...
10. Darlene Zschech - "Shout to the Lord" and 11. City on a Hill - "God of Wonders"- heard at countless churches every Sunday
12. Nicole C. Mullen - "Redeemer"-Hard to believe she's the same gal who did the lightweight Janet Jackson knockoff album on Frontline Records years earlier..
13. Larry Norman - "I Wish We'd All Been Ready"- This really should be Top 10..but I'm glad it's here at least
14. Jaci Velasquez - "On My Knees"-I can't think of a single Velasquez song that's exceptional. Certainly not "best ever" caliber.
15. Bill and Gloria Gaither - "Because He Lives"- My pick for a Gaither tune would be the sturdier "There's Something About that Name"...
17. Michael English - "Mary, Did You Know?"-Justifiably a modern Christmas classic..
18. Bob Carlisle - "Butterfly Kisses"- Hugely popular, and I'll even admit a guilty pleasure for me, it's nowhere near one of his best efforts. Those were done with his rock outfit Allies. "Let's Fall in Love All Over Again" or even the heavily plagairized "Christian Man" are better than this one.
19. Point of Grace - "The Great Divide"-Ephemeral and dull. Their popularity baffles me.
23. Avalon - "Testify to Love"-see #19
25. Audio Adrenaline - "Big House"-Cheesy but catchy. File it along with Carman's "The Champion"...it's kinda dumb and you hate yourself for liking it, but I still do...
26. Steven Curtis Chapman - "I Will Be Here"-Tender love ode that's wearing well with age.
28. Newsboys - "He Reigns"-Dull album, dull song. Gimme anything off of NOT ASHAMED over this.
29. Russ Taff - "We Will Stand"-This was the 80s "Shout to the Lord".
30. Amy Grant - "Thy Word"-More great early Amy
31. dc Talk - "What If I Stumble"-One of the more thoughtful DCT tunes.
33. Clay Crosse - "I Surrender All"-Lackluster..next!
34. Amy Grant - "Sing Your Praise to the Lord"-Thank heavens this was a hit so we got to hear Rich Mullins' other work!
35. Rich Mullins - "Hold Me Jesus"-Intensely vulnerable. I'm surprised a song this fragile ever became a CCM "hit" but I'm glad it was.
36. Ray Boltz - "Thank You"-Not a Boltz fan but this one really hit home for me...
37. Steven Curtis Chapman - "For the Sake of the Call"-Another big anthem...
39. Michael W. Smith - "Above All"-Love this song but hate how this has pushed Smith into worship music at the expense of the great pop stuff he's done over the years..
45. BeBe and CeCe Winans - "Heaven"-One of a handful of decent BeBe and CeCe songs. They're usually too "white bread" for my tastes.
49. Randy Stonehill - "Shut De Do"-Absolutely irresistible faux reggae..
50. Switchfoot - "Dare You to Move"-Probably my favorite CCM band of the last 5 years.
52. Dallas Holm - "Rise Again"-A stone classic...
55. God's Property - "Stomp"- If this don't make you dance, check yer pulse...
62. Phil Keaggy - "Your Love Broke Thru"- I actually prefer Randy Stonehill's 80s cover on this one.. (Yes, I realize THIS is a cover, too, of Keith Green..)
63. David Meece - "We Are the Reason"-Another Christmas classic
64. Andráe Crouch - "Soon and Very Soon"
68. Wayne Watson - "Watercolor Ponies"-A wistful tune that would be a favorite of parents everywhere if it wasn't confined only to CCM radio.
71. Charlie Peacock - "In the Light"-Bouncy, effervescent pop
73. Sandi Patti - "Love in Any Language"-ICK! Way too saccharine. When the kiddy chorus kicks in, it's painful...
75. Larry Norman - "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?"-Well..why should He?
83. Mark Schultz - "He's My Son"-Bloated and oversung.
91. Carman - "The Champion"- See #25
97. Leslie Phillips - "Strength of My Life"- Unjustly this acceptable but trifling number makes the list while compelling fare from her like "The Turning" doesn't because it doesn't contain the requisite "God words" CCM radio wants. A shame..
98. DeGarmo & Key - "Ready or Not"- Have no idea why this made it ahead of numbers like "Six,Six,Six", "Boycott Hell" or "Every Moment".
99. Margaret Becker - "Say the Name"-Can't even recall this one.
100. The Choir - "Beautiful Scandalous Night"- While there are many Choir tunes I'd place above this one, I'm glad ONE of them made it. (Probably because it's the closest to a typical "worship music" song they ever came.) I'd choose something like "Restore my Soul","Sad Face" or "Car, Etc." over this.

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Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

Interesting... It's hard to rate Christian music because the purpose of the music is to minister rather than be art. You can tell that from the lists. Most of the songs and albums on that list are not innovative in any sense, in fact, most were outdated when they were released. But, that's not the point of Christian music. The purpose is to minister and everything on that list did that and most continue to do that. I think that's the reason why popular Christian music doesn't find it's way on to charts. In most cases it's not shaping the scene, but rather using the scene to spread the message...and that should be what Christian bands strive for.

There are artists that are on Christian labels (or were) that are vastly underrated. Starflyer 59 and Danielson Family come to mind. A lot of stuff that was released on Tooth and Nail in the mid-90's was really good. Then they became all about emo/pop-punk/metal and it went downhill.

Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

While I agree the purpose of it is to minister to the listener, I think all too often Christian artists are lazy and go for the "safe" lyric. They hate to risk upsetting the listener or even the conventional "I know God so everything is hunky-dory" message.

I just get bored with a bunch of "God is great" songs over and over again. I resonate much more with "God is great because He did THIS in my personal life in this situation" more than a generic praise tune.

I agree on Starflyer...really great stuff on some of their discs.

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Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

There's some really great underground Christian rock out there. I'm always looking for more too...any suggestions?

Over the past five years Christian rock has made major strides in the secular music industry, what with Sufjan Stevens, Pedro the Lion, P.O.D., Switchfoot. Still, my favourite Christian artists aren't part of CCM: Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc.

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Re: CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums and Songs in Christian Music

>There's some really great underground Christian rock >out there. I'm always looking for more too...any >suggestions?

Well I'm not sure how "underground" these would be considered but I really like the music of Prodigal, A.D. and Servant. (The 1st two were biggest in the 80s. Prodigal doesn't have any CD releases but there's usually downloads of MP3s to be had on the Net. A.D. was Kerry Livgren's outfit after he left Kansas and also stretched artistically with an occasional prog-rock flavor. Servant started back in the 70s and were WAY ahead of their time as one of the first Christian bands with a laser light show. A few of their albums have finally been reissued on CD (you can find them on Amazon) but my favorite of theirs, Light Maneuvers, is only available as an insanely expensive out of print CD (I've seen it go as high as $80!)

I remember really liking an album called "Grieve" by Sincerely Paul. They only did the 1 album to the best of my knowledge.



Over the past five years Christian rock has made major strides in the secular music industry, what with Sufjan Stevens, Pedro the Lion, P.O.D., Switchfoot. Still, my favourite Christian artists aren't part of CCM: Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc

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