Steven Curtis Chapman – The Great Adventure – 1992

This album is very tough for me. As readers of the original blog can attest, the Nashville music machine that put out very similar sounding, country infused, safe pop music was never in my wheelhouse. For decades the same singers, songwriters, record companies would put out similar sounding albums and then take home armfuls of Dove Awards. It was an industry that gave the “Rap Dove Award” to Carman! So, as a result, I came to this album very , very late. The first few Steven Curtis Chapman albums were so wrapped up in that world, that when “The Great Adventure” was released I just ignored it. I knew that hits that were incessantly on Christian radio and as a record representative that sold accompaniment cassettes, I knew virtually every song. But they meant very little to me. It wasn’t until I began the painstaking process of creating the original “Top 500” blog that I decided to familiarize myself with the album and tried to listen with new ears. It still did not make the original blog, but I did gain a higher level of respect for the singer/songwriter himself. I then saw Chapman in a solo acoustic concert several years ago where he performed several of the songs from this album with just his guitar, and even acapella. I started to discover the songs behind the processed production and my appreciation grew even more. But albums have to be judged according to their time and the way they were produced. And so the album is included here. But let’s be honest upfront…”Got to Be True” is just an awful, awful song! Most are very, very familiar with the bigger hits from the album like the title track, “Where We Belong,” and “Go There With You.” All are deserving of their success and I struggle to really be too critical here. For me the John Mellencamp ( or was he Cougar then?) inspired “That’s Paradise” is the stand out cut on the album. If Chapman only didn’t have such a pleasant voice, it could have been a mainstream radio single. Chapman also really shines here and throughout his career when accompanied by a more simple, sparse production as heard on “Don’t Let the Fire Die.” Chapman excels on simple ballads, especially when they are more focused on relational issues. “Maria” falls into the same category. Even this song has just too much going on musically. A stripped down acoustic guitar and nothing else would have been plenty. “Hearts Cry” is the very best example of what I am referring. No strings needed! With “The Great Adventure” Chapman truly broke as an artist. He had quite a bit of previous success, but this album was certified gold pretty quickly and brought previous albums along with it. It was from this point that the Gospel Music Association just backed up the Dove Award delivery truck to the Chapman estate annually. This isn’t the last album to be discussed here, but it is the one that fit the most securely in the Nashville Music Machine category, but worthy or more.

Contributor David Lowman – https://legacyccmsgreatestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Prologue – 2:37
2 – The Great Adventure – 4:35
3 – Where We Belong – 4:19
4 – Go There With You – 5:21
5 – That’s Paradise – 4:59
6 – Don’t Let The Fire Die – 4:48
7 – Got To B Tru – 4:18
8 – Walk With The Wise – 4:34
9 – Maria – 5:01
10 – Still Called Today – 6:00
11 – Heart’s Cry – 5:10

Credits
Accordion – Jo-El Sonnier
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Steven Curtis Chapman
Arranged By [Strings, Brass], Conductor – Don Wyrtzen, J.A.C. Redford
Backing Vocals – Brent Lamb, Chris Rodriguez, Herb Chapman, Kip Raines, Lionel Cartwright, Mark Heimermann, Ricky Skaggs, Steven Curtis Chapman, Trace Balin
Backing Vocals [Yells] – Chad Ballantyne, Chris Moore, Herb Chapman, James Isaac Elliott, Jason Cole, Marty Funderburk, Phil Naish, Steve Charles, Steven Curtis Chapman, Todd Robbins
Bass – Jackie Street
Contractor [Orchestra] – Carl Gorodetzky
Design – Carol Bobolts, Red Herring Design
Dobro – Scott Sanders
Drum Programming – Mark Hammond
Drums – Paul Leim
Engineer – Ronnie Brookshire
Engineer [Additional] – Carry Summers, Patrick Kelly, Steve Bishir
Engineer [Assistant] – Carry Summers, John Kunz, Patrick Kelly, Todd Robbins
Executive-Producer – Peter York
Guitar – Dann Huff, Jerry McPherson
Keyboards – Phil Naish
Lap Steel Guitar, Dobro [Additional] – Rusty Young
Mixed By – Bill Deaton, Ronnie Brookshire
Orchestra – The Nashville String Machine
Photography By – Frank W. Ockenfels
Piano – Cheryl Rogers
Producer – Phil Naish
Rap, Guest – Toby McKeehan
Soprano Saxophone – Mark Douthit
Vocals [Duet] – BeBe Winans

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Sparrow Corporation
Copyright © – The Sparrow Corporation
Made By – EMI Jax
Produced For – NT Productions
Recorded At – Studio At Mole End
Recorded At – Nightingale Studio
Recorded At – Quad Studios
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Skylab Recording Studio
Recorded At – Great Circle Sound
Mixed At – Studio At Mole End

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time. https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

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