Rich Mullins – Never Picture Perfect – 1989

This album marked Rich’s start to a more country sound. It opens with a beautiful A cappella where he is joined by Ashley Cleveland and Pam Tillis and is the highlight of the album to me. That said the CCM charts disagreed with me. The album had 3 top 10 CCM singles, “While The Nations Rage”, “Alrightokuhhuhamen”, and “My One Thing” with “While The Nations Rage” made it to number 1. It also had 2 other single that lingered around the middle of the charts, “First Family” and “Somewhere”. 5 singles on one album is pretty darn good but that said I’m neither here nor there on the album. It’s not bad, it’s not great. To me it just feels like it’s there. This is probably no fault of the album but instead just my personal taste. This album is where Christian music was headed at the time and if anything Rich was actually ahead of the trend.

Tracklist
1 – I Will Sing – 1:28
2 – Hope To Carry On – 2:35
3 – While The Nations Rage – 4:55
4 – First Family – 3:09
5 – Alrightokuhhuhamen – 4:15
6 – Higher Education And The Book Of Love – 4:53
7 – Bound To Come Some Trouble – 3:40
8 – The Love Of God – 2:52
9 – My One Thing – 3:49
10 – Somewhere – 4:36
11 – The Love Of God (Reprise) – 0:47

Credits
Rich Mullins – lead vocals, acoustic piano, hammered dulcimer
Reed Arvin – keyboards, Synclavier, string arrangements
Jerry McPherson – guitars, mandolin
Mark O’Connor – mandolin, fiddle
Tom Hemby – guitar solo
Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass
Danny O’Lannerghty – bass
Paul Leim – drums
Bill Sinclair – harmonica
Ed Calle – saxophone
Kris Wilkinson – string contractor
Ashley Cleveland – featured vocals
Pam Tillis – featured vocals
Richard Gibson – backing vocals
Donny Monk – backing vocals
Guy Penrod – backing vocals
Jon Sherberg – backing vocals
Gary Smith – backing vocals
Chris Rodriguez – backing vocals
Bonnie Keen – backing vocals
Marabeth Jordan – backing vocals
Marty McCall – backing vocals
Margaret Becker – backing vocals

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Reunion Records
Copyright © – Reunion Records
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word Records Limited
Copyright © – Word Records Limited
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Copyright © – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Mixed At – Digital Recorders
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Big Dog Studio, Wichita, KS
Recorded At – The Pond
Mastered At – Mastermix
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.

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Ray Mansfield

Author: Ray Mansfield

One of the founding cowboys of Real 80s CCM. Been listening to this stuff since 1978.

One thought on “Rich Mullins – Never Picture Perfect – 1989”

  1. This is an excellent album. It’s an excellent follow up to Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth as it shows that Mullins was not going to be pushed into a stylistic corner and just produce Awesome God wanna-be’s. As for your assertion that this was the start of a direction to more of a country sound, I didn’t get that at all. Yes there’s one song about his family farm, but none of the 3 top 10 hits you mentioned have any significant country flavor. Higher education and the book of love would not make it on any country album I’ve ever heard.

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