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.

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

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.

Rich Mullins – Pictures In The Sky – 1987

Rich Mullins is back with his second album. It was hugely popular and had three top 10 hits on the CCM charts. “Verge Of A Miracle” made it to #1, “Pictures In The Sky” to #2, and the novelty song “Screen Door” made it to #7. If you didn’t know who Rich Mullins was before this album you sure knew who he was after it. Now I agree that this is a good album but quite frankly I don’t think it was that well produced and engineered. His next album “Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth” was far better produced and is probably his best album. But my criticism means nothing when you look at the success of this album. It propelled Rich into the elite top musicians in the Christian music industry. The album is a strong Pop effort and I have no doubt you will enjoy it. I admit I certainly liked it just felt it came up a little short of what it could have been.

1 – When You Love – 3:25
2 – It Don’t Do – 3:37
3 – Verge Of A Miracle – 4:02
4 – Pictures In The Sky – 3:53
5 – Be With You – 2:50
6 – Screen Door – 1:23
7 – What Trouble Are Giants – 3:54
8 – Steal At Any Price – 4:15
9 – Could Be A Celebration – 3:25
10 – Love That Knows No Bounds – 3:35

Dave Adams – Drum Programming
Reed Arvin – Producer, Songwriter, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Synclavier
Lisa Bevill – Background Vocals
Michael Blanton – Executive Producer
Lang Bliss – Songwriter
Steve Cudworth – Songwriter
Keith Edwards – Drums
Kim Fleming – Background Vocals
Reneé Garcia – Songwriter, Background Vocals
Dan Harrell – Executive Producer
Chris Harris – Background Vocals
Mark Heimermann – Background Vocals
Gary Jones – Songwriter
Brent King – Engineer, Mixed
Wayne Kirkpatrick – Songwriter
Gary Lunn – Bass
Tim Marsh – Percussion
Donna McElroy – Background Vocals
Jerry McPherson – Guitars, Bazooki
Rich Mullins – Songwriter, Vocals
Justin Peters – Songwriter
Chris Rodriguez – Background Vocals
Cathy Snyder – Songwriter
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Recorded At – Center Stage Studio
Recorded At – Hummingbird Studio, Nashville, TN
Recorded At – Gold Mine Studio
Mastered At – Mastermix
Designed At – Jackson Design

Rich Mullins – Winds Of Heaven, Stuff Of Earth – 1988

Here is another example of the different presuppositions between this list and the previous blogs list for determining placement. Though significantly more important to the overall progression of the CCM market, the album does not fair as well when compared to multiple releases per artist and exclusive artistic achievement guidelines. That is not so say this is not a great record, God Forbid. This is ana amazing record and no serious collector should have it missing. “Winds of Heaven” is a lighter, sweeter, sometimes melancholy project that is punctuated with worship and promise. But ultimately it came down to impact and lasting impressions and nothing on “A Liturgy” (or too many other albums for that matter) can match what “Awesome God” has meant to a generation of believers despite being an overall stronger project. If the reader is only familiar with the classic worship tune then they are missing a truly great project. On this album Mullins would change how many people approach the Lord every Sunday morning all across the globe. What started out as a quickly penned worship song for a Youth gathering in Michigan became the single most often sung modern worship song in history. It was also listed as the Number One Christian song in history in CCM Magazine’s countdown of the greatest songs. Oddly enough the verse structure and content is nothing like any other worship song and, in fact, does not lend itself to corporate worship. But when the chorus kicks in there is nothing to compare it to. Memorable, large, boisterous, powerful and lasting. Generations later I am firmly convinced this chorus will still be a staple for God’s people in worship. “If I Stand” follows and may be the strongest song on the project. This song ultimately is about the recognition of man’s frailty and God’s loving compassion toward man. It is a story of reliance on the creator by that which is created. Mullins points to the ultimate relationship a man must have…greater than anything he can find on Earth. One other radio hit from the project is “Such a Thing as Glory.” A musical backdrop bordering on world music sets the stage for a lyrical expression devoted to recognizing the great work of Jesus. Other highlights from this album include “…and I Love You,” and “Home.” For those who may dismiss this album as a “one hit wonder” they have truly missed the heart of an artist that was just beginning to hit his stride. After two poorly received projects (though decent releases on their own), this project moved him into a whole new level of acceptance and the Church and music industry is the better for it. The only thing I have noticed in Mullins music is the lack of humor that he so often displayed in concert. In fact, I remember the first time I saw him was when he opened up for Steve Taylor and Amy Grant (seriously, they toured together). He sat down to polite applause and said; “Now, I know most of you don’t know who in the world I am…but, then again, I don’t know who you are either!” That broke the ice with the crowd and he then proceeded to perform a medley of songs he had written for other artist including Amy Grant’s “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.” That, for some reason, is etched in my memory as much as his memorable songs. He is missed.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – The Other Side Of The World – 2:43
2 – With The Wonder – 4:25
3 – Awesome God – 3:03
4 – If I Stand – 3:39
5 – Home – 4:01
6 – Such A Thing As Glory – 2:41
7 – . . . And I Love You – 3:46
8 – Ready For The Storm – 3:37
9 – One True Love – 4:03
10 – How Can I Keep Myself From Singing – 3:51

Alan Arnett – Background Vocals
Reed Arvin – Producer, String Arrangements, Keyboards, Synclavier
Jeff Balding – Additional Mix
Janis Broughton – Background Vocals
Heidi Brown – Background Vocals
Fred Carpenter – Fiddle
Susan Coker – Background Vocals
Scott Coupland – Background Vocals
Steve Cudworth – Songwriter
Lyn Curley – Background Vocals
Keith Edwards – Drums
Jennifer Farrar – Background Vocals
Jon Goin – Guitar
Allison Gordley – Background Vocals
Chris Harris – Background Vocals
Paul Harris – Background Vocals
Mark Heimermann – Background Vocals
Terry Hemmings – Executive Producer
Kim Hill – Background Vocals
Bonnie Keen – Background Vocals
Brent King – Mixed
Wayne Kirkpatrick – Background Vocals
Bryan Lenox – Background Vocals
Lori Loving – Background Vocals
Gary Lunn – Bass
Pam Mark Hall – Background Vocals
Dougie McClain – Songwriter
David McCracken – Background Vocals
Jerry McPherson – Guitar
Marita Meinerts – Background Vocals
Carmen Minard – Background Vocals
Jeff Moseley – Executive Producer
Rich Mullins – Songwriter, Vocals
Craig Nelson – Acoustic Bass
Pam Ourada – Background Vocals
Rafael Padilla – Percussion
Cynthia Ratliff – Background Vocals
Mark Ratliff – Background Vocals
Chris Rodriguez – Background Vocals
Melinda Scruggs – Background Vocals
Billy Simon – Background Vocals
Michael W. Smith – Piano
Billy Sprague – Background Vocals
Melodie Tunney – Background Vocals
Hank Williams – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records, Inc.
Manufactured By – Uni Distribution Corp.
Distributed By – Uni Distribution Corp.
Recorded At – Goldmine Recording Studios
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Spence Manor
Mixed At – Mastermix
Mastered At – Mastermix
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Published By – Limetree Publishing, Inc.
Manufactured By – DADC
Glass Mastered At – DADC – DIDX-010100

CD Case Front
CD Case Back

Zion – Behold The Man – 1981

Before Rich Mullins solo career he was in a band called Zion. Zion was a part of the Zion Ministries out of Cincinnati Bible College. In 1981 with some help from relatives they were able to record this album. It did not have any distribution and was apparently just sold at concerts and in the local Cincinnati area. A copy of the album made it’s way someway to Amy Grant’s manager. He wanted Amy to record the song “Praise to the Lord” and the rest as they say is history. Amy recorded the song and had a huge hit with it. Rich capitalized on this and launched his own career.

1 – Praise To The Lord – 5:41
2 – For Unto Us – 2:06
3 – The Way To Love You – 7:16
4 – Lord Help Me Be – 3:10
5 – Nothing In This World – 4:07
6 – You Can Live Without Him – 5:16
7 – Hope To Carry On – 2:17
8 – Heaven In His Eyes – 4:40

Jenny Filson – Vocals and Synthesizers
Tom Weimer – Vocals and Guitars
Beth Snell – Vocals
Rich Mullins – Vocals, Guitars, Piano, and Dulcimer

Rich Mullins – Rich Mullins – 1986

Mullins started his music career while attending Cincinnati Bible College in the late 70’s forming a band called Zion (Not the heavy metal Zion). They released a demo in 1981 called “Behold The Man”. On that demo was a song “Praise to the Lord”. This is where it all took off for Mullins. Amy Grant ended up picking up the song and used it on her hit album Age To Age. As a result of Amy’s huge hit Mullins decided to start a solo career. This was his first album on his own and it was a lot more uptempo than his previous work. It was very very well received and it’s Pop sound was played heavy on Christian Radio. Unfortunately on September 19, 1997 Rich passed from this world in a automobile accident.

1 – A Few Good Men – 3:45
2 – A Place To Stand – 4:10
3 – Live Right – 4:34
4 – New Heart – 3:10
5 – Elijah – 4:37
6 – Nothing But A Miracle – 4:06
7 – Both Feet On The Ground – 3:41
8 – These Days – 3:35
9 – Prisoner – 3:27
10 – Save Me – 2:50

Art Direction, Design – Kent Hunter, Thomas Ryan Design
Bass – Gary Lunn
Drums – Keith Edwards
Engineer – J.B.
Engineer [Assistant] – Billy Whittington, Keith Penny, Spencer Chrislu
Executive-Producer – Brown Bannister, Dan Harrell, Michael Blanton
Guitar – Greg Jennings
Keyboards, Piano – Phil Naish
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Synthesizer [Synclavier] – Reed Arvin
Management – Gay Quisenberry
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Photography By – Mark Tucker
Producer – Reed Arvin
Sleeve Notes – Amy Grant
Vocals – Amy Grant, Billy Crockett, Chris Harris (2), Chris Rodriguez, Mark Heimermann

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Reunion Records
Copyright (c) – Reunion Records
Mastered At – The Mastering Lab
Recorded At – OmniSound Studios
Recorded At – Hummingbird Studio, Nashville, TN
Recorded At – Riverstone Studio
Published By – Meadowgreen Music Company
Published By – Edward Grant, Inc.
Manufactured By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Distributed By – Word Records Limited
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Made By – Allied DT

Rick Elias and the Confessions – (self titled) – 1990

Rick Elias showed up on the CCM music scene in 1990 and wow did he make an entry.

His sound filled a huge empty spot in the CCM music scene. His Springsteen meets Mellencamp sound is done perfectly and yet he makes it his own sound.

The album is a mix of strong rock riffs and excellent acoustic guitar work. The harmonica gives the album a strong Springsteen feel. If you’ve not heard this album you need to listen to it now.

Rick went on to produce artists such as Amy Grant, Aaron Neville, and Michael W. Smith. He also went on to be a founding member of Rich Mullins and a Ragamuffin Band.

Track Listing:
1 – Confession Of Love – 4:04
2 – Streets Of Rome – 4:13
3 – Miles And Miles – 3:21
4 – Before The Fall – 3:33
5 – Someday – 6:14
6 – The Word Is Love – 4:41
7 – Riot (Comin’ On) – 3:20
8 – Without One Word – 5:58
9 – Stones – 5:13
10 – Stripped – 4:00

Art Direction – Ed McTaggart
Bass – Danny O’Hanlon
Drums – Bob Sale
Engineer – Dave Jahnsen
Engineer [Additional] – Bill Baumgart
Guitar – Marc Intravaia, Rick Elias
Keyboards – Linda Elias, Rick Elias
Layout – Joe Potter
Mandolin – Marc Intravaia
Mastered By – Chris Bellman
Mixed By – Dave Jahnsen, Rick Elias
Percussion – Bob Sale, Linda Elias
Producer – Rick Elias
Vocals – Linda Elias, Marc Intravaia, Rick Elias
Written-By – Craig Krampf (tracks: 3,6), Rick Elias