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
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.
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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 – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/
Tracklist 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
Credits 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
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
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
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 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.
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