The Greatest Christian Albums of All Time

This site is meant to be fun!

I have been involved in Christian music since the early 1970’s as a fan, retailer, record rep, radio guy and promotions support. I have nearly 4,000 Christian albums (CD, cassette, LP, digital and even 8-track) and have been involved exclusively in the Christian Music industry for 24 of my 26 years in the work force.

The site is dedicated to the best Christian albums of all time, including many that the reader may have never heard of. Many of the greatest we overlooked by a biased retail and radio industry, especially in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Despite limited budgets many artists created impressive and lasting projects.

But what makes the lists that are to follow the best?

I have decided to use an obviously very subjective system to determine this…me! But I do have my reasons. Records that stand the test of time musically and lyrically are the most prevalent. But other releases are listed because of their sheer impact on the industry. Many records of the 70’s and 80’s broke molds, both musically and lyrically, and they are to be celebrated here.

I plan on starting the site with a “must own” Top 50. This will not be the collection of necessarily the greatest, most famous or most popular albums in the history of Christian Music, but rather a fine selection of ground breaking, important and unique projects that deserve to be included in anyone’s collection that seriously wants to understand the Christian Music industry.

But this list ans the lists to follow will exclude some amazing records. Why? I was never much into rap, hip hop or Black Gospel and feel completely unqualified to promote, review or critique those formats. I hate country music and so a very limited number (possibly zero) will be represented. There is also a higher number of rock, new wave, alternative and folk releases then others simply because of the innate bias of the author. But it should be noted that those styles broke barriers, made strides musically, sonically and lyrically that pop and inspirational music was never able to follow.

Finally, there is a limited number of releases from the current decade as many albums released over the last several years have not yet proven to last the test of time and have not been able to break down barriers as so many, if not all of, the barriers have already been destroyed. This is especially true of the Top 50, but the following posts will contain many more recent releases that are worth discovering and owning.

So, let the Top 50 begin!

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Glen Farrell on February 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    David,

    Great to see this. I look forward to seeing the next batch.

    Glen Farrell

    Reply

  2. Posted by Dave Haddock on February 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Dave:

    I always enjoy this type of thing and discussing Christian music…especially classics from yesteryear. I now have digitized well over 600 classic Christian albums from the past. Also bought many other CD reissues like Dave Edwards double disc of Get The Picture/self titled and The Archers Fresh Surrender to name a couple. Hope you are doing well my friend.

    Reply

  3. Posted by notmanbig on February 8, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Hello! I love the idea of this blog and I am looking forward to reading your reviews and responding to them. I have been a fan/follower/arm-chair historian of ccm for 25 years and love the discussion.

    Reply

  4. Posted by notmanbig on February 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    One question I have is what you define as a “Christian” album. Does it need to have been released on a “Christian” label? Do the majority of the band members (or primary band member) need to profess Christ? Do the lyrics need to mention God or aspects of the Christian life? Are you going to follow CCM magazines rubric when they did their top 100 lists, that the album needed to be the type of album they would review in their magazine? For me, it’s more of a gut-check thing. I’d pick albums that have been meaningful to me in a spiritual way that I can discern were intended to be as such. Kind of a murky definition, I understand, but it works for me! What do you think?

    Reply

    • Posted by low5point on February 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      You will see, but with the inclusions of ATF and The Alarm I hope the answer becomes a little more clearer.

      Reply

  5. Posted by def on April 3, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Nice list overall. A few mellow albums were listed and not enough metal ones (for my taste), but it seems pretty good. I really enjoyed Philadelphia and Leviticus as well as some of the other pounding stuff from that era (Daniel Band, Barnabas, etc.). I didn’t see Vengeance Rising in the list given their impact, but the sad story of Roger certainly doesn’t help there.

    Reply

  6. Where’s Darrell Mansfield’s “Get Ready?” Although it was recorded on the Polydor label, I thought it was a great leap for Christian rock back in the day.

    Reply

  7. Posted by AMH on November 25, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Just ran across this list/ blog…what about Richie Furay’s “I’ve Got a Reason”?

    Reply

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