The is a journey through the history of Christian Music as I count down and review some of the greatest Christian Music in its history. The countdown of the Top 50 is just the beginning…

20 responses to this post.

  1. We just ran a piece on Mark Heard. Thought you might be interested.



  2. Posted by Greg McVeigh on February 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you so much for putting this list together. Late, late last night I received an email from none other than Mr. 29 (Rick Elias) on your top Christian album list. I knew it was one of the best twenty plus years ago. Thanks also for the nod to Ten Stories and Blink. I was touring with Rick during the time that they were finalizing Ten Stories. I was his crew. Some of the best times of my life. I recently spent some time with Rick on Martha’s Vineyard where he was teaching a song writing class at the Contemporary Music Center. We came up with a plan for going back to live shows again and it’s going to be great. The world needs to hear his music.
    Keep up the great work.


  3. Posted by steve on March 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks so much for this list. I’ve enjoyed it immensely and have shared it with others. Although my own personal list may have differed in order, I agree with the great majority of your choices. Each day as I’d read your newest post, I usually went back and started listening to these artists again. It’s amazing the way these tunes can bring me back to a different time in my life.



  4. Thank you for not only for the list, but also the comprehensive background information that was presented. As one who bought 40% of these albums during thier original release, this has been a great trip down memory lane. Although not fully in agreement with all the listings, you certianly have backed up your reasonings. Very notable exclusions, Amy Grant, Bob Bennett, Paul Clark all having very influencial albums in the CCM realm. And having the 77’s with the #2 position and no Phil Keaggy except in a compilation album, well, you will need to do alot more convincing. Thanx again – and God’s blessings


  5. Wow, the most comprehensive reviews that go far deeper than just the top 50 albums. Man you have researched so well that I have to say thanks. As a record label owner, it just shows how important the little things can become. The slightest detail about time spent in studios may seem insignificant at the time but when they have passed away like Mr Norman or Mr Heard, these become gems that we devour.

    Well done!


  6. Great blog! Having listened primarily to Christian music as an adolescent in the 90’s, I am familiar with many of the albums you list here. Kudos for ranking the 77s so high (#2)!

    I look forward to taking a closer look at your top 50 list as I have time. Any chance you could post a complete list of the top 50 (with links to each one), or implement a way to more-easily browse and navigate the list?


  7. Hi everyone,

    If you love CCM hits from the 70’s and 80’s, and some from the 90’s and today, come join us as we play your favorite pop-rock Christian music such as Larry Norman, Ideola, Rez Band, Servant, ATF, Switchfoot, Petra, Paul Clark, Jerusalem, Mylon LeFevre & Broken Heart, Joe English, and hundreds of artists and bands that defined what Christian music is today, and we broadcast in CD quality at http://www.wow.fm. Enough said, come for a visit and then leave us some feedback!


    Lee Bartlett
    Rockin’ The World!


  8. Hi low5point,

    I’m really enjoying your blog (and learning quite a bit about Christian music to boot!). I had some questions that I’m hoping you or your readers might be able to shed some light on. But seeing that you and I both grew up in the OC, you may be the best source…..

    I grew up around Christian music – I went to elementary school with kids whose parents were Benny Hester, Jay Truax, and Tommy Coomes. In 1983 or 1984 my brother took me to the first concert that made a major impact on me – Undercover at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I saw Leslie Phillips as an opening act there around that time, but I can’t remember whether she opened for Undercover or for Benny Hester?

    Okay, here comes the geeky part of my note. I’m actually trying to assemble a real timeline of the Christain bands that I saw in Orange County from 1983-1986. I’m wondering if you or any of your readers might have the actual dates for any of the following:

    Undercover – any / all performances at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa from 1983-1986
    Leslie Phillips – any / all performances at Calvary Chapel in 1983-1984
    Benny Hester – any / all performances at Calvary Chapel in 1983-1984
    Steve Taylor – a show at a skate rink somewhere in OC between 1983-1985?
    Altar Boys – performances between 1984-1987 at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, at a “club” called The Door in OC, and at Woodbridge church in Irvine
    Undercover (with Sim) – a show around 1986-1987 at Woodbridge church in Irvine
    Common Bond – a show at the Coach House between 1986-1989
    The Call – 1988 show at the Coach House

    I don’t know if you or anyone else has actually kept track of concert dates, but it seems like someone putting together an OC Christian rock concert timeline would be a really cool idea!

    Thanks for any info that you (or anyone else) can provide!


  9. Not that this bit of trivia will help with your timeline, but Rick Elias opened for The Call at the Coach House and I’m pretty sure it was in 1988. The Call loved Rick’s band because (keep this trick in mind if you ever find yourself in an opening act slot) the drummer was downstage in the same line as Rick and the guitar players. I told you this was trivial!


  10. Posted by MattG on November 27, 2010 at 1:46 am

    All I can say is thank you for this blog. The order the albums appear isn’t even really the point for me. It’s the information and insight you offer. Growing up, I would scrape every penny I could find together to buy new music as often as I could. When I discovered “Christian” music, I would read about and search for anything and everything I could find. I grew up in Baltimore, MD. So, we would have to search for the more alternative/rock/New Wave/etc. albums. Most of the Christian bookstores had the more mainstream stuff. But, to be honest, the “hunt” is actually a big part of the great memories. As an adult, I sometimes feel like I have a different experience than many of my friends in terms of music, etc. But, than I read a blog like this and I realize what a great musical life I have experienced. Each album conjures very specific feelings and thoughts. God I miss those days.

    Again, thanks.


  11. Posted by Rick Giovanetto on February 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I have loved reading through your thoughts and views of CCM over the years. Interested to see some of my rare faves show up – Zionic Bonds – Romeo Unchained – IF You Can’t Shout Saved – David Edwards. It would be great to see someone make this music available (amazon store maybe?) You seem like the guy. I can’t find Zionic Bonds on CD, but I do have a copy of Saved on CD. Good music, good memories. By the way, I was at the infamous “Jesus Jam” in Chicago. I haven’t seen Randal Waller mentioned on either blog – but he brought the house down at Jesus Jam.

    Thanks, Rick


  12. Posted by Allan Binford on February 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I want to put in a suggestion for Malcom and Alwyns “Fools Wisdom” someplace in the list. I cut my teeth on Christian music back in 1974 with this one. I’m sure I wore it out.


  13. Malcom & Alwyn and many other Christian hits from the 70’s and 80’s can be heard on our radio station in cd quality. http://www.wow.fm. Come checkout this outreach radio station.


  14. Posted by Blake Schwendimann on October 16, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Who in Orange County runs this blog? I noticed someone worked at the Pink Lady! Loved that place. Email me with any questions about this show. It’s FREE

    Mike Roe & Derri Daughtery will be in Concert at St. Matthew’s in Newport Oct 29th

    Please RSVP on Facebook


  15. I deeply respect your list, and agree with most of your selections. I really thought that “The Way’s” first album, with the statues on the front, would have made this list somewhere. Being one of Christian’s earliest Rock and Roll bands, “The Way” paved the way, no pun intended, for a lot of, later, more radical Christians bands. Of coarse, being in the band may be clouding my judgement. “The Way” shared the stage with Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Andrae Crouch, Paul Stookey, Love Song, The Archers, Sweet Comfort, Barry McGuire, Petra, Children of the Day, Blessed Hope, Debby Kerner, Mustard Seed Faith, Aslan, Eric Nelson, Liberation Suite, Karen Lafferty, Paul Clark, Country Faith, Randy Mathews, Good News, Chuck Girard, and Agape. And probably more that I can’t remember right now.


  16. Posted by Allan Binford on December 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hey Dana,
    You are right on. My friends and i still enjoy listening to both of your albums. We caught one of the shows from your last tour and I recall fondly listening to the second more rocky album with glee. In those days the albums came out about 2 a month at the Christian book store and we bought pretty much everything. Its a shame the early bands get little or no recognition for what you did for modern Christian music. Hey Love Song did a reunion tour – how about The Way!!


  17. I love the alter boys.they are one of the greatest Christian rock bands in my book. It was in your face no holds bar Christian music.they did not care about what others said .they played GODLY music ,and were not ashame of it. I am 56 years old and still love their music.Todays Christian bands need to take notes. I don’t know the Boys are doing today, But GOD BLESS you


  18. Posted by SouthernMail on April 19, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Wow. I’m really enjoying reading through sone of your blog. We’re on the same page regarding The Call. So nice that you got to meet & know Michael Been some. Always one of my favourite rock bands, christian or otherwise.
    He was the most passionate singer I’ve ever heard.


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