Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums

What's the story behind Jesus Christ Morningstar?

Although it wasn't released until December 1998, ApologetiX actually began working the "Jesus Christ Morningstar" project back in 1995, at the same time we started the "Ticked" project. Back then, the CD that would eventually become "Morningstar" was called "Back Again" at the suggestion of our bassist, Andy Sparks, since it would refer to Christ's resurrection and the fact that ApologetiX had returned with a new album.

A year or so later, the working title changed to "Christology" (pronounced Chris-TOL-ology rather than CHRIST-ology), when lead singer/lyricist J. Jackson discovered that the word meant "of the nature and work of Christ," a perfect fit for the CD's theme and a play on a recent Pearl Jam album at the time, "Vitalogy." That remained the title until 1998, when J. started worrying that the title might be too obscure or hard to pronounce. He told lead guitarist/producer that since the album was a chronological look at the life of Christ, it might be cool to spoof the title of "Jesus Christ Superstar." However, "Jesus Christ Rockstar," didn't quite seem to cut it. After a little thought, Karl suggested "Jesus Christ Morningstar," and the rest is history.

"Jesus Christ Morningstar" has its roots in the '60's and '70s.  That's where most of its music came from, and that's when "Jesus Christ Superstar" came out.  For many, "Superstar" was an introduction to Christian rock or even to the Gospel itself.  Sure, the lyrics took some liberties with the Bible, but God still used it draw people to Christ.
But Jesus was so much more than just a superstar.  He called Himself many things -- the Son of Man, the Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Life -- but the last name He uses in the Bible is "the Morning Star" (Revelation 22:16).

"Superstar" focused on the humanity of Christ.  "Morningstar" focuses on His divinity.  "Superstar" took us to the crucifixion.  "Morningstar" takes us further ... to the resurrection, the ascension, Pentecost and beyond.  "Superstar" asks Jesus, "Do you think you're who they say you are"  "Morningstar" asks the listener, "Do you think He's who He said He was?"

Of course, we could only fit 74 minutes of music on a CD in 1998.  If all the things that Jesus did were described, I suppose all the CDs in the world couldn't contain them!  But we chose some main points and tried to imagine them begin told from the perspective of the people who knew Him best -- His friends and disciples.  It is their humanity that we primarily focus on in "Morningstar" -- and that's appropriate, because it was humanity in general that was the focus of Jesus' mission.

For a complete track listing, see the FAQ titled "What's on 'Jesus Christ Morningstar.'"