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05.14.22How to Donate and Get MP3s, USBs & the ApX Library
05.14.22Influential Albums: 730-736
05.14.22ApX Top 15 x 2 from Lynchburg VA
05.14.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
05.14.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #8
05.14.22Bible-Reading Update: Exodus 25-Leviticus 27
05.14.22New Single: Late-70's Rock Classics
05.14.22New CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Soon
05.08.22Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
05.08.22Get Over 1450 Tracks for $100 This Week
05.07.22Influential Albums: 723-729
05.07.22Update on ApX Alum Tom Milnes
05.07.222 Fans Will Match Donations Thru Next Saturday
05.07.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApologetiX, Wk. 3
05.07.22Clues for 2022 Single #8
05.02.22This Week's News Bulletin
04.30.22Encouraging Emails from Four Fans
04.29.22How to Donate Online or by Mail
04.29.22Influential Albums: 716-722
04.29.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApologetiX, Wk. 2
04.28.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #7
04.26.22New Single: '79 & '84
04.22.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX: A New Bible-Study Tool
04.22.22Influential Albums: 709-715
04.19.22This Week's News Bulletin
04.14.22Influential Albums: 702-708
04.14.22ApX Easter Week Playlist
04.14.22The Story Behind on Our Upcoming CD
04.14.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #6
04.11.22New Single: 2 Gals Named Val
04.09.22Clues for 2022 Single #6
04.09.22ApX Top 11 from a Pastor in Illinois
04.09.22Influential Albums: 695-701
04.02.22NY Fan Will Match Donations Thru Next Saturday
04.02.22ApX Top 10+ from Erie PA
04.02.22New Health Update on ApX Guitarist Tom Tincha
04.02.22Influential Albums: 688-694
03.31.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #5
03.28.22New Single: 70's Rock Classics
03.26.22ApX Top 10 from Rockford IL
03.26.22ApologetiX Fan Club Now on Instagram
03.26.22Prayer Update on ApX Guitarist Tom Tincha
03.26.22Influential Albums: 681-687
03.21.22California Couple Will Match All Donations This Week
03.19.22ApX Top 10 from Toronto ON, Canada
03.18.22Influential Albums: 674-680
03.18.22New USBs: All the Music and Twice the Space
03.18.22The Stories Behind the Songs on 2022 Single #4
03.14.22New Single: Big-Time British Bands
03.12.22Influential Albums: 667-673
03.05.22We're Working to Improve Our Single Schedule
03.05.22Fan Will Match Donations Thru Next Saturday
03.05.22ApX Top 10 from Michigan
03.05.22Influential Albums: 659-666
02.28.22This Week's News Bulletin
02.26.22ApX Top 10 from Illinois
02.26.22Influential Albums: 652-658
02.26.22The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.25.22Health Update on ApX Guitarist Tom Tincha
02.25.22Post-Surgery Update on ApX Bassist Keith Haynie
02.22.22New Single: '74 & '88
02.19.22Influential Albums: 645-651
02.19.22An ApX Top 10 from Kenya
02.19.22Update on Richard "Kennedy" Sadowski
02.19.22More on Our Upcoming Single (and Others to Follow)
02.18.22Clues for 2022 Single #3
02.13.22Influential Albums: 638-644
02.13.22Health Updates on Tom Tincha & Keith Haynie
02.13.22Latest Prayer Request Updates on Three Friends
02.12.22The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.09.22New Single: 2 Fun Faves from the Early 90's
02.04.22Another ApX Top 10 from Dayton OH
02.03.22Influential Albums: 631-637
02.03.22Tom Tincha Released from Hospital, Still Needs Prayer
02.03.22New Single Delayed Until This Weekend
02.03.22A Search for Shirts and a Testimony, Too
02.03.22How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
01.29.22Influential Albums: 624-630
01.29.22ApX Radio Show Celebrates Fourth Anniversary
01.29.22ApX Friend Richard Sadowski Continues to Improve
01.29.22Tom Tincha Hospitalized with Abdominal Problems
01.28.22Clues for 2022 Single #2
01.22.22In Memoriam: Rick Servocky
01.22.22Influential Albums: 617-623
01.22.22Two Cool Christian Parody Things to Check Out
01.21.22The Stories Behind Our First Single of 2022
01.20.22Keith Haynie to Have Surgery in February
01.19.22New Single: Late 70's, Early 90's
01.15.22New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
01.15.22Influential Albums: 610-616
01.15.22Clues for 2022 Single #1
01.15.22This Week's ApX Radio Show
01.15.22Another ApX Top 10 from Fort Wayne IN
01.15.22Prayer Request Updates on Three Friends
01.10.22This Week's News Bulletin
01.07.22No New Single Till Next Weekend
01.07.22Influential Albums: 603-609
01.07.22Another ApX Top 10 from Athens GA
01.07.22Another ApX Daughter in the Studio
01.04.22This Week's News Bulletin

Influential Albums: 512-518
Fri., Oct. 8. 2021 5:48pm EDT

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020. Rather than listing the albums in order of preference or excellence, I'd been listing them in chronological order of when they influenced me, as best as I recall. We were well into 1987, and you'll start seeing a lot of Christian albums once we get to 1988.

However, in May 2021, I realized that I'd neglected to include many influential albums along the way, so I've been catching up on those for a while before we get to that momentous moment in '88 when my life and musical trajectory was forever changed. You'll still see plenty of secular albums after that, but music was never the same for me after.

512. Clouds Joni Mitchell
Released in 1969, Joni Mitchell's second album takes it title from a line in its most famous song, "Both Sides, Now," which had already been a Top 10 hit for Judy Collins the previous year, although Joni is the one who wrote it. The second-most famous song on Clouds is "Chelsea Morning," which Collins also covered and took to #79 pop and #25 adult contemporary. I prefer Judy's version of "Both Sides, Now" but Joni's version of "Chelsea Morning." Although I eventually bought my own copy of Clouds on CD, my sister Gayle owned the record when I was growing up, and I thought the self-portrait Mitchell painted even looked a bit like Gayle. The other song I remember most from back then was "Songs to Aging Children Come," with its spooky-sounding, chromatic harmonies. "Roses Blue" is a bit creepy, too, not just for its music but also its subject matted — a woman named Rose who has immersed herself in the occult and distanced herself from friends, including the singer herself. Happier-sounding tunes include "I Don't Know Where I Stand" and "That Song About the Midway." Although Mitchell would develop a more polished sound on subsequent releases, her prodigious songwriting talent was already in full view. Gayle has told me that, in her personal opinion, Joni is the greatest songwriter ever, and my sister is not prone to hyperbole. I don't know for sure which person I'd put at the top of my list, but I'd definitely have Joni in the upper echelon.

513. Funny Girl The Original Soundtrack Recording
Released in 1968, the movie Funny Girl starred Barbra Streisand, reprising the role she'd made famous four years earlier in the Broadway musical of the same name, which had already generated a #5 hit for Streisand, "People." I'm not sure whether it was my mother or my sisters who bought this soundtrack album, but it was in our family's record collection, and I vividly remember both the front and back covers. I associate the music from the show — and Streisand in general — with my sister Kris, who became quite an actress herself in high school and college. In addition to "People," the most memorable songs for me were "I'm the Greatest Star," "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You," and "Don't Rain on My Parade" We also owned the soundtracks to Streisand's next two movies, Hello Dolly! (1969) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970). Furthermore, we had two of her hits on 45, "Stoney End" (#6 in 1971) and "The Way We Were" (#1 in 1974).

514. Straight Shooter Bad Company
When I was growing up, our next-door neighbor Mrs. Davis' youngest brother, David Zeller, used to come visit occasionally from Kentucky. He was a year older than I, and I always enjoyed his stays in Greensburg PA. Dave was the first person I ever met from the Bluegrass State and the first friend I ever had with a genuine southern accent. He eventually spent his entire senior year of high school in Greensburg, living in his sister's basement. This was one of two records I remember him owning. At the time, the only track I was familiar with was the #10 hit "Feel Like Makin' Love," although I might have heard (or at least heard of) the album-rock classic "Shooting Star," too. A few years later, I tried out for a band in Greensburg while I was in college, and that's the first time I heard "Good Lovin' Gone Bad." They wanted me to sing it as part of my audition, but I didn't know it, so the drummer sang it instead. I never got called back by that band (I think they stuck with their drummer as singer), but it was still worth it to learn that fantastic song. Released in 1975, the triple-platinum Straight Shooter was Bad Company's second album. "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" was actually the first single, before "Feel Like Makin' Love," and it went to #36 on the pop charts. I eventually bought a used copy of Straight Shooter on cassette years later at Jerry's Records in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Even though I liked Bad Company's hits, I was surprised at how many great songs were on this album. In fact, I don't think there's a bad tune on it. Some of my favorite non-hits were "Deal with the Preacher," "Wild Fire Woman," "Call on Me," and "Weep No More." ApologetiX has spoofed "Feel Like Makin' Love" three times and "Shooting Star" twice.

515. On the Border The Eagles
This was the other album I remember Dave Zeller owning. I didn't think the cover artwork was very interesting, so I greatly underestimated the contents, even though I already knew and liked the opening and closing tracks, "Already Gone" and "Best of My Love." Released in 1974, On the Border was The Eagles' third album and a deliberate effort by the band to move away from the country side of their music and focus more on the rock side. I didn't really give it a good listen until many years later, but when I did, I was impressed. "Already Gone" was the first single and went to #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. ApologetiX spoofed that song a couple of times in our early days. "Best of My Love" was the third single and became the first of The Eagles' five #1 hits. The second single, "James Dean," only went to #77 but still gets some airplay on classic-rock stations. It's a great piece of songwriting, courtesy of Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne, the same two guys who had written The Eagles debut hit, "Take It Easy," two years earlier. As for the other songs on On the Border, my church choir director in college liked "Ol' 55," but my favorites included "You Never Cry Like a Lover," "Midnight Flyer," and the title track.

516. At the Hop (A Collection of Classic Oldies) Vol. 2 Various Artists
Here's another cassette I bought in college in order to stock up on #1 hits from the early days of rock and roll. Apparently, this was a double album, but my cassette only had half of it. Nevertheless, six of the 13 songs on that half went to #1, and they're all classics: "At the Hop" (Danny and the Juniors), "Honeycomb" (Jimmy Rodgers), "Young Love" (Sonny James), "Stagger Lee" (Lloyd Price), "Little Star" (The Elegants), and "April Love" (Pat Boone). As far as the other songs go, my favorite was the #7 hit "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp") by Barry Mann. You don't want to confuse Barry Mann with Barry Manilow, but Mr. Mann has actually co-written more hits than Mr. Manilow — almost a hundred chart hits (98, to be exact), including selections as diverse as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (The Righteous Brothers), "On Broadway" (The Drifters), "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (The Animals), "Kicks" (Paul Revere and the Raiders), "Sometimes When We Touch" (Dan Hill), "Here You Come Again" (Dolly Parton), and "Somewhere Out There" (Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram). For a complete track listing, go to: https://www.discogs.com/Various-At-The-Hop-A-Collection-Of-Classic-Oldies/release/3126455

517. Nuggets Volume Five, Pop Part III Various Artists
I picked up a used copy this LP mainly because it was the only place I knew of where I could find these three songs I'd read about but had never heard: "Pandora's Golden Heebie Geebies" (The only Top 40 hit by The Association not to make it onto their Greatest Hits album), "Tomorrow" (the #23 hit that kept Strawberry Alarm Clock from being a one-hit wonder after "Incense and Peppermints"), and "Sit Down I Think I Love You" (The Mojo Men's Top 40 cover version of one of my favorite Buffalo Springfield songs). Four of the 14 tracks were old favorites — "Bend Me, Shape Me" (The American Breed), "You're The One" (The Vogues), "She Is a Still a Mystery" (Lovin' Spoonful), and "Where Were You When I Needed You" (The Grass Roots) — so that made this collection a safe selection. As for the other artists on this album, I was certainly interested in hearing more from The Knickerbockers and The Electric Prunes, since I knew their biggest hits. I can't decide what I like more about tracks #4 and 14 — the titles ("Got a Girl Named Wilma" and "P.S. Call Me Lulu") or the artists' names (Hackamore Brick and Primrose Circus). Here's a complete track listing: https://www.discogs.com/Various-Nuggets-Volume-Five-Pop-Part-III/master/646019

518. Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen
Released in 1978, Darkness on the Edge of Town was Springsteen's fourth album but his first since 1975's Born to Run, because of a long legal battle with his former manager. I seem to remember hearing this album being played on the sound system at Rocket Records when it was still fairly new ("Adam Raised a Cain" somes to mind), and I'm sure Tom Dellaquila had it playing in my presence in college, but I didn't actively listen to it till I borrowed my co-worker Drew Vosefski's copy in the summer of 1984. The first single, "Prove It All Night," became Springsteen's second Top 40 hit, but my jam was the second single, "Badlands," which came up just short (#42). My other favorite was "Candy's Room," followed by "Promised Land" and the title track. What if Springsteen had been from New Hampshire instead of New Jersey? He could have released Dartmouth on the Edge of Town.

Note: Just because the albums on my list influenced me back then doesn't mean I give them all a blanket endorsement now. I started actively listening to music in the early 70's and didn't become a born-again Christian until early '88. However, I hope you'll see (as I do) how God's hand was at work behind the scenes from the start, preparing me for the work I believe He intended for me to do.