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05.16.22New CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Soon
05.16.22New USBs in Stock, New CD BOGO Ends Soon
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
05.08.22Get 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

Influential Albums: 582-588
Sat., Dec. 18. 2021 3:01pm EST

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.

582. 1999 - Prince
Released in October 1982, 1999 was Prince's fifth studio album, but I'd never heard of him before that ... even though he'd already had a million-selling #11 hit with "I Wanna Be Your Lover" in the winter of 1979-80 and had opened some shows for The Rolling Stones in '81. My first exposure to Prince was during my freshman year in college; my roommate, Kevin, liked the song "1999" and played it often. That single originally peaked at #44 when it came out in October '82 (that's when he started playing it) but then went to #12 after it was re-released in June '83 to capitalize on the success of the album's second single, "Little Red Corvette," which went to #6 in May '83. As often happens, the third single from the album was my favorite. In this case, that song was "Delirious," which went to #8 in October '83. I still remember the hand-jive motions we used to do it at parties. There was even a fourth single, the infectious "Let's Pretend We're Married," but it wasn't as successful, stalling at #52 in January '84. Little did we know the heights the purple one would attain later that year. Interestingly, the first four songs on this two-record set (all three tracks on side one, and the first track on side two) were also the four songs released as A-sides of the singles, and they were released in the same order chronologically as they are sequenced on the album.

583. Grace Under Pressure - Rush
Released in 1984, Grace Under Pressure was Rush's 10th studio album. I can't remember where I got my copy, but it was used. The band was in full synthesizer mode for this one, and because of that, I thought a lot of the songs kind of blended and blurred together. The main songs that have stuck with me are "Distant Early Warning," "The Body Electric," and "Kid Gloves." I was surprised to discover that "The Body Electric" actually was released as a single (the album's only single) and almost made the Billboard Hot 100, bubbling under at #105 (the same position as the previous album's second single, "Subdivisions") and went to #56 on the U.K. charts. It was about an escaped android in distress in the desert, a concept I found difficult to take very seriously, but I thought it was pretty catchy nonetheless. The big album cut on the rock stations was "Distant Early Warning," which went to #3 on the rock chart. Three other songs hit that chart: "Red Sector A" (#21), the aforementioned "Body Electric" (#23), and "Between the Wheels" (#39).

584. More Greatest Hits of The Monkees - The Monkees
Released in 1982 on Arista Records, More Greatest Hits of The Monkees included three Top 40 hits that should have been on Arista's 1976 Greatest Hits compilation: "Valleri" (#3), "Words" (#11), and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (#39). What's more, it contained the song "Randy Scouse Git," which was never released as a single in the States but became a #2 U.K. hit, though it was renamed "Alternate Title" there. I bought More Greatest Hits of The Monkees at Greengate Mall in Greensburg during Christmas break in 1984-85. I already had all of the songs in one place or another, but this collection featured better recordings of them; the original Monkees albums I owned were well worn. Eleven of the 12 tracks on it were also on the 40-track Australian double-cassette Monkeemania, which I'd purchased at about the same time, but The Monkees' master tapes were unavailable in Australia when that compilation was assembled, so the sound quality on More Greatest Hits of The Monkees was superior ... although there were 28 fewer tracks. It's a great collection and includes some of my favorite Monkees songs — in addition to those already mentioned — "Take a Giant Step," "Saturday's Child," "Sometime in the Morning," "Mary, Mary," "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow," "You Just May Be the One," "For Pete's Sake," and "Cuddly Toy." Not a bad banana in the bunch!

585. Monkee Business - The Monkees
I picked up this Monkees rarities compilation album in the winter of '84-85, too, but at Greensburg's other, newer mall — Westmoreland. It was available as a picture disc, although I bought it on cassette, which is OK, because I think I got a double-deck boombox for Christmas that year. Like More Greatest Hits of The Monkees, there wasn't much in the way of material I didn't already have, but it was nice to get clean recordings of the songs. Both of those albums were released in 1982 and had 12 tracks, but there was no overlap in song selection. This collection was put together by the folks at Rhino Records, who took a lot of care with their Monkees stuff. Monkee Business contained a very different version of the song "She Hangs Out" than the one that appeared on their 1967 album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. It was originally slated to be a Canadian single, and I thought it blew the doors off the better-known version. Monkee Business also had "It's Nice to Be with You," the flip side of "D.W. Washburn," The Monkees' last Top 40 hit in their original incarnation, which is on this album, too. "D.W. Washburn" went to #19, "It's Nice to Be with You" went to #51. Don't confuse it with "Nice to Be With You" — Gallery's #4 hit from 1972 — which is a totally different, vastly superior song (unless you had a crush on Davy Jones). In addition, Monkee Business also had the single versions of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (#3) and "Porpoise Song" (#62) which had noticeable differences from the album versions, so I appreciated them a lot. Moreover, it had two of my other favorite Monkees B-sides, "Someday Man" (#81) and "Goin' Down." I had those already, but so what? And "Goin' Down" was an alternate mono mix. All those plus reversed-channel mixes of two other favorites, "Star Collector' and "What Am I Doin' Hangin' Round." Furthermore, there was the delightful "Tema Dei Monkees." I had that on Monkeemania already, but you just can't own too many recordings of Micky singing the lyrics to "Theme from The Monkees" in Italian.

586. Blue Joni Mitchell
I bought this album for my sister Gayle while I was in college. Years later, I got my own copy. I listened to it a lot while shoveling snow one particularly harsh winter. Released in 1971, Blue was Joni Mitchell's fourth LP and is generally regarded as her best. In fact, many critics and notable publications have hailed it as one of the greatest albums of all time. I'm partial to Court and Spark, but I can understand why they feel that way, and this is my second favorite. That lady sure knows how to write! The main song I associate on this album with my sister is "A Case of You," but my top tracks are "All I Want," "This Flight Tonight" (later covered by Nazareth, who had a #11 U.K. hit with it), and "Carey," which went to #93 when released as a single. I also like "My Old Man," "California," and "River," a song you'd recognize if you're a fan of the movie Almost Famous.

587. Hotel California - Eagles
Released in December 1976, Hotel California was the fifth Eagles studio album and went to #1 for eight weeks. It's also the seventh best-selling album of all time, with 42 million copies sold (32.5 certified). Unfortunately, that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, because the band's previous album, Their Greatest Hits 1971-75, sold even more — 44 million copies (41.2 certified). A couple of my neighborhood friends had copies in their house. I didn't buy my own copy until many years later. Hotel California produced three hit singles — the first three tracks on side one — and ApologetiX has spoofed two of them twice. "New Kid in Town" and the title track both went to #1, and "Life in the Fast Lane" went to #11. I'm kind of burned out on those three tunes, but I really like the rest of the album. Two other tracks you'll still hear on rock radio are "Victim of Love" (perhaps the hardest The Eagles ever rocked) and "The Last Resort," a well-crafted, beautifully written epic, even if I don't agree with everything it has to say. Although Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and, to a lesser extent, Don Felder got most of the attention on this album, the two songs by Joe Walsh (Pretty Maids All in Row) and Randy Meisner ("Try and Love Again") are worthy additions to the project. The other Henley-Frey composition, "Wasted Time," is good, too.

588. Control - Janet Jackson
The first five singles off this 1986 album did something crazy: Each one peaked at a different spot on the Top 5: "What Have You Done for Me Lately" (#4), "Nasty" (#3), "When I Think of You" (#1), "Control" (#5), and "Let's Wait Awhile" (#2). As if that weren't enough, a sixth single, "The Pleasure Principle," went to #14. Five of those six singles also went to #1 on the R&B chart. The only one that didn't, "When I Think of You," went to #3. That song was my favorite of the batch, even though it's probably one of the last songs people remember when they think of Janet. Nevertheless, it became her first #1 hit. But she was only getting started. Her 1989 follow-up album, Rhythm Nation 1814, became the first and only album in history to contain seven Top 5 hits ... including four #1's, two #2's, and one #4. Control went to #1 on the album chart and sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Rhythm Nation 1814 also went to #1 and sold 12 million. The album after that, 1993's Janet (a.k.a. janet.), also went to #1 and sold 14 million, but it was a double album, which gets counted as two units, so it was actually 7 million copies each of two discs. But it did include six more Top 10 hits. My poor oldest daughter, Janna, has been mistakenly called Janet countless times, because when you say "Janna Jackson," it sounds almost identical to "Janet Jackson." I'd love to have her sing an ApologetiX spoof of Janet Jackson someday.

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.