Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of January 31, 2023

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12.08.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #23
12.08.22ApologetiX Christmas Playlist + Two More on the Way
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12.05.22New Single: '82 & '07
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11.10.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #21
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10.19.22Clues for 2022 Single #20
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10.14.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #19
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10.10.22New Single Is Our 200th Overall
10.08.22ApologetiX Top 10 from San Antonio TX
10.08.22Influential Albums: 877-883
10.08.22Rock Thru The Bible with ApX: Proverbs, Pt. 1
10.08.22Clues for 2022 Single #19
09.30.2210 Testimonies from 8 States (and 2 Provinces)
09.29.22Influential Albums: 870-876 (and 856-862)
09.28.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #18
09.28.22Rock Thru The Bible with ApX: Psalms Project Pt. 2
09.26.22ApX Needs Help and Prayer
09.26.22New Single: A Couple '80s #1 Hits
09.24.22Rock Thru The Bible with ApX: The Psalms Project
09.23.22Only 10 Anniversary Challenge Coins Left

Influential Albums: 877-883
Sat., Oct. 8. 2022 6:16pm 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.

877. Greatest Hits - The Archies
After The Monkees wrested creative control away from hit-making guru Don Kirshner, he found another television pop group to mastermind — The Archies. It appears that Archie (lead guitar/vocals), Jughead (drums), Betty (vocals/percussion), Veronica (keyboards/vocals), and even Reggie (bass) were easier to work with than Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork. They didn't have quite as many hits, but they still did all right for a bunch of cartoon characters. Released in the fall of 1970, The Archies Greatest Hits contained every one their Hot 100 hits: "Sugar, Sugar" (#1 for four weeks, selling six million copies); "Jingle Jangle" (#10, selling one million copies); "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" (#22); "Who's Your Baby?" (#40); "Feeling So Good (S.k.o.o.b.y.-D.o.o.)" (#53); and "Sunshine" (#57). In case you're wondering, "Feeling So Good (S.k.o.o.b.y.-D.o.o.)" is about a girl and has nothing to do with the iconic dog "Scooby-Doo." In fact, The Archies' song came out as a single in late 1968, and the Hanna-Barbara cartoon canine didn't appear until '69. In real life, The Archies' lead vocals were sung by Ron Dante, who also sang lead on "Tracy" by The Cuff Links (#9) and later produced Barry Manilow's first nine studio albums. Female vocals on "Sugar, Sugar" were sung by Toni Wine, who also sang female vocals on "Knock Three Times" by Dawn (#1), "It Hurts to Be in Love" by Gene Pitney (#7), "Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson (#5). Moreover, she co-wrote Dawn's first hit, "Candida" (#3), and "A Groovy Kind of Love" by The Mindbenders (#2) and Phil Collins (#1). As if all that weren't enough, she was one of the ladies singing "meow, meow, meow, meow" on the Meow Mix Cat Food commercials. Wine was succeeded on later Archies records by Donna Marie. My old college roommate Tom Dellaquila was the first person I ever knew who admitted to owning records by The Archies, and he expanded my awareness of them beyond "Sugar, Sugar." Shockingly, ApologetiX bassist and diehard metalhead Keith Haynie also acknowledges having been a fan back in the day. I used to watch the cartoons on T.V. and also read the comic books occasionally when I ran out of Marvel and D.C. titles.

878. Captured Live at the Forum - Three Dog Night
Released in October 1969, Captured Live at the Forum was recorded in Los Angeles, where Three Dog Night got their start. At the time of this recording, they were an up-and-coming group opening for Steppenwolf. Captured Live at the Forum was Three Dog Night's third LP and would become their second-highest charting (#6) overall with the second-longest chart run, spending 72 weeks on the Billboard album chart. With that being said, the recording itself isn't exactly epic, but it's a nice historical document. One of the singers makes a humorous comment early on that the sound would better for the people in the back if they'd spent a little extra and gotten the $5.50 seats! And Cory Wells has some fun with the last number. Other than that, the show is pretty straightforward and features all five of their chart hits up till that point: "Nobody" (#116), "Try a Little Tenderness" (#29), "One" (#5), "Easy to Be Hard" (#4), and "Eli's Coming" (#10). Interestingly, it opens with cover versions of two Traffic songs, "Heaven Is in Your Mind" and "Feelin' Alright," which Three Dog Night had covered (excellently) on their first two LPs. There are two other covers — Cilla Black's "It's for You" (written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and The Band's "Chest Fever" — both of which had already appeared as studio recordings on Three Dog Night's debut album. I got my copy of Captured Live at the Forum second-hand from my brother-in-law Dan in 1982. Two years later, I got to see Three Dog Night live in Washington DC on July 4, 1984. I was a long distance away, but at least I got to see them while all three of the original singers were still with them. ApologetiX spoofed "Eli's Coming" in 2021.

879. The Original Little Richard Recordings - Little Richard
Richard Penniman (a.k.a. "Little Richard") has been called "the architect of rock and roll" and was part of the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Released in 1977, The Original Little Richard Recordings was a double album featuring 20 tracks, including his three #1 R&B hits: "Long Tall Sally" (#6 pop), "Rip It Up" (#17 pop), and "Lucille" (#21 pop). It also featured all four of his #2 R&B hits: "Tutti-Frutti" (#17 pop), "Slippin' and Slidin'" (#33 pop), "Keep A-Knockin'" (#8 pop), and "Jenny, Jenny" (#10 pop). And you know it had to have "Good Golly, Miss Molly" (#4 R&B, #10 pop). All six of his other Top 10 R&B hits were also on The Original Little Richard Recordings: "Send Me Some Lovin" (#3 R&B, #54 pop), "Miss Ann" (#6 R&B, #56 pop), "The Girl Can't Help It" (#7 R&B, #49 pop), "Heeby-Jeebies" (#7 R&B only), "Ready Teddy" (#8 R&B, #44 pop), and "She's Got It" (#9 R&B only). Little Richard came within a whisker of having one last Top 40 hit in 1986 with "Great Gosh A'Mighty! (It's a Matter of Time)" (#42) from the movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills. Speaking of close calls, the rest of the guys in ApologetiX met Little Richard at a restaurant once while we were out on the road in the early 2000's. I was with my family, so I missed it.

880. The Best of Manfred Mann - Manfred Mann
The British band Manfred Mann was named after their South African keyboardist, whose actual name was Michael Lubowitz. They had many more U.K. hits than U.S. hits, but they had some doozies stateside, including "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (#1 U.S. & U.K.), "Sha La La" (#12 U.S., #3 U.K.), "Pretty Flamingo" (#29 U.S., #1 U.K.), and "Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)" (#10 U.S., #1 U.K.). My sisters had the "Mighty Quinn" single, and it was one of my favorite 45's. I first heard "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" as part of the #1 hits medley and later got my own copy on an album called British Rock, which I mentioned much earlier on this list. I heard Bruce Springsteen rave about "Pretty Flamingo" at one of his concerts I attended on the Born in the U.S.A. tour, and it is indeed a great, touching song. Released in 1974, The Best of Manfred Mann has all four of their U.S. Top 40 hits, plus their two other U.S. Hot 100 hits, "Come Tomorrow" (#50 U.S., #4 U.K.) and "Fox on the Run" (#97 U.S., #5 U.K.) That last one, released in 1968, is an entirely different tune than Sweet's big hit from the '70s, even though they share the same title. Sweet's fox was a girl, but Manfred Mann's is a guy — the singer himself. This compilation also includes the incredibly charming "My Name Is Jack" (#104 U.S., #8 U.K.), the clever "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" (#2 U.K.), the super-catchy "5-4-3-2-1" (#5 U.K.), and "Oh No, Not My Baby" (#11 U.K.), which I first heard on a Rod Stewart album. The Manfreds had other big U.K. hits not featured here, most notably "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" (#2 U.K.), "Ha! Ha! Said the Clown" (#4 U.K.), "Ragamuffin Man" (#8 U.K.), and "Just Like a Woman" (#10 U.K.), which barely missed the U.S. Hot 100 (#101) and was a Bob Dylan cover like "Mighty Quinn." The group's songs from this era (1964-69) remind me a bit of songs by The Kinks and The Who from the same time period. Of course, those bands would morph into harder-rocking bands in the 70's, but so would Manfred Mann ... under the new name Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Ah, but that's for another entry. ApologetiX spoofed "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" in 2013.

881. The Yardbirds' Greatest Hits - The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds are known best as a nest for great guitarists — Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, all of whom were ranked among Rolling Stone magazine's top five greatest guitarists in 2015. They are also recognized as the launching point for Led Zeppelin, but they actually had just as many U.S. Top 40 hits (six) as the mighty Zep: "For Your Love" (#6 U.S., #3 U.K.), "Heart Full of Soul" (#9 U.S., #2 U.K.), "Shapes of Things" (#11 U.S., #3 U.K.), "Over Under Sideways Down" (#13 U.S., #10 U.K.), "I'm a Man" (#17 U.S.), and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" (#30 US., #43 U.K.). Moreover, an argument could be made that the Yardbirds' hits rock just about as hard as Zeppelin's: "Whole Lotta Love" (#4), "Black Dog" (#15), "Immigrant Song" (#16), "D'yer Maker" (#20), "Fool in the Rain" (#21), and "Trampled Under Foot" (#38). I'd still give the edge to Messrs. Plant, Page, Jones, and Bonham, but The Yardbirds influenced a whole generation of rock bands, including Zeppelin. Released in March 1967, The Yardbirds' Greatest Hits contains all of their aforementioned hits plus their classic cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning," which he described as the definitive version of his own song. Greatest Hits was the group's highest-charting U.S. LP (#28), despite the fact that some of their other albums received more critical acclaim, such as Five Live Yardbirds, Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds, and Roger the Engineer (also known simply as Yardbirds and Over Under Sideways Down. For the record, the other members of the classic line-up were Keith Relf (vocals, harmonica, and rhythm guitar), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Paul Samwell-Smith (bass, backing vocals, and occasional lead vocals), and Jim McCarty (drums, percussion, backing vocals, and occasional lead vocals). Relf died in 1976, but the others are all still alive, although McCarty is the only one who is part of the current lineup.

882. Metal Health - Quiet Riot
Recognized as the first metal album ever to hit #1 on the Billboard 200, Quiet Riot's Metal Health was released on March 11, 1983, but didn't make it to the top spot until November 26 — over eight months later. But once you learn the three albums that were #1 during that span — Michael Jackson's Thriller, the Flashdance soundtrack, and The Police's Synchronicity — you realize why it took so long. And a week later, Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down took over. Ironically, the two singles from Metal Health did slightly better on the pop charts than on the rock chart: "Cum On Feel the Noize" (#5 pop, #7 rock) and "Bang Your Head (Metal Heath)" (#31 pop, #37 rock). I bought the "Cum on Feel the Noize" 45, and it eventually introduced me to the music of Slade, the British glam group who did the original version (#98 U.S., #1 U.K.). Our local rock station played "Slick Black Cadillac" (#32 rock) a good bit, too. A fourth track also hit the rock chart, "Don't Wanna Let You Go" (#22). Quiet Riot's follow-up album, Condition Critical, yielded their only other Hot 100 hit, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (#51 pop, #13 rock), another remake of an old Slade hit (#76 U.S., #1 U.K.). I prefer QR's version of "Cum On Feel the Noize" and Slade's version of "Mama Weer All Crazee Now." As metal fans know, the late legendary lead guitarist Randy Rhoads was a founding member of Quiet Riot before joining Ozzy Osbourne in late 1979 and cementing his legacy with his often-imitated playing on the albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. The closing track on Metal Health, "Thunderbird" was written for and dedicated to Rhoads, who died in a plane crash in March '82. ApologetiX spoofed "Cum on Feel the Noize" in 2014. We also spoofed Ozzy's "Crazy Train" and "Flying High Again" (featuring Randy's guitars) in 2003 and 2015, respectively.

883. Out of the Cellar - Ratt
After Quiet Riot had their brief moment in the sun, Los Angeles-based glam band Ratt demonstrated that metal was still viable on the pop charts with "Round and Round" (#12 pop, #4 rock), the first single from their debut LP, Out of the Cellar. Two other tracks from the album hit the rock Top 40: "Back for More" (#27 rock) and "Wanted Man" (#38 rock, #87 pop). Ratt's follow-up LP, Invasion of Your Privacy, would yield their only other Top 40 hit, "Lay It Down" (#40 pop, #11 rock), although the group had six more rock Top 40 hits, most notably "Way Cool Jr." (#16 rock, #75 pop) and "Lovin' You's a Dirty Job" (#18 rock). Out of the Cellar was the band's biggest album, reaching #7 on the Billboard 200 and selling three million copies. The cover featured future Whitesnake video star Tawny Kitaen, who was dating Ratt's lead guitarist, Robin Crosby, at the time. ApologetiX spoofed "Round and Round" in 2009 and 2022.

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.