Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of March 29, 2023

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03.24.23How to Donate Online or by Mail
03.24.23New Video Playlist for You: ApologetiX Covers by Fans
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03.24.23Influential Albums 1045-1051
03.24.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
03.24.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.24.23This Week's Bible Reading
03.20.23New Single: '76 & '85
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03.18.23ApX on Hour-Long Live Webcast Next Tuesday
03.18.23ApologetiX Radio Show Celebrates Five Years
03.17.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
03.17.23New ApX Apparel Designs + Mugs, Stickers & More
03.17.23Influential Albums: 1038-1044
03.15.23Clues for 2023 Single #6
03.13.23ApX Easter Week Playlist
03.11.23ApX Alum Drummer Becomes a First-Time Grandpa
03.10.23A Letter from J. About the Letter J
03.10.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
03.10.23Influential Albums: 1031-1037
03.09.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
03.06.23This Week's News Bulletin
03.06.23New Single: '68 & '70
03.04.23New ApX Songbook (1992-2022) is Here
03.04.23Influential Albums: 1024-1030
03.03.23Fan Follows Up on Last Week's Big Music Article
03.03.23Nice Notes from Bible-Readers
03.03.23Over 400 ApX Live Videos Together in One Place
03.03.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.25.23Music: The Sacred, the Secular, and the Subjective
02.24.23ApologetiX in Places You Wouldn't Expect
02.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.23.23Influential Albums: 1017-1023
02.21.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.20.23This Week's News Bulletin
02.20.23New Single:'65 & '88
02.17.23Serious Prayer Request from Wichita KS
02.17.23Influential Albums: 1010-1016
02.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.11.23How Did J. Meet His Wife?
02.11.23Fan Follows Up on "Ask God" With His Own Story
02.11.23The Numbers Behind the Songs on This Single
02.11.23Influential Albums: 1003-1009
02.10.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.10.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
02.06.23New Single: '71 & '79
02.06.23This Week's News Bulletin
02.04.23Question Evolution Day Coming Soon
02.03.23Influential Albums: 996-1002
02.03.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.27.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.27.23This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.23ApologetiX Keyboardist Thankful to Still Be Alive
01.26.23Influential Albums: 989-995
01.24.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.23.23This Week's News Bulletin
01.23.23New Single: '67 & '72
01.21.23ApologetiX Needs Help and Prayer
01.21.23Encouraging Messages from 20 Fans in 15 States
01.21.23Fans React to "Stupendous" New Songbook
01.20.23Influential Albums: 982-988
01.20.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.16.23This Week's News Bulletin
01.15.2330th Anniversary Challenge Coins Back in Stock
01.14.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.14.23Influential Albums: 975-981
01.13.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.13.23New CD BOGO Ends Sunday Night
01.10.23This Week's News Bulletin
01.10.23New Single: '83 & '87
01.07.23Update on Songbook and Other Projects
01.07.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.07.23Influential Albums: 968-974
12.30.22Influential Albums: 961-967
12.30.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.28.22Over 1500 Tracks for $100
12.24.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #24
12.23.22New Christmas Single
12.23.22Influential Albums: 954-960
12.23.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.17.22Influential Albums: 947-953
12.17.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.17.22What's on Our Brand-New CD?
12.12.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.12.22Buy Our Next CD, Get 1 of 37 Free
12.08.22Influential Albums: 940-946
12.08.22This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.08.22The Stories Behind the Songs on Single #23
12.08.22ApologetiX Christmas Playlist + Two More on the Way
12.05.22This Week's News Bulletin
12.05.22New Single: '82 & '07
12.03.22Influential Albums: 933-939
12.03.22Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.03.22Bible-Reading Update for Next Two Weeks
12.03.22Keith Haynie Become a Grandfather Again
11.29.22This Week's News Bulletin

Influential Albums: 975-981
Sat., Jan. 14. 2023 12:19am 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:

975. In Another Land - Larry Norman
On the other side of the cassette he gave me with Only Visiting This Planet, Dana put the third installment of Larry Norman's "Trilogy," the 1976 LP In Another Land. I liked it just as much as Planet, and apparently so did a lot of other people; In Another Land was ranked #38 on CCM magazine's 2001 list of The Best Contemporary Christian Albums of all time. My favorite tracks were "The Rock That Doesn't Roll," "UFO," "I've Searched All Around," "The Sun Began to Rain," "Shot Down," "Six, Sixty, Six," "One Way," "Song for a Small Circle of Friends," and "Hymn to the Last Generation," but all 14 songs were fine by me. ApologetiX performed "The Rock That Doesn't Roll" at our very first concert in March 1992, and the song "Six, Sixty, Six" probably helped lay the groundwork for our parodies "Revelation Man" (in 1999) and "Won't Get Born Again" (in 2006), both of which were written in the mid-90's.

976. The Best We Could Find (Plus 3 That Never Escaped) - Steve Taylor
By the time Sparrow Records put out this compilation in September 1988, I already had the vast majority of its songs, culled from Steve Taylor's first three releases (with nothing from his fourth, I Predict 1990). However, as the title suggests, there were three previously unreleased tracks: "Under the Blood," "Bouquet," and "Down Under." No, that last one was not a Men at Work cover. The new songs were all decent, but none of them moved me to the extent of his previous material. That was OK; I liked Taylor enough that I was content to own a shiny new cassette with those three and a bunch of his older tunes together in a different order. The following year, he formed a rock band called Chagall Guevara with Dave Perkins, Lynn Nichols, Wade Jaynes, and Mike Mead and they released a self-titled album in 1991. We'd have to wait till 1993 for another all-new Taylor solo project. I'll get to that one later on this list.

977. Beat the System - Petra
I think Dana actually gave me his store-bought cassette copy of Petra's late-1984 LP, Beat the System, to keep. It runs in my mind that he wasn't super-impressed with it. As a complete project, I probably prefer the band's previous LP, Not of This World, but the high points for me on Beat the System are way up there: "Speak to the Sky," "Adonai," "Voice in the Wind," "It Is Finished," and the title track. "Witch Hunt" and "God Gave Rock and Roll to You" (an old Argent song Petra had already covered in 1977 and Kiss would cover in 1991) are pretty good, too. And "Hollow Eyes" addressed the topic of world hunger (specifically citing Nigeria and Haiti) at about the same time as Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" and months before USA for Africa's "We Are the World." The weakest moment for me — and I know ApologetiX bassist Keith Haynie agrees — was "Computer Brains." The intro music was interesting, but the vocal treatment just got a little over the top and silly for my tastes. Even so, it's not terrible.

978. Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child - Phil Keaggy
Perhaps the most beloved guitarist in the history of contemporary Christian music, Phil Keaggy hails from Youngstown OH, about an hour's drive from Pittsburgh PA. After finding some success with the band Glass Harp from 1968-72, Keaggy left that group and released his first solo project, What a Day, in 1973. He released this — his 12th studio LP — in October 1988, and I purchased the cassette. With cover artwork that brought to mind With the Beatles (the Fab Four's second U.K. LP), Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child had a sound that often emulated both The Beatles and The Byrds. In fact, according to the liner notes, Ringo Starr's old drum kit was used in the recording process. Keaggy's natural singing voice sounds a bit like Paul McCartney's, so that didn't hurt, either. Notable CCM guest stars included Randy Stonehill, Russ Taff, Mark Heard, and Ric Cua. I bought it for the song "Sunday's Child," but all 13 tracks kept me coming back. My other favorites were "Tell Me How You Feel," "I Always Do," and "I'm Gonna Get You Now," although I also liked "This Could Be the Moment," "Ain't Got No," and "Big Eraser." Other friends of mine were particularly fond of "Walk in Two Worlds" and "Talk About Suffering."

979. Shot of Love - Bob Dylan
While it's generally considered by Dylan fans to be the third installment in a trilogy of Christian LPs, Shot of Love (1981) included a couple cuts that didn't quite fit that mold, "Heart of Mine" and "Lenny Bruce," although they're both fine tunes. Other selections, like "Shot of Love" and "Trouble," are general enough that they could be seen as typical Dylan protest songs, but they still contain lines like "What I got ain't painful; it's just bound to kill me dead — like the men that followed Jesus when they put a price upon His head" and "Since the beginning of the universe man's been cursed by trouble." The remaining six tracks don't leave much room for doubt as far as Dylan's spiritual state of mind, even though they're not quite as overt as the material on Slow Train Coming (1979) and Saved (1980) ... with the exception of "Property of Jesus" (lot of great lines in that one, but how about this couplet: " You can laugh at salvation, you can play Olympic games — You think that when you rest at last you'll go back from where you came"). Another number, "Watered-Down Love," talks about love in a way comparable to the Apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 13. "Dead Man, Dead Man," and "Groom's Still Waitin' at the Altar" make use of obvious New Testament imagery, but Bob saves two of his most beautiful expressions of faith for the latter half of side two, "In the Summertime" (my favorite section: "And I'm still carrying the gift you gave — It's a part of me now, it's been cherished and saved — It'll go with me unto the grave — and into eternity") and "Every Grain of Sand" (my favorite section: "I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame — and every time I pass that way I always hear my name — Then onward in my journey, I come to understand — that every hair is numbered like every grain of sand"). As a complete album, I wouldn't put Shot of Love on par with Slow Train Coming and Saved, but it still made some significant spiritual and scriptural statements.

980. Greatest Hits - Mylon & Broken Heart
I know it may seem like a cop out to pick Greatest Hits as my favorite Mylon Lefevre album, but it has so many great songs! Six of the 12 tracks came from 1985 LP, Sheep in Wolves' Clothing, which I didn't own. I probably would have purchased it eventually, as I had the albums before (More) and after (Crack the Sky), but Greatest Hits came out in late 1988, and I scooped it up as soon as it appeared on the shelves. Among the tracks I didn't already have, my favorites were "Trains Up in the Sky," "I Will Rejoice," "Gospel Ship," "He Is Strong," and "Freedom." The first four of those came from Sheep in Wolves' Clothing. Some of my friends were partial to the song "Morning Star," which also appeared on both of those albums. I'd first heard "Gospel Ship" months earlier, performed by a group called The 101 Band, based out of a large local church called Orchard Hill. They used to perform at monthly Christian singles cruises (in conjunction with the local Christian station at the time, 101.5 FM WPIT) aboard the Gateway Clipper fleet on Pittsburgh's three rivers — the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny. I went on many of those Christian singles cruises, and they must have been effective, because I remained Christian and single throughout every cruise. But I learned some great tunes and got to see a Christian band in action, up close and personal.

981. On Fire! - Petra
I was pretty thrilled to walk into my local Christian record store in late '88 and find an all-new Petra LP — the group's first release since I'd starting to listening to them — so I purchased it immediately. I was even more excited when I heard tracks one and two, "All Fired Up" and "Hit You Where You Live," which reminded me of all the things I liked about Def Leppard ... without the calories. Other earworms on this album included "Minefield," "First Love," and "Counsel of the Holy," and "Somebody's Gonna Praise His Name." I confess that I didn't listen to On Fire! as much as my other Petra albums, but I had it on cassette and rewound it many times to hear those first two songs on side one. They really pumped me up.