Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of March 3, 2024

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02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
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02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
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02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
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02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
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01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.23.23ApologetiX Updated Christmas Playlist
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12.16.23Influential Albums: 1311-1317
12.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.16.23New Story
12.16.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
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12.11.23New Single: '83 & '84
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12.07.23Influential Albums: 1304-1310
12.07.23Just Reword CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
12.07.23Clues for 2023 Single #25
12.04.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.02.23Influential Albums: 1297-1303
12.02.23This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.02.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.02.23New Shirts & Other ApX Merch Coming Soon
12.02.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.28.23This Week's News Bulletin
11.28.23New Christmas Single: All '80s
11.24.23Influential Albums: 1290-1296
11.24.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.24.23Clues for 2023 Single #24
11.16.23All 71 ApX CDs Available as Downloads for $9.99 Each
11.16.23Influential Albums: 1283-1289
11.16.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
11.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.12.23This Week's News Bulletin
11.12.23New Single: #1 Hits from '81 & '86
11.09.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week

Influential Albums: 1262-1268
Fri., Oct. 27. 2023 7:11pm 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.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1262. Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture - Various Artists
The first Shrek movie officially opened in U.S. theaters on May 18, 2001. We saw it on May 27, although it wasn't our first choice, which was Pearl Harbor, a new Jerry Bruckheimer-Michael Bay blockbuster starring Ben Affleck. Thankfully, Pearl Harbor was sold out, so we had to pick another. I knew Shrek was getting better reviews, but it hadn't yet taken America by storm, so I went in with low expectations. Ten minutes into the film, my mind was already blown. I laughed out loud so many times that my wife had to put her hand over my mouth. Shrek was also touching, romantic, and dare I say inspirational? Lisa and I loved it and have watched it many times since, along with all the sequels and spin-offs. Shrek 2 and Shrek the Musical were superb, but the original is hard to beat. And what a soundtrack! Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture is a fine album. Of course, everyone remembers the two Smash Mouth tunes, "I'm a Believer" and "All Star" (which had already appeared in the hilarious film Mystery Men two years earlier). ApologetiX has spoofed both of those, but my favorite track is actually "It Is You (I Have Loved)" by Dana Glover. However, when I play it, I think of Lisa and me rather than Shrek and Fiona. I also like "Stay Home" by Self (hey, that's funny when you put it that way), "I'm On My Way" by The Proclaimers, and "My Beloved Monster" by Eels. I enjoyed "Hallelujah" by Rufus Wainwright, too, but got burned out on it. Judging by the countless cover versions, I may be in the minority. Leonard Cohen wrote and recorded the original in 1984, which was redone by John Cale in 1991 (the version used in the movie, but not on this album), which then inspired a critically acclaimed interpretation by Jeff Buckley in '94. But after Shrek, a zillion others followed suit. Incidentally, Lisa and I did get to see Pearl Harbor a week after Shrek. It was OK, but if I were given the choice between watching it a second time or watching Shrek for the umpteenth time, I'd probably pick the latter.

1263. My Sharona - The Knack
The song "My Sharona" originally appeared on The Knack's 1979 debut LP, Get the Knack, which I wrote about very early on this list. I got it in the winter of '79-80. This strange collection, My Sharona, came out in 1986, and features selections from the group's first three albums — four from Get the Knack, four from... but the Little Girls Understand (1980), and one from Round Trip (1981). The Knack only had five songs that hit the Hot 100, and they were all on those three LPs, but only "My Sharona" (#1 for six weeks) was included here. Then again, that's the only song the album title promised, right? It's not like it said "Greatest Hits" or "Best of." I picked up this cassette sometime in the '90s, with the intention of spoofing the title track, which we finally did in 2001. My Sharona did feature two of my other favorite tracks from Get the Knack —"Your Number or Your Name" and "That's What the Little Girls Do." Of the songs I didn't already know, the two that stuck with me were "Boys Go Crazy" and "The Hard Way," which was a cover version of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups, The Kinks. ApologetiX did eventually spoof The Knack's second biggest hit, "Good Girls Don't" (#11), in 2022, but by the time I was working on the words to that one, you could just purchase individual songs you wanted digitally.

1264. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
Missouri-born-but-Michigan-based rapper Eminem (a.k.a. Marshall Bruce Mathers III) released his third album on May 23, 2000. It was his second on a major label; his debut had sold only a thousand copies. The Marshall Mathers LP debuted at #1 and stayed there for eight straight weeks, eventually selling over 25 million copies worldwide, including 11 million in the United States. Karl strongly suggested we spoof its first single, "The Real Slim Shady" (#4 U.S., #1 U.K.), and I acquiesced, which is why I bought a copy. I played that song ad nauseum while working on the lyrics, but I only listened to the album the whole way through once. To borrow an old phrase from my mother, "The language was not to be believed." However, the wordplay was equally unbelievable; Eminem is an ingenious lyricist, whether you like what he's saying or not, and that inspires me to work harder at my own craft. I also listened to the chilling third single, "Stan," numerous times, fascinated by Eminem's storytelling and rhyming abilities. It only went to #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 but topped the charts in the U.K., Australia, Germany, Ireland, and eight other countries. Interesting note: In November 2016, Rolling Stone magazine noted the following about Eminem's 1996 debut LP, Infinite: "Probably the most surprising thing on Infinite is hearing [Eminem] rap, 'In the midst of this insanity, I found my Christianity through God' on 'It's O.K.'", noting that spiritual elements had not played a large role in his later works' lyrics. Wikipedia also reports the following: "According to Christian hip-hop media outlet Rapzilla, Eminem would pray before shows in the early 2000s. On a 2022 remix of Kanye West's 'Use This Gospel,' Eminem raps faith-based lines such as 'I put all of my trust and faith in You, Father,' and 'my Savior I call on to rescue me ... He is my shepherd. I'm armed with Jesus, my weapon is prayer.'"What does that all mean? Only God knows, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

1265. Infest - Papa Roach
California hard-rock band Papa Roach has been around since 1993, but they didn't put out their second LP, Infest until April 25, 2000. The group's previous LP, released four years earlier, had failed to chart. Infest, however, reached #5 on the Billboard 200 and sold three million copies in the United States and another million in Europe. There were three singles: "Last Resort" (#57 pop, #4 mainstream rock, #1 alternative for seven weeks), "Broken Home" (#18 mainstream, #9 alternative), and "Between Angels and Insects" (#27 mainstream, #16 alternative). "Last Resort" also went to #3 on the U.K. chart. I wrote a spoof of it as a favor to our bassist, Keith Haynie, who was a huge fan that song. We released our parody in the fall of 2001, and it proved enormously popular with our fans. Papa Roach never had another #1 modern rock hit, but they went on to have nine #1 mainstream rock hits through 2023: "Lifeline," "Face Everything and Rise," "Help," "Born for Greatness," "Come Around," "The Ending," "Kill the Noise," "No Apologies," and "Cut the Line." They also had two #2 alternative hits and four additional #2 mainstream rock hits. According to Wikipedia, Papa Roach lead singer Jacoby Shaddix "is a devoted Christian and has been known to sing Christian hymns and songs at public events." For more info on that, you can go to:

1266. Keep the Change - ApologetiX
Keep the Change was the seventh ApologetiX LP and the first with Bill Rieger on drums. The cover art was inspired by the 1971 Grand Funk Railroad album E Pluribus Funk. The years inscribed on each band member's coin indicate when it was that "in God we trusted." There were 19 tracks in all, and three of them featured drumming by our good friend and longtime fill-in drummer, the late Keith Harrold. Released on October 9, 2001, Keep the Change reached #15 on the National Christian Retail Bestsellers Rock Chart published by CCM magazine (November 2001). Yes, we were as shocked to hear that as you. Speaking of shocking, controversial radio personality Howard Stern played a few of the parodies from Keep the Change on his radio show, too. Believe it or not, it was the second of four occasions that Howard played and discussed our parodies. The first was in August 2001, and the most recent I know of was in January 2004. We have never spoken with Howard personally nor have we been interviewed on his show. We'd have to think and pray before agreeing to do something like that, although his producer did contact us in 2001 to request a press kit and later spoke to our publicist. I'm not a loyal listener, but from what I was told back then, the first time Howard played us, he pretty much mocked the whole thing (that's par for the course with him though), but he seemed to mellow with each successive segment. Here's a report of the January 2004 show that was posted by a person who chronicles every Howard Stern radio broadcast: "Howard had an album that someone sent in where a band takes popular songs and turns them into religious songs by changing the lyrics. Howard played a couple of tracks and Robin thought he was joking. He said it was no joke and the band ApologetiX really does this. Their album is called 'Adam Up.' He said he has to take the CD home and listen to it." Whether he was serious or not, we thought it was interesting that Howard would mention taking the CD home and listening to it. God's Word never comes back void (Isaiah 55:11) and nobody is too "out there" for God to reach. Ironically, even though Stern's show poked fun at our parodies, apparently even the negative exposure seemed to raised our credibility in the eyes of some of our unchurched friends (i.e. they seemed to figure we must be a legitimate band to get mentioned on that show), so that's pretty amusing. God works in mysterious ways. Many of the parodies on Keep the Change became fan favorites, and one of them, "The Real Sin Savior," made the Top 30 on the ChristianBEATS National Christian Rock Chart in 2002. It later won the 2002 American Christian Music Award for "Fringe Song of the Year," an appropriate award for us. Aerosmith did "Livin' on the Edge," "Weird Al" Yankovic did "Livin' in the Fridge." Perhaps ApologetiX ought to do "Livin' on the Fringe."

1267. Come Together - Third Day
Third Day's fifth LP, Come Together, came out on November 6, 2001, four days after we made our initial payment on the first official ApologetiX vehicle — a white 1998 Dodge Ram 3500 15-passenger van with a V8 engine. We'd already taken it on a 2500-mile test drive to concerts in Minnesota and Nebraska on October 26 and 27, 2001. That van would serve us semi-faithfully until June 2007, when we finally replaced it with a 40-foot bus. Over the course of those six years, we made so many repairs to it that I called it the six-million-dollar van. It had over 330,000 miles on the odometer by then. In contrast, the moon is only 238,900 miles from Earth. Meanwhile, Third Day had rocketed into the stratosphere of the contemporary Christian music scene. Come Together won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. The title track hit #1 on both the Christian Hit Radio and Christian Rock charts. Meanwhile, "Show Me Your Glory" hit #1 on the Christian adult contemporary chart and #17 on the CHR chart. Those are the two tracks I remember most, and I frequently find myself singing the chorus of "Come Together" to this very day, although "Show Me Your Glory" may better known in some circles. A third cut, "Nothing Compares," reached #5 on the Christian AC chart. I also like "40 Days," "It's Alright," "I Got You," and "Sing Praises." The album itself peaked at #31 on the Billboard 200 and sold half a million copies. It was Third Day's highest-charting LP at the time, but the group's next seven would all surpass it in chart performance. In fact, four of them in a row hit the Top 10 between 2005 and 2012: Wherever You Are (#8), Revelation (#6), Move (#9), and Miracle (#10).

1268. Lift - Audio Adrenaline
Two and a half months before this album came out, I got a chance to meet three of the guys in Audio Adrenaline. Both they and ApologetiX were playing the Rejoice festival at Six Flags in Jackson NJ on September 2, 2001. We had just finished our set (earlier than theirs and on a different stage), and I was talking to our good friend, Tim "Timmy D" DeMoss, who was the morning show host on WZZD in Philadelphia at the time. He informed me that Audio A.'s drummer, Ben Cissell, had been pleasantly distracted from an interview he was doing by our concert, which was taking place not too far away. Ben had been laughing at some of our lyrics and asking questions about us. Tim offered to introduce me to the guys in Audio A., and I took him up on the offer and went backstage and met Ben, lead singer Mark Stuart, and bassist Will McGinniss. I just wanted to briefly share what their music had meant to me. Anyway, I got to do that and gave them some CDs. Much to my surprise, I received this email two days later from Audio Adrenaline co-founder and primary lyricist Bob Herdman, who was heading up the group's label, Flicker Records: "J., I've been listening to your CD's and they are great. Will and Mark brought them back from somewhere. I guess you met them at a show or something. I just wanted to know what you guys are up to and such." So I responded with a long email, telling Bob how much I appreciated his band, and he responded in more detail. I still have his email. Bob said, "I have been checking out your website, it's great. And I just saw your ad today in CCM. You guys really have it together. I have been wanting to start something ... It would be a sub-label of our Flicker Records. Most musicians kind of frown upon things like what you do and some other things I'd like to do in the future. But I believe there is a need for it and I'm sure you know it for a fact. I don't know if it would even be financially viable for you to be involved with it. It seems like you have a finely oiled machine going with ApologetiX. But, if it were to make sense for you and for us, I'd love to discuss it with you." He explained a little more of what he had in mind and added, "Let me know if this would interest you. If not, that's O.K. I hope the best for you guys." We each exchanged another email after that, and he gave me his phone number, but I had Karl call him, because I was too shy. Yeah, I know. I'm fine on the big stage, but one on one with somebody I'm a fan of ... well, that was a little intimidating. Although we wanted to remain an independent band, but we were deeply honored that Bob considered us. Our lives would intersect with Audio Adrenaline again in an amazing way a couple years later, but I'll relate that story when I get to their next album. In the meantime, I still have to talk about this one. Released on November 20, 2001, Lift was Audio Adrenaline's sixth studio LP. I bought it right away and used it often as background music while my daughter Janna (who had just turned five) and I played with her toys. I especially liked the first two tracks on Lift, "You Still Amaze Me" and "I'm Alive," and a couple later ones, "Rejoice" and "Summertime." There are a lot of powerful songs on that record, but this silly line from "I'm Alive" may be my favorite: "Sometimes I wake up feeling like I did way back in L.A., yeah. But since I'm from Kentucky, that feeling must have been a mistake." The big singles on Lift were "Beautiful" (#1 Christian Hit Radio), "Lonely Man" (#1 Christian Rock), and "Rejoice" (#2 CHR), but another significant song first appeared on this album, "Ocean Floor." It would be remixed for radio (with prominent piano parts added) and rereleased on the group's next LP 15 months later. I'll get to that one in a little bit.