I’ve been listening to Christian music for a long time. I remember when the Newsboys were still the Newsboys, and not some weird mashup of dcTalk and random Australian guys. I remember Burlap to Cashmere, Earthsuit (featuring Paul Meany of MuteMath), and Stavesacre. I remember when Carman staged a Righteous Invasion of Truth (R.I.O.T.).
Here are the top five songs in the history of Christian Rock.
5. “Secret Ambition” by Michael W. Smith – Smitty holds a strange place in my heart. I get all conflicted inside when I think about Michael W. Smith. He is simulataneously awesome and cheesy, sort of like a Christian version of Billy Joel. He has written some fantastic songs, like “Secret Ambition”, and some horrendous songs, like “Friends”. “Secret Ambition” was the first song I ever truly loved. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Smitty’s influence in the world of Christian Rock. Plus, nobody rocks a mullet and vest like Smitty.
4. “Chem 6a” by Switchfoot – I’m not a big fan of Switchfoot’s recent music, but I really liked them in their early days. They were one of the first Christian pop/punk bands. Bands like RelientK and Hawk Nelson simply followed in the footsteps of Switchfoot.
3. “Shine” by Newsboys – This is a tough one. The Newsboys formed sometime around 1913 and have been playing ever since. I have mixed feelings about the Newsboys. They really should have stopped playing when Peter Furler stopped being the lead singer. But they didn’t. Instead they drafted Michael Tait, formerly of dcTalk. Nevertheless, this is a great song from the best iteration of the Newsboys.
2. “Flood” by Jars of Clay – Jars of Clay are to Christian music what Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were to rock. Their heavy acoustic sound combined with their ultra-tight harmonies were pretty awesome when they first broke into the Christian music scene. Every acoustic Christian artist should be compared to the original Jars of Clay.
1. “Jesus Freak” by dcTalk – If you have any argument with this being the number one song, then you obviously weren’t around when it released. This song dropped like a bombshell on the world of Christian music. For the first time there was a cool, edgy, moderately grungy band who were also Christians. People went out of their minds when this song first broke.
Okay, those are my top five. What would you include?