Over the years I have had a varied acceptance of music. While on the one hand I love it and on the other I can do without it. Presently, I love Christian music, Christian albums but won't spend the money on something that I listen to in the car and I'm ok with that. I do however, on occasion bring up a song that gets in my head, find it on YouTube or somewhere over the world wide web that allows listening and will proceed to play it over and over. But over the years, I have had such an eclectic mix of favorite album offerings. These have been for different seasons in life.
When I was in high school I began listening to Barry Manilow on good ole' record albums. Barry Manilow you say? Really? Yep, really. I loved his voice and the kind of music he sang. I probably had most of his albums then. It didn't matter, when I left home, joined the military, and found out that Barry Manilow was not an 'in' musician. I even saw him in concert in the early 80's. I had to buy a friends ticket to get him to go with me because he just didn't like Barry Manilow. I Write the Songs is probably, still, one of my all-time favorites.
Then there was that time in Weather Observing school when I went to the movies and saw An Officer and a Gentlemen, bought the soundtrack and listened to the cassette (yes, cassettes were all the rage) over and over. I remember studying in my dorm room to the music, or playing it in the morning when I was getting into my uniform, cleaning my room for inspection, and turning it off just before heading out to formation.
I went through a country faze, actually two fazes and two different times; one old school country and one more modern: Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Alabama (oh my! really?) Yep! Waylon Jennings, George Strait, Toby Keith, and of course, Faith Hill.
I enjoyed the offerings of Reo Speedwagon, Journey, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, and Genesis; Fleetwood Mac and Taylor Dayne for a season.
For the last 10 -15 years it has been mostly Christian music with some country thrown in that has captured my attention and heart. But, even Christian music has had it's seasons. When I first became a Christian (or around the time I was seeking the Lord) I actually asked some friends to lead me to some good Christian music and who should I listen to. I was led to Amy Grants, Age to Age, Sandy Patty, Twila Paris, and Ray Boltz. When I spent some time in Korea I hung out with a bunch of Christian's and one of the guys I befriended was a guitarist, played at the Hospitality House for worship and introduced me to some of my all time favorites: Benny Hester, Keith Green, and Michael Card. I moved into some Kathy Troccoli and Cindy Morgan for their voices: husky and soulful.
Somewhere along the way I found 4Him, which is today probably my most favorite group of all time, with Avalon a close second. I can listen to their albums again and again - and especially if I'm walking I will do just that. They are my go-to albums with an amazing message. I haven't bought an album in years but if I were to I'd probably get albums by Natalie Grant, Casting Crowns, Mark Shultz, Matt Redmond, Matthew West, Phillips, Craig, & Dean, Aaron Shust, Francesca Battiselli, Mercy Me, and definitely Third Day.
In a day or two I'll probably be reminded of an album that I know I've loved but my connection with music right now is songs mostly. The latest songs that arrive onto the radio.
And without further ado - my list:
4Him – The Basics of Life
4Him – Face the Nation
Avalon – The Very Best
Avalon – The Greatest
Kathy Troccoli – Sounds of Heaven
Journey – Escape
Reo Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Pat Benatar – In the Heat of the Night
Soundtrack – Officer and a Gentleman
Soundtrack – Top Gun
Simon and Garfunkel – Greatest Hits
Trisha Yearwood – Songbook
Garth Brooks – No Fences
Casting Crowns – Casting Crowns
Benny Hester – Personal Best
Michael Martin Murphy – Blue Sky Night Thunder
Amy Grant – Age to Age, Lead Me On
Soundtrack – Grease
Alabama – Greatest Hits
Ray Boltz – The Altar, No Greater Sacrifice, Watch the Lamb
Michael Card – The Life, The Final Word
Keith Green – The Ministry Years, Vol. 1 & 2
Twila Paris – Sanctuary
Cindy Morgan – The Loving Kind
Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever
Andy Gibb – Shadow Dancing
Barry Manilow – Greatest Hits, Live, Even Now, If I Should Love Again, One Voice,
Barry Manilow – This One’s For You, Barry
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
Third Day – Offerings- A Worship, Wherever You Are
Genesis – Invisible Touch
Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate, Tell it to My Heart
Mark Shultz – Stories and Songs, Mark Shultz
And another amazing exercise into my past, and my present. I can see a bit of my future there too. Maybe, I need to set some of my focus on music. It does speak to my heart. It sets my heart moving closer to God when I listen to the words of the songs. Wasn't it Ten Thousand Reasons, by Matt Redmond, that moved me to write, to journal, my very own Ten Thousand Reasons to bless His Name?