Staying Power: Top 10 from 2000-2002.
David Bruce Murray noticed a comment I left on his blog. [EDIT, 6/6/12: Broken link removed.] It concerned the best releases of 2007; I had said
The best releases of 2007–the ones we’ll still be talking about five years from now–are the Mark Trammell Trio’s Once Upon a Cross and the Perrys’ Look No Further.
To this, he said:
Daniel Mount used the phrase “still be talking about five years from today” in a blog comment. Predictions are easy to make, but what if we flipped that around and had to back it up with hard evidence? What were the greatest CDs from the 2000-2002 period that we still talk about in 2007? I’m not speaking of an initial level of product sales…I’m more interested in finding out which releases have sustained staying power.
What are the criteria used to determine staying power? A few thoughts:
- Great songs
- Great production (Those two are the entry-level minimum)
- It helps if it’s recorded either by a lineup that the group has still held together or by a lineup recognized as one of the group’s all-time best.
- It helps if the group is still selling the album.
With a few of those criteria in mind, let’s apply the DBM test and look at some of the albums from the 2000-2002 era with the most staying power, the albums we are still talking about:
- Live at First Baptist Atlanta by Greater Vision (2002). All their live videos–and, to a lesser extent, all their projects–since have been compared to this one.
- Are You Ready? by Gold City (2000). Some refer to this as the best Gold City album from their Parrack/Trammell days.
- Gonna Keep Telling by the Kingdom Heirs (2002). This album featured, among other songs, “The Depths of the Father’s Love” and “I’ve Been Rescued.”
- So Close to Home by Brian Free & Assurance (2002). While Live in NYC was the group’s finest live album, and possibly their finest album altogether, this stands out as their strongest studio effort since their reorganization.
- Let Freedom Ring (Gaither Homecoming) (2002). Of all the Homecomings released during the appointed time frame, I’ve heard the most discussion about this one.
- Changed Forever by the Perrys (2001). I don’t think this has quite the staying power that their 2003 follow-up, This is the Day, had (or that Look No Further will have), but based in large part on “I Rest My Case at the Cross” it deserves at least an honorable mention in the second half of the list.
- This Stage of Grace by the Booth Brothers (2001). This one premiered “Still Feeling Fine,” a concert staple for the group.
- Pressed Down Shaken Together Running Over by Gold City (2001). This album is still pointed out as one of Gold City’s best.
- Everything Good by the Gaither Vocal Band (2001).
- The Final Stand by the Happy Goodmans (2001). This is notable more for the fact that it was their final album than for its intrinsic value–they made better albums, but since this was their last, we’re still talking about it.
I gave some serious thought to limiting the list to a top 5, since I feel that the top 5 stand head and shoulders above the rest, but I decided to put five more in with this disclaimer.