Learn more about an era of music and the connections behind the songs. Interwoven with personal anecdotes, commentary and artist history. A unique way to tap into music nostalgia and discovery.
My Personal Chart Blog, October 7, 2000
Part 2, A Big Era for Christian Music, Many Roads lead to DC Talk.
SOLOMON’S WISH/Grand Scheme (2)
The playlist on the left features the songs discussed in this section, the one on the right features all the songs on the chart for this week as well.
**Bolded songs were on my top 150 this week in 2000 & the number in parentheses is its position on the chart.
I could not find much information about Solomon’s Wish on the internet. They were a trio and only had one album. At the time, this acoustic guitar-based song was my #1 song of the year. Much of that status has to be because of the harmonies and the grandeur of the song as it builds. Besides, I must have been a pretty spiritual state of mind at the time. They were in the same lane as Jars of Clay and this song especially reminds me of Toad The Wet Sprocket and the song “Something’s Always Wrong”. In total, I charted 5 songs from the album “A Wise Man’s Tragedy”. “Learning To Fly” (25) was the only other to make my top 10, peaking at #3. Their music is not available on Spotify. There also seems to be one or two bands with the same name. Both indie rock, one from the mid-’90s and another in the last few years.
‘Fly’ has a similar style to a number of songs from the Australian band Taxiride (not a Christian band) that had a string of hits in the land down under between 1999 and 2005. One of those, “Get Set” reached the Alternative top 40 in the States and was featured in the movie “Election” with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. I charted 8 songs from their debut album “Imaginate” and 17 songs in total. 10 of those reached my top 10 including 3 #1’s with the 2002 song “How I Got This Way” becoming my #1 song of 2003. This song has one of my favorite choruses of all-time. There is an acoustic version of this song on Spotify that is good, but it doesn’t have the intensity of the original. Like Solomon’s Wish, there was extensive use of vocal harmony by this band. On this week’s chart was “Let Me Die Young” (101), a song about joining the one you lost too soon. “72 Hour Daze” is another lamenting ballad that reached #6 on my chart earlier in the year and was my #30 of the year. In ’99 “Get Set” and “Everywhere You Go” with its late ‘70s vibe both reached my top 10.
Christian music was much more prominent on my personal chart between the mid-’90s and about 2010. The catalyst for that was most likely DC Talk, a trio from Lynchburg, Virginia. Their early music was much more Hip-Hop oriented than their music towards the end of the ‘90s. Early songs like “Spinnin’ Round” and “Heavenbound” owe a lot to the Beastie Boys and Run DMC who both incorporate Rock into their brand of Hip-Hop. I will say this early music, to me, was relatively amateurish. Their second album in 1990 added a dose of New Jack Swing to the mix. “Nu Thang” brought them into the Christian top 5 for the first time. In 1992 with their third album “Free At Last” they started to settle into their status as a major Christian force. The album featured covers of “Jesus Is Just Alright” made most famous by the Doobie Brothers in 1972 and Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”. The album went on to win Best Rock/Gospel Album of the year at the Grammys. ‘Jesus’ helped bring them into mainstream consciousness. They were among only a handful of Christian artists to appear on late-night TV, performing this song on “The Tonight Show” in November 1993. The song contains samples from Madonna’s “Vogue” and Snap’s “The Power” but I also hear elements of Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”. It wasn’t until their next album that I really became fully aware of them.
The album “Jesus Freak” released in November 1995 helped to propel them as the biggest Christian Rock band of the ‘90s. In 1997 they placed 6 songs from the iconic album “Jesus Freak” in my top 50 of the year. The title track was a brilliant mix of Rock and Rap yet so much of the album settled into a polished and melodic Pop-Rock lane. This helped them to attain Pop airplay with “Just Between You And Me” their only crossover hit, reaching #15 Pop. The album also includes a cover of the “Day By Day” from Godspell. The song “Mind’s Eye” was my #3 song of 1997 and one of 17 songs of theirs that went to #1 on the Christian chart.