12 Albums turning 20 in 2017

This is part two of a three part blog celebrating twelve albums that are turning twenty years old this year. If you missed part one, catch up below, and then read on!

8. Reality Check – Self Titled

The band Reality Check delivered a ferocious self-titled debut that sadly was the only thing they ever released. Whether it was just a band headed separate ways, musical direction, or the burden of being labeled the“next Dctalk,” they joined the list of many one hit wonders of the 90’s. Known for their energetic live show that once broke a stage, they featured tight harmonies, loud rock guitars, and rap all mixed into one. I first heard their work from another of the $1.99 sampler albums with the songs “Masquerade” and “Know You Better.” One listen to “Masquerade” had me hooked and I quickly went out to pick up the entire album. The songs “Plastic and “Losing Myself” are two other major favorites from the album. It is too bad they did not do more together as I was eagerly looking forward to more from them.

7. Supertones – Supertones Strike Back

One could argue that the O.C. Supertones release Supertones Strike Back is THE quintessential CCM ska release. Personally, I think that it is, though The Dingees and Five Iron Frenzy could hold their own in the argument well enough. Ska is certainly an acquired taste, but in 1997, I was all in. I saw them in concert at Atlanta Fest with their orange jumpsuits on and it was an amazing show. I owned their orange Little Man t-shirt and I quickly wore out both the album and the shirt. Even to this day I’ll have a hankering for some ska and slip this album into the family van’s six-disc changer for long road trips. Some of my favorite tracks are, “”Supertones Strike Back,” “Louder than the Mob,” “Unite,” “Tonight,” and “Little Man.” Great for road trips, cleaning house, or lounging by the pool!

6. Seven Day Jesus – Self Titled

Man, so many great hooky guitar pop/rock songs here! This was my first exposure to the band, and though I’d go back later and hear their excellent record The Hunger, this one is still my favorite of theirs. Sadly, they didn’t last as a band beyond this album, but what a great way to go out. Great songs abound like opener “Down With The Ship,” “Always Comes Round,” “Everybody Needs Love,” and my overall favorite the ear-worm, “Butterfly.” Definitely a must hear album!

5. Switchfoot – The Legend of Chin

My introduction to Switchfoot came at the now out of business Family Christian Bookstore. After encountering lead track “Chem 6a” on a sampler I had to check out this raw surfer rock/alternative band. The droning sounds of “Bomb” and bouancy of “Underwater” had my full attention and I don’t think I even needed to listen to the rest of it. I was motivated to buy The Legend of Chin enough to manipulate my younger brother (who cared very little for music) into buying it because I only had enough money for another album clutched in my teenage hands. I can’t for the life of me remember the other cd but I’m certain it hasn’t stood the test of time as well as this debut release has. I still appreciate the production at the veteran hand of Charlie Peacock these twenty years later. It allowed for a truly raw and somewhat endearingly sloppy sound that has stood the test of time well. Other great tracks are the cleverly titled “Might have Ben-Hur,” the slow burning “Concrete Girl,” and string soaked “You.” A fantastic start for a band that only got better with each release, Jon Foreman and company are still going strong and have rarely “letdown” fans with any of their subsequent releases. (See what I did there?!)

Stay tuned for part 3 and the top four of the countdown coming soon!