100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music 1969-2019 Full List!!!

By way of celebrating the first 50 years of modern CCM I figured I’d make a (mostly) objective list of the “100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music.” Here it is without the commentary. All 100 albums that I think make up the best of the genre so far. If you’d like to catch up on the individual posts you can get caught up here. The 100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music 1969-2019 Part 1 of 5, 100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music 1969-2019 Part 2 of 5, 100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music (1969-2019) Part 3 of 5, 100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music (1969-2019) Part 4 of 5, and lastly, 100 Greatest Albums of Christian Music (1969-2019) Part 5 of 5 I have listened to each album, read other reviewers thoughts, and taken into consideration their reputation to this present day. Much of that info came from a few books, and other lists that I will link at the end of the last installment for comparison. I also have been listening to, collecting, reading about and reviewing Christian music for the last twenty-five years as a fan, so this is highly personal to me. There are so many bands and albums I wanted to include strictly because I love them that didn’t make the cut. For my more fan favorite decade lists you can find them here: 100 Best Albums of the 2010s 100 Greatest Christian Albums of the 00s 100 Greatest Christian Albums of the 90s

Also, full disclosure, a couple in the category of favorite may have slipped into the mix, (couldn’t help it!) but I have done my very best to be objective with this list being an attempt at a true Greatest/Best of all-time. If an album made this list it’s for a few reasons. 1. It was an important album in the history of the genre 2. It was largely considered a top album of its year and/or decade 3. Though it may sound dated to its time, it still stands up in the present day 4. It crossed over and had impact in the mainstream music world 5. It sold well. Notice sales is the last and least important of the criteria though still an important metric.

In addition I tried to mix in a bit of every decade (1969-2019) inside each grouping of ten, because I didn’t want all the older legacy albums that didn’t release in my formative years to fall at the bottom. It was more important to me that an artist was present on the list over where they were ranked, but I did try to be as fair. Lastly, there will be no bands that impacted CCM but never existed inside it. So before you Jesus freak out that artists like U2, Bruce Cockburn, MuteMath, Lifehouse, Tweny One Pilots, and Bob Dylan aren’t present, I just wanted you to be prepared this is not that that kind of list. There are also no compilation or best of albums here either. In addition, I only allowed for artists with longer careers to have more than two albums make the list. This was all in the name of including as many deserving albums as possible.

Lastly, be sure to check out the stats, the 25 Honorable mention albums, the other lists I used to help compile mine, and leave a like, comment or even share this if you enjoyed the read. Pass it along to someone else you think would too!

1. Jesus FreakDctalk – 1995

2. Only Visiting This PlanetLarry Norman – 1972

3. A Liturgy, A Legacy, A Ragamuffin BandRich Mullins – 1993

4. Self-TitledJars of Clay – 1995

5. Lead Me OnAmy Grant – 1988

6. The Beautiful LetdownSwitchfoot – 2003

7. For Them Who Have EarsKeith Green– 1977

8. Take Me To Your LeaderThe Newsboys– 1996

9. The End Is Not The EndHouse of Heroes – 2008

10. CrookedPropaganda – 2017

11. A Collision – David Crowder Band – 2005

12. Sixpence None The Richer – Sixpence None The Richer – 1997

13. Relient K – MmHmm – 2004

14. This Means War – Petra – 1987

15. To Hell With The Devil – Stryper – 1986

16. Love Broke Thru – Phil Keaggy – 1976

17. Free At Last – Dctalk – 1992

18. This Beautiful Mess – Sixpence None The Richer – 1995

19. Speechless – Steven Curtis Chapman – 1999

20. Satellite – P.O.D. – 2001

21. Motor Cycle – Daniel Amos – 1993

22. Age To Age – Amy Grant – 1982

23. Awaiting Your Reply – Resurrection Band – 1978

24. The Everglow – Mae – 2005

25. Anybody Out There? – Burlap to Cashmere- 1998

26. Jesus Record – Rich Mullins – 1998

27. Cities – Anberlin – 2007

28. I 2 Eye – Michael W. Smith – 1988

29. Chase The Kangaroo – The Choir – 1988

30. Winds Of Heaven Stuff Of Earth – Rich Mullins – 1988

31. Going Public – Newsboys – 1994

32. Arriving – Chris Tomlin – 2004

33. Welcome to Paradise – Randy Stonehill – 1976

34. 10 Songs – Adam Again – 1988

35. Upon This Rock – Larry Norman – 1969

36. Much Afraid – Jars of Clay – 1997

37. No Compromise – Keith Green – 1978

38. Crimson & Blue – Phil Keaggy – 1993

39. Great Lengths – PFR – 1994

40. Self-Titled – All Star United – 1997

41. They’re Only Chasing Safety – Underoath – 2004

42. Rebel – Lecrae – 2008

43. Body & Soul – Jon Gibson -1989

44. Secondhand – Mark Heard – 1991

45. Brother, Sister – Mewithoutyou – 2006

46. The Praise Album – Maranatha Singers – 1974

47. I Predict 1990 – Steve Taylor – 1987

48. Life In General – MxPx – 1995

49. Don’t Censor Me – Audio Adrenaline – 1993

50. The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin – Kirk Franklin – 2002

51. Don’t Wait For The Movie – Whiteheart – 1986

52. Keep On Singin’ – Andre Crouch & His Disciples – 1971

53. Alarma! – Daniel Amos – 1981

54. Mylon – Mylone Lefevre – 1970

55. Amy Grant – Heart In Motion – 1991

56. Third Day – Third Day – 1996

57. Wide Eyed & Mystified – Downhere – 2006

58. Silver – Starflyer 59 – 1994

59. Behold – My Epic – 2013

60. Sound Of Melodies – Leeland – 2006

61. Mercury – The Prayer Chain – 1995

62. Into the Sea – Attalus – 2015

63. The 77’s – The 77’s – 1987

64. Mercury & Lightning – John Mark McMillan- 2017

65. Heaven – BeBe & CeCe Winans – 1988

66. 40 Acres – Caedmon’s Call – 1999

67. Straight On – Degarmo & Key – 1978

68. Immigrants Daughter – Margaret Becker – 1989

69. Almost There – MercyMe – 2001

70. Silence – Blindside – 2002

71. The Great Adventure – Steven Curtis Chapman – 1992

72. Outdoor Elvis The Swirling Eddies 1989

73. Love Song – Love Song – 1972

74. Stay – Jeremy Camp – 2002

75. Welcome to Diversity – Tobymac – 2004

76. Circleslide- The Choir – 1990

77. Beyond Belief – Petra – 1990

78. How The West Was Won – 2nd Chapter of Acts – 1977

79. Lie Down In The Grass – Charlie Peacock – 1984

80. Kansas – Jennifer Knapp (1998)

81. Phil Keaggy and Sunday’s Child – Phil Keaggy – 1988

82. She Must And Shall Go Free – Derek Webb – 2003

83. Meltdown – Steve Taylor – 1984

84. One More Song For You – The Imperials – 1979

85. The Warrior Is A Child – Twila Paris – 1984

86. Caedmon’s Call – Caedmon’s Call – 1997

87. Beauty Will Rise – Steven Curtis Chapman – 2009

88. The Big Picture – Michael W. Smith – 1986

89. Because He Lives – Bill Gaither Trio – 1971

90. Go West Young Man – Michael W. Smith – 1990

91. Sticks & Stones – The 77s – 1990

92. Drawing Black Lines – Project 86 – 2000

93. Love, War, & The Sea Between – Josh Garrels – 2011

94. Look Up, Child – Lauren Daigle – 2018

95. King Of Fools – Delirious – 1997

96. Light For The Lost Boy – Andrew Peterson- 2012

97. I am origami Pt. 2: Every Power Wide Awake – John Van Deusen – 2018

98. GLM (Gut Level Music) – The Altar Boys – 1986

99. Kaleidoscope Superior – Earthsuit – 2000

100. Cymbal Crashing Clouds – Ben Shive – 2011

There it is folks in all it’s glory, the complete list sans commentary. Also, by way of transparency here are some stats about my list and some links to a few other lists you should check out that I used to source mine.

Lastly, there’s a few honorable mentions (in no particular order) that just missed the list but we’re definitely worth mentioning.

15 from 69/70s = 15% of the list

22 from the 80s = 22% of the list

32 from the 90s = 32% of the list

22 from 00s = 22% of the list

9 from 10s = 9% of the list

A few other lists I researched from that you should check out: https://www.besteveralbums.com/thechart.php?c=10498,

https://hmmagazine.com/top-100-christian-rock-albums-of-all-time/

https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com

25 Honorable Mentions (No Particular order):

God’s Property Kirk Franklin (1997)

Stomp!

Heavenly PlaceJaci Velasquez (1996)

Stereotype B Kevin Max (2001)

Not meant as a CCM release…existing somewhere in no-man’s-land, but it’s a fantastic euro/rock release all the same. Holds up well.

BloomAudio Adrenaline (1996)

This one stung to leave off but it came down to only one Audio A album being able to make it, and it had to be Don’t Censor Me.

Self-TitledCasting Crowns (2003)

Probably should have made it near the end of the list.

FathomMortal (1993)

The Art Of TranslationGRITS (2002)

Wakened By The Wind – Susan Ashton – 1991

I’m bummed I couldn’t find a way to wedge this album onto the list. Ultimately it was a cut due to the amount of 90s inclusions already present. A fantastic album nonetheless.

Conceived in FireLiving Sacrifice (2002)

Sin DiseaseScaterd Few (1990)

Supertones Strike BackO.C. Supertones (1997)

Perhaps the best-known ska based release of the wave of ska popularity for that brief time period in the 90s. This album is loads of fun and very nostalgia for me.

Tunnel VisionTunnel Rats (2001)

Waiting RoomPoor Old Lu (2002)

Morning Like ThisSandi Patty (1986)

In her main era in the 80s and 90s there weren’t many better or more recognizable singers.

Lovin’ the DayOut of Eden (1994)

Christian radio just wasn’t ready for them in their heyday, ahead of their time.

Falling UpFalling Up (2015)

I band that should have been bigger. A newer find for me, but now I’m all in.

AlbertineBrook Fraser (2006)

One of the most prolific worship tune writers, her second solo pop album is a flat out gem. “Faithful” is a lifetime favorite tune.

Comatose Skillet (2006)

Victims of the Age – Mark Heard (1982)

ERACEGotee Brothers (1997)

An important album then, and maybe even more so now. Probably should have found a way to get this one on the list. Let’s say it’s #101.

Rocket & A BombMichael Knott (1994)

Self-TitledChagall Guevara (1991)

Not intended to be a CCM release other wise it would definitely be top 25.

FlyleafFlyleaf – (2005)

Another non-CCM release but an outstanding album with mainstream impact for sure.

Worship Michael W. Smith (2001)

There might not have been as many albums with as big of an impact on the CCM genre as a whole as this one. Maybe Sonicflood’s 1999 worship covers album, maybe Third Day’s Offerings I and II, and a few Delirious albums could make the claim but this one turned the entire genre toward worship/pop when it sold like crazy. If you consider that a good thing or not may depend on your musical taste, but it is what it is.

Zeal – King’s Kaleidoscope (2019)

4 Comments

  1. I’ve heard about 75% of the list so far. I still intend to make my own variant of this list but I will likely be more focused on albums I can make a strong case for artistically as top criterion though influence will also play a part.

    The big omission to me is the Christian folkies. (Repp, Honeytree, etc.)

    Without them, I’m not sure the more rock-oriented musicians would ever have happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I might make it a goal to listen to the few albums on here that I’ve never heard and re-listen to the ones I’ve forgotten about.

    Here’s the mini-snubs:
    Different Lifestyles – BeBe and CeCe Winans
    This album was their biggest. Whitney and MC Hammer were in their prime when they made appearances on this. And it’s still an amazing listen to this day. Just be prepared to get your new jack swing on.
    Love Revolution – Newsong
    These guys invented the indoor festival and they wrote about a pair of shoes. Respect.
    Run Wild – For King and Country
    This is new-ish, but if Propaganda made the top 20…
    These dudes are on fire. The fandom is massive. Time to give the props.
    Forgiven – Don Francisco
    “He’s Alive” was just such a huge song for so many months, how can I deny? But I could make the same argument for Dallas Holm’s “Rise Again” or Barry McGuire’s “Cosmic Cowboy” (which if you haven’t heard you must listen to immediately)
    Self-titled – Anointed
    If we’re trying to get representation for the subgenres, this would have been a worthy addition. Anointed’s first three major releases were very solid.
    Coming Up to Breathe – MercyMe
    3 albums after “Imagine”, but defintely the peak as far as albums
    Tales of Wonder – Whiteheart
    This band was far bigger than people remember, but I think this is the most timeless of their catolog. (Highlands, Freedom and Powerhouse coming right behind.)
    Kings Kaleidoscope getting a spot instead of their close musical cousins Citizens.

    Here’s the list of heartbreaking mega-snubs:
    Medals – Russ Taff
    This one is so well known, I was actually expecting it in the top 20. Great album with multiple hits. Russ’s best of a few really great ones.
    Mercy – Bryan Duncan
    One of CCM’s great voices crashed the secular charts with the powerful “Love Takes Time” from this album.
    The Sky’s the Limit – Leon Patillo
    In the 80’s, this album was everyone’s guilty pleasure (just kidding…that was Carman). “J.E.S.U.S.”, “Love Calling”, the title track. They’re all 3 bops. Everyone knows.

    Super-snubs:
    I 2 (Eye) – Michael W. Smith
    Really not having any MWS albums in the top 80 was a big surprise to me.
    Keep On Singin’ – Andrae Crouch and the Disciples
    Probably not the first thing you think of when you think of CCM, but if you’re really talking about *influence*, this is a top 10 album of all time. (Maybe I should do a “gospel” version of this list…but part of me doesn’t know quite how to draw that line.)

    Wow, this comment is long. Anyhow, this was my favorite series of blog posts by anyone this year, including myself. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Very in depth objections, respect! Thank you for well-reasoned and rational arguments being made. I can’t say I disagree with any of your comments. I think Taff feel victim to needing a certain decade and wanting to get him in I chose a different album so he could make the list. Bryan Duncan is awesome and I love “Love Takes Time” it’s such a jam. Yeah, I think originally I had another MWS in the higher ranks…for king & country would make this list if I made it in 10 years. Still too early to judge their staging power though I do think they’ll be a “great” when all is said and done.

      Thanks again for reading and such great observations!

      Like

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