Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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04.10.21ApX RV Makes Its Final Voyage
04.10.21Influential Albums: Wks 47-48
04.10.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
04.10.21New USBs Have Newest Single
04.10.21Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.10.21Happy Birthday, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner
04.10.21Video from Good Friday and Easter Sunday
04.10.21Bible-Reading Update: Hebrews 7-Revelation 12
04.10.21New Single: Summer of '84
04.10.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Fourth Single
04.06.21New Songbook Finally Finished
04.02.21This Week's ApX Radio Show: Easter Pt. 3
03.29.21Three ApX Members to Play Good Friday Service
03.27.21ApX Easter Top 50 Update: On the Air in Australia
03.26.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 46
03.26.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Third Single
03.22.21New Single: '69 & '84
03.22.21Get Over 1350 Tracks for $100 This Week
03.18.21Praise Report from Jeff Pakula
03.18.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Wks 44-45
03.12.21Erie Fan Notices Eerie Similarity
03.12.21NEW STORY
03.12.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Second Single
03.08.21New Single: '67 & '80 and a Bonus Track, Too
03.06.2111 Letters from 8 States (and 1 Other Continent)
03.06.21Two Fans Will Match All Donations Over Next 10 Days
03.05.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 43
03.04.21Clues for 2021 Single #2
03.01.21This Week's News Bulletin
02.26.21More Music Coming Soon
02.26.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
02.26.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 42
02.22.21New Single: '72 & '82
02.20.21Jimmy Becomes a Grandpa for the Third Time
02.19.21Clues for 2021 Single #1
02.19.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Weeks 38-41
02.10.21This Week's News Bulletin
01.27.21Fan Will Match Donations This Week
01.23.21ApX Weekly Radio Show Celebrates Third Anniversary
01.23.21Prayer Request from Jeff Pakula
01.23.21Bible Reading Update: Nahum 1-Matthew 12
01.22.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 37
01.21.21This Week's News Bulletin
01.21.21New CD Bogo Ends Sunday
01.18.21Songbook & Studio Update
01.17.21In Case You Didn't Know, There's a New Studio
01.17.21When Will the New Songbook be Ready?
01.15.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 36
01.10.21Some Bible Verses to Ponder
01.10.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 35
01.05.21News Bulletin: January 5, 2021
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Buy 1, Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.02.21Links to Our Recent Newsletters
01.01.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 34
12.26.20New CDs in Stock Tuesday (Buy 1, Get 1 of 34)
12.26.20More Encouraging Responses to Our Newsletters
12.26.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 33
12.26.20ApX Keyboardist Has Gifts for You (2 New Songs)
12.26.20More from Micah, ApX Alum on Amazon
12.22.20This Week's News Bulletin: New USBs
12.19.20New CD BOGO & Other Updates
12.16.20This Week's Mini-Bulletin
12.11.20Enthusiastic Responses to Last Week's Newsletter
12.11.20New CD Coming in December
12.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 31
12.11.20 ApX Alum's Amazon Store Has Great Holiday Gifts
12.09.20Will There Be a Another CD?
12.04.20New Single & Other Updates
12.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Weeks 26-30
12.03.20In Case You Missed Our New Single
11.20.20ApX Episode 146 This Weekend
11.20.20Happy Belated Birthday, Rich!
11.06.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 26
11.06.20Band Members Celebrate Big-Time Anniversaries
11.06.20ApologetiX Needs Prayer and Help Now
10.29.20New Songbook Expected by End of Weekend
10.29.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 25
10.29.20New CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.26.20This Week's News Update: CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.22.20Bible Teacher Reacts to New Single
10.22.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
10.22.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 24
10.22.20New USB Thumb Drives in Stock
10.19.20New Single: '74 & '79
10.17.20The Story Behind the Title of Our New CD
10.17.20What's on the Decent Alternative CD?
10.17.20Prayers for Jeff Pakula's Brother
10.16.20Clues for 2020 Single #18
10.15.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 23
10.12.20Weekly Email Update
10.09.20New ApX Digital Songbook Almost Ready
10.09.20New ApX CD Coming Soon
10.09.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 22
10.02.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
10.02.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 21
09.28.20New Single: '85 & '96
09.25.20Keith Haynie Is a Grandpa Again
09.25.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 20
09.18.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single

The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 35
Sun., Jan. 10. 2021 6:19pm EST

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

It has become apparent that I'll need more than 365 days in the "albums that influenced me" series that I started in May 2020. Here are entries from this past week:

240. Sports Huey Lewis and the News
My college friend (and one of my eventual housemates) Dave Anthony was the first person I knew who bought this album. He already owned previous releases by Huey, too. The four Top 10 hits on Sports were part of the soundtrack of my sophomore year in college and the summer afterward — "Heart and Soul," "I Want a New Drug," "The Heart of Rock & Roll," and "If This Is It." The final single, "Walkin' on a Thin Line," came out in the fall of my junior year. It only went to #18, but I liked it a lot. "Bad Is Bad" was a little slow for me, but there's another version of that song done by another artist on an another album coming up on this list. ApologetiX eventually spoofed "I Want a New Drug." We also spoofed the single that followed up this album, "The Power of Love."

241. Don't Stop - Billy Idol
This 1981 record was actually just a four-song EP, but I played "Dancing with Myself" to death. I couldn't get enough of that song and also really liked "Baby Talk." I thought Billy's version of "Mony Mony" was great, too, until I heard it for umpteenth time. Even "The Untouchables" was decent. I was also a big fan of "White Wedding," "Hot in the City," and "Love Calling" from Billy's 1982 eponymous follow-up album. I actually heard that one before I heard this one.

242. Into the Gap Thompson Twins
The Thompson Twins played a concert at IUP during the spring semester of my sophomore year, right about the time their biggest hit, "Hold Me Now," was cresting the charts (it went to #3). I adored that song — I'd also enjoyed their previous hits, "Lies" and "Love on Your Side" — but for some reason, I didn't feel compelled to go. Maybe I needed the money for pizza. But I bought the single and its follow-up, "Doctor! Doctor!" Then I heard "The Gap" on the local rock station. What a cool tune! I can't remember if I'd heard the third single, "You Take Me Up," before I finally bought this album, but I love that one, too. I never owned the follow-up album, but I'm a big fan of its two big hits, "Lay Your Hands on Me" and "King for a Day."

243. She's So Unusual - Cyndi Lauper
The winner of 1985's Grammy for Best New Artist had a quite a run of singles off this album in 1984-85 — each distinctly different from the others, yet each distinctly Lauper-esque —"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" (#2), "Time After Time" (#1), "She Bop" (#3), "All Through the Night" (#5), and "Money Changes Everything" (#27). You play any of those tunes, and everyone knows it's Cyndi. I liked 'em all. Her cover of Prince's "When You Were Mine" was popular with some of my friends, too. Hey, I made it the whole way through a paragraph about Cyndi Lauper without using the words "quirky" or "eccentric"! Oops.

244. 1984 (a.k.a. MCMLXXXIV) Van Halen
I'd liked plenty of other Van Halen songs along the way, but this was the one that brought them into the mainstream for me (and the rest of America). You know the four singles — "Jump," "I'll Wait" (cowritten by an uncredited Michael McDonald), "Panama," and "Hot for Teacher." ApologetiX has already spoofed a couple of them. I also liked "Top Jimmy" a lot.

245. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme Simon & Garfunkel
Even though Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits had been a seminal (Simonal?) record in my development as a young rock fan, I'd never bothered to listen to any of their other albums. Then, one day during the summer of 1984, I heard this one playing in Camelot Records at Westmoreland Mall. I already knew the title track, plus "Homeward Bound," "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" and "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her," but most of those were live recordings on Greatest Hits. These were the studio versions, and I liked them even better. Moreover, I couldn't believe how great everything else sounded! My favorite tracks were: "Cloudy," "Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall," "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine," and "A Simple Desultory Philippic." This album also includes their classic-albeit-disturbing Christmas commentary, "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night." ApologetiX eventually spoofed the title track in 2014.

246. Let's Dance David Bowie
The title track from Let's Dance went to #1, and the follow-up single, "China Girl," went to #10, but it was the third single, "Modern Love" (#14), that did it for me. I also like the fourth single, "Without You," quite a bit, but you might not have known there even was a fourth single, since it only went to #73. I didn't hear it till I heard the album. I also dug "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)," although Bowie had already released an excellent, moodier, smoldering, slow version on the soundtrack for the Cat People movie over a year earlier. "Ricochet" was never one of my "go to" tracks, but it's hard to get out of your head once you hear it.

Note: The albums are not listed in order of preference or excellence, but in chronological order of when they influenced me. Also, just because the albums on my list influenced me back then doesn't mean I give them all a blanket endorsement now.

I started actively listening to music in the early 70's and didn't become a born-again Christian until early 1988, so it's going to be a while before we get to the Christian albums, but there will be many of those when the time comes (literally).