Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of October 20, 2021

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Yesterday's News:

10.18.21New USBs Include Next CD and Latest Single
10.16.21Prayer Request Updates: Angela Walker & Bill Turner
10.16.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
10.16.21Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
10.16.21Bible-Reading Update: Psalms 141-Ecclesiastes 9
10.15.21Another Rieger Daughter Becomes a Bride
10.15.21Influential Albums: 519-525
10.14.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 17th Single
10.13.21New Single: '85 & '86
10.13.21Buy Our Next CD, Get 1 of 34 Free
10.09.21Updated on Three Prayer Requests from Last Week
10.08.21How to Donate Online or by Mail
10.08.21Influential Albums: 512-518
10.08.21What's on the Never, but Then Again Before CD?
10.04.21This Week's News Bulletin
10.03.21Important Prayer Requests from Three Fans
10.03.21Influential Albums: 505-511
10.02.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 16th Single
10.02.21Get Over 1400 Tracks for $100 This Week
09.30.21More Info on the Upcoming ApologetiX CD
09.28.21New Single: 80's Solo Superstars
09.25.21Next CD Coming Next Month
09.25.21Influential Albums: 498-504
09.25.21New USB Flash Drives Include New CD & Single
09.20.21Couple Will Match All Donations Thru Thursday
09.17.21Urgent Prayer Request for Bill Turner
09.17.21From a Native American ApX Fan in Montana
09.17.21Influential Albums: 491-497
09.17.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 15th Single
09.15.21New Single: 80's One-Hit Wonders (Almost)
09.12.21How to Get the New ApX Digital Interactive Songbook
09.12.21Clues for 2021 Single #15
09.12.21Influential Albums: 484-490
09.07.21This Week's News Bulletin
09.04.21Super Sentiments from 16 States & Saskatchewan
09.04.21Another Praise Report from Darnell Cline
09.04.21No Single This Wkd: Here's Why & What's in the Works
09.04.21Influential Albums: 477-483
08.27.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 14th Single
08.27.21Influential Albums: 470-476
08.24.21New Single: 2 from 1986
08.22.21New CD BOGO Ends Wednesday
08.22.21Big Bunch o' Books: What J.'s Been Reading Lately
08.20.21Influential Albums: 463-469
08.16.21This Week's News Bulletin
08.14.21Influential Albums: 456-462
08.14.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 13th Single
08.10.21New Single: 2 Top 10 Hits from 1985
08.07.21Rich Gets Quick: Fastest ApX Member to 100 Songs
08.07.21Influential Albums: 449-455
08.07.21New CD in Stock: Buy 1, Get 1 of 33 CDs Free
08.02.21This Week's News Bulletin
07.30.21More Prayer Needed for Darnell Cline
07.30.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 12th Single
07.30.21Influential Albums: 442-448
07.27.21New Single: More Mid-80's Music
07.25.21Influential Albums: 435-441
07.25.21What's on the Get Rich Quick CD?
07.22.21This Week's News Bulletin
07.17.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 11th Single
07.16.21Father of the Bride (and Father of the Bride 2)
07.16.21More Info on the Upcoming ApologetiX CD
07.16.21Influential Albums: 428-434
07.12.21New 80's Single: #1 Hit and a One-Hit Wonder
07.10.21Darnell Cline: Encouragement from Other ApX Fans
07.10.21Update on Last Week's Appeal Letter
07.10.21Get Ready for Our 62nd CD
07.10.21Remembering ApX Fan Steve Fagan
07.10.21Influential Albums: 421-427
07.08.21Clues for 2021 Single #11
07.05.21This Week's News Bulletin
07.02.21Darnell Cline: Continued Improvement, Long Way to Go
07.02.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our 10th Single
07.01.21Influential Albums: 414-420
06.28.21New Single ('84 & '86)
06.27.21Buy Any CD, Get One Free (CD Downloads, Too)
06.26.21Darnell Cline Transferred to Long-Term Rehab
06.26.21Clues for 2021 Single #10
06.25.21Influential Albums: 407-413
06.18.21New Prayer Update on Darnell Cline
06.18.21Influential Albums: 400-406
06.18.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Ninth Single
06.14.21New Single: '83 & '86
06.11.21Fan Will Match Donations Through Monday
06.11.21Influential Albums: 393-399
06.04.21Prayer Update on Darnell & Sonja Cline
06.04.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Eighth Single
06.04.21Influential Albums: 386-392
06.04.21New Single: '83 & '85
05.29.21Influential Albums: 379-385
05.24.21This Week's News Bulletin
05.21.21Influential Albums: 365-378
05.20.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Seventh Single
05.18.21New Single: More from '84
05.07.21This Week's ApX Radio Show: Mother's Day
05.07.21New Single: '85 & '86
05.07.21Influential Albums: 351-364
05.06.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Sixth Single
04.28.21Bible-in-One Year Starts Today
04.23.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Fifth Single

The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 43
Fri., Mar. 5. 2021 12:05pm EST

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

Here are the latest entries in the "albums that influenced me" series I started writing in May 2020. They are not listed in order of preference or excellence, but in chronological order of when they influenced me, as best as I can recall:

295. Honky Chβteau – Elton John
Somebody — I think it may have been Kebo or Flick (two of my roommates from sophomore year) — gave me three Elton John albums from 1972-74. Even though I'd grown up with Elton's Don't Shoot Me album (from 1973) album, and I knew how great that was, it had never dawned on me that his other albums from that period might be worth checking out. I already knew the hits from this one, "Rocket Man" and "Honky Cat," but there were tons of other great tunes, including (but not limited to) "Salvation," "Amy," "Hercules," and the classic "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters," which Cameron Crowe used to great effect in the movie Almost Famous.

296. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
It has been argued that many good double-albums could be condensed into great single-albums, but there aren't a lot of tracks on this one I'd be willing to part with. There are a least six songs on it that are classic-rock radio staples: "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Bennie and the Jets," "Candle in the Wind," "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding," and "Harmony." Some of my other favorites included "This Song Has No Title," "Grey Seal," "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909–34)," All the Girls Love Alice," and "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n Roll)."

297. Caribou – Elton John
This 1974 album had two U.S. Top Five hits — one of which appears on Greatest Hits ("Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me") and one of which appears on Greatest Hits Volume 2 ("The B**** is Back"). The other eight tracks are a mixed bag, but I have four favorites: "Pinky," "Grimsby," "Dixie Lily," and "Ticking." Furthermore, even the weaker tracks still have that classic mid-70's Elton sound that makes them worth a listen. The Rocket Man was starting to show some strain, but he would come back with what may be his strongest album of all, as we'll see a little later on this list.

298. Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel
Let me tell you a secret: Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits didn't include all of their greatest hits. Three of the songs on Bookends hit the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 but never made it onto Greatest Hits: "A Hazy Shade of Winter" (#13), "At the Zoo" (#16), and "Fakin' It" (#23). Making matters more confusing, those songs first came out on singles between November 1966 and July 1967, and Bookends didn't come out till April 1968. Anyway, they're all great tunes. Three of the tracks on this album did make it onto Greatest Hits, though: "Mrs. Robinson," "America," and "Bookends Theme." My other favorites were "Save the Life of My Child" and "Punky's Dilemma."

299. 5150 – Van Halen
This was one of the other new albums I had to critique for our campus newspaper during my senior year. Before listening to 5150, I didn't have much hope for Van Halen without David Lee Roth. After listening to it, I was convinced they were doomed. Although both Van Halen line-ups were hedonistic, I felt like Roth was winking but Sammy was leering. My review was not very kind. It closed with these comments: "Don't be fooled by the single ("Why Can't This Be Love"), which is pretty good — it's just a tease. And as Sammy Hagar could probably tell you, a tease just gets you all worked up for nothing. To quote vintage Van Halen, 'Where have all the good times gone?'" In retrospect, I may have misjudged Sammy. I'm still not a fan of some of his phraseology, but the songs "Dreams" (which ApologetiX has since spoofed) and "Love Walks In" were pretty majestic and had a level of seriousness seldom seen or heard from Diamond Dave. The lyrics to "Best of Both Worlds" and "Summer Nights" make me cringe, but the music was powerful, and the dude could really sing. I read his autobiography, too — it was pretty entertaining.

300. Dirty Work – The Rolling Stones
This album is a sore spot for me, which I'll explain in a moment, but it did provide a prelude for a summer of Stones albums, as you'll see later on the list. I was asked to review Dirty Work for our campus newspaper. I did my due diligence — even drew an illustration of Mick and Keith that the paper included with the article (drawing was my other "thing" back then) — but one of the editors changed the spelling of "Jagger" to "Jaggar" in each of the first two paragraphs. Made me look like an idiot. Trust me, I know how to spell Mick's last name, which is proven by the fact that they somehow left the "Jagger" in the seventh paragraph unchanged. As far as the tunes go, I thought it the album was OK. The hits were "Harlem Shuffle," which I thought was decent, and "One Hit (to the Body)," which I liked a lot. Other noteworthy tracks included "Winning Ugly," "Sleep Tonight," and "Too Rude."

301. Then and Now: The Best of The Monkees – The Monkees
I finished my college years at IUP with a summer internship as a reporter for the local newspaper, The Indiana Gazette, but I still kept writing for our campus paper, Penn. Meanwhile, The Monkees were back in the news with a reunion tour (which I attended July 9, 1986 at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena) and a new album later that month. Sure, it was an anthology, but it had three brand-new recordings, "That Was Then, Then Is Now," "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," and a remake of the old Paul Revere and the Raiders hit "Kicks." I wasn't really impressed with any of the new tracks, but "That Was Then" grew on me over time, and it even hit the Top 20 on Billboard's Hot 100. I just dug out my old news clippings to read my review, and this excerpt summarizes how I still feel about Then and Now: "This album isn't exactly a revolutionary concept. Monkees anthologies have been available for years. Unfortunately, they have almost always been missing important songs, even major hits. The few good collections were scarce. Arista's newest compilation doesn't even come close to capturing the best of The Monkees: there isn't enough space. Luckily, for the curious, Rhino records has also re-released all nine of the original Monkees albums. Also luckily, for the not-so-curious, Then and Now contains all of The Monkees' major hits. It's not a good collection of Monkees songs, but it is a collection of good songs."

Note: 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).