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 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).