Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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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

Influential Albums: 512-518
Fri., Oct. 8. 2021 5:48pm EDT

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. Rather than listing the albums in order of preference or excellence, I'd been listing them in chronological order of when they influenced me, as best as I recall. We were well into 1987, and you'll start seeing a lot of Christian albums once we get to 1988.

However, in May 2021, I realized that I'd neglected to include many influential albums along the way, so I've been catching up on those for a while before we get to that momentous moment in '88 when my life and musical trajectory was forever changed. You'll still see plenty of secular albums after that, but music was never the same for me after.

512. Clouds Joni Mitchell
Released in 1969, Joni Mitchell's second album takes it title from a line in its most famous song, "Both Sides, Now," which had already been a Top 10 hit for Judy Collins the previous year, although Joni is the one who wrote it. The second-most famous song on Clouds is "Chelsea Morning," which Collins also covered and took to #79 pop and #25 adult contemporary. I prefer Judy's version of "Both Sides, Now" but Joni's version of "Chelsea Morning." Although I eventually bought my own copy of Clouds on CD, my sister Gayle owned the record when I was growing up, and I thought the self-portrait Mitchell painted even looked a bit like Gayle. The other song I remember most from back then was "Songs to Aging Children Come," with its spooky-sounding, chromatic harmonies. "Roses Blue" is a bit creepy, too, not just for its music but also its subject matted — a woman named Rose who has immersed herself in the occult and distanced herself from friends, including the singer herself. Happier-sounding tunes include "I Don't Know Where I Stand" and "That Song About the Midway." Although Mitchell would develop a more polished sound on subsequent releases, her prodigious songwriting talent was already in full view. Gayle has told me that, in her personal opinion, Joni is the greatest songwriter ever, and my sister is not prone to hyperbole. I don't know for sure which person I'd put at the top of my list, but I'd definitely have Joni in the upper echelon.

513. Funny Girl The Original Soundtrack Recording
Released in 1968, the movie Funny Girl starred Barbra Streisand, reprising the role she'd made famous four years earlier in the Broadway musical of the same name, which had already generated a #5 hit for Streisand, "People." I'm not sure whether it was my mother or my sisters who bought this soundtrack album, but it was in our family's record collection, and I vividly remember both the front and back covers. I associate the music from the show — and Streisand in general — with my sister Kris, who became quite an actress herself in high school and college. In addition to "People," the most memorable songs for me were "I'm the Greatest Star," "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You," and "Don't Rain on My Parade" We also owned the soundtracks to Streisand's next two movies, Hello Dolly! (1969) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970). Furthermore, we had two of her hits on 45, "Stoney End" (#6 in 1971) and "The Way We Were" (#1 in 1974).

514. Straight Shooter Bad Company
When I was growing up, our next-door neighbor Mrs. Davis' youngest brother, David Zeller, used to come visit occasionally from Kentucky. He was a year older than I, and I always enjoyed his stays in Greensburg PA. Dave was the first person I ever met from the Bluegrass State and the first friend I ever had with a genuine southern accent. He eventually spent his entire senior year of high school in Greensburg, living in his sister's basement. This was one of two records I remember him owning. At the time, the only track I was familiar with was the #10 hit "Feel Like Makin' Love," although I might have heard (or at least heard of) the album-rock classic "Shooting Star," too. A few years later, I tried out for a band in Greensburg while I was in college, and that's the first time I heard "Good Lovin' Gone Bad." They wanted me to sing it as part of my audition, but I didn't know it, so the drummer sang it instead. I never got called back by that band (I think they stuck with their drummer as singer), but it was still worth it to learn that fantastic song. Released in 1975, the triple-platinum Straight Shooter was Bad Company's second album. "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" was actually the first single, before "Feel Like Makin' Love," and it went to #36 on the pop charts. I eventually bought a used copy of Straight Shooter on cassette years later at Jerry's Records in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Even though I liked Bad Company's hits, I was surprised at how many great songs were on this album. In fact, I don't think there's a bad tune on it. Some of my favorite non-hits were "Deal with the Preacher," "Wild Fire Woman," "Call on Me," and "Weep No More." ApologetiX has spoofed "Feel Like Makin' Love" three times and "Shooting Star" twice.

515. On the Border The Eagles
This was the other album I remember Dave Zeller owning. I didn't think the cover artwork was very interesting, so I greatly underestimated the contents, even though I already knew and liked the opening and closing tracks, "Already Gone" and "Best of My Love." Released in 1974, On the Border was The Eagles' third album and a deliberate effort by the band to move away from the country side of their music and focus more on the rock side. I didn't really give it a good listen until many years later, but when I did, I was impressed. "Already Gone" was the first single and went to #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. ApologetiX spoofed that song a couple of times in our early days. "Best of My Love" was the third single and became the first of The Eagles' five #1 hits. The second single, "James Dean," only went to #77 but still gets some airplay on classic-rock stations. It's a great piece of songwriting, courtesy of Glenn Frey and Jackson Browne, the same two guys who had written The Eagles debut hit, "Take It Easy," two years earlier. As for the other songs on On the Border, my church choir director in college liked "Ol' 55," but my favorites included "You Never Cry Like a Lover," "Midnight Flyer," and the title track.

516. At the Hop (A Collection of Classic Oldies) Vol. 2 Various Artists
Here's another cassette I bought in college in order to stock up on #1 hits from the early days of rock and roll. Apparently, this was a double album, but my cassette only had half of it. Nevertheless, six of the 13 songs on that half went to #1, and they're all classics: "At the Hop" (Danny and the Juniors), "Honeycomb" (Jimmy Rodgers), "Young Love" (Sonny James), "Stagger Lee" (Lloyd Price), "Little Star" (The Elegants), and "April Love" (Pat Boone). As far as the other songs go, my favorite was the #7 hit "Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp") by Barry Mann. You don't want to confuse Barry Mann with Barry Manilow, but Mr. Mann has actually co-written more hits than Mr. Manilow — almost a hundred chart hits (98, to be exact), including selections as diverse as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (The Righteous Brothers), "On Broadway" (The Drifters), "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (The Animals), "Kicks" (Paul Revere and the Raiders), "Sometimes When We Touch" (Dan Hill), "Here You Come Again" (Dolly Parton), and "Somewhere Out There" (Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram). For a complete track listing, go to: https://www.discogs.com/Various-At-The-Hop-A-Collection-Of-Classic-Oldies/release/3126455

517. Nuggets Volume Five, Pop Part III Various Artists
I picked up a used copy this LP mainly because it was the only place I knew of where I could find these three songs I'd read about but had never heard: "Pandora's Golden Heebie Geebies" (The only Top 40 hit by The Association not to make it onto their Greatest Hits album), "Tomorrow" (the #23 hit that kept Strawberry Alarm Clock from being a one-hit wonder after "Incense and Peppermints"), and "Sit Down I Think I Love You" (The Mojo Men's Top 40 cover version of one of my favorite Buffalo Springfield songs). Four of the 14 tracks were old favorites — "Bend Me, Shape Me" (The American Breed), "You're The One" (The Vogues), "She Is a Still a Mystery" (Lovin' Spoonful), and "Where Were You When I Needed You" (The Grass Roots) — so that made this collection a safe selection. As for the other artists on this album, I was certainly interested in hearing more from The Knickerbockers and The Electric Prunes, since I knew their biggest hits. I can't decide what I like more about tracks #4 and 14 — the titles ("Got a Girl Named Wilma" and "P.S. Call Me Lulu") or the artists' names (Hackamore Brick and Primrose Circus). Here's a complete track listing: https://www.discogs.com/Various-Nuggets-Volume-Five-Pop-Part-III/master/646019

518. Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce Springsteen
Released in 1978, Darkness on the Edge of Town was Springsteen's fourth album but his first since 1975's Born to Run, because of a long legal battle with his former manager. I seem to remember hearing this album being played on the sound system at Rocket Records when it was still fairly new ("Adam Raised a Cain" somes to mind), and I'm sure Tom Dellaquila had it playing in my presence in college, but I didn't actively listen to it till I borrowed my co-worker Drew Vosefski's copy in the summer of 1984. The first single, "Prove It All Night," became Springsteen's second Top 40 hit, but my jam was the second single, "Badlands," which came up just short (#42). My other favorite was "Candy's Room," followed by "Promised Land" and the title track. What if Springsteen had been from New Hampshire instead of New Jersey? He could have released Dartmouth on the Edge of Town.

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 '88. However, I hope you'll see (as I do) how God's hand was at work behind the scenes from the start, preparing me for the work I believe He intended for me to do.