Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
as of March 1, 2024

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03.01.24A Serious Problem We're Trying to Address
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02.29.24Influential Albums: 1388-1394
02.29.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
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02.22.24Influential Albums: 1381-1387
02.22.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.22.24Wayne Is Retiring, What's Next for Him and Us?
02.22.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
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02.16.24Influential Albums: 1374-1380
02.16.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.16.24Remembering ApX Friend Paul "Doc" Nigh (1956-2024)
02.16.24Clues for 2024 Single #4
02.10.24Influential Albums: 1367-1373
02.10.24Fans Making Plans to Attend Our Big Show September 1
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02.10.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
02.06.24This Week's News Bulletin
02.06.24New Single: '74 & '83
02.03.24ApX Lead Singer/Lyricist Shares His Testimony 36 Years Later
02.03.24Influential Albums: 1360-1366
02.03.24This Week's Bible Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
02.03.24Latest CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
02.02.24Clues for 2024 Single #3
01.29.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.26.24Influential Albums: 1353-1359
01.26.24How to Get the ApX Library, USBs, Multiple Downloads
01.26.24This Week's Bible-Reading and Rock Thru the Bible
01.26.24Flashback: J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2014
01.26.24J.'s Vision for ApologetiX in 2024
01.26.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.24.24Checking in With ApX Alum Drummer Fred Behanna
01.22.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.22.24New Single: '70s #1 Hits That Remade '60s Top 10 Hits
01.19.24Influential Albums: 1346-1352
01.19.24Encouraging Message from Longtime Fan in Oklahoma
01.19.24This Week's Bible-Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
01.15.24This Week's News Bulletin
01.12.24Influential Albums: 1339-1346
01.12.24The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
01.12.24Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
01.12.24New Testament Reading Started Wednesday
01.11.24New Worship Songs Available from ApX Alum Bill Rieger
01.08.24New Single: '81 & '83
01.08.24New CD BOGO Ends Sunday
01.08.24New USB Thumb Drives on the Way
01.05.24Clues for 2024 Single #1
01.05.24Influential Albums: 1332-1338
01.05.24Have You Heard About the Other Music City Miracle?
01.05.24This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.29.23Influential Albums: 1325-1331
12.29.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.28.232023: A Record-Breaking Record-Making Year
12.28.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.26.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.26.23New Single: 1974 & 2008
12.23.23Influential Albums: 1318-1324
12.23.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.23.23ApologetiX Updated Christmas Playlist
12.18.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.18.23New Samson CD Mailed to Fans, New Orders Sent as They Come In
12.16.23Influential Albums: 1311-1317
12.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
12.16.23New Story
12.16.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.11.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.11.23New Single: '83 & '84
12.11.23ApX Apparel: Order by Tuesday with Express Shipping
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12.07.23Influential Albums: 1304-1310
12.07.23Just Reword CD Added to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Etc.
12.07.23Clues for 2023 Single #25
12.04.23This Week's News Bulletin
12.02.23Influential Albums: 1297-1303
12.02.23This Week's Bible Reading & Rock Thru the Bible
12.02.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
12.02.23New Shirts & Other ApX Merch Coming Soon
12.02.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.28.23This Week's News Bulletin
11.28.23New Christmas Single: All '80s
11.24.23Influential Albums: 1290-1296
11.24.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.24.23Clues for 2023 Single #24
11.16.23All 71 ApX CDs Available as Downloads for $9.99 Each
11.16.23Influential Albums: 1283-1289
11.16.23The Stories Behind the Songs on This Single
11.16.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week
11.12.23This Week's News Bulletin
11.12.23New Single: #1 Hits from '81 & '86
11.09.23Rock Thru the Bible with ApX This Week

Influential Albums: 1269-1275
Thu., Nov. 2. 2023 9:21pm 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.

Note: Just because an album appears on this list doesn't mean I give it a blanket endorsement. Many of the secular albums on this list are mainly there because they wound up being spoofed by ApologetiX.

1269. Sonicflood - Sonicflood
Sonicflood's debut disc arrived in February 1999 and reached #158 on the Billboard 200, eventually selling over 500,000 copies. It combined heartfelt worship with some of the best elements of '90s alternative pop/rock, resulting in two #1 Christian radio hits — "I Want to Know You" (with a sound reminiscent of Third Eye Blind) and "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" (including female vocals by Out of Eden's Lisa Kimmey-Bragg). Originally done by British group Delirious?, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" has been recorded by many artists, but Sonicflood's version may be the most popular. Our congregation still often sings that song during worship at my church. I'd first heard "I Want to Know You" on a couple compilations in '99 and loved it. However, I didn't really get into the Sonicflood LP until ApologetiX bassist Keith Haynie started playing it regularly while he was driving the band van. That was the deal ... if you drove, you got to pick the music. The production also reminds me a bit of DC Talk's Supernatural LP, which was released five months earlier. Then again, Sonicflood was signed to the Gotee label, co-founded by DC Talk's TobyMac, so that makes sense. This album also includes inspired interpretations of the popular worship songs "Holiness," "Open the Eyes of My Heart," and "Something About That Name" (featuring Kevin Max of DC Talk). My favorite track is the opener, "I Have Come to Worship." I also like "Holy One," and "Carried Away." Lead singer Jeff Deyo left Sonicflood after their second LP, Sonicpraise. In 2005, He played a number of the same events as ApologetiX. On August 13, 2005, at Powerfest in Porterfield WI, he even gave us a shout-out from the stage: "I feel like we've been on tour with ApologetiX this year; we've played so many of the same festivals." We also rode the same plane with Jeff and his band from Detroit to Green Bay that weekend.

1270. Have I Ever Told You - FFH
Released in September 2001, Have I Ever Told You was FFH's third major-label LP and their ninth overall. I wrote about their 1999 major-label debut, I Want to Be Like You, a while back. We owned the 2000 follow-up, Found a Place, too, but I don't remember much about it. Have I Ever Told You was the folksy foursome's latest album when ApologetiX did a couple concerts with them in Honolulu HI in September 2002. I probably purchased it the previous year when it came out, though. Maybe I should say "formerly folksy," because they'd really beefed up their ancillary instrumentation, although their vocals were as pristine as ever. The first two tracks, "Watching Over Me" and "Fly Away," both reached #1 on the Christian Adult Contemporary chart and the top five on the Christian Hit Radio chart. The closing track, "On My Cross," hit #1 on the inspirational radio chart. Another track, "Open Up the Sky," was included on the WOW Hits 2003 CD, and "Watching Over Me" was on WOW Hits 2002. However, I'm partial to "Astronaut." It's a song about how our loving Lord made the universe, which is ironic, because the album cover photo kind of looks like a promo shot for the TV show The Big Bang Theory. The chorus is a little bit silly, but so was "Big Fish" a couple years before, and this one is just as catchy, and the verses are great. It's right behind "One of These Days" on my list of FFH tunes. I was so impressed with FFH's harmonies on that song and all the others at those two shows in Hawaii. Have I Ever Told You went to #119 on the Billboard 200.

1271. WOW Hits 2002 - Various Artists
Available in stores on October 23, 2001, WOW Hits 2002 was the first in the series of annual releases (which started with WOW 1996) not to include a DC Talk track. Instead, it featured cuts from all three individual members: "Somebody's Watching" by TobyMac, "All You Got" by Tait, and "Existence" by Kevin Max. Tracks one through three on the first disc of this two-CD set seemed to represent the Big Three of contemporary Christian music groups now that DC Talk had broken up: "Joy" by Newsboys, "40 Days" by Third Day, and "Beautiful" by Audio Adrenaline. Those are all great tunes, but I've mentioned them already on the artists' albums from whence they came. There were 33 songs in all on WOW Hits 2002, which went to #52 on the Billboard 200 and sold over a million copies. I bought one, but I was starting to lose interest in the WOW series, although I did pick up WOW Hits 2003 the following year.

1272. Now That's What I Call Christmas! - Various Artists
Now That's What I Call Christmas! came out on October 23, 2001, just in time for ... Halloween. It went to #3 on the Billboard 200 and sold almost 3.5 million copies. Music geeks like myself had been assembling collections, cassettes, and playlists of Christmas hits for years before then, so I was pleased when I saw it in the store. However, upon looking closer at the roster, I was a little disappointed. There were 36 tracks, but about half of them seemed to be filler — not songs you looked forward to hearing every Christmas on the radio ... or at least not the definitive versions. And the second half of disc two was all stuff by contemporary artists that was too new to be part of anybody's traditional holiday listening. Now that's not what I call Christmas! At the time, I thought there were many other established seasonal pop hits that would have been better choices to fill those slots. Then again, I didn't know the Now series would eventually expand to 15 Christmas volumes by the end of 2023. Besides, the cover did say "36 classic songs from Christmas past and present." The initial edition featured selections from the 1940s through the early 2000s and had some interesting song order choices, like "White Christmas" (Bing Crosby) followed by "Blue Christmas" (Elvis Presley) and "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Gene Autry) followed by "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (Elmo & Patsy). For some reason, the folks in charge decided not to put the ex-Beatle biggies back to back — John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime." They're both on Now That's What I Call Christmas! but are separated by two other tunes. It would have made for a revealing contrast in songwriting styles and worldviews if they'd sequenced John's and Paul's in succession. Speaking of contrast, Bing Crosby also appeared a second time on this compilation alongside David Bowie with "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy," a dynamic duet we considered oh-so-cool when I was in college. Despite all my grousing, I was burned out on most of the old pop Christmas chestnuts anyway. My favorite track on this CD turned out to be "Away in a Manger" by Mannheim Steamroller. I never seem to get tired of that one. Of course, one thing that helps keep it fresh is that I don't start playing Christmas music in my car or house until the day after Thanksgiving. ApologetiX spoofed "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" in 2016.

1273. Past Masters Volume 1 - The Beatles
When The Beatles' catalog finally came out on CD in 1987, it comprised the group's original 12 U.K. studio LPs plus the American version of Magical Mystery Tour (which had only been an EP in the Fab Four's homeland). Unfortunately, that left some holes. Released in two volumes in March '88, Past Masters contained 33 tracks that had been available commercially on vinyl (primarily on singles) but had never made it onto the U.K. albums. I eventually got Past Masters, Volume 1 primarily because I wanted to spoof "She's a Woman," possibly the Fab Four's least remembered Top Five hit. It went to #4, but was overshadowed as the flip side of the chart-topping "I Feel Fine." I also wrote a parody of an additional cut, "I'm Down" (#101), which was originally the flip side of another #1 hit, "Help!" ApologetiX later released a raw live recording of the "She's a Woman" spoof, but we never even performed the "I'm Down" parody. There were 18 tracks in all on Past Masters, Volume 1, including two #1 hits — "Love Me Do" and the aforementioned "I Feel Fine." We spoofed both of those tunes, too. The strangest selections on this collection were the two alternate versions sung in German, "Komm, gib mir deine Hand" ("I Want to Hold Your Hand") and "Sie liebt dich" ("She Loves You"), which actually had reached #97 on the Hot 100 at the height of Beatlemania. I'd heard it all before on vinyl and cassette back in the day, but there were some other old favorites I was happy to revisit, particularly "Thank You Girl" (#35), "Slow Down" (#25), "Bad Boy," and "Long Tall Sally." Past Masters, Volume 1 only reached #149 on the Billboard 200, while Volume 2 went to #121. Nevertheless, each title still sold a million copies in the United States.

1274. Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin' - Various Artists
Released in 1999, this impressive 40-track collection from Columbia Records featured rock classics from 1965-1997, presented in chronological order. It starts ("Subterranean Homesick Blues") and ends ("Love Sick") with Bob Dylan, the only artist featured twice. ApologetiX spoofed more than a fourth of the selections, including the aforementioned "Subterranean Homesick Blues," plus "I Got a Line on You" (Spirit), "Born to Run" (Bruce Springsteen), "Carry On Wayward Son" (Kansas), "More Than a Feeling" (Boston), "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (Blue Öyster Cult), "Walk This Way" (Aerosmith), "Cat Scratch Fever" (Ted Nugent), "Surrender" (Cheap Trick), "Don't Stop Believin'" (Journey), and "Wonderwall" (Oasis). But there were so many other great tunes on Rock: The Train Kept A Rollin', like "Mr. Tambourine Man" (The Byrds), "Over Under Sideways Down" (Yardbirds), "Omaha" (Moby Grape), "Time Has Come Today" (Chambers Brothers), "Albatross" (Fleetwood Mac), "I Want to Take You Higher" (Sly & The Family Stone), "All the Young Dudes" (Mott the Hoople), "Frankenstein" (Edgar Winter Group), "Barracuda" (Heart), "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (Meat Loaf), "Pump It Up" (Elvis Costello), "Pretty in Pink" (Psychedelic Furs), "London Calling" (The Clash), "Beds Are Burning" (Midnight Oil), "Learning to Fly" (Pink Floyd), "Cult of Personality" (Living Colour), "No More Tears" (Ozzy Osbourne), "Runaway Train" (Soul Asylum), "Killing in the Name" (Rage Against the Machine), and "Got the Life" (Korn). Wow. For a complete track listing, go to:

1275. Human Clay - Creed
Formed in Tallahassee FL in 1994, the rock band Creed drew some criticism for sounding too much Pearl Jam ... as did Stone Temple Pilots before them. But like STP, that didn't stop Creed from having massive success. Their 1997 debut LP, My Own Prison hit #22 on the Billboard 200 and sold six million copies, spawning four songs that hit the Top 10 on both the mainstream rock and/or alternative charts: "My Own Prison" (#2 mainstream for 10 weeks, #7 alternative), "Torn" (#3 mainstream) "What's This Life For" (#1 mainstream for six weeks, #10 alternative), and "One" (#2 mainstream for seven weeks, #2 alternative for two weeks). None of those hit the pop Top 40, however. Their second LP, Human Clay, changed all of that. Released in September 1999, it topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks and sold over 20 million copies worldwide (including over 11.5 million in the United States), thanks primarily to a pair of pop smashes that somehow still sustained Creed's cred on the mainstream and alternative charts: "Higher" (#7 pop, #1 mainstream for 17 weeks, #1 alternative for three weeks) and "With Arms Wide Open" (#1 pop for one week, #1 mainstream for four weeks, #2 alternative for four weeks). Two other tunes hit the Top 5 on the mainstream rock chart: "What If" (#102 pop, #3 mainstream, #15 alternative) and "Are You Ready?" (#125 pop, #4 mainstream, #37 alternative). I bought a copy of Human Clay in 2001 when ApologetiX was looking at potential parodies for the CD that eventually became Keep the Change, although we never pursued anything further. Creed's third LP, Weathered, came out on November 20, 2001 and also hit #1. It would yield two more Top 10 pop hits — "My Sacrifice" (#4 pop, #1 mainstream for nine weeks, #2 alternative) and "One Last Breath (#6 pop, #5 mainstream, #17 alternative) — plus "Bullets" (#11 mainstream, #27 alternative) and "Weathered" (#7 mainstream, #30 alternative). Unfortunately for Creed, the "One Last Breath" title proved somewhat prophetic. The band broke up in 2004, although they reunited and released a fourth LP, Full Circle, in 2009, with two cuts that charted, "Overcome" (#73 pop, #4 mainstream, #22 alternative) and "A Thousand Faces" (#23 mainstream). Lead singer Scott Stapp had five solo cuts that charted in the lower half of the mainstream rock Top 40 between 2005 and 2020. His three former bandmates have had more success as the group Alter Bridge with new lead singer and rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy. As of the fall of 2023, their biggest hit has been "Isolation" (#1 mainstream for seven weeks, #20 alternative), and they've had five other mainstream Top 10 hits, plus 11 others that made the mainstream Top 40.