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20 greatest albums everyone should at least listen to or own at one time (myself included) March 19, 2010

Filed under: entertainment,Michael Jackson,music,rock 101: who's who and what's what from mostly the past,Uncategorized — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 3:18 AM
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These are in no order whatsoever, but are just numbered. Sorry.

  1. Out of the Blue (1987) – Debbie Gibson. To many fans of the 1980’s, this is a pop gem. Also it must be noted that Gibson was the youngest person to ever help produce a record (the single Foolish Beat) at the tender age of 16.
  2. Victory (1984) – The Jacksons.
  3. Lead Me On (1988) – Amy Grant. This is perhaps the best Contemporary Christian album ever made. It has a timeless mix in both sound and lyric.
  4. Thriller (1984) – Michael Jackson. Probably one of the best R&B/pop/rock albums ever. With such gems as Human Nature, Thriller, Beat It and Wanna Be Starting Somethin’ one cannot go wrong with this classic.
  5. Kilroy Was Here (1983) – Styx. One of the great rock operas of all time. Rarely does a good album tell a moral story, and Styx knocks it out of the ballpark with the ever-popular Mr. Roboto.
  6. Dreamboat Annie (1976) – Heart. One of the most underrated albums and groups of all time. Ann Wilson is one of the greatest rock vocalist of all time. Better yet, she still sounds good even now, despite her age. Nancy is also a talented guitarist. Nancy shows off her chops on the songs Magic Man, Crazy on You, and White Lightning and Wine.
  7. God (1996) Rebecca St. James – Good things come out of Australia and Rebecca St. James is no exception. This album is better than her previous teen-pop album and has a style reminiscent of the grunge scene albeit with a twist: its Christian music. One noteworthy cover St. James does is a reworking of You’re The Voice, a song previously made popular by Heart. Other great songs to check out are God, Abba (Father), and Go and Sin No More.
  8. Boy (1980) – U2. Arguably this band is the greatest Christian rock band. However, this them before they became Christians I believe but either way, they sound great. This is one that I want to add to my collection.
  9. October (1981) – U2. Once again, U2 proves that they are one of the greatest rock bands, or even Christian rock bands, ever to chart. Only Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. can pull off such songs as Gloria, Rejoice and the hauntingly beautiful title track.
  10. Tragic Kingdom (1996) – No Doubt. This is a great introduction to ska-punk. However, the pièce de résistance is none other than Gwen Stefani’s voice. Best songs to look out for are Spiderwebs, Hey You, Sixteen, Don’t Speak, Excuse Me Mister, and Tragic Kingdom.
  11. Rhythm Nation 1812 (1989) – Janet Jackson. Smoothly produced R&B with a kick and a socially aware message.
  12. Out of the Grey (1992) – Out of the Grey. The Contemporary Christian duo has an incomparable alternative sound which is only highlighted by Christine Dente’s Debbie Harry-style voice and the excellent guitar playing of husband Scott Dente. This album is nothing short of a classic with songs like Remember This, The Dance, The Only Moment, and the duo’s swan song Wishes. Also, the songwriting on this album is not cheesy, unlike some Christian music of the time.
  13. Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986) – Various Artists. This is probably one of the greatest action movie soundtracks of all time. It is one action-packed soundtrack filled with such songs as Danger Zone and Playing With the Boys by Kenny Loggins – who shows he has some rock chops. Other great tracks include Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick, Lead Me On by Teena Marie, Hot Summer Nights by Miami Sound Machine and finally, the eponymous Top Gun Anthem.
  14. Raising Sand (2008) – Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Bluegrass meets hard rock. However, don’t be fooled because this album is more roots-rock with songs such as Gone Gone Gone (Done Me Wrong) and Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson.
  15. Learning to Crawl (1983-1984) – The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde is one of the greatest female frontwomen in rock music. Here she proves that she is also an accomplished guitar player and harmonicist with a song like Middle of the Road. However, this album only gets better with such songs like Back On the Chain Gang – which spawned a new meaning for the band after James Honeyman-Scott died of a drug overdose at the age of 25.  Every song on the album is one of greatness; including Time the Avenger, My City Was Gone, and Thumbelina.
  16. Here For the Party (2004) – Gretchen Wilson. In 2004, there was this little-known group in Nashville, TN called the Muzik Mafia. However, among them were such members as John Rich, Big Kenny, and Gretchen Wilson. Wilson burst onto the country music scene in 2004 with Redneck Woman, which went straight up to the top of the country charts. The whole album essentially revitalized the southern rock genre with songs like the title track, Homewrecker, and Redneck Woman.
  17. Surfer Girl (1963) – The Beach Boys. Probably one of the greatest surf-rock bands that served to usher in the greatness of the music of California. With songs like In My Room, Surfer Girl, and Little Deuce Coup, you cannot go wrong.
  18. If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears (1966) –  The Mamas and the Papas. The lush harmonies of “Mama” Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips are introduced to the world with such songs as Monday Monday and California Dreamin’.
  19. Synchronicity (1983) – The Police. This album is probably the quintessential Police album with songs like Spirits in the Material World, King of Pain, Synchronicity II, and the ever-popular Every Breath You Take.
  20. Are You Experienced (1967) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This album is the equivalent of standing on your head musically. It is great with such songs as the title track and All Along the Watchtower.
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September 11, 2001 – the defining moment of the decade December 18, 2009

As the decade comes to a close in a few days, there will be only one thing that truly defines the decade: the fatefule events of September 11, 2001.

Her is my recount of where I was and what I was doing on that fateful day in September.

But first, let me give you a history of that whole year so that you can understand the change of the mindset of everyone, including myself.

The summer of 2001 was a rather interesting one due to the fact that I went on a mission trip for the first time as a Christian entitled “Houston 2001.” (Now known as “The Houston Project.”) I did it with the youth group that I was in at the time.

I was also about to enter highschool. I was slated to attend a local private highschool in my hometown: Houston, TX. The week that school started was a rather innocuous one – very innoccent. The entire class went on a retreat and we played a game called “Romans and Christians” – a Christian version of the classic game of chase.

A few weeks before, I remember my father and I were looking for camera equipment and we stopped by the local AudioVideo Plus store on Richmond ave (now an adult megaplexx place, ick!) and we just looked around the video store and the old videos. It was a rainy, but sunny day in Houston.

Then 9/11 happened a few days later. I went to class as usual and, according to the timeline of events (Houston is on central time), I was in World History Class because classes started at 7:45 am. But nobody told us about the event at first. The next class I had was a typing class and another fellow classmate, a boy, came into the class and exclaimed to the teacher that 3 planes had crashed. Knowing this boy to be obnoxious, I ignored him and thought that this sorta thing, plane crashes, happen everyday.

But little did I know that what I was about to hear in the announcements period on that Tuesday was a very life-altering event for everyone. The next period I went to announcements and sat down next to my friend, Brittan Braddock, and the principle, a native new yorker himself, made the shocking announcement that the world trade center had been hit as well as the pentagon by muslim extremists.

The whole room went into a state of disbelief and questioning. The next class period, women’s chorus, was no exception either because the teacher stayed silent in regards to helping us understand what happened in New York.

The rest of the day was filled with lots of talk about what happened, along with the two types of Islam. They even had televisions out broadcasting the news. Everything that day was cancelled. I remember that I was a little glad that handbell practice was cancelled because I was starting to not like handbells. So I was picked up by my father and left the school.

When my father picked me up, he told me that there was a call from the church that we attended saying that the wednesday youth group meeting was going to be cancelled and that there was going to be a church (or citywide since this particular church is a megachurch – not like Joel Osteen’s Lakewood.) prayer meeting. It was pretty crowded.

Friday, I went to my first highschool football game. It was a time of fun, yet still remembering what happened.

Sunday was a rather busy day. I had to go to two separate churches, a local lutheran church to sing and then Houston’s First Baptist because I wanted to go to my home church. At the lutheran church, we sang Great is the Lord by Michael W. Smith and Lord of All by First Call. It was such short notice that we didn’t change our performance and, like the rest of the congregation, we were in equal shock and disbelief. By the time I got to First, it was a pretty packed congregation. The day was a rather big blur but I do remember confiding in my friend Shannon and telling her that I did want to cry. She told me it was okay to do so.

The following week I went to see the Avalon “Oxygen tour” at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion. I and my friend were late to the concert, but we made it just in the nick of time for Avalon to take the stage with their then-upcoming single Wonder Why. Many things suprised me that night. For starters, neither I, my father (who was also in attendance), nor my friend were searched in any way. I was also suprised that Avalon did not show any footage or even mention the terrible events that had happened in the US during the song Picture Perfect World. Instead, during that song, they showed a video montage of the band doing work with Compassion International. I personally thought that this gesture was a little conceited and selfish – like they were giving glory to themselves and not Jesus.

However, looking back, they were playing to an audience filled with families and maybe those families were looking to escape, but at least maybe one of the members, such as Janna Long or now-former member Cheri (who is from Rhode Island – nearby), could have said something like “Tonight as we sing this song [Picture Perfect World] our hearts, minds and prayers are with those that are suffering tonight in New York City, Washington D.C, and Shanksville, PA.” Other than that, it was a good concert. I still have (and wear) my Oxygen Tour tshirt.

Other than that, the year was a normal one for me. I had a good Christmas – I got my very first bass guitar that year as a gift along with a new Out of the Grey cd. I experienced my first real crush on a boy named Owen – a senior no less!

A year and 4 months later, I got to visit Ground Zero on a choir tour of New York. It was a very moving experience being at that site, as well as a sad one. We all cried when we spontaneously sang Ein So Lord Jesus Quickly Come and another song called Sanctuary. Everybody cried while at that site.