Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

I’m not making a case that these are the five “greatest singers of all-time”, but they are amongst my all-time favorites.

5.  Peter Gabriel: 

Peter Gabriel’s vocals are certainly distinctive, and while he doesn’t possess what would be considered a traditionally great voice, his ability to effectively convey a wide range of emotions is uncanny.  Frequently his vocal performances are evocative and compelling.  Listen to “Biko”, “In Your Eyes”, “Red Rain”, “Don’t Give Up” (w/Kate Bush), “Blood of Eden”, “Secret World”…. 

4.  Burton Cummings:

Easily one of the most underrated vocalists of the rock era, this blue eyed soul powerhouse teamed with fellow Canadian Randy Bachman to create a host of memorable songs in the band the Guess Who.  Their ongoing lack of recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is further evidence of that organizations prodigious ineptitude. Checkout “These Eyes”, “Undone”, “No Time”, “Share the Land”, “No Sugar Tonight”, “American Woman”…  

3.  Ann Wilson:

Arguably the greatest female voice in rock history, Ann Wilson has created a catalogue of memorable vocal performances. Even when Heart’s music veered toward the pop-rock lane, Wilson’s singing remained an impressive centerpiece.  Listen to “Magic Man”, “How Deep it Goes”, “Crazy On You”, “Barracuda”, “Sylvan Song”, “Nada One”, “Rock and Roll (Live)”, “Alone”…

2.  Karen Carpenter:

There is no doubt that Richard Carpenter’s musical acumen was a huge part of the group’s success in the 1970’s, but it is those same arrangements / production elements that make their catalog sound so out of date today.  Even so, the transcendent quality of Karen Carpenter’s voice remains a timeless pop music treasure.   Listen to “Superstar”, “Ticket to Ride”, “Yesterday Once More”, “Rainy Days and Mondays”, “We’ve Only Just Begun”…

1.  Steve Perry:

Although dismissed by critics for their pop sound, Journey consistently created well produced, and highly listenable records.  Whatever they may have lacked in edginess, they more than made up for with virtuoso musicianship, and the impassioned vocals of singer Steve Perry.  Decades later, Perry is widely held as on the greatest vocalists of all-time.  Check out “Lights”, “Patiently”, “Walks Like a Lady (Live)”, “Still They Ride”, “Separate Ways”, “Send Her My Love”, “Faithfully”, “When You Love a Woman”…

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In the midst of so much turmoil in the world, there are so many voices clamoring for our attention.  They offer finite answers to infinite questions, whereby even genuine revelation from God is often presented as if it is the sum total of what the Lord is saying, instead of part and parcel of a much bigger picture, which no one man could possibly know (1 Cor. 13:9 & 12).  Seekers of truth can easily get caught up running from one would-be Prophet/Teacher to the next, desperately trying to discern God’s priorities in this moment, but I sense that the Lord’s focus remains firmly on the posture of our hearts.  As He told the Prophet Samuel (1 Sam.16:7), He doesn’t regard outward appearances, which includes all the things we’re doing in His name; choosing instead to look at the condition/attitude/posture of our hearts.  While we like to think of our accomplishments “in Jesus’ name” as fruit, He defines fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) as Christ’s heart/character spilling out of us (Col. 1:27).   

The spirit of this age hopes to keep us focused on, and striving to change, what is going on around us, while the Lord is challenging us to look within.  Indeed, His eyes range throughout the earth, looking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him (2Chron. 16:9).  He promises to work all things to the good of those who love Him and who are called to His purposes (Rom. 8:28), and He is faithful to reward those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  None of those promises hinge on our performance, or perfect theology, or prophetic insight.  They all rise or fall on the posture of our hearts.  Even the oft quoted 2Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name…” is not about praying for our nation, it’s about the posture of our hearts if we hope for our prayers to be effective. 

God did not consider David a “man after God’s own heart” because of his impeccable character, his valor on the battlefield, or his perfect obedience, it was instead his relentless pursuit of the Father’s will.  What made the tabernacle of David so attractive to the Lord wasn’t the 24/7 nature of the music, it was the insatiable hunger for His presence that fueled it.

We need to quit asking God to send revival, as though we are trying to pry it from His reluctant hand.  He has placed the seeds of revival within the hearts of His people, and we are not waiting on Him to move, He is waiting for us to cultivate the fallow ground.  If we’ve yet to see the promised harvest, it is time to examine the condition of the soil (i.e. our hearts).  If something in the way we teach/preach the “Gospel of Kingdom” has served to take our eyes off the King, then we have taught amiss.

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In this era of digital downloads, the concept of a record album is somewhat lost.  Also referred to as an LP (long-playing), an album normally contained 10-12 songs, split into two sides.  Generally, you needed to like at least 3 songs on an album to justify paying the extra money as opposed to simply buying the single.  If you found a record with 5 or 6 good songs, it was a real treat. Since they were played on record players, having to switch between tracks was not at all convenient, so finding a record that had a side that could be played all the way through was a rare and beautiful thing.  Ultimately, the most exceptional experience was the album that didn’t have 1 song you wanted to skip (i.e. two sides that could be played all the way through).  The 10 records listed below fall in that category.  

  1. Tapestry – Carole King:  Includes classics, It’s Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, You’ve Got a Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow?, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and great album tracks like Smackwater Jack and Beautiful.
  2. Boston – Boston:  Includes classics, More than a Feeling, Piece of Mind, Foreplay/Long Time, Rock & Roll Band, and great album cuts like Hitch a Ride and Smokin’.  Their second album, Don’t Look Back was similarly complete.
  3. Dreamboat Annie – Heart:  Includes classics, Magic Man, Crazy On You, Dreamboat Annie, and great album cuts like How Deep it Goes and Soul of the Sea.
  4. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash:  Includes classics, Suite Judy Blue Eyes, Wooden Ships, Marrakesh Express, Helplessly Hoping, Long Time Gone, and great album cuts like Guinevere, and Lady of the Island.
  5. Joshua Tree – U2:  Includes classics, With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where the Streets Have No Name, Bullet the Blue Sky, and great album cuts like, Red Hill Mining Town and Running to Stand Still.  Their albums, War and Under a Blood Red Sky were similarly complete.
  6. Hotel California – The Eagles:  Includes the classics, Hotel California, New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane and great album cuts like Victim of Love and Wasted Time.
  7. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd:  Includes classics, Money, Us and Them, Time, and great albums cuts like, Breathe and Brain Damage.  Their albums, Wish You Were Here and The Wall were similarly complete.
  8. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin:  Includes classics, Rock and Roll, Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven, and great album cuts like, When the Levee Breaks and Going to California.  Their albums, Led Zep I, II, III and Houses of the Holy were all similarly complete.
  9. Escape – Journey:  Includes classics, Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Crying Now, Open Arms, Still They Ride, and great album cuts like, Stone in Love and Mother, Father,  Their follow up album, Frontiers was similarly complete.
  10. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac:  Includes classics, Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun, Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Gold Dust Woman, The Chain and great album cuts like Songbird and Second Hand News.  Their eponymous album from 1975 was similarly complete.

Honorable Mentions:  The Police (Synchronicity), Van Halen (Debut & 1984), Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run), The Beatles (Abbey Road, Sgt. Peppers), Metallica (Black Album), Steely Dan (Aja), Styx (Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight), AC/DC (Back in Black), Rush (Moving Pictures), Peter Gabriel (So), Elton John (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), Def Leppard (Pyromania, Hysteria)

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