Christian Stephens – Their self-titled debut LP from 1980

June 23, 2015

This is a bit of an unusual posting for us, but it’s in response to several reader comments and emails.

christian-stephens-frontEach week we continue to get visits via search engines from those looking for the music of one of the early CCM groups, Christian Stephens.  In 2014 during Holy week, we posted several of the best songs from their eponymous debut album Christian Stephens from 1980, which I’d digitized from my vinyl LP.

Classic CCM songs for Holy Week from Christian Stephens: Look What You’ve Done, and Broken and Bleeding

Classic CCM for Good Friday: Christian Stephens – Song of the Cross

Classic CCM for Holy Saturday into Easter: Christian Stephens’ The Descent, and Arise

Those posts have brought readers here looking for more songs from the album, or more information about how to obtain the album.  The album is no longer in print and not available online anywhere as best as I can discover.

Since several readers have expressed interest in other songs from the album, I’m uploading all my songs from my LP.  Apologies that the quality is not always as good as I would wish.  There are several scratches / skips.

I pray this will be a blessing to those who have been wanting to hear this album again.  Hard for me to believe it’s 35 years old already!

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Note: the songs posted are digitized versions of my original vinyl album.  There are some scratches, etc.  I believe the album is out of print, but if anyone knows of a CD or digital version available for purchase, I would love to know so I can link it here and ensure royalties go to the artist. 

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CCM Classics for Easter – Michael Card: Love Crucified Arose (1982)

April 23, 2015

Michael Card’s classic “Love Crucified Arose” came up in my Easter playlist as I was getting ready for work this morning, and the lyrics so encouraged me.  The lyrics of the chorus especially remind us that Jesus’ resurrection was a PHYSICAL resurrection.

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

A dead, lifeless body coming back to life, a heart that had stopped, now beating once again.  The resurrection is not just some nice abstract idea of new life or spiritual renewing, but the truth that Christ’s lifeless body was miraculously raised to life again.  In this is our hope.  NOTHING is impossible for the God who raised Jesus from the dead.  Be encouraged and REJOICE today!

Ask God what He wants to transform by His resurrection power in your life, and pray with confidence regarding His work of transformation, remembering that the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is alive and at work in all of us who are in Christ.  (See Eph 1:17 – 21)

There are at least 3 different versions of Love Crucified Arose performed by Michael Card available for purchase:  The original version of the song from The Early Works or Signature Songs; Live Version (piano & cello) [as in the YouTube above] from Scribbling in the Sand; and, what may be by favorite version, from A Violent Grace (includes choral background vocals).

The resource page for this song at Song Select is here

Here are the lyrics:

Long ago, He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall the cross He saw
Through the first of many tears

A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow’s way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life, the price He paid

Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Throughout Your life You’ve felt the weight
Of what You’d come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live

At last the time to love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment when
Your Father turned His face away

Love crucified arose
The One who lived and died for me
Was Satan’s nail-pierced casualty
Now He’s breathing once again

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory


CCM Classics for Easter – Matthew Ward’s updated rendition of Easter Song (2011)

April 22, 2015

Ok, you can’t get too much more “classic” in terms of CCM than Easter Song, written by Annie Herring of the Second Chapter of Acts, released on their very first album With Footnotes in 1974.  It’s one of the defining songs of the genre by one of the pioneering groups of the genre.  For those of us who remember when this song and album came out, it seems impossible that the song is now more than 40 years old!

Vocalist extraordinaire Matthew Ward, along with his sisters Annie and Nellie comprised the Second Chapter of Acts, and although the group stopped performing more than 20 years ago, Matthew has continued to produce some solo albums.   In 2011 he recorded a new arrangement of Easter Song.  I only discovered it mid-Eastertide last year, and I’m so enjoying having his fresh update of an Easter classic in my playlist this entire Easter season. This song doesn’t get old…!

Here’s what Matthew wrote on his website as the reason for releasing a new version of this classic:

February 15th  2011 marked my 40th anniversary in music. I wanted to do something special for this momentous occasion, so I recorded a new rendition of “Easter Song” one of the most popular tunes my sister (Annie Herring) ever wrote, it’s available now …  He has risen!!!!

In my opinion no one has matched Matthew’s voice in the past 40 years of CCM!

Matthew’s updated version of Easter Song is available at iTunes and elsewhere.

Here’s Matthew performing Easter Song in the Colorado Mountains.  It’s EXCELLENT.  Crank up the volume and sing along loudly in joyous praise of our Risen Lord!


CCM Classics for Easter* – Gaither Vocal Band: Alpha and Omega (1984)

April 16, 2015

*(Ok, yes, this is really Southern Gospel, not CCM… but back in the 1980s and early 1990s, most Christian music was lumped together regardless of subgenre.  And besides, I don’t have enough Southern Gospel music in my Easter playlist to justify a separate category!)

One of the songs I’ve been giving a lot of play in my Easter playlist this year is by the Gaither Vocal Band:  Alpha and Omega.  Searching online, I found an awesome video of the 2003 performance in Sydney Australia by the Gaither Vocal Band of this classic song.  As best I have been able to determine, the song Alpha and Omega was written by Robbie Trice in 1972, and first recorded by the Gaither Vocal Band in 1984, appearing on their album New Point of View.

Although the song focuses on John’s vision of Christ as recorded in Revelation 21, the chorus “It is done…. it is done” makes this a great song for Easter – reminding us of Christ’s FINISHED perfect work.  The resurrection was the exclamation point declaring Christ’s Lordship and His victory over sin, death and hell.  Worship the risen Christ through the few minutes of enjoying this video!

You can buy an excellent recording of the song on the Best of the Gaither Vocal Band album.

Here are the lyrics:

I heard a great voice out of heaven saying
“Behold the tabernacle of God is with men
He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people
And Almighty God will be with them”

“He shall wipe away all tears from their eyes
There shall be no more death
Neither sorrow, nor crying, and no more pain
The former things are all passed away”

He that sat upon the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new”
He said unto me, “Write these words
For they are faithful and true”

And it is done
It is done
It is done
It is done

He is the Alpha and Omega
The Beginning and the End
The Son of God, the King of Kings
Lord of lords, He’s Everything
Messiah, Jehovah
The Prince of Peace is He
The Son of Man, Seed of Abraham
Second Person in the Trinity 4x

He is the Alpha and Omega
The Son of God, the King of Kings
Messiah, Jehovah
The Great I Am seed of Abraham
He is the Alpha and Omega
The beginning and the end
Son of God, the King of Kings
The Lord of everything
He is Lord


CCM Classics for Easter – Steve Green: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth

April 14, 2015

New Young Messiah

I love Handel’s Messiah.  And I love classic CCM.  Put the two together and you get the wonderful New Young Messiah project released in 1993.  Thankfully it’s still in print – available for purchase at both Amazon & iTunes.  The artist list is just about a “best of” list of classic CCM performers:  Steven Curtis Chapman, Wayne Watson, Steve Green, Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris, Twila Paris, BeBe & CeCe Winans, First Call, 4Him, Phil Keaggy….

One of the best tracks on the album is Steve Green’s rendition of I Know that My Redeemer Liveth, taken of course from Job’s famous declaration:

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
    and my eyes shall behold, and not another.

(Job 19:25-27, ESV)

Handel combines the truth from Job, with that from 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Here’s a YouTube of Steve Green’s fantastic performance of this song.  ENJOY! – and REJOICE!  This is not just a nice song.  These words are TRUE!:


CCM Classics for Easter – LAMB: Hallelujah (1981)

April 11, 2015

Lamb Live! (CD)

One of the best classic CCM groups was the Messianic Jewish group LAMB, the duo of Joel Chernoff and Rick (Levi) Coghill.  I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert once.  What joy and energy and celebration of the Messiah!

Perhaps the best of their albums is the 2 album set LAMB Live, (also available at iTunes) released in 1981.  One of the songs on that album is Hallelujah.  It is a favorite in my Classic CCM Easter playlist (especially after the long Lenten fast from singing Hallelujah).  Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Let the heavens rejoice
All of ye mountain tops, all of ye hosts
Praise Him ye angels above

Now, let the sun and the moon rejoice
Praise Him all radiant stars
For it was He who created you
And established you forever and ever
And established you forever and ever

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
All of ye kings and ye people rejoice
Old men and young men, mothers and maidens
Lift us your hands and sing to the Lord
Sing Hallelu, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Let the heavens rejoice
For the Lord has redeemed His people
Sing and shout hallelujah

So let the harps and the lyres begin
Timbels and stringed instruments
Cymbals and trumpets let go your blasts
Everything with breath come praise the Lord
Everything with breath come praise the Lord

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
All of ye kings and ye people rejoice
Old men and young men, mothers and maidens
Lift us your hands and sing to the Lord
Sing Hallelu, Hallelujah


Updated Easter Music Series – Index (2014 and 2015)

April 6, 2015

Last updated 18 April 2015.  (I’ll aim to update this every Saturday during Easter)

During the Easter Octave of 2014, we posted some great Easter music.  I intend to post more throughout this Eastertide (my schedule and internet connection permitting!).  So here’s an index of our Easter Music Series entries so you can go back and find any great songs you might have missed.

Songs are grouped by Music Subcategory:

1. CCM Classics for Easter  (CCM from early 70s – early 90s.  Includes artists such as 2nd Chapter of Acts, the Imperials, Keith Green, Dallas Holm, Sandi Patty & Larnelle Harris, DeGarmo & Key, Amy Grant, Michael Card, Benny Hester, Bob Bennett, Leslie Phillips, Glad, Petra…)  [Some classic “Gospel” music is in this category too – Jesse Dixon, Andre Crouch….]

2. Easter Hymns & Classical

3. Easter Worship Songs  (Contemporary worship songs from songwriters such as Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, etc.)

4. “Contemporary CCM”  (CCM songs from the mid-90s to the present, includes artists such as Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, MercyMe, Mark Schultz, ThirdDay…)

5. World Music for Easter:  Easter worship songs from around the world in various languages!

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1. CCM Classics for Easter 

NEW:

Gaither Vocal Band: Alpha and Omega (1984)

Steve Green: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth (from New Young Messiah 1993)

LAMB: Hallelujah (1981)

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2. Easter Hymns & Classical

NEW: 

Paschal Canon Odes 1 & 3, Byzantine Choir of St. George Cathedral

Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for us – Richard Dirksen

The Lord is Risen Indeed! (Easter Anthem) William Billings

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3. Easter Worship Songs

NEW:

He is Risen – Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick with the All Souls Orchestra

See what a morning (Resurrection Hymn) – Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

 Easter Season Playlist – Contemporary Worship Songs  (note this contains no audio, just a list of 45-50 good Easter-themed contemporary worship songs)

 

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4. “Contemporary CCM”

NEW: 

Sojourn: the Warrior

Victorious, a fantastic new song by Third Day

Easter video: “Dance Your Shoes Off” (includes the song “Rise Up”)

An Easter Adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Kelley Mooney and Choir

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5. World Music for Easter

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PLEASE READ these two important notes: 

1) Any music I have uploaded is music I have legally bought and paid for.  I HIGHLY value copyright and want to ensure artists get credit and royalties for their work.  Please respect music copyrights.  In almost every music post I have provided a link (often to the iTunes US store because that is handy for me to link) as to where you can purchase the song(s).  In some cases the post will have an embedded MP3 files.  Sometimes that’s because the albums are out of print.  In a few other cases it was because I was having problems with WordPress’ audio playlist feature.  Please do NOT download music from Lent & Beyond, but purchase the songs if you enjoy them!

2) I have gone back through posts from 2014 and prior years that are linked here to try and make sure all the links are working.  If you find a broken link, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would leave a comment telling us so I can fix it.  Thanks.


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