Christian music has seen some dramatic shifts in the last 25 years, including an explosion of talent and quality albums.
Thinking through some of the great songs we remembered and still enjoy, eight of us compiled a list of what we considered the top 25 Christian albums since 1990.
We wanted to consider artistic quality, commercial success and, admittedly, personal preference. After averaging out all of our votes, this is the resulting list.
- #1-5 – dcTalk, Jars of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, Switchfoot, Newsboys
- #6-10 – Caedmon’s Call, Audio Adrenaline, Sixpence None The Richer, NEEDTOBREATHE, MercyMe
- #11-15 – Third Day, Jennifer Knapp, Lecrae, Michael W. Smith, Relient K
- #16-20 – Andrew Peterson, Rich Mullins, P.O.D., Jon Foreman, Josh Garrels
- #21-25 – Tenth Avenue North, Casting Crowns, Veggie Tales, 4Him, Amy Grant
There has been some disagreement, which is to be expected, but I think each of these albums well represents the musical timeframe we established and provides a tremendous soundtrack.
Because the countdown inspired so many, ourselves included, to go back and listen to some of these great albums, here is the complete top 25 and a Spotify playlist to enjoy some of the songs from these classic albums.
- Heart in Motion – Amy Grant
- The Ride – 4Him
- And Now It’s Time for Silly Songs with Larry – VeggieTales
- Lifesong – Casting Crowns
- The Light Meets The Dark – Tenth Avenue North
- Love & War & The Sea In Between – Josh Garrels
- Satellite – P.O.D.
- Fall and Winter, Spring and Summer – Jon Foreman
- A Liturgy, A Legacy and A Ragamuffin Band – Rich Mullins
- Behold the Lamb of God – Andrew Peterson
- The Anatomy of the Tongue In Cheek – Relient K
- Go West Young Man – Michael W. Smith
- Rehab – Lecrae
- Kansas (Gold Edition) – Jennifer Knapp
- Time – Third Day
- Almost There – MercyMe
- The Outsiders – NEEDTOBREATHE
- Sixpence None The Richer – Sixpence None The Richer
- Underdog – Audio Adrenaline
- Caedmon’s Call – Caedmon’s Call
- Take Me to Your Leader – Newsboys
- The Beautiful Letdown – Switchfoot
- Speechless – Steven Curtis Chapman
- Jars of Clay – Jars of Clay
- Jesus Freak – dcTalk
What are you thoughts about the list? Share them using the hashtag #25in25
Here’s the playlist with one songs for the lower ranked albums moving up to five for the top album.* Let us know what your favorite song is in the playlist.
*Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God was not on Spotify, so a song from Love and Thunder, another of his albums from the same time period, was included.
We already have plans to do a countdown of the greatest CCM artists, songs, worship albums, and worship songs or hymns. There might also be a humor post thrown in looking back at some of the great achievements in fashion and graphic design.
Keep checking in to see what’s next.