on August 6, 1999
After his untimely death (at the age of 40) in 1992, Heard was described by singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn as "my favorite songwriter." It's no wonder. I have been listening to Mark Heard's music since his 1979 APPALACHIAN MELODY, and will unshamedly say that he was the best of the singer-songwriters of his era. His music is eclectic, but always crisp and excellent. And his lyrics reveal a man of deep feeling, who felt the pain of a fallen world but still held to an abiding faith. Five stars is not enough.
on July 4, 2002
...Any CD, LP or cassette from Mark Heard is worth hearing, but this one is just SO great... perhaps the penultimate in CCM. Mark always managed to write in a way that was immediately personal without being maudlin... relevant without being cliche'. The characters and passing thoughts on this release are so well-drawn and complex:
"She will speak the truth and she will ache and she will bleed/ for the idiots who own the air the prophets have to breathe/ Love is so blind..."
"Well I looked at my own silhouette/ It looked back with a bad attitude"
"She is reading her own tattoos/ her diary is the evening news/ and she can't give a damn on cue/ on a freight train to nowhere"
"Skyscraper looks like an x-ray, streetlights look infrared/ bus-fume aphrodisiac slaps at the back of my head/ The night is in your turn-signal eyes, lipstick on your coffe cup/ Gimme a tip for the waitress, the natives are restless, we gotta get out of this dump/ Lost on purpose, lost on purpose, we could try to figure it out, but we don't trust us..."
"Treasure of the broken land--parched earth give up your captive ones/ Waiting wind of Gabriel blow soon upon the hollow bones"
I could go on. I learned these lyrics long ago, but I'm still uncovering all that they mean, even after many listenings.
If screaming these songs at the top of my lungs is an act of worship, then count me among the faithful. This is one album I really NEVER do get tired of.
If you still have doubts, look at the list of artists Mark influenced and produced over the years: Bruce Cockburn, Pierce Pettis, Buddy and Julie Miller, Sam Phillips, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, The Choir, Ashley Cleveland, Tonio K., Victoria Williams, Vigilantes of Love, etc. etc. etc. The love was real.
So check out Mark Heard's music, especially this album, okay?
on March 2, 2016
So I am a 60 year old year guy, lifelong music lover for sure, but had never heard or heard of Mark Heard until maybe 6 weeks ago. Then his name came up on my free version of Spotify as recommended for you. The first song I heard was Eye Of The Storm. And I thought recommended for me, more like God sent for me. Since then I have listened to Satellite Sky at least thirty times. I am just glad to say I that I won't die not having heard Mark Heard. I'm sorry he's gone but I'm sure glad he lived
on November 26, 2001
If you were to write of your own passing what would you say?
Knowingly or unknowingly Mark Heard accomplishes this on Satellite Sky.
From the thunder struck passion of the opening "Tip of my tongue" to the closing "Treasure of the broken land". Mark guides on a travelogue of a world both bless and cursed of human inclination for the best and for the worst. All along not letting up in the passion of what he has to say and the conviction of his own fallibility.
With a Poets grace and Prophets zeal, he delivers his tales of humanity running off the tracks without condescension but with compassion.
Mark passed away almost a decade ago, but his final work has left a mark that validates his lionization as one of the finest songwriters of his generation bar none!
on October 9, 2002
... This album (his last) is so profound and deep I have listened to my copy at least two dozen times and still find new meanings to what Mark was saying. Each song speaks to me on some level. His tears and questions are similar to my own and he relates them using unusually clever imagery, both musically and lyrically. His poetry is deep in meaning and his cries and frustrations are so vulnerably shared that they are felt like a nerve ending.Most artists don't stick their neck out artistically/or personally, thus we often can't relate with them. Mark was different. We feel like we are being invited into his deepest thoughts. This is rare in art. "Satellite Sky" works on all levels-It's cutting edge music and profound poetry!!
on October 29, 2001
Mark Heard is one of those musicians and songwriters that noone seems to know about. And that's a shame, because he has very thoughtful lyrics as well as being a tremendous musician. When Mark passed away back in 1992 (hard to believe its been that long) I had hoped that maybe more people would check out his music. I don't know if that's happened or not, but I would recommend that everyone take some time, get a hold of this CD, and listen to it a few times. Really listen to what he is saying, don't just play the music for background noise. I can almost guarantee you'll appreciate the talent that this man was blessed with.
on July 2, 2001
This album reminds me of the desert night scene on its cover: stark, soaring beauty, and a dry, keening feel with a sense of solitude or smallness like you can feel in the vastness of a desert night. Running through this is the constant presence of a humble, strong Christian faith that does not need to avoid the darkness. Lyrics: raw honesty and Shakespearian mastery. Music: most of his music is closer to MOR pop/folk/rock, with Beatlesque chord progressions. This one has a driving, keening rock edge. I highly recommend this and all of his albums.
on September 24, 2007
Mark Heard was a breath of fresh air in an often stale world of tired lyrics from uninspired artists. This work is his magnum opus- the pinnacle of his short recording career. It's only in the past 15 years that I have realized just how unique he was. He had a degree in film from USC and wrote like Dylan better than Dylan ever did.
In "Long Way Down," he wrote:
Hypnotized and shuttled in the limousine of hate
Watching the scenery shatter in the brittle jaws of Fate
Well, baby I'm just another fare- I don't make the rules
I'd break 'em if I thought it would do you some good
If you truly want to be challenged in your faith and perceptions of what it is to be a Christian in this messed up world- Mark Heard's the one for you.