When this CD was released, I was a marginal Rich Mullins fan. I enjoyed what was on the radio, but thought some of his other stuff was a little strange. But I was thrilled to get this CD because it had all the songs I loved on it.
It starts out with a new version of "Sing Your Praise to the Lord." Originally recorded by Amy Grant, it was the first hit for Rich, its songwriter. I prefer this version because of the wonderful bridge that Rich has put back in the song.
And, what collection of Rich's best would be complete without his two signature songs? Any Christian familiar with Christian music only through church would still be familiar with "Awesome God" and the chorus from "Sometimes by Step."
But there are so many great songs here. I've always loved the humorous challenge of "Screen Door." "While the Nations Rage" is a great reminder of God's power. And I've been drawn to "Hold Me Jesus" since I first heard it. It's an absolutely wonderful song of surrender to the One who will be there throughout this life.
While not every song in this collection is a personal favorite, they are all major songs from Rich's career and deserve to be here.
And me? After Rich's death, I started to appreciate his music much more then I did while he was alive. I now own all his CD's. But this remains a favorite. Any Rich Mullins fan will love having his best in one place. And any Christian music fan will recognize many of these great songs stuffed full of timeless truth. This CD belongs in every home.
on March 30, 2008
Rich Mullins was one of those rare birds, the type of Christian who's vision was incorruptible by the makings of man-made religion and the tasty, salted morsels of idealistic micowavable faith. He was resolute, not on the things many pious church mice of our day are, but on the idea that grace has never abandoned us, that it is a very real and passionate force in this world and that God has not quit on humanity or on us as individuals. To the contrary, Mullins' words echo out from the canyons of heaven: that the faith is larger than our modest grasp of it, and that the glory of Christ transcends past the church pews where comfortable ho-hum believers find themselves rationalizing their own bored view of the cross and heaven.
Mullins hits us with the weeping testimony of a man in longing for his final home in heaven, of a free-liver who transcendentally takes in the glory of God through nature in the fields of Kansas, of a wavering Christian on the verge of free-falling from the cliffs of life as he pleads, "Hold me Jesus, because I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been my King of Glory, now be my Prince of Peace."
Mullins was, in a way, our "through the looking glass" tell-it-like-it-is poet who enabled us to think outside the realm of what we've been so boringly taught by a myriad of smug Sunday school teachers and political believers with a self-created agenda to push. Mullins words on this album radiate a calming lesson: life is to live and the faith is more than something to merely talk about. It is something to weep over, test, relish in, and, if it comes to it, bleed yourself dry for.
There will likely be others who help us to think more clearly on the reality of the greatness of the One, but there will never be one who was so poignant in the way he made us meditate on the immense, always-abounding beauty of a Creator who adores us more than any lover could hope to dream. Here, you will find a poet who spares us the cheap clichés and hits our eardrums with the radiant truth of the Everlasting.
on February 9, 2000
This album has touched my life in such a profound way that I don't know where to begin describing it. I've been listening to Christian music for quite some time now, and I was already familiar with the songs "Awesome God" and "Sing Your Praise to the Lord". Still, it wasn't until this past Christmas, when my brother gave me the "Songs" anthology CD, that I became a real fan of Rich Mullins's music. When Rich was tragically killed in a car accident in September 1997, the sense of loss among his fans and within the Christian music community was something I couldn't truly appreciate. But over the past month, as I have listened to this CD time and again, that sense of loss has finally hit home. I'll probably always regret the fact that I never truly appreciated Rich Mullins while he was alive, but at least I can enjoy the work that he has left behind. And I can take comfort in the fact that his legacy will continue to touch the lives of many for generations to come. For those of you who are just now discovering Rich Mullins (like me) and want to sample his music, this is a great introductory CD. But I encourage you to listen to his other albums as well, because he recorded a lot of other great songs, too many in fact to be able to fit them all into an anthology. So listen, enjoy, and then come back for more!
on November 23, 2002
I own all of Rich's albums, and I definitely recommend collecting the individual albums if you've just discovered that you love Rich music. That being said, this CD is a WONDERFUL collection of some of Rich's best songs. These songs combine powerful, realistic, encouraging lyrics with amazing dulcimer, piano, and guitar.
More than anything, I find that it is the perfect gift for any Christian who isn't familiar with this artist. I give this album time and again, especially to friends or family members who are in some kind of pain. Instead of making them an album of my favorite Rich music, I buy this one to support his legacy and give a timeless gift. Spread the beauty; there is nothing like this music!
on August 22, 2004
Seven years after his death, Rich Mullins is still sorely missed by those who knew & loved him, and by those who loved his music. I never actually knew or met Rich, but I do remember seeing him perform live at the Ichthus festival in Wilmore, Kentucky (Spring 1990). I'll also never forget attending a chapel service one morning as a student at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois (Fall 1987, I think). Instead of a regular speaker, Rich was invited as a special guest (I believe he was doing a regular concert on campus that night). He spoke briefly and performed a few songs--I especially remember him doing "Screen Door" using the styrofoam cups as he sang. We all really got into it--it was great! I am more than pleased to have "Songs" & "Songs 2" in my CD collection. Many of Rich's greatest and most inspiring songs are on these discs--especially "Songs." Some of my favorite tracks here include "Sing Your Praise to the Lord," "Awesome God," "Creed," "If I Stand," "Screen Door," "Elijah," "Alrightokuhhuhamen," "Verge of a Miracle" and (my overall favorite Rich Mullins song) "Hold Me Jesus." "Songs" is a great selection of songs from a man who inspired & challenged many believers to grow closer to Christ in their walk with Him rather than just opting for the sugar-coated "comfort zone" Christianity that too many people in our society have settled for. God bless you, Rich!
on August 11, 1999
Rich's music is really on a par with no one else, either secular or christian, and this offers some of his best. He was uncompromising in his faith, and that is reflected in the music on this CD. There are very few CD's that I would recommend as "must have" for contemporary christian music listeners, but this is one that I would. Hard for me to pick a favorite cut, but "Man Like You, Boy Like Me" and "Calling Out Your Name" are two of my favorites. My wife has come to lean on "Hold me Jesus".
Rich Mullins was truly a fool for the sake of Christ. He kept very little of his royalties from his music, (less than $25,000/yr) and I'm sure they were substantial. This music truly reflects his attitude, and his faith in our Father God. If you are a Rich fan, moved by his life and faith in Jesus Christ, I suggest you also check out the "Homeless Man" video.
We all miss Rich, but take comfort in knowing he's singing in glory now...
on July 20, 2003
By the music industry standards, Rich Mullins had a long and illustrious career of 15+ years. To his millions of fans, he had a very short career, which ended when God called Rich home in September, 1997.
Whether or not you think Rich Mullins' career was long or short, few could argue that he created songs that resonated with his fans. To this day, many Christian radio stations play more Rich Mullins songs than just about any other artist.
Included in this "best of" collection are such hits as:
"Sing Your Praise To The Lord" - written in 1981 by Rich, this song has the distinction of being the first hit of two different artists: Rich and Amy Grant.
"Awesome God" - considered by most Rich fans as being his best song ever, thousands of contemporary praise & worship churches around the world now include this song in their rotations. In addition, many of today artists, including Michael W. Smith, have recently re-recorded this song for their albums.
"Sometimes By Step" - many contemporary praise & worship churches have also included the chorus to this song in their rotations.
"Creed" - one of the most straight forward holy-trinity songs to ever be recorded
"We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are" - few people have listened to this song and not fallen down on their knees asking God to forgive them for thinking we could live our life on our own
"Screen Door" - one of my personal favorites, this is the "radio version" that was released for airplay back in the late 80s (which was much better than the actual album version). You can generally count on this acapella song ending up in the top 20 of any listener compiled "top 100" list.
"Boy Like Me / Man Like You" - re-recorded by Geoff Moore in his 1999 self-titled solo album, Rich Mullins first recorded this favorite in 1991.
"Alrightokuhhuhamen" - written in 1989, this is a extremely fun song that has a great message. Another one of my personal favorites.
"Verge of a Miracle" - recorded in 1986, this song is the first memory of Rich Mullins that I have. His biggest hit before "Awesome God" two years later.
If you are looking for an album that will give you a wide view of the talent God gave Rich Mullins, this is the one to get.
on June 27, 2000
Rich Mullins wrote one nice little Christian pop song--Awesome God--or so I thought, until I discovered this CD and a broader range of his music. I find in these songs strong words, compelling music, and the roaring whisper of the Spirit of God. This music wears well. You will return to it time and again.
In "Creed," speaking of the faith, Rich sings, "I did not make it, no it is making me./It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man."
In "Elijah," writing about his own future death, he sings,: "When I leave I want to go out like Elijah/With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire."
Rich's combinatin of words and music, true to the Scriptures, but relevant to today, can help form Christ in our lives.
on August 27, 2004
This album has been on my play list since 1997 (that year, this was the only album I listened to)...and even all these years later, it continues to inspire and provoke. Those who struggle along the road, yet have their steps filled with grace, will find much to take away from this album. Tracks like "Awesome God", "We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are", "Calling Out Your Name" "Hold Me Jesus" remind us of peace in the midst of struggle. However, this album is not depressing in any way. The upbeat "Creed", "Alrightokuhhuhamen", and "Boy Like Me" will be sure to bring a smile to your face. I honestly can say this is my favorite CD. Ever.
on December 7, 1999
This is the definitive anthology of Rich Mullins'praise songs.....the first cut alone ("Sing Your Praise to the Lord") is worth the cost of the album, and Rich's rendition of this song which he himself wrote will inspire and ennoble you in a way that it never could when it was sung (and, in my opinion, cheapened) by Amy Grant. This CD is a great collection of unapologetically Christian music by one of this century's most gifted songwriters. Your collection of contemporary Christian music won't be complete without it!