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100 Greatest Songs in Christian Music: The Stories Behind the Music that Changed Our Lives Forever Paperback – Illustrated, February 27, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Integrity Publishers (February 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591452104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591452102
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
O.K., on the one hand, I really like the stories behind the songs that are included in the book. On the other hand, I think they chose the easy songs--as usual in the music industry, "greatest" translates as "the song that is the most popular or makes the most money." I would have liked the songs to have been picked on a bit more deep an aesthetic. Still, I enjoy the book, and find it inspiring. Best part of the book? The other contemporary artists who talk about the songs and what they mean to them. The most useless part? The inane lists throughout the book (ten OTHER songs about flying....). I'd still recommend reading the book, but don't get your expectations too high. No surprises in this one.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting and fun to read book for any fan of Contemporary Christian Music. In addition to listing some of the greatest songs in Christian music, the book also contains a story to go with each song.

It was a pleasure to read this volume and compare my personal list of the top 100 to those by the authors. In many, if not most, cases, I tend to agree with the selections here. There are also several that I think should be included that are not. Part of that is undoubtedly a matter of preferring certain genres to others. In some cases, I have a hard time understanding why a few of the songs would make this top 100 list, but I'm sure that others would question my list as well.

The authors faced a formidable task in trying to come up with the top 100. There are so many great songs in Contemporary Christian Music that perhaps they should have compiled the top 250 or so.

Just coming up with the criteria for such a list is undoubtedly a great challenge. After debating possible approaches, Tori Taff and her collaborators came up with these requirements: The song had to originate with CCM 'songwriters/artists and initially (or simultaneously) be nationally distributed to the Christian market', and the song had to 'be distinctly faith-evident.' These guidelines prevented the inclusion of Christian leaning songs by primarily secular artists such as U2 and also songs by CCM artists that were not clearly 'faith-evident'. I think the guidelines are very sound for such a project.

After coming up with the guidelines, Ms. Taff and her helpers had to come up with a weighting method. They settled on basing it on 50% from Christian music industry professionals and 50% from a random sampling of 2500 subscribers to CCM Magazine.
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Format: Paperback
This well-intentioned book attempts to rank the greatest Contemporary Christian songs from the first four decades of the genre. Though some of the stories about how the songs were written are interesting, the major problem is the ranking totally favors songs from the 1990s and short-changes the much greater early Christian hits from the 1960s and 1970s.

The top 20 songs get the full multi-page treatment. Then songs 21 to 60 each get two pages, and the remainder just get one page each. Most of the older songs are left for the end, so some of the truly classic Christian hits only receive a couple paragraphs, while newer artists that will probably have little impact 40 years from now are given the full-blown treatment.

And there is way, way too much Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith in this book--Amy has the most songs on the list. The problem is she didn't write all of the great songs she is known for--and instead of focusing on the songwriter they focus on the performer, which decreases the credibility of the book. At one point the author states disbelief that even though Grant won four Dove Awards for Artist of the Year, "Oddly enough, Grant has never won the lesser title of Female Vocalist of the Year." It's not that odd, considering Grant is not known as a great singer. The entire book weaves Grant, Smith and Rich Mullins throughout, even in sections where they don't need to be mentioned.

There are some errors in the book, with a big one being that Barbra Streisand sang Bill Gaither's song "He Touched Me." (She sang a different song by that title.)

The voting system for the songs was also flawed, by giving half the weight to consumers (which will favor the more recent songs).
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The book, like any list of 'top' songs, is very subjective but focus on learning more about the songs or artists themselves. Many of these songs have helped me in my Christian walk and knowing the circumstances they were written in helps enhance my understanding of them. If you truly enjoy CCM I recommend hunting down a copy of this book.
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