Praise & worship music, for better and worse, has become quite an industry. The range of music today far outstrips what was available back in the day (which, for me, was basically the late 80s/early 90s). I mean, I can remember singing motion songs during our college and young adult worship gatherings. Not ironically, not as a fun throwback, but as heartfelt worship.
If you can remember when Light the Fire Again was released, and it felt like a revolution, then I know we’re on the same page. The driving rhythm of the title track, the almost unhinged intimacy of Eternity, the boundary-breaking lyricism of Creation Calls, the heartfelt cry of Pour out my Heart… that album became the soundtrack of many of our lives.
I always smile, though, when certain songs fall into the “so old they’re new again” category, particularly for students. I remember a couple of years back, I was leading a youth worship team and we were going to segue into Our God is an Awesome God as a bridge. The practice came to a screeching halt when, with blank stares, they asked me, “So is this like a new song?”
This is not to say that I am against more recent songs or worship artists in any way. In many ways, the broader scope of praise & worship music has brought out songs and voices that we might not have otherwise heard (the song God of this City by Bluetree from Belfast and popularized by Chris Tomlin comes to mind).
Old school worship songs have been on my mind recently, though, because I have been making digital backups of our Touching the Father’s Heart series discs (Light the Fire Again is #18 in the TTFH series).
Our collection is pretty comprehensive — we’re missing six out of the first 35 discs in the series (for the record, numbers 1, 4, 8, 16, 30 and 33 — although, we used to own some of them on cassette tape. Yikes!). Here’s a nice discography of the TTFH series, complete with album title, cover art, track listings, worship leaders and prodcution notes.