Jesus Freak (album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||November 21, 1995|
|Genre||Christian hip hop, CCM, alternative rock|
|Producer||Mark Heimermann, Toby McKeehan, John Mark Painter|
|DC Talk chronology|
Jesus Freak is the fourth studio album by the band DC Talk and was released on November 21, 1995 on ForeFront Records. The style was a marked departure from the group's previous releases, incorporating a heavier rock sound and elements of grunge that was popular at the time.
The album was released to both critical and commercial acclaim. It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200 and six of the album's seven singles reached number one across various Christian radio formats. It won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album.
Jesus Freak is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of Christian music.
After three albums of hip-hop oriented sound, including DC Talk's Grammy award-winning third album, Free at Last, which was based primarily on hip-hop- and pop-oriented songwriting, the trio decided to innovate and reinvent their style.
Michael Tait said, "I was totally into rock and roll at the time [...] I really wanted to make a rock record." The band decided to focus on more rock-oriented music, with touches of rap and pop interwoven into the mix. Tait later explained, "We wanted to write songs that would hopefully touch a generation."
Recording and production
Compared to DC Talk's other albums, Jesus Freak was, stylistically, an experiment. The album was a fusion of various musical genres, including pop, rock, and grunge, all combined with hip hop.
In addition, the album contains two cover songs: "Day by Day," from the musical Godspell, and a heavily overhauled version of "In the Light" originally by Charlie Peacock. Two spoken-word samples are also heard; "Mind's Eye" features the words of Billy Graham and "What If I Stumble" contains a quote from Brennan Manning.
As with the genres, the themes of Jesus Freak are varied, ranging from the spiritual - such as accepting Jesus, hypocrisy, atheism - to the social - such as seeking forgiveness from a friend, racism, facing intolerance, and acceptance.
|1.||"So Help Me God"||Toby McKeehan, Michael Tait, Kevin Smith, Mark Heimermann, Dann Huff||4:39|
|2.||"Colored People"||McKeehan, George Cocchini||4:26|
|3.||"Jesus Freak"||McKeehan, Heimermann||4:50|
|4.||"What If I Stumble?"||McKeehan, Daniel Joseph||5:06|
|5.||"Day By Day"||Stephen Schwartz, McKeehan, Smith||4:30|
|7.||"Between You and Me"||McKeehan, Heimermann||4:59|
|8.||"Like It, Love It, Need It"||McKeehan, Smith, Heimermann, David Soldi, Jason Barrett||5:23|
|9.||"Jesus Freak (Reprise)"||1:17|
|10.||"In the Light" (Charlie Peacock cover)||Charlie Peacock, McKeehan||5:06|
|11.||"What Have We Become?"||McKeehan, Smith, Heimermann||6:09|
|12.||"Mind's Eye"||McKeehan, Tait, Heimermann||5:17|
|13.||"Alas, My Love" (Hidden Track)||Smith||5:18|
|10th anniversary special edition bonus disc|
|14.||"So Help Me God" (Savadocious Junk Yard Mix 1974)||McKeehan, Tait, Smith, Heimermann, Duff||4:13|
|15.||"Jesus Freak" (Savage Perspective Mix)||McKeehan, Heimermann||4:42|
|16.||"What If I Stumble" (DoubleDutch Remix)||McKeehan, Joseph||4:19|
|17.||"Between You and Me" (fab Remix)||McKeehan, Heimermann||4:58|
|18.||"Like It, Love It, Need It" (dDubb Remix)||McKeehan, Smith, Heimermann, Soldi, Barrett||4:18|
|19.||"What Have We Become?" (dDubb Remix)||McKeehan, Smith, Heimermann||4:14|
|20.||"Mind's Eye" (1995 A Swing and a Miss Mix ft. Mark Heimermann/Unreleased Demo Version)||McKeehan, Tait, Heimermann||5:06|
|21.||"Jesus Freak" (1995 Gotee Bros. Freaked Out Remix)||McKeehan, Heimermann||4:40|
|23.||"Colored People" (Live)||McKeehan, Cocchoni||4:45|
|24.||"It’s The End of the World (As We Know It)" (Live)||Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe||2:12|
|25.||"I Wish We'd All Been Ready" (Live)||Larry Norman||3:37|
|27.||"In the Light" (Instrumental)||Peacock, McKeehan||5:21|
Jesus Freak was released on November 21, 1995. It debuted at number 16 on the Billboard 200, selling over 85,800 copies in its first week of release. This number was the highest debut for a Christian album at the time.
After the album, released through ForeFront Records, proved to be extremely successful, the band signed an exclusive distribution deal with Virgin Records. The label made it a priority to promote the album to mainstream music fans. Due to this promotional increase, "Between You and Me" became a hit for the band, managing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
|Jesus Freak Hideout|||
After the initial success of its release, Jesus Freak was RIAA-certified as Gold by its first month, for shipments exceeding 500,000 units. The album has gone on to sell over two million copies in the United States, achieving double platinum certification by the RIAA. Critical response to Jesus Freak was generally positive, and many of the album's singles were met with positive reception. For instance, "Jesus Freak" was the first non-AC song to win the Dove Award for Song of the Year. The album also spawned several hit singles. Six of the album's singles became number-one hits across various Christian radio formats. "Between You and Me" was even a cross-over hit on secular radio, peaking at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On June 20, 2006, Gotee Records released a ten-year anniversary tribute, Freaked!, featuring artists from record labels Gotee and Mono vs Stereo covering songs from the original album. "In the Light" and "Jesus Freak" are both featured in Alive and Transported. In addition, the songs are still regularly sung in tobyMac, Kevin Max, and Newsboys concerts.
In 2006, EMI released a commemorative 10th-anniversary version of the album, Jesus Freak: 10th Anniversary Special Edition. This special edition contained a bonus disc of brand-new remixes, rarities, live tracks, and demos. A single-disc remaster was released in 2013.
For the 20th anniversary of the album in November 2015, SMLXLVinyl.com released a double lp 180-gram vinyl of the album. It was its first pressing on the format.
|U.S. Billboard 200||16|
|U.S. Top Christian Albums||1|
|1995||"Jesus Freak"||CCM Christian CHR||23|
|CCM Christian Rock||1|
|U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100||10|
|"Mind's Eye"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|Just Between You and Me"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|CCM Christian Adult Contemporary||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||29|
|U.S. Billboard Top 40||15|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||24|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks||11|
|1996||"Like It, Love It, Need It"||CCM Christian Rock||1|
|"In the Light"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|CCM Christian Adult Contemporary||3|
|"What If I Stumble?"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|CCM Christian Adult Contemporary||3|
|1997||"So Help Me God"||CCM Christian Rock||3|
|"Colored People"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|CCM Christian Adult Contemporary||3|
|"Day by Day"||CCM Christian Rock||3|
|"What Have We Become?"||CCM Christian CHR||1|
|CCM Christian Adult Contemporary||32|
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