The Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time - 96five Family Radio

The Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time

It's been tough to narrow it down, but 96five's Music Director Tim Bain reveals his Top 10 Christian Albums of all time.

By Steff WillisMonday 12 Feb 2024MusicReading Time: 4 minutes

As long-time music fan and someone who spends his days immersed in the Christian Music scene, nailing down the Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time was quite a feat for 96five’s Mornings Announcer Tim Bain.

But he has done it! As 96five’s Music and Content Director, Tim is well placed to make such a bold call. Tim focused on albums that he personally enjoyed as well as albums that have either stood the test of time or have made their mark in the Christian music scene.

So here they are, in no particular order, the Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time.

Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time

DC Talk – ‘Jesus Freak’ (1995)

An album that broke barriers, ‘Jesus Freak’ by DC Talk is often regarded as a game-changer in Christian music. Combining elements of rock, rap, and pop, the trio delivered a powerful message of faith and social awareness. The title track, “Jesus Freak,” became an anthem for a generation seeking a bold expression of Christianity.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Jesus Freak’

Switchfoot – ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ (2003):

Switchfoot’s ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ is a sonic masterpiece that propelled the band into the mainstream. The album’s alternative rock sound and introspective lyrics resonated with a broad audience. Hits like “Dare You to Move” showcased Switchfoot’s ability to craft music that transcends genre boundaries while staying true to their Christian roots. Switchfoot recently released ‘The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version)’, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album that almost didn’t happen, thankfully it did!

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Meant to Live’, specifically the guitar riff from Meant to Live.

Delirious – ‘King of Fools’ (1997):

Straight from the UK, Delirious brought electrifying energy to Christian music with ‘King of Fools.’ The title track and its atmospheric soundscapes resonated worldwide, forming a sense of pride around Christian music. They went on to play a significant role in shaping the landscape of contemporary Christian worship music.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘All the Way’

DC Talk – ‘Free at Last’ (1992):

DC Talk strikes again with ‘Free at Last,’ marking their rise to mainstream success. It was the kind of album you could dance to, blending hip-hop with messages of hope and redemption. Every track was a hit in its own right but “Luv Is a Verb” and the title track solidified the trio’s position as pioneers in Christian contemporary music, reaching beyond the confines of the church walls.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Luv Is a Verb’

Jars of Clay – ‘Jars of Clay’ (1995):

Jars of Clay burst onto the scene with their self-titled debut, blending folk and alternative rock with deeply spiritual lyrics. While many Christian artists seemed to emulate mainstream styles, Jars of Clay distinguished themselves with a unique and original sound. The album, with hits like “Flood,” not only garnered critical acclaim but also earned the band a Grammy award.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Flood’

Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time, decided by Tim Bain

Tim Bain’s Top 10 Christian Albums of All Time: Third Day ‘Third Day’, Switchfoot ‘The Beautiful Letdown’, DC Talk ‘Jesus Freak’, Relient K ‘Anatomy of Tongue in Cheek’, Lauren Daigle ‘Look Up Child’, Delirious ‘King of Fools’, Jars of Clay ‘Jars of Clay’, For King + Country ‘Burn the Ships’, DC Talk ‘Free at Last’, Newsboys ‘Take Me to Your Leader’

Third Day – ‘Third Day’ (1996):

Third Day’s self-titled album marked a turning point in Christian rock, infusing Southern rock elements with spiritual depth. Songs like “Consuming Fire” and “Love Song” solidified the grammy winning band’s position as one of the leading voices in Christian music. The album set a standard for authenticity and passion in worship.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Consuming Fire’

Lauren Daigle – ‘Look Up Child’ (2018):

Lauren Daigle’s ‘Look Up Child’ is a masterpiece that transcends genres, seamlessly blending pop, soul, and worship. The album’s massive success catapulted Daigle into the mainstream and along with the album’s subtle production, her powerful vocals and relatable lyrics resonate with audiences seeking a message of hope and faith.

Tim’s Top Track – Too hard to pick but Lauren Daigle’s version of ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ is the best Tim’s heard.

for King + Country – ‘Burn the Ships’ (2018):

‘Burn the Ships’ by for King + Country is a cinematic journey of faith and redemption. Every song on the album feels “on purpose” and the brother’s ability to connect through powerful and vulnerable songs like ‘Burn the Ships’ and ‘God Only Knows’ have helped them reach audiences around the world. With anthemic choruses and powerful instrumentation, for King + Country are known for attracting not only Christian music enthusiasts but also reaching a broader, mainstream audience.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Joy’

Want to see for King + Country live in concert? Get your tickets for the 2024 Homecoming Tour now.

Newsboys – ‘Take Me to Your Leader’ (1996):

Newsboys’ ‘Take Me to Your Leader’ was a game-changer! The album nails the blend of rock and worship and in the ’90s, the Newboys were everywhere. Their unique take on Christian music had everyone, even outside the church walls, sitting up and paying attention.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Breakfast’ which Tim had on repeat!

Relient K – ‘Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek’ (2001):

Relient K’s ‘Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek’ is a pop-punk gem that brought a fresh and youthful energy to Christian music. The album’s quirky lyrics and infectious melodies resonated with a generation seeking authenticity. Relient K’s influence can still be heard in the Christian pop-punk scene today.

Tim’s Top Track – ‘Sadie Hawkins Dance’ which Tim covered with his band, the name of which he couldn’t tell you as it changed gig to gig.

Honourable Mentions

While they didn’t quite make it in the top 10, Larry Norman’s ‘Only Visiting This Planet,’ Michael W. Smith’s ‘Go West Young Man,’ and Hillsong United’s ‘ZION’ received honorable mentions.

There you have it, Tim Bain’s Top 10 Christian Albums! Did he get the list right? What’s missing? Get in touch via our socials!