Readers seem to be enjoying this newest feature to Southern Gospel Views from the Back Row. Trying to compile a list of each artist’s best recordings is not always an easy task. This week shines the spotlight on one of Southern Gospel’s premier groups touring right now; the Perrys.
While a hand full of recordings were released prior to 1984; the Perrys career was launched when they began recording albums with Morningstar Records. Since that time there have been over 25 recordings released by the Perrys. In trying to determine the group’s ten best I looked at all recordings from 1984 forward.
The Perrys ten best recordings are:
- Almost Morning (2009)
- Changed Forever (2001)
- Look No Further (2007)
- Come To The Fountain (1998)
- This Is The Day (2003)
- Come Thirsty (2006)
- Center Stage Live (1996)
- God’s Little People (1988)
- Crossings (1997)
- Blue Skies (2011)
- Almost Morning is a true landmark recording for the Perrys. This album has one of the best song selections of any recording in the group’s discography. This album also brought Joseph Habedank to the forefront with his songwriting. This album also provided his best vocal work.
- Up until the release of Almost Morning in 2009, the standard for the Perrys was their 2001 recording Changed Forever. This was the first recording featuring the three male and one female vocal configuration. This proved to be an instant success.
- Changed Forever also started the trend of the major power ballad to be featured on every recording since. ”I Rest My Case At The Cross” was the power ballad that started it all for the group.
- Libbi Stuffle’s alto voice has been the vocal center point for the group for many years. On the group’s early recordings, Libbi actually sang soprano. While none of those early recordings landed among the group’s ten best, it is still fun to go back and hear Libbi ‘belt it out’.
- The oldest recording to land among the group’s ten best is their 1988 album God’s Little People. This was the recording to propel the group in the Southern Gospel industry. ”I Remember The Day” became the group’s signature song at this time period.
- While the current vocal configuration has proven successful for the Perrys, the group was still releasing great music when they held the alto/soprano female vocal parts.
- The run of recordings from 1996 to 1998 that featured Mike Bowling, Nicole Watts, Libbi and Tracy were among the group’s ten best. The best recording of that era was the 1998 album Come To The Fountain. One of the group’s best recorded songs “When He Spoke” is found on this particular album.
- The forgotten gem in the group’s discography is their 2006 effort Come Thirsty. This album gets missed when you talk about albums like Almost Morning, Look No Further and Changed Forever. But of all those albums I consider Come Thirsty the most traditional sounding recording.
- From forgotten gem to the album that should be forgotten. Every group has one. For the Perrys it is their 1995 recording Full Circle. Many new listeners to Southern Gospel probably doesn’t know about this album any way. If I had to go with a more recent album it would be the 2005 recording Life Of Love.
- The nice part about the Perrys recording career is that it is just hitting its stride. With the current vocal line up in the group, I foresee many more albums transforming this current top ten list.