Friday, February 12, 2021

Flashback Friday

Not going too far in the past this week, we go to one of my all time favorite CCM groups, Third Day. Third Day was a Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. The band was founded by lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee (both of whom were the only constant members) and Billy Wilkins. Drummer David Carr was the last band member to quit, prior to the band’s farewell tour in May and June 2018. The band's name is a reference to the biblical accounts of the resurrection of Jesus on the third day following his crucifixion. 

In 1991, high-schoolers Mac Powell and Mark Lee formed Third Day as a Christian music group. In 1993, the band started playing more frequently in the Atlanta region in order to save money to record an album. Long Time Forgotten was released in 1994, producing and selling 2,000 copies. The band's second album, Contagious, was self-financed for $3,000 and 1,000 CDs and cassette copies of the demo were released.  Then in 1995 the band released the album Third Day, which sold 20,000 copies. Shortly thereafter, Reunion Records bought their contract and released the now official version of Third Day, which has sold over 300,000 copies and was well received by critics. The album also yielded their only mainstream rock radio hit in the U.S., "Nothing at All", which peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard rock charts. Later in 1995, Christian music headliner Newsboys asked Third Day to open for them at five West Coast shows. The band also launched their own 65-city tour with All Star United and Seven Day Jesus opening for them.

In 1996, the band was nominated for a Dove Award in the category of New Artist of the Year and their video for "Consuming Fire" won a Billboard Music Award in the category of Best Christian Video.


Not the most popular song off this album is one of my favorites and may be one of their most recognized songs, "Love Song"...

In 1997, the band started working on their second album, Conspiracy No. 5. The album was nominated for a Grammy and won Dove Awards for Rock Album of the Year and Rock Song of the Year for "Alien". The following year, the band toured around the United States, both alone and again opening for Newsboys. Also in 1998, the band recorded a cover of Michael W. Smith's "Agnus Dei" for his Dove Award-winning compilation project Exodus.

In 1998, the band started working on Time. Time was nominated for a Grammy Award and won another Dove Award for the band. Some of the songs that were recorded for possible inclusion in the album, but left out during production, are on the EP Southern Tracks. During the band's live shows, they included a significant worship portion, prompting the band to release an album made up exclusively of worship songs. The subsequent album Offerings: A Worship Album took about a week to record.  Many great songs on this worship album like "These Thousand Hills," "Agnus Dei," "King of Glory," "Your Love Oh Lord," and more. Many of which we still play in church today. In 2000, to support both Time and Offerings, Third Day went on tour alongside Jennifer Knapp. Later the same year, the band collaborated on the project City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise with FFH, Caedmon's Call, Newsboys, Jars of Clay, and others.

In 2001, the band played in Australia and New Zealand on the heels of the success of the Offerings album. While touring in the US, Third Day recorded a concert attended by 15,000 fans at the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta to be released as their first DVD, The Offerings Experience. That same year, the band won five Dove Awards as well as their first Grammy. They closed the year with the release of their fifth studio album, Come Together, which won two Dove Awards and a Grammy. The album was certified gold the next year, along with Time. The band appeared in the 2002 film Joshua, the movie version of the story of Joseph Girzone. The Third Day song "My Hope is You" was included in the Joshua soundtrack album. 

In 2003, the band released a follow-up to their hit worship CD Offerings entitled Offerings II: All I Have to Give. In 2004, the band released their seventh album, Wire, and toured the States with tobyMac and Warren Barfield. In June of the same year, they traveled to Europe for a two-week tour. Upon returning, the band recorded a concert at Louisville and released it as the live album, Live Wire. During that year, they collaborated on the soundtrack for Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, played at the Republican National Convention, and were featured on 60 Minutes.

The band's next album, Wherever You Are, debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 8. It also won the band their third Grammy Award. The band recorded and released its first Christmas-themed album, Christmas Offerings, in 2006. In 2007, they released their first compilations of hits, Chronology.

Supporting the July 29, 2008, release of their new album Revelation, the band appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where they performed the album's first single "Call My Name" and on November 20, 2008, they appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson performing the album's title track. "Call My Name" hit No. 1 and was the fifth most-played song on R&R magazine's Christian CHR chart for 2008.

In April 2009, the band released a live version of the album Revelation under the title Live Revelations as a CD/DVD combination. Third Day was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 19, 2009. In December 2009, Third Day was nominated for three Grammy Awards, with Live Revelations winning Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album, their fourth career Grammy, and receiving nominations for "Born Again" in the two categories Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song. Live Revelations achieved Gold status in its month of release, becoming the band's eighth album to do so.

Third Day was featured on Winter Jam 2010, touring alongside a variety of contemporary Christian groups including the Newsboys, Fireflight and Tenth Avenue North. After releasing the single, "Lift Up Your Face" in July 2010, Third Day released their ninth studio album, Move, on October 19, 2010. On October 30 they finished the World Vision-sponsored tour Make a Difference Tour 2010 with TobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Jason Gray and Max Lucado.

Third Day released Miracle on November 6, 2012. The band toured Miracle on the Miracle Tour in 2013 - 2014 with artists Colton Dixon and Josh Wilson as their opening acts.

Third Day released the worship album Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship on March 3, 2015. The album, produced as a worship experience with Third Day at the center of a "friend choir", peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart, No. 5 on the Top Rock Albums chart and No. 13 on the Digital Albums chart. The album has had one single, "Soul on Fire", that spent 19 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 2 on Hot Christian Songs and No. 3 on Christian Digital Songs.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Third Day released the back-to-their-roots album, Revival, on August 4, 2017.

On March 2, 2018, Third Day announced their farewell with 12 shows as a last chance to see them live. The farewell tour eventually expanded to 20 concerts. June 27, 2018, in Denver, Colorado was the final show.

It is hard to summarize the the illustrious career and number of hit songs that this band produced. There are way too many to share in this post. Third Day has sold over 7 million albums in the United States and had 28 number one Christian album chart radio hits.

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