DC Talk

The first album, clocking in at only 8 tracks, was a proper showcase of what the group was about and what you could expect from them in the near-term. The band was signed in January of 1989, at which point they already had most of the songs for the album written, and it was quickly recorded and released only a few months later.

Track List

02Gah ta Be3:57
03Final Days4:08
04The King (Allelujah)4:10
05Spinnin' Round3:48
06Voices Praise Him3:51
07Time ta Jam2:02
08He Loves Me5:11

Other Songs, Demos, and Outtakes

There's a very rare cassette tape called "Christian Rhymes to a Christian Rhythm" that has two early DC Talk songs.

An early version of Heavenbound can be found on that tape, and Kevin hasn't joined the group yet so he's not in the song.

A song called Always Leanin' is also on the tape.

At one point, one of the DC Talk members referred to a song that they had worked on during the sessions that didn't make it onto the album. Always Leanin' may be this song, and it may not.

Singles and Videos

The only single was Heavenbound, though Gah Ta Be and Spinnin' Round got some play.

Recording, Production, and Development

DC Talk had formed in 1987 at Liberty University, with just Toby McKeehan and Michael Tait to begin with. After being together for awhile, they released a demo tape that contained two early DC Talk songs. Toby kept writing, and the group kept performing, eventually adding Kevin Max Smith. At one point, Michael Tait alluded to another demo tape, one that contained three songs, that was sent to record executives. It's unknown which three songs were on that demo.

The group was signed in January 1989. The group moved to Nashville and began recording their debut in earnest. Since most of the songs were already complete, it moved quickly. A lot of the arrangements and musical input was done by Vic Mignogna, whom they met at Liberty and was part of the record deal, and beatboxing was done by Mike Valliere (the "Valet Beat" referred to so often) whom they also met at Liberty and was part of the record contract.

It appears that Richard Hartline, who helped write the music for two of the songs, was an addition made late in the game, possibly one of Forefront's producers.

There are some interesting aspects to the music. The samples and the production wasn't top of the line for 1989, even though it sounds fairly clean and polished. Michael Tait explains that in those days, keyboards were used for almost everything, even several of the guitar sounds.

The album was released in the summer of 1989.

Executive Producer: Dan R. Brock
Producers: Toby McKeehan and Ron W. Griffin

Engineered and Mixed by: Ron W. Griffin, Richard Hartline, and E.Q. Monroe

Recorded at:
Horizon Recording Studios in Pitman, NJ
Omnisound in Nashville, TN
Crosstown Recorders in Memphis, TN

Mastered by Hank Williams at MasterMix in Nashville, TN

Cover Design: Jon Timian
Photography: Steve Eastham and Jon Timian

Live Versions

This album was a big part of early DC Talk shows, particularly the songs Heavenbound and He Loves Me.

You can watch a live version of "He Loves Me" from 1990 in the video Rap Rock & Soul.

In the Free at Last Tour, Heavenbound and He Loves Me were both performed toward the end of the concert. "Time Ta Jam" was also featured during a band intro segment called Back 2 the Basics.

No songs were performed during the Freakshow Tour.

During the Supernatural Experience Tour, "Heavenbound" was part of an interlude performed by DJ Form, and Toby and Otto "Sugar Bear" Price performed a segment of it during a hip-hop portion of the show.

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