Hillsong Worship's iconic and breakthrough album Shout to the Lord turns 25 this year! In 1996, Integrity Music took a chance on the suburban church in Sydney, Australia by releasing what would later become an iconic album in worship music today. The album features worship staples such as "Power of Your Love," "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" and the title track.
However, here are seven facts about the album, you may not be aware of:
1. Darlene Zschech was not scheduled to be the worship leader of the project. Geoff Bullock, who was the worship pastor of Hills Christian Life Centre (now known as Hillsong Church), was supposed to lead. However, only a few days before the live album recording, Geoff Bullock left the church and was no longer a part of the recording project. Darlene Zschech, who served as the church's vocal director, was asked to step in.
2. Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church, had been shopping their church's music to many recording companies in the US before the release of Shout to the Lord. However, worship music in the early 90s was not popular among Christian music labels, and no label would sign them. Finally, Integrity Music signed Hillsong Church to record a live album for their Hosanna! Music series.
3. The song "Shout to the Lord" almost didn't make the album. Don Moen, Integrity Music's president, wanted the song for himself. Moen even cut a version of the iconic song and released it on his Rivers of Joy album a year prior in 1995.
4. The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian Albums Chart.
5. Darlene Zschech is the first female worship leader to lead worship on an album released by Integrity's Hosanna! Music.
6. Five out of the twelve songs on the album had been recorded by the Australia church before. The album was supposed to be a re-recording of their best songs for the US market.
7. The song "Shout to the Lord" was performed on American Idol on 9 April 2008. "Shout to the Lord" was the closing song on Idol Gives Back, sung by the remaining eight contestants of American Idol and a gospel choir. The lyrics of the song were altered, changing the word "Jesus" to "Shepherd" in the first line, without the approval of Zschech or Hillsong Church.
Listen to "Shout to the Lord" here.