Three GRAMMY Awards and 45 Dove Awards Winner Michael W. Smith's first worship album, simply entitled Worship turns 20 today! The record was released on 9/11, 2001 during a time when the world stopped when planes crashed into New York's twin towers. The album couldn't have come at a better time when people were grieving and felt lost. This record became a source of comfort and peace.
"I think it really became a healing record for our nation," Smith says.
Smith had always incorporated worship songs since he started his recording career like "Great Is The Lord" from his album Project and "Hosanna" from his second album. His most popular worship song being "Agnus Dei," originally recorded for his Go West Young Man album. However, Worship is his first album of entirely worship songs.
Smith sang "Above All" at President George W. Bush's 2001 inaugural prayer service. Due to the success of the record, Smith released a follow-up album Worship Again a year later and a DVD comprising selections from both albums.
This year, to mark the album's anniversary, he came up with the idea to re-record the album with the power of a full orchestra behind him. The new album, which was released yesterday, is called Worship Forever.
"I started to think about the 20th anniversary of 9/11 coming up and my crazy idea was, what if I went back and recorded that record, but with a completely different approach. What if I did it with a full orchestra? So, I pulled up my orchestra templates on my computer and began to experiment. And after two or three songs, I thought, I can make this work.