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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

I Predict 1990 (1987)

I Predict 1990 is the fourth release and third studio album by Christian musician Steve Taylor. It was released as a one-off by Word Records' Myrrh label instead of Sparrow Records on November 3, 1987. The album was produced, mixed and engineered by Taylor and musician Dave Perkins, crediting themselves as "The Beaufort Twins." Taylor wrote and arranged the album with the exception of the track "Babylon," which Taylor co-wrote with Perkins.

I Predict 1990 is Taylor's best album up to that point and also his most controversial. There were two things that hurt the album: first, the album cover.

Taylor's wife Debbie designed and painted the album cover, which was intended

to resemble an early 20th-century French poster art; however, some Christians felt that it resembled a tarot card. Second, the opening track "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good." The song is about a loser who bombs an abortion clinic. It's also the central theme of the album...a prediction of what the 1990s could bring if people continue to believe that "the end justifies the means." Those two things caused Christian bookstores to ban the album.

Taylor himself had to call the Christian bookstores personally to explain "I Blew Up the Clinic..." and its satire and meaning. Taylor has said that the album's title was meant as a parody of a Lester Sumrall TV program and book, I Predict 1986.

I Predict 1990 displays a more alternative rock style than the new wave music from his previous Sparrow releases. Other track highlights include "What Is the Measure of Your Success?" about a materialist who discovers what "old men learn all too can't buy time or a good name." "Innocence Lost" is about a heart rendering account of an eleventh hour but sincere conversion of a death row inmate on the eve of his execution. "A Principled Man" calls on the listeners to examine themselves and consider whether they are in fact people who stand up for something.

Despite some Christian bookstores not selling the album, I Predict 1990 gave Taylor another Top 10 best seller on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart as it peaked at number 7 in 1988. Six months after the album's release, Taylor released a companion video on VHS titled I Predict 1990: The Video Album. It features eight out of the album's ten songs with "Jung and the Restless" and "Innocence Lost" not made into videos. The music video of "Babylon" was nominated for a Dove Award for Short Form Music Video of the Year.

Track listing

All songs were written by Steve Taylor, except where noted.

1. I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good -4:13

2. What Is the Measure of Your Success? -4:40

3. Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better -3:27

4. Babylon (Steve Taylor, Dave Perkins) -4:52

5. Jim Morrison's Grave -4:30

6. Svengali -4:31

7. Jung and the Restless -4:33

8. Innocence Lost -5:04

9. A Principled Man -3:28

10. Harder to Believe Than Not To -4:33

Radio singles

1988 "Harder to Believe Than Not To" -#36 Christian AC

Previous release: Limelight (1986)

Watch the visual album I Predict 1990 playlist featuring eight music videos and two audio tracks:

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