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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Live the Life (1998)

Updated: Nov 9, 2023


Live the Life is the ninth studio album by Christian singer - songwriter Michael W. Smith, released on April 28, 1998 by Reunion Records.


The follow up to 1995's I'll Lead You Home, the album was originally to be released in the fall of 1997 but was delayed twice because Smith was not satisfied with the track list. There were 26 songs written and completed for the album with 12 songs hand picked and a couple of the songs ending up as B-sides to commercially released singles. The lead single, the title song, was released in the fall of 1997 as an enhanced CD maxi-single featuring a music video to the song along with the non-album track "Greater Than We Understand." The second single "Love Me Good" was commercially released in the spring of 1998, before the album was released, and contains another non-album track "Evening Show." A music video was made for "Love Me Good." The remaining 12 songs appeared in some form on Smith's 1999 album This Is Your Time.


In 1999, Smith won three Dove Awards for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Live the Life, Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year at the 30th GMA Dove Awards. Live the Life was certified Gold the same year. Smith was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album for Live the Life at the 41st Grammy Awards. The album would give Smith his fifth number one on the Top Christian Albums chart and peaked at number 23 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Smith produced the album along with Mark Heimermann and prolific British producer Stephen Lipson (Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Rod Stewart) produced and co-wrote the track "Let Me Show You the Way." The track "In My Arms Again" was written for the 1997 Best Picture winner Titanic in mind. The instrumental "Song for Rich" is a tribute to late Christian singer-songwriter Rich Mullins who died in a car crash in September 1997. The Japanese version of Live the Life features additional tracks that are not in the original release including acoustic mixes of the title song and "Love Me Good," "Do You Dream of Me?" (from The First Decade 1983-1993) and a new bonus track "Once Again."


Track listing


1. Missing Person (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -6:01

2. Love Me Good (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -4:41

3. Live the Life (Michael W. Smith, Brent Bourgeois) -4:36

4. Never Been Unloved (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -4:39

5. I Believe in You Now (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -4:44

6. Don't Give Up (Michael W. Smith, Brent Bourgeois) -4:20

7. Let Me Show You the Way (Michael W. Smith, Nik Kershaw, Stephen Lipson) -4:12

8. I Know Your Name (Michael W. Smith, Beverly Darnall) -4:00

9. Matter of Time (Michael W. Smith, Brent Bourgeois) -3:42

10. In My Arms Again (Michael W. Smith, Cindy Morgan, Joanna Carlson) -6:11

11. Song for Rich (instrumental) (Michael W. Smith) -1:53

12. Hello, Goodbye (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -5:22

13. Live the Life (reprise) (hidden bonus track) -2:30


Production credits


Michael W. Smith -producer (tracks 1–6, 8-12)

Mark Heimermann -producer (tracks 1–5, 8, 9, 11 and 12)

Stephen Lipson -producer (track 7)


Gold certified in 1999.


Accolades

Dove Award -Artist of the Year

Producer of the Year

Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (Live the Life)


Radio singles

1997 "Live the Life" -#3 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC

1998 "Love Me Good" -#61 Hot 100, #5 Christian CHR, #5 Christian AC

1998 "Never Been Unloved" -#9 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC

1998 "Missing Person" -#2 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC

1999 "Let Me Show You the Way" -#16 Christian CHR, #1 Christian AC


Previous release: I'll Lead You Home (1995)

Next release: Christmastime (1999)

Watch the music video of "Live the Life" here:

Watch the music video of "Love Me Good" here:


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