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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

Step Up to the Microphone (1998)

Updated: Apr 13


Step Up to the Microphone is the seventh studio album by the Australian Christian rock band Newsboys, released on June 30, 1998 by Star Song Records. The album is produced by Peter Furler.


It was the Newsboys' first album following the departure of lead singer John James in 1997, with Peter Furler and Phil Joel subsequently sharing lead vocal duties. Lead guitarist Jody Davis sings lead on the track "Truth Be Known - Everybody Gets a Shot." James, at the time, was battling drugs and alcohol, so original member Furler is now the new lead singer with Duncan Phillips now on the drums. Step Up to the Microphone was preceded by the lead single and music video "Entertaining Angels" with bassist Phil Joel singing the lead. The song topped the Christian CHR chart followed by three more number ones: "WooHoo," "Believe" and the title song. "Hallelujah" climbed to number 4 on the Christian Rock chart.


The track "WooHoo" features the "Na-Na" vocals from Furler's wife Summer and her father and Furler's father-in-law, Christian rock singer Mylon LeFevre. This is the first album that is not co-produced by singer/songwriter/producer Steve Taylor. Taylor has only co-written two tracks with "Truth Be Known..." and "Tuning In." Step Up to the Microphone topped the Top Christian Albums and peaked at number 61 on the Top 200 Albums charts in Billboard magazine. In 1999, Newsboys were nominated for Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year and Song of the Year for "Entertaining Angels," and winning Short Form Music Video of the Year for "Entertaining Angels" at the 30th GMA Dove Awards. In late 1999, the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).


Track listing

All songs were written by Peter Furler and Phil Joel, except where noted.


1. WooHoo -3:15

2. Step Up to the Microphone (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jeff Frankenstein) -3:43

3. Entertaining Angels (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jody Davis) -4:19

4. Believe -4:43

5. Tuning In (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Steve Taylor) -4:08

6. Truth Be Known - Everybody Gets a Shot (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jody Davis)

-4:00

7. Deep End (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jody Davis, Jeff Frankenstein) -4:06

8. Hallelujah (Peter Furler, Phil Joel, Jeff Frankenstein) -3:56

9. The Tide -5:01

10. Always -5:02


Personnel


Newsboys:

Peter Furler - lead vocals on tracks 2 -10, drums, guitars, programming

Phil Joel -lead vocals on tracks 1, 3, 6 and 9, bass guitar, backing vocals

Jody Davis -lead vocals on track 6, lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals

Duncan Phillips -drums, percussion, backing vocals

Jeff Frankenstein -keyboards, programming, backing vocals


Gold certified in 1999.


Accolades

Dove Award -Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Entertaining Angels")


Radio singles

1998 "Entertaining Angels" -#1 Christian CHR, #32 Christian AC

1998 "WooHoo" -#1 Christian CHR for 4 weeks

1998 -1999 "Believe" -#1 Christian CHR for 4 weeks, #4 Christian AC

1999 "Step Up to the Microphone" -#1 Christian CHR


Watch the music video of "Entertaining Angels" here:


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