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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

The Basics of Life (1992)

Updated: Apr 28

The Basics of Life is the third studio album by the Christian music male vocal group 4Him, released on September 16, 1992 by Benson Records.

The Basics of Life was a best seller, giving the group their first and only Gold record by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of 500,000 copies in 1996. CCM Magazine ranked this album at number 66 in their 2001 book The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. The album is a combination of all their strengths of previous efforts with a convincing thematic appeal to return to the traditional values of days gone by. The men of 4Him invited their fathers to join them on the Mark Harris/Don Koch-penned "Built on Amazing Grace," using the classic hymn as a bridge not only for the song but as a connection between the present and the past. Harris, who co-wrote seven of the 12 tracks, focuses on lyrics that don't simply encourage the church but admonish listeners to think about-and act on-their faith. 4Him member Marty Magehee co-wrote the track "The Voice of God" with Harris.

Koch and Reed Arvin return to produce songs on the album and gospel artist and musician Fred Hammond produced the track "This Time." The Basics of Life peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. In 1993, 4Him was named Group of the Year at the 24th GMA Dove Awards. The group also released a companion video, also titled The Basics of Life, on VHS the same year featuring four music videos from the album, plus an acoustic performance of "Living Water, Breath of Life" from their first album. It was nominated for Long Form Music Video of the Year and its music video for "The Voice of God" was nominated for Short Form Music Video of the Year.

Track listing

1. The Basics of Life (Mark Harris, Don Koch) -5:13

2. When It Comes to Livin' (Mark Harris, Don Koch, Dave Clark) -5:27

3. Fountain of Youth (Mark Harris, Don Koch) -4:26

4. This Time (John Mandeville, Michael Candelaria) -4:41

5. Through His Eyes (Mark Harris, Don Koch) -5:23

6. Built on Amazing Grace (Mark Harris, Don Koch) -4:45

7. Freedom (Geoff Thurman, Lowell Alexander) -3:58

8. Livin' in the Lion's Mouth (Billy Simon) -4:20

9. When It's Time to Go (Billy Simon, Jeff Silvey) -4:37

10. Head Over Heels (Mark Harris, Billy Simon, Blair Masters) -4:21

11. Wrecking Ball (Billy Simon, Jeff Jansen) -4:28

12. The Voice of God (Mark Harris, Marty Magehee) -5:35

Gold certified in 1996.



Mark Harris -vocals

Andy Chrisman -vocals

Kirk Sullivan -vocals

Marty Magehee -vocals

Production credits

Don Koch -producer (tracks 1, 3, 5 -8)

Reed Arvin -producer (tracks 2, 9 -12)

Fred Hammond -producer (track 4)


Dove Award -Group of the Year

Radio singles

1992 "The Basics of Life" -#1 Christian AC

1993 "Freedom" -#21 Christian CHR

1993 "Through His Eyes" -#5 Christian AC

1993 "When It's Time to Go" -#2 Christian AC

1993 "When It Comes to Livin'" -#5 Christian AC

1994 "Wrecking Ball" -#24 Christian CHR, #14 Christian AC

Previous release: Face the Nation (1991)

Watch the music videos from The Basics of Life here:

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