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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

The Big Picture (1986)

Updated: Jun 22

The Big Picture is the third studio album by Christian singer - songwriter MIchael W. Smith, released in 1986 on Reunion Records.

The title comes from the track "Pursuit of the Dream," in which it is heard a few times, but also applies to the variety of themes for young people to learn about from the songs. That track instructs on pursuing goals, and other themes include the folly of escapism ("Lamu"), sexual abstinence before marriage ("Old Enough to Know") and maintaining a self image ("You're Alright"). The mostly instrumental track "Tearin' Down The Wall" opens with a reverse snippet of Amy Grant's "Emmanuel." The album was produced by Smith and John Potoker with most of the songs written by Smith and studio musician and songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick.

The Big Picture is listed at number 21 from CCM Magazine's 2001 book 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music. The album peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. Smith won a Dove Award for Pop/

Contemporary Album of the Year and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance, Male at the 29th Grammy Awards.

In 1987, Smith wrote his first book, along with Fritz Ridenour, based on songs from The Big Picture for teenagers about life and relationships called Old Enough to Know, named after the track from the album. Published by Thomas Nelson.

Track listing on CD

All songs written by Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick, except where noted.

1. Lamu (Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Wayne Kirkpatrick) -5:55

2. Wired for Sound -6:00

3. Old Enough to Know -4:47

4. Pursuit of the Dream -5:11

5. Rocketown -4:32

6. Voices -5:50

7. The Last Letter -4:37

8. Goin' Thru the Motions -4:55

9. Tearin' Down the Wall (instrumental) -3:35

10. You're Alright (Michael W. Smith, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Chris Rodriguez) -4:36

11. Coda (hidden instrumental track) (MIchael W. Smith) -0:41


Dove Award -Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year (The Big Picture)

Radio singles

1986 "Rocketown" -#1 Christian CHR for 10 weeks, #1 Christian AC for 6 weeks

1986 "Wired for Sound" -#4 Christian CHR

1987 "Voices" -#19 Christian CHR, #5 Christian AC

1987 "Old Enough to Know" -#6 Christian CHR, #24 Christian AC

Previous release: Michael W. Smith 2 (1984)

Next release: The Live Set (1987)

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