Michael W. Smith – I Will Be Here for You (1992)
What? Stop looking at me like that. You think I want to write about this song? Of course I don’t. I do it because I have to. And anyway, I didn’t make it a hit — that was you, America. So, like, remove the plank from your eye before you point at the mote in mine, or whatever that Bible verse says about people with shitty taste in music.
Oh, speaking of the Bible, here’s Michael W. Smith. Mike was part of the wave of Bible-thumping pop stars who crested the charts in the early ’90s; think of him as the Miracle Whipped baloney between the two slices of Wonder Bread known as Amy Grant and Kathy Troccoli. You wouldn’t have known it to listen to his weenie hits, but Smith is arguably the loudest thumper of ’em all — he’s used his celebrity to support Rick Santorum and George W., performed at the Republican National Convention, and appeared at a Sean Hannity festival.
There are some jokes in the above sentence, but thinking about them just makes me depressed, so we’ll move on.
Michael W. Smith’s rise to secular fame came at sort of a strange time for purveyors of squeaky-clean pop — namely, the early ’90s, a.k.a. The Birth of Grunge. Even though he’d hit the Top 40 in ’91 with the I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-emo sobfest “A Place in This World,” by all rights, Smith shouldn’t have had any kind of hit in 1992; it’s easy to imagine the members of, say, Chicago listening to “I Will Be Here for You” (download) and wondering why they couldn’t get on the radio anymore. It’s a good question, in retrospect — did radio programmers think Smith was Richard Marx’s wimpier cousin? Was it his perfectly groomed stubble? Payola? The world will never know.
(On a serious note, it bears mentioning that Christians be buyin’ records — just about everything Smith has released has either gone gold or platinum, trends be damned. Scott Stapp remaineth ever hopeful.)
Anyway. Whatever the explanation, the fall of ’92 found Michael W. Smith softly rocking on the Top 40, promising he’d be here for you. (Unless you’re a liberal homo, presumably.) Dig the video:
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Yes, it’s foul. But before you decide it’s the worst thing you’ve heard today, here’s an extra treat for you: the B-side, “Color Blind” (download). Turn it up and let your whole office join in on the fun!