Flash forward to the late 90's. I was starting to notice that Michael W. Smith's name would show up on late-night commercials for Christian contemporary and pop music compilations from Time Life. As I began to build my music collection via scanning the Billboard charts, I was surprised to see that Michael W. Smith actually had recorded a bunch of tunes that charted. And I wanted to not only add these just because, but I wanted to understand why his music was so popular to religious Catholics. The one song in particular that appeared to be his biggest hit was that song which I was introduced to back in 1992. It's called Place In This World, which I'm happy to say has slowly but surely become one of the most beautiful songs that I've ever heard. And this is coming from a rock & roll Jew whose main obsession is with hard rocking bands like AC/DC and KISS.
Place In This World was actually released in 1990 and had crossover success. Although the song had very little airplay on pop music radio, it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top 100, and went all the way to #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Here's another shocker for you, two years later in 1992, Michael W. Smith would hold the #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart with another classic, I Will Be Here For You. He probably is the most successful crossover artist from Christian contemporary music to pop ever with possibly the exceptions of Amy Grant, and Stryper (just kidding!) Even though the tune was a Christian-based song, unless you real dove into the lyrics, it sounded like a simple pop tune you would hear from say an artist like Peter Cetera or Michael Bolton. I'm a sucker for a good melody or an uplifting tune, which is why I fell in love with the song. Even if the message is clear in the song that you need to pray and read the bible to discover what your role and purpose is in the world per God's will. I'm sure my mom would be glad to hear me praising Christian music. But a great song is a great song no matter what.
Ladies and gentlemen.. For the second consecutive time, a Christian contemporary song! Place In This World!!!