Worship Cover Album – Good Idea?

In our church, we are starting to see a lot of people who didn’t grow up going to church. This is a really cool thing! But, these people don’t know all our “church songs” by heart, so my pastor and I were kicking around the idea of recording a worship album of the most 15 used songs that we do and giving it away for free.

This kind of a project is really easier than it sounds. The worship band(s) know the songs by heart, so recording them will actually be pretty easy. Licensing isn’t all that expensive. For 15 songs and 100 sales (or giveaways), you’ll have to spend just over $300 using Limelight to handle the licensing. If you ask for a $3 donation for each CD giveaway, you’ve basically covered your costs.

I can see a few plusses for doing something like this:

  1. People learn the songs. They get to play the CDs in their car or plug the music into their mp3 players and listen whenever they want.
  2. People would take ownership of the songs. This would feel like something they are uniquely a part of. It’s the worship band at their church putting out an album of songs they get to sing along with.
  3. The band gets better and playing the songs by recording them.

The minuses are the cost and the time involved. Those are minimal in my opinion. We are looking at doing the recording like a studio album rather than a live album. Our live recording setup isn’t quite fine-tuned yet.

What do you think? Something you’d do at your church? Done this before?

  • http://faithefc.com Craig

    Brian,
    I have struggled with this forever. People are always asking us to do it. Money has never been a stopping point for me. I always run up against the time commitment to do it well. When I start to consider the time it always seems to run up against the primary role of our group; and that is to lead our body in worship. If I could figure out how to make both work and have neither suffer at the hand of the other I would do it in a second.

    • http://www.brianwahlmusic.com Brian

      Recording is a bottomless pit of time for sure! Do you have a way to get a good live recording? If we could do it that way, that’s what I’d prefer for sure.

      We’re already started on this project. Things are going pretty smooth so far, but we’re definitely trying to keep it as simple as possible – basically just record the songs almost exactly how we play them live. That eliminates all the time that would be lost trying to come up with new parts/sounds/etc.