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Mark Heard

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John Mark Heard (1951-1992) was a record producer, singer, and songwriter originally from Macon, Georgia.

Mark Heard released 13 studio albums in his lifetime (as Mark Heard & Ideola) also 1 album with Infinity Plus Three), and produced and performed with many other artists as well, such as Daniel Amos, Sam Phillips, Pierce Pettis, Phil Keaggy, Vigilantes Of Love, Peter Buck of R.E.M., John Austin, The Choir, Randy Stonehill and Michael Been of The Call. Heard produced part of Olivia Newton John’s The Rumour, which also included a cover of Heard’s “Big And Strong”.

On July 4, 1992, Heard suffered a heart attack on stage while performing with Pierce Pettis and Kate Miner, at the Cornerstone Festival, near Chicago, Illinois. Heard finished his set and went to the hospital immediately afterwards. Two weeks after being released from the hospital, Heard had a cardiac arrest and died in August of 1992. Sadly, this happened at a time when Heard’s musical career never looked brighter. Not only had he just released three albums (Dry Bones Dance in 1990, Second Hand in 1991, and Satellite Sky in 1992) that many hailed as his best work to date, but he had also just been included on a sampler from Windham Hill’s High Street label.

Heard’s early work was often marked by strong, poetic lyrics; but musically he lingered in a generic folk/folk-rock style. But Heard continued to experiment musically; his most extreme was perhaps the elaborately-produced electronic rock on the album Tribal Opera, which he released under the name Ideola.

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  • Rtaylor32

    Mark Heard lives.

    16 Aug 2013 Reply
  • DrSlump7

    Ugh, it makes me so sick. These people are unknown! Mark Heard especially. What a brilliant songwriter, with an awesome sound through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Not to mention Larry Norman, Bill Mallonee, Daniel Amos, The Choir, etc.

    29 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Kzer_za

    Most underrated songwriter ever? I wonder if he'll ever get the credit he deserves. Even in Christian circles he is essentially unknown.

    24 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Rtaylor32

    August 16, 1992 It has been 20 years since his death.

    16 Aug 2012 Reply
  • SullyAz

    I met Mark while he was opening for Randy Stonehill in 1982 at a local mega-church. He was available and interesting. He seemed amused that a 20 year old was so interested in his music. He exceeds Dylan in lyrical dexterity and vocal quality...His complexity of thought and artistic precision screens out those looking for a feel-good fix. Heard made his cost of admission a mind willing wrestle with the metaphors, similes and lack of spoon fed Christian imagery.

    18 May 2012 Reply
  • OnlyVisitor

    Great singer and songwriter ^^

    11 Feb 2011 Reply
  • elfprince13

    :D more than 1 out of every 80 Mark Heard listens on last.fm are mine.

    4 Mar 2010 Reply
  • HeardHerd

    Interesting bit of trivia: Elvis Presley and Mark Heard died on the same day, 16 years apart (Aug. 16, 1977/1992). And of the twain -- dare I say it? -- Heard is the greatest talent. Elvis, hands down, wins for best performance chops versus virtually anyone, including Heard, though I'd guess Mark was his equal in earnestness and effort. Both have strengths and weaknesses as vocalists. But by other musical barometers (songwriting, musicianship), Heard wins in a walk. Here's hoping, someday, the gulf between their reputations will be bridged.

    14 Sep 2009 Reply
  • tomsawyer_1963

    First heard Mark while DJ'ing at college (1982). While looking through the stacks I came upon his first Album, produced by Larry Norman. Larry Norman presents Mark Heard - Appilacian Melody. Excellent stuff. He has been at the top of my play list ever since. The other shoutbox comments reflect my feelings as well.

    11 Jan 2009 Reply
  • Rtaylor32

    20,011 plays that is awesome. I'm glad more people are listening to Mark Heard here on Last.Fm!

    16 Sep 2008 Reply
  • nicefishfilms

    Amazing writer, poet.

    6 Sep 2008 Reply
  • skyshark

    Major Mark Heard fan ... possibly my favorite poet.

    20 Jul 2008 Reply
  • Rtaylor32

    Why aren't more people listening to Treasure of the Broken Land...

    1 May 2008 Reply
  • Rtaylor32

    cool they finally added Mark's music to Last.fm...Now I can finally proudly add him to my play list!!!

    12 Jun 2007 Reply