After 15 unforgettable years, Audio Adrenaline is saying “goodbye” in the only way it knows how — by putting the fans first. By: David McCreary

Saying “goodbye” forever is tough. Just ask veteran pop/rock outfit Audio Adrenaline.

When the group recently announced that it is ending its 15-year career, legions of fans were surprised and disappointed. After all, of the current bands on the Christian music scene, no other artists epitomize lasting youthfulness and unwavering stamina more than Audio A. And let’s not forget their substantial achievements along the way: more than three million records sold, 18 No. 1 hits, two Grammys and four Dove Awards, to name a few.

“They’ve left a significant, indelible mark on Christian music by making great music that was real and relevant while applying the truth of scripture in an honest and open way,” says Christian music stalwart Steven Curtis Chapman.

Even now, not a day goes by without the group’s definitive track “Big House” — named CCM Magazine’s “Song of the Decade” in the 1990s — hitting the airwaves and reminding listeners of the celebration to come in heaven. “I respect so much these guys who have continued on through the years with integrity and hearts for ministry, touching different generations along the way with songs like ?Big House’ and ?Hands and Feet,'” says burgeoning singer/songwriter Phil Wickham.

Releasing their 11th career album August 1, Audio A delivers the aptly titled Adios: The Greatest Hits (ForeFront). The disc features 12 previous No. 1 hits in addition to new track “Goodbye” and a cover of The Alarm’s classic cut “Blaze of Glory.” Also, a special edition companion DVD contains a distinctive rendition of Charlie Peacock’s “Down in the Lowlands” along with concert footage, music videos and tributes from artists such as tobyMac, Relient K, Pillar and others.

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The foursome is currently working the major summer Christian festival circuit. They’ll wrap up live performances this fall on a 35-city tour with MercyMe, a band that holds Audio A in high regard. “Our first big break was opening for Audio Adrenaline back in 1995, and we will be forever grateful,” says lead singer Bart Millard.

For the members of Audio A, it’s a bittersweet ending to an enduring journey. “We never could have imagined that we’d be together as a band for 15 years, but the fact that it’s lasted so long is amazing to us,” says bassist Will McGinniss alongside his cohorts during an exclusive phone interview with CCM. “We have the greatest fans, and the hardest thing is saying ?goodbye’ to them,” McGinniss adds.

The impetus for the band’s imminent retirement arose out of front man Mark Stuart’s ongoing struggle with his vocal chords, a concern that caused doctors to encourage him to quit singing altogether.

Copyright © 2006 CCM Magazine, Used by Permission

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