Jars of Clay Garners Third Consecutive No. 1 Debut

Multi-Platinum, multi-GRAMMY and Dove Awards winning band Jars of Clay has for the third consecutive time captured the No. 1 position on the SoundScan compiled Top Christian Retail chart with the March 5 debut of The Eleventh Hour. The recording also landed in the top 30 of the Billboard Top 200.
Following the success of its Platinum-selling 1997 release Much Afraid and its Gold-selling 1999 release If I Left the Zoo, Jars of Clay returns to the top of the charts with its first album in more than two years. Critics are already likening the band’s fourth national release, The Eleventh Hour, to its double Platinum and self-titled 1995 debut that spawned the mega hit “Flood.”
Having produced their breakthrough and self-titled debut, Jars of Clay members returned to their roots self-producing The Eleventh Hour. The band further wrote the music, conceptualized, designed, directed and filmed for the project, as well as built their own recording studio in Nashville, Sputnik Studios, to record the album. The Eleventh Hour has already sparked the multi-format hit single and No. 1 song, “I Need You,” which remains No. 1 for the fifth consecutive week on the R & R Pop chart.
Essential Records president, Robert Beeson, explains the success, “Jars of Clay is one of the most innovative artists in our industry. Fans consistently support them, but we believe they are connecting even more fully to this project because of the level of Jars of Clay’s creative involvement. The band has pulled from their experience working with talented producers in the past, as well as writing and performing extensively since their debut, to craft a truly outstanding project.”
“In a time when record sales trends are downward, it is exciting to see the momentum of this recording,” adds Jars of Clay manager Rendy Lovelady, Rendy Lovelady Management. “The strength of the project combined with the effectiveness of our release campaign combined for a successful album launch. As one of the most aggressive tours of the band’s career gets underway tomorrow, we anticipate strong sales to continue as even more fans hear this record.”
Following the release of the recording, Jars of Clay also made a special appearance last weekend at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) annual convention. Held in San Francisco, the band performed three songs from the new album in the Opening Business Session and received critical acclaim from those in attendance.
“Everybody knew Jars of Clay because of Flood,” said Jimmy Wheeler, Zomba Label Group senior director, national Christian music sales. “I had unsolicited comments from several accounts saying how blown away they were by the band’s performance.”
Critics had similar praises for the band’s performance for its first pay-per-view event. Entitled Jars of Clay – The Eleventh Hour Concert, one writer suggested that “If you weren’t watching the Jars of Clay pay-per-view event then you really missed it…It was excellent.” Part of a ONE NIGHT ONLY SM series pay-per-view event, there will be a repeat performance Easter Sunday, as well as throughout the month of March (check local listings). Celebrating the release of their first new album in almost two and a half years, Jars of Clay performed new music from the highly anticipated The Eleventh Hour for the exclusive two-hour special, as well as performed the hits that have helped sell more than 5 million albums.
The pay-per-view also sparked a Jars of Clay – The Eleventh Hour Live Radio Special, which is set to broadcast later this month on Today’s Christian Music Network and is available to all Salem Radio Affiliates throughout March. The radio special cross-promotes the pay-per-view special while driving consumers to retail for The Eleventh Hour CD.

Touring in support of the new album, Jars of Clay will launch its 50-plus city The Eleventh Hour Tour tomorrow in Nashville. The band’s first tour in over a year, the concert presentation unveils new stage design and the band’s first-ever multi-media presentation. The tour will also feature special guests Jennifer Knapp and Shaun Groves. The complete tour itinerary, as well as a clip of the pay-per-view event, can be found at jarsofclay, www.essentialrecords.com and jiverecords.
Nashville-based Essential Records was founded in 1992 and specializes in providing relevant pop, alternative and modern music. In addition to Jars of Clay, the label’s artist roster includes Third Day, FFH, Caedmon’s Call and True Vibe.
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