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Rick Altizer began his career in music as a hopeful trying to break in to the L.A. music scene. He secured a job as a staff writer for Warner/Chappell Music and hired Elliot Roberts, who had worked with Neil Young and countless others, as his manager. Things were looking good, but then a record deal with Sony fell through and Altizer ditched L.A. and took his family to Nashville. Here he hooked up with KMG, a small Christian rock label, and released two records.
1998's Blue Plate Special and 1999's Neon Fixation were Beatles-influenced pop records with a mostly subtle Christian message. Both were produced by Adrian Belew who lent his guitar playing skills as well. Altizer's third album, 2000's Go Nova, was a self-produced album for a smaller label. In 2001, Altizer wrote and produced Soul Lift: Soundtrack For the Soul, a collection of artists like Johnny Cash, Stuart Mason from Jars of Clay, and others singing gospel songs with a techno backing. Also in 2001, Altizer released [All Tie Zer] on the secular pop label Not Lame with Adrian Belew on board again to provide some guitar solos. This album was his most unabashedly pop record and introduced him to a whole new audience of power pop fans.