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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Classic Christian Rock Music

I was listening to my iPod on the way to church last night and a Deliverance song, "Horrendous Disc," started playing.
It took me back to when there was a plethora of good Christian rock music steeped in Biblical lyrics. I began to wonder what happened to all of that and who some of my favorite artists were from the '80s and '90s. That's not to say there isn't any good Christian rock today. I enjoy Switchfoot, P. O. D., anberlin, Kutless, and Jeremy Camp's first album, "Stay," but I miss White Heart, Whitecross, and Petra, though some of those are touring again. Here's some of my favorites from back in the day.

  • Petra - They always had scripture to back up each and every song, which was doctrine as song. Go ahead, listen to their old stuff and see if you don't get straight scripture from them. There's a story that their record label once left the scripture verses out of the liner notes and Bob Hartman went after them on it, but it was too late, the albums had been shipped. I can't find a reference for this, so if you know the story, let me know. They are touring again with Greg X. Volz as Classic Petra.
  • White Heart - Starting out with Steve Green (yes, that Steve Green) and discovered by Bill Gaither, they developed a rock sound that would rival Petra, of course. The last concert I went to with my dad was the Petra-Whiteheart co-headliner tour with Grammatrain and Johnny Q. Public opening. We traveled to Gainesville, GA for that show, 4.5 hours away. That was in 1996. Apparently, they were supposed to do a reunion concert last year, but I haven't seen much more info about it.
  • Whitecross - Their song, "In the Kingdom," got me hooked. They are also back together after many years apart and have recorded a new album. The lead singer went to be a missionary in the interim. That's pretty awesome.
  • Bride - They had some pretty good stuff coming out of the late '80s and early '90s. In recent years, their stuff has kind of waned as styles of music have changed. "Kinetic Faith" and "Snakes in the Playground" are probably their best albums.
  • Stryper - To be honest, I used to hear and think bad things about Stryper. In the late '90s, I finally picked up some of their music, after seeing Michael Sweet in 1994 at AtlantaFest. The only album I'm kind of hesitant on is "Against the Law," but that's also their only mainstream secular album and the last one they did before the broke up. They are back together again, of course, recording and touring. Michael Sweet is also the lead singer for Boston.
  • King's X - Not a Christian band, per se, but Christians in a band, at least at the time. Ty Tabor is perhaps the only one who professes to be a Christian now, and lives it. I was disappointed when Doug Pinnick "came out" as a homosexual, but I don't see him as trying to be a posterboy as some "Christians" do when they "come out." He doesn't flaunt it and I pray that he comes back to Christianity. King's X has never broken up or gone away. They're still touring and recording.
Who are some of your favorites from the past-gone era? Deliverance, Bloodgood, Barren Cross, others? There are plenty to choose from. I only highlighted a few, for brevity. This post could go on for pages.