WARNING!!! This Top 100 list is incredibly biased and personal. I don’t pretend to be a Christian Rock journalist. Just someone whose formative years included the genre extensively. It’s not a conclusive list and more a personal memoir.
When I was eleven my relationship to Christian music was entirely made up of my mother’s influence. She didn’t like that I was listening to
She brought home PETRA: Backstage Pass from the Christian book store. It’s not an album it’s a VHS documentary about Petra touring on the road, with music videos and live concert footage throughout. When my mother and I finished watching it she said.
“Well it’s no Rhythm and News.”
Throughout the documentary Petra says that being on the road is not glamorous and they are obviously pained, being away from their families but it is also is clear that they are having the time of their lives. This video inspired me to start a band. So I got together me and a couple of my grade 6 pals. We called ourselves
None of us played instruments but we wrote out what our band positions on a piece of loose-leaf.
Me and the fake drummer got kicked out of the band when the others got into Metallica and we weren’t sure if they were too Satanic or not.
Track that holds up. Dance
When my cousin Brandy was 16 she had a note-book full of her favourite Christian band’s lyrics. I was visiting her farm one summer and in-between walks into town to rent Chris Farley movies and rounds of the video game Tomb Raider I flipped through it. The funniest and best lyrics came from this album.
“Sometimes we have a deadline, for writing our songs. Five minutes left to write this one…LA LA LA LA LA LA LA…”
“I want to be where Yaks can run free. Where the Royal Mounties can arrest me.” (a song about Canada).
This is also where their track 6 silly song tradition took off with Kitty Doggy.
TRACK THAT HOLDS UP: Every New Day
This was my go to freak-people-out music. At the time they were the heaviest band I had ever heard, yet still strangely accessible. Their songs are haunting. In my first year of Bible college a couple of my friends and I made a horror film that was made up of running from a light, acting scared and playing Training For Utopia’s New York City Is Overrated in the background. It was terrifying.
- Audio Adrenaline: Bloom
This was the album that made my mom decide I was buying my own Christian music. It was 1996 and my mother was not ready for I’m Not The King.
At the time this was a really heavy track. Today it could be kids music.
Track that holds up. Free Ride (cover)
- Plankeye: Commonwealth
Plankeye was the vehicle for Scott Silletta’s songwriting.
Tooth and Nail records used to put out samplers that would be on the impulse buy section of the check-out counter of Christian Book stores. This is one of the reasons they became such a popular record label.
I heard Plakeye’s B.C.
on one of those samplers and it blew me away. I remember as soon as I got home locking myself in my room because I needed to memorize the lyrics RIGHT AWAY!
I met Scott Silletta years later at Cornerstone Music Festival. I asked if I could interview him (I don’t know for what). He was really nice.