Styrper caught a lot of flack back in the day for their look. The big freaking hair, the yellow and black leather, the throwing Bibles from the stage. Yes, they were a Christian band in the Heavy Metal world. Funny thing is a lot of people didn’t know they were Christian and just enjoyed the songs. Heck, their look and sound fit right in on the MTV Generation as this song was one of the stations most requested songs. The thing is, Stryper were sincere in their Christian beliefs and spreading the word, but that didn’t stop the likes of Jerry Falwell calling them “A Wolf in Sheep’s clothing”. That is kinda harsh.
The band’s fifth single off their smash album ‘To Hell With the Devil’ was “Honestly” which was written by Michael Sweet. It was released in 1987 and went all the way to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band’s only song to ever break the Top 40 Charts. As a result, the band saw massive success and the album reached Platinum Status. The B-Side was the song “Sing-ALong Song” also written by Sweet. My copy of the 7″ Single is the standard U.S. version so nothing special other than it is in pretty great shape for over 30 years old.
The song “Honestly” is a power ballad which were huge in 1987. This one was more piano based played John Van Tongeren who was a session musician. Michael Sweet sings and his falsettos are pretty sick. He almost sounds like a woman (that’s not a bad thing that is just how high his vocals can go). Robert Sweet’s drums are so distinct and you can tell when he is playing on a song. The song is dramatic and uplifting as you’d expect.
The song is about friendship. If you don’t realize they are a Christian, then that friendship is human friendship and about two people that will always be there for each other through thick & thin. A blood brother type friendship. However, they are a Christian band so that friendship is about that connection with God and his unending love no matter what you do. He will be there by your side and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Just believe in Him.
The “Sing-Along-Song” starts off as this heavier song until all the harmonies come in and that chorus comes in and then it turns in to the biggest cheese-fest you’ve ever seen. There is no denying that Michael can sing, but the song is too over-the-top. The song was written by Michael Sweet and couldn’t have take very long as there are three 3 line verses and the chorus is just “Whoa-o-o-o Whoa ooo La, La” sung over and over ad nauseam. I’m not saying it is bad, I’m just saying that if I hear that song again I’m going to drive a screwdriver in to my ears to stop the pain. That is all.
And that is all. I hope you enjoyed this look through the Stryper 7″ Single “Honestly”. Until next time, have a wonderful day!