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.
Alright…You Picked It! And this one wasn’t really that close. After the first five picks were one for each artist, the winner took the early lead and never looked back. The winner this month is Stryper and their album ‘Against the Law’ which was one that was in my collection. I will be honest, this winner surprised me as I didn’t think they really had a chance, but boy was I wrong. Here are the results.
Stryper – ‘Against the Law’ – 7 votes
David Bowie – ‘Let’s Dance’ – 5 votes
The Band – ‘The Band’ – 3 votes
Dusty Springfield – ‘Dusty in Memphis’ – 2 votes
The Darkness – ‘Motorheart’ – 1 Vote
Thanks to all for participating. The January choices will be up on Saturday!
STRYPER – ‘AGAINST THE LAW’:
I remember when this album came out. It was a drastic change for the band. The Yellow and Black costumes they wore were gone and everything was black leather. The religious themes and any mention of God were gone. Stryper as we knew them were gone. Due to the constant criticism of from the religious critics, Stryper had grown weary of the music business and the Christian themes. They had become angry and a little resentful at the constant bashing. So, they threw religion to the side and went heavier and darker in both sound and lyrics.
With Stryper releasing a new album soon called “God Damn Evil”, it is time to have a little fun with them. I have always been a fan, but they can be easy to poke fun of so that is what we are going to do. Now I hope I don’t get struck down by lightning for doing this, but I think God has a sense of humor – he created Trump right!!! Oh yeah, and the platypus. I hope you enjoy!!!
Okay, the resemblance is uncanny so let’s get to it…Ted Cruz and Michael Sweet – separated at birth???
Yes, you either like Christian Rock or you don’t…I do so get over it.
Now, Stryper, and Michael Sweet in particular, have released a lot of music lately. Let’s look back over the last 5 years…
March 2013 – ‘The Second Coming’
November 2013 – ‘No More Hell to Pay’
January 2014 – Icon (greatest hits)
September 2014 – Live at the Whisky
October 2015 – Fallen
And Michael Sweet…
2014 – ‘I’m Not Your Suicide’
2015 – ‘Only to Rise’ as Sweet & Lynch
2016 – ‘One Sided War’
2017 – ‘Unified’ as Sweet & Lynch
2017 – Sole: Songs and Stories From a Life in Music live concert video
That is 10 albums in 5 years. That is quite a busy group. I will admit that I have grown a little tired of Stryper as it is music overload. I can’t absorb all that. Now, it has all been great actually, but I felt like I needed a break.
On April 20th, Stryper brings us another new album called ‘God Damn Evil’ and my first thought was NOOOOO!!! On the title, I am sure they will catch some grief for using that title (which will be for another discussion if I review the whole album), but it is ballsy and I think it might set the tone for what is to come on this album.
Stryper is currently touring in support of the 30th Anniversary of their break-through album ‘To Hell With the Devil’. The album was released back on October 24, 1986 and became the first Christian Metal album to go platinum. It was the best selling Christian metal album all the way up to 2001 when P.O.D. outsold it with their album ‘Satellite’ (another great album).
The videos for the album were on regular rotation on MTV which was so unusual for a band that was labeled as Christian. They actually made it cool to listen to music about Christ. They are the reason why I still listen to Christian music today (well Christ has a lot to do with it too). Most Christian music was fairly boring and somewhat cheesy. But not Stryper. They had screaming guitars, pounding drums, deep bass and soaring vocals. Perfect for the so called Glam era that was overtaking the radios at the time.
The band had its own gimmicks. The hair of course…wow!! The hairspray bill alone must of have been outrageous. The most memorable was them wearing the yellow & black leather outfits during their shows (which they will don again during their anniversary tour for the album). The band also handed out bibles to the crowd (I never got one). I did see them live on their tour in support of the next album ‘In God We Trust’, but was not close enough to get a bible.