I’m a fan of:
*]Thousand Foot Krutch
I listen to Christian radio a lot, and the only band I choose to go spend my few spare dollars on is Casting Crowns. I even have “If we are the body” as my ringtone!
**1. Elvis Presley ~ (Gospel Collection Is Amazing)
Michael English ~ (Heaven)
Rebecca St. James ~ (God)
Carmen ~ (The Standard)
D.C. Talk ~ (Free At Last)
Ron David Moore ~ (My House)
Out Of The Grey
Michael W. Smith
I’m going to go WAAAAAY back and base my list on the effect that the bands had on Christian culture and how they advanced popular Christian music:
#10. Andrae Crouch–really kicked off the African American involvement in Christian popular music–fantastic songs–“To God Be The Glory” is my favorite, also “It Won’t Be Long,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” etc.
#9. The Gaithers–the driving force behind a lot of the “Christian recording industry.” Prolific songwriters, singers, performers, producers, promoters, etc. They even do children’s stuff. Good songs–The King is Coming"
#8. Petra–the “original” Christian “ROCK” band! They defined “Christian rock”–with the skinny costumes and garish hair and screaming and amped guitars. Great songs (Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened)
#7. Michael Card–Trilogy of Albums on the Life of Christ. Studies theology before he writes songs. Lots of Catholic theology in his songs (or should I say “Christian theology?!”) even though he’s a Protestant
#6. Keith Green–great songs, huge emphasis on missions and encouraging Christians to examine whether God had called them to a vocation. He and his wife Melody and his mission, “Last Day’s Ministries,” was HUGELY involved in the Pro-Life movement. May his soul and the souls of his children Rest in Peace. (killed in a plane crash).
#5. 2nd Chapter of Acts–close harmonies, fantastic song writing, Roar of Love (based on Chronicles of Narnia), Annie Herring wrote one of the BEST anti-abortion songs that you NEVER hear played nowadays–“Killing Thousands.” I think this group propelled Protestants into the fight for pro-life issues.
#4. Rich Mullins–he restored holiness and solid theology to Christian “pop” music, and took the music towards Catholicism. May his soul RIP.
#3. Amy Grant/Michael W. Smith (tie)–I don’t especially care for their “pop-light” style, but they propelled “Christian music” into the popular realm and put it on secular radio stations.
#2. Sandi Patty–she’s just a really, well-trained singer, she can do any kind of music and and she’s still around!
#1. Larry Norman. He was the founder of Christian rock. Wonderful songs–I Wish We’d All Been Ready, Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation. May his soul RIP.
Close runners up–John Peterson (one of the earliest songwriters to venture into the “pop” style–took tremendous criticism for it), Ralph Carmichael (pop song writer), Evie Tournquist (“bridge” between traditional and pop music), John Michael Talbot (a voice of Catholicism in the midst of all the Protestant pop singers), Jamie Owens Collins (fantastic songs!!!), Carmen (a great entertainer and showman–appealed to many different ages, did music videos).
Interestingly enough, my husband and I couldn’t think of anyone in the last decade that could come near these pioneers. I recommend youtubing and listening to some of these artists. Here’s a great place to start: a real early Larry Norman:
I consider U2 a Christian band,hence my favorite.also Enya has a celtic christian element to her music.
I agree. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and Peace On Earth are probably some of their best religious songs.
Keith Green - despite his misleading me for years with the infamous “Catholic Chronicles” from his organization years ago. His Bohoeffer-like call to costly-grace makes him seem so Catholic I wonder how he could have fallen for the anti-Catholic nonsense…and how I did as well all those years listening to his music. “The only difference between the sheep and the goats, according to the scriptures, is what they did and didn’t do!” Hard to imagine “faith alone” in those lyrics.
Larry Norman - the original and most challenging of Christians to use their brains rather than following the crowd.
Michael W Smith
Barry McGuire - first one I heard after becoming a Christian
Rez Band/Glen Kaiser Band
- Relient K, Jeremy Camp, and Skillet
- The Afters
- Brandon Heath
- Paul Wright
- Thousand Foot Krutch
- Daniel Kirkley
- Audio Adrenaline
Honorable mentions: The Rocket Summer, Fireflight, Falling Up, Third Day, Chris Tomlin, and Seven Sorrows
Michael Card in fact the Life maybe my favorite album of all time
Michael W Smith
Jim Cowan family
TORs from Toronto Ohio (favorite women’s group of all time)
Monks of Solesme
Celtic Spirit album from Narada
Wow.Some of those listed brought back some wonderful memories.Saw Larry Norman in the 70’s.Dallas Holm is great as is Matt Maher,Crossed Hearts,Jimmy Bratcher,( www.Jimmybratcher.com)). As a guitar player and an Eric Clapton fan,I found a video on you tube that is Great.Its called Holy Mother.Eric plays and sings his heart out.Check it out.You’ll be blessed.
U2 will always be a all time favorite. My follow up is a band I followed from their first tour in the US back in '88 - Newsboys
What a great thread.
I agree with PuzzleAnnie and Cat.
I wonder why my faves during all my protestant days are/were so Catholic.
2nd chapter of Acts
Randy Stonehill (not so much his music, but I’m faithful to him cause I got to know him in the 80s)
Wow, on that kind of a musical diet, no wonder I came back to the Church!!!
And that is one reason why I continue to argue and debate AGAINST Catholics on this forum who say that “rock music” has no place in the Mass or that it isn’t “reverent.” Much of the Christian rock music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s was (is) very Catholic and very reverent. It prepared me and my husband for eventual conversion to Catholicism.
I personally think that an insurgence of this kind of excellent modern music into the Mass would wake up a lot of sleeping Catholics and do a lot more good than the Latin ditties that most modern people don’t understand or care to try to understand.
Yes, I know that this breaks the hearts of the traditionalists, but we simply have to live in the real world, not the past. Honor the traditional music and try to hang on to it, but USE music that will actually be effective in evangelization and exhortation.
DA/The Swirling Eddies
The Innocence Mission
I am very happy you found a route to the Church through good music, but in point of clarification I would like to point out that my list is about artists who perform essentially for entertainment, not liturgy, with the exception of course of the Chant, and when the Catholic groups are in fact providing the music and cantoring for liturgy (Jim Cowan, the TORs at Steubenville conferences for instance) in those cases their praise and worship music and performance music say for a rally, is not usually the same as songs selected for liturgical use.
very pleased to hear that Matt Maher is finally being heard on our local Christian music station, possible in listener response to his concert here earlier this year and listener demand, the Christian bookstores (not Catholic) are also stocking his CDs
Not all good, uplifting Christian music, even classically, is suited for liturgy. Even Masses by some great composers, while musically excellent–Mozart comes to mind–are not always approved for actual liturgy
my top 10 are:
1. matt maher
2. jeremy camp
4. chris tomlin
8. toby mac
9. kari jobe
10. hillsong united
Wow, this brings back memories!
Some of the groups I listened to in the 80’s were:
Resurrection Band - saw in concert
Michael W. Smith
Phil Keaggy - saw in concert
Sweet Comfort Band
Servant - Saw in concert
Joe English - saw in concert
DeGarmo & Keys
And a few others that escape me now.
Hillsong United - such a large volume of great songs to choose from (especially what's written by Brooke Frasier)
Matt Maher- Creative, solid, and faithfully Catholic
Relient K- Whirlwind wordsmitherry like nothing else
Skillet - Every song's first listen: "wow, that one's not up to snuff." foruth listen: belting it at the top of my lungs.
Tenth Avenue North - Majority of songs I've heard portray the sacrifice on the cross
Chris Tomlin - If you don't like his singing (like me), you just have to hear someone else sing some songs he's written, then you'll know his true gift.
Massive Worship - Canadian Catholic music ministry. Listening to them right now. Look into it! (full disclosure: I was in the group)
Jesus Culture - Very modern, emotional, worship songs, multiple singers/songwriters.
Casting Crowns - relevant to modern culture or excellently prayerful.
Delerious - love their songs, but usually not in their original arrangements.
Potentially interesting tangent for this thread:
Who, if any, are the christian artists or songs you’ve found to have noticeably un-Catholic ideas/theology implicit in their lyrics?
I’ve heard a song lately called “More Like Falling in Love,” that screams to me “believe when you feel like it. You can’t just *choose *to submit to God.”