Rainbow’s End is significant for being the first album by an American rock band to address the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, a full year before Peter Gabriel brought the issue to the world’s attention with his classic song, “Biko.” Resurrection Band would eventually become known for grappling with a variety of social and political ills in its music, from the evils of the military-industrial complex to the corrupting influence of American materialism to racism, homelessness, AIDS, drug addiction, prostitution and many other issues that the band personally confronted in their ministry to their surrounding urban community in Chicago.
Plus their singer Glenn Kaiser has always had a great, gritty voice.
How does Tom define Christian music? Obviously a tremendous amount of great music has been made by people who self identified as Christian, with a worldview strongly molded by a Judeo-Christian perspective, but I’m not sure how you define “Christian music”. Is it music that talks about God or faith explicitly?
Classical music is not Christian music. When’s the last time you were in a church service and someone busted out some Berlioz or Mozart? Okay, maybe you got a bit of quick Bach, but you also had to listen to about five or six dirgeful dreary hymns sung by a roomful of droning people who can’t sing. Find me a Stryper song that’s not awful. Or shall I bring up Bob Dylan’s Christian album?
Anyway, in the context of the podcast we talking about the movie The Apostle and the hymn at the end of Night of the Hunter. They both had those sort of Jesus-loves-me-yes-I-know hymns that sound all alike to me. But, yeah, many Christians have historically created great music, some of it even about Jesus, God, and whatnot. That stuff doesn’t suck and I hope all the Moslems and Israelites are suitably jealous of it.
Oh, the one great gift of Christian music is the song that made a child think there was a cross-eyed bear named Gladly. I remember reading in one of those cute Reader’s Digest snippets or whatever about a child asking her mother to tell her about Gladly and why he was cross-eyed and what a bear had to do with church. The mother had no idea what the child was talking about.
“You know, momma, the song we sang at church: Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear…”
So, yeah, that’s what you get when you’re stuck at your grandma’s house with nothing to read but Reader’s Digest. Thank you, Christian music!
Since I’m an agnostic who hasn’t attended church in decades, my only consistent exposure to Christian music is the good classical stuff that I listen to voluntarily. The hymnal dirges? Not happening ;-)
I suppose my answer to that is what are the demographics of the Christian church? The Catholic church I grew up with: a huge pipe organ thunderously playing Bach such that your whole chest vibrates in tune. Way cool. Yeah, had to eat some boring Latin chants to get there sometimes. Primarily white Protestant: I think this is the drek you are referring to. Can’t stand that stuff. Black Protestant Gospel is musically dynamic and fun (if still not quite my style lyrically).
But then, I’m a Who fan, and will undoubtedly burn in hell for it.