Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday: Read All About It

"I come from a land down under..." The Commonwealth of CCM continues, and we move from Great Britain to Australia. Right now we will only be stopping for a short while on the continent, but we may return if I find more artists. Right now I am doing my best to exclude Hillsong Church from the list.

Our first bunch of Aussies can claim ties to Elvis (at least in a roundabout way). Newsboys hail from Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia, and have been around since the 80's. Originally called The News. Upon making the jump to the States they ran into a problem, there was a band called Huey Lewis and The News. So Newsboys it was.

From the start there was always Peter Furler. He started out on drums and eventually, after the departure of John James after Take Me to Your Leader (1986), he assumed both Lead Vocal and second drum duties. Duncan Phillips came on as drummer, and during every concert (at least during festival season), the Newsboys had a tilted rotating dual drum set in which Furler and Phillips had a dueling drum solo. It was awesome.

Due to the changes at Lead Vocal, like Petra, Newsboys can be divided into era's

The John James Era
  • Read All About It (1988)
  • Hell is for Wimps (1990)
  • Boys Will Be Boyz (1991)
  • Not Ashamed (1992)
  • Going Public (1994)
  • Take Me To Your Leader (1996)
The last three albums of the John James era were also notable in that they featured the Production and songwriting talents of Clone Prince Steve Taylor. His somewhat? demented form of humor can be seen on songs like Take Me To Your Leader, Reality, and others. Shine from going Public shows a hint of Taylor's insanity.

The Peter Furler Era
  • Step Up to the Microphone (1998)
  • Love, Liberty, Disco (1999)
  • Thrive (2002)
  • Adoration: The Worship Album (2003)
  • Devotion (2004)
  • Go (2006)
  • In The Hands of God (2009)
Furler left to spend time with his family, and that is where we find our Elvis connection. Peter Furler married Summer LeFevre, the daughter of Mylon LeFevre, and Mylon wrote a song 'Without Him" that was recorded on Elvis Album How Great Thou Art. One of the videos from this era would be Entertaining Angels from Step up to the Microphone.

The Michael Tait Era
  • Born Again (2010)
  • God's Not Dead (2011)
  • Live In Concert: God's Not Dead (2012)
After Furler's departure the band turned to former DC Talk singer Michael Tait. Of course this move effectively put do death all hopes of a DC Talk reunion. (A second nail in the coffin came when Kevin Max was hired by Audio Adrenaline). The sophomore album in the Tait era was God's Not Dead, and the official music video for that is below.

Outside of Hillsong Church, Newsboys are the most successful group in Australia. Inside of Hillsong Church of course, it is Hillsong. On Black Friday we will cover the group that, outside of Petra and the Newsboys, has thrived by change, and that is Skillet. Until our next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.