Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Solid Rock

1973 was a good year. I was 7. Musically I don't recall much. Probably "C is for Cookie" or "Won't you be my neighbor" was on my hit parade. Christian Music was unknown to me at the time. I wasn't a Christian at the time. That wouldn't happen for another two years. What my older brother brought home was the music I listened to as well. The LP's and 45's that we listened to on our record player (ask your parents or grandparents what those were) were mostly The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings, The Eagles, Chicago, and others.

1973 was an Epoch Making year in Christian Music, though, as these things go, the industry didn't know it. Petra was Born. Bob Hartman, John DeGroff, Greg Hough and Bill Glover were the original quartet, and the eponymous debut came about in the next year. Though we were in the beginnings of the Jesus Music Era, in some cases Petra belonged to an era all its own. By the time I found out about the band they were already on their fourth album, Never Say Die (1981). The Greg Volz era of Petra was beginning, and the band was on their way to claim their place as Supreme Rulers of The Christian Music World. I was in High School and I was hooked. This was my music. I have covered the band in the past, especially with not just one, but two editions of Flashback Friday.

When you've been around as long as Petra has, you create an inter-generational link. Teens who loved Petra in the 80's are parents of Teens today. That's why it is so important for something like this weeks 40th Anniversary Set to be released. Yes, those of us who grew up with the band have all the albums. It contains only two new songs. That's not the point. That's why reviews like this one are naive and shortsighted. Who cares if you have everything already? It's about the next generation. Two Discs. 37 Songs 40th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) , and you still haven't even scratched the surface of the genius that is Petra.

This is one of those times that I must give two ratings. For nostalgia purposes, this set has everything I love. All the songs that are burned into memory. For the next generation, this is a must have album. 5 Emeralds. I once passed by a car that had a bumper sticker that said "honk if you love The Beatles". I thought, "Boy, that must be one noisy ride". Not as noisy as the one that said "Honk if You Love Petra". But yes, there are only two new songs, and some of the best in my opinion are not on this release. In that case, my brain says 4 Emeralds. Anyone who gives it under 4 is crazy. Rock on Guys. PETRA MEANS ROCK. I am Awaiting Your Reply.