Petra Němcová - Wikipedia
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Church authorities struggled with and frequently opposed the use of churches for rock concerts, and few Christian radio stations, with the exception of some college-based signals, would play the band's songs. Petra was criticized for its rock sound, a hint of the opposition it would experience as its popularity grew. Hearn signed Petra in to record its debut album, which Hearn produced.
Featuring "tight, Allman Brothers-type dual guitar lines and riffs",  Petra also featured the comical country tune "Lucas McGraw", which became something of a cult classic, and the seminal "Backslidin' Blues", the first contemporary Christian blues song put on vinyl.
The rarity of being a Christian rock band led to larger concerts and greater popularity, and Myrrh asked Petra to record a second album aimed principally at non-Christians, reflecting the evangelistic nature of the band's shows. He was replaced by a string of drummers which included a childhood friend of Hough, Bob Rickman, and Glover's cousin, Mark Richards.
However, by the time their record deal for the second album went through, Richards had already left, and Petra decided to hire Glover as a studio musician.
By Hartman's admission, his vocal style did not match well with the band's genre, and Petra brought in a number of guest vocalists for the second record, among them former e vocalist Greg X. Volz that band's name being a lower-case abbreviation of "Emmanuel" . Volz took the lead vocals on two songs and backed up several others.
Among Volz's songs was a cover of the Argent anthem " God Gave Rock and Roll to You ", which Myrrh had hoped to release as a radio single to the secular market. The recording process also was marked by disputes: It failed to sell well, however, and Myrrh dropped Petra from its label.
The duo began work on the band's third album despite the lack of a record deal. Not having a steady drummer at the moment, Hartman turned to Volz for drumming and vocal help. Its Christian lyrics limited the number of non-Christians attending its concerts, while its hard edge likewise limited its Christian audience. Recording began after a nine-month sabbatical during which its members considered what direction Petra should take. Lyrically, the band shifted from overt evangelism to encouraging the young Christians who made up the bulk of its audience.
The album resulted in the band's first radio hit, "Why Should the Father Bother? With no record sales, no way to promote the albums nationally and barely any band, Hartman considered breaking up Petra.
Yet the two most important additions Petra made in did not play an instrument or sing a note for the band.
Why Petra & Chuck Actually Make Sense – cooler
Additionally, Petra hired Mark Hollingsworth, who had experience in the secular music industry, to manage and promote the band. This version is excerpted from Volz's special appearance at the band's farewell concert in late Problems playing this file?
The four band members and studio drummer Keith Edwards recorded Never Say Die and released it inwith the first single a song originally written and performed by Volz's old band. CCM Magazine compared the band's new sound to Boston 's, praising the album's lyrical and musical content and calling Never Say Die "by far their finest to date.
Unable to raise enough money for nationwide tours in support of its previous albums, Petra received another break when the band Servant invited it to open on its —82 tour. Under Hollingsworth's tutelage, the band refined its live performances, its members dressing in camouflage to emphasize the spiritual warfare theme recalled by Never Say Die's artwork, which featured an ocean war setting with an electric guitar doubling as an aircraft carrier.
The tour turned Never Say Die into a commercial hit. The band's touring lineup was set, and Petra went on the road for days inplaying shows, stopping only for the five weeks it took to record the follow-up album, More Power To Yathat summer. The formula was becoming clear: Inserting a blatant piece of backmasking in the break between the title track and hard rocker "Judas' Kiss", the band's message was less than subtle.
Played in reverse, the backmasked portion stated: Ever since Washes Whiter Than, the "new" Petra has been working out the bugs of a polished pop-rock sound.
- Why Petra & Chuck Actually Make Sense
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- Petra (band)
With their latest release, More Power to Ya, say goodbye to bugs. Petra has crafted a style that could easily lock horns with anything on the industry charts and win. Nevertheless, the result was something of a preview of the band's direction in future albums, as Petra would embrace the heavier guitar styles that such a sound better complemented.
As if to emphasize the shift, the album opened and closed with Petra's first-ever instrumental tracks: As with the band's most recent albums, Not of This World was well received critically and commercially. By now widely recognized as the top Christian rock band in the genre's short history, the Petra formula was well in place.
The album was massively successful in the still-new world of Christian rock: It became the No.
Petra (band) - Wikipedia
More Power to Ya, in its 86th week on the chart, was still in the top Hollingsworth, the band's manager, made Petra's mission clear: The band is not in competition with other Christian bands. We need to be aware of them, because the people who come to see Petra go to see those bands as well. We need to have a light system, sound system and presentation that will be competitive with those groups.
No other rock albums were in the top No Christian rock band had sold more records, played before bigger crowds or had enjoyed such pervasive radio airplay. As Petra ended its tour and prepared to enter the studio, Slick left the band, and Petra again turned to Brown to produce what would ultimately be the last studio album of the Volz era.
Looking for a more techno-influenced sound and down a keyboardist, Brown turned to a programmer to create keyboard, bass and drum sounds electronically, effectively sidelining Kelly and Weaver during the recording process and continuing a practice begun the previous album in which Brown sought someone other than Weaver to drum for the band inside the studio.
The techno-industrial record was a monster hit. It leapt to No. The album was a farewell to Petra's first era of popularity and the sound it had cultivated with Volz's distinctive vocals.
As constant touring took its toll on the band, Hartman and Volz began to disagree about Petra's future, both on stage and off. The tour, while it drew more fans than ever, was expensive, and it left Petra hurting financially. Increased competition from other Christian rock bands, for whom Petra had paved the way, led to lower-than-expected showings as the tour went on. Greg and I agree on just about everything except business.
Petra's peak[ edit ] With Petra hurting financially and Volz announcing his departure, rumors swirled that Petra would break up. Instead, Hartman turned to former Head East vocalist John Schlittwhom he had met on an airplane some years before but who had since converted to Christianity and left rock music altogether. Schlitt needed little convincing. He was introduced to Petra fans at a show in Australia in February The combination of Schlitt and the Elefante Brothers significantly altered Petra's sound and set the stage for the band's greatest success.
Back to the Street [ edit ] After a brief introductory tour overseas with Schlitt singing the Volz classics, Petra entered the studio to record the singer's first album with the band. To a man, Petra's members said they found the Elefantes easier to work with, and for the first time since More Power to Ya, the entire band performed on the same record without studio fill-ins.
Likewise, the Elefantes' hard rock roots led to re-emphasizing Hartman's guitars as the preeminent instrument in the band's sound. Looking to shatter the "Petra formula", the band intentionally avoided what Hartman called "a stock radio ballad. As a result, sales lagged, though the one ballad on the album, "Thankful Heart", achieved radio success, ranking No.
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The album received positive reviews though not quite gushing, as evidenced by CCM Magazine's half-hearted praise: In the three weeks between, Hartman wrote seven songs  — the foundation of what would become This Means War! Although the album ended for good the band's longstanding tradition of featuring electric guitars as warcraft, its picture of a warrior on his knees complemented songs with titles such as "Get on Your Knees and Fight Like a Man", "All the King's Horses" and the title track, a rousing rocker backed by a marching drumbeat that addressed Satan as the preordained loser of the war he had declared against Christ and his followers.
The message seemed in part a response to the attacks lobbed against the band by preachers and televangelists, especially Jimmy Swaggartwho denounced rock music in general — and Petra in particular — as tools of the devil.
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