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Petra

Petra is one of the most successful Christian rock bands ever, a veritable institution whose name (taken from the Greek word for "rock") has come to reflect not only their music, but their staying power as well, even in spite of Christian radio's reluctance to program their brand of loud, slick arena rock. Petra was formed in 1972 by guitarist Bob Hartman, who was attending the Christian Training Center in Fort Wayne, IN at the time; he recruited several fellow students -- guitarist/vocalist Greg Hough, bassist John DeGroff, and drummer Bill Glover -- to his cause, and the group began playing around the Fort Wayne area with backing from their school. Petra encountered early resistance to the very idea of Christian rock from many local churches, who held that the rock & roll sound was inherently evil; nevertheless, the group proved popular with younger Christians, and was signed to the Word Records subsidiary Myrrh in 1973. Their self-titled debut was released in 1974, and was more similar to the California country-rock of the Eagles than to the arena rock that would dominate most of their career. The follow-up, Come and Join Us, did not appear until 1977, but it featured strong contributions from lead vocalist Greg Volz, as well as a harder-rocking sound.

Petra's lineup fluctuated over the next several years; in spite of the instability, they managed to record their first breakthrough effort, Washes Whiter Than, in 1979, which featured the Christian radio hit "Why Should the Father Bother." When the dust finally settled, the group consisted of Hartman, Volz, keyboardist John Slick, bassist Mark Kelly, and drummer Louie Weaver. The albums Never Say Die (1981), More Power to Ya (1982), and Not of This World (1983) did much to popularize the group, and in 1984, they were rewarded with a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Gospel Group and two Dove Award nominations (the first of many). For 1985's Beat the System, ex-Joe English Band keyboardist John Lawry replaced Slick. In 1986, Greg Volz left Petra for a solo career, and former Head East singer John Schlitt assumed vocal duties for Back to the Street. 1987's This Means War marked a successful transition to a less polished brand of rock & roll. Subsequent efforts, like 1988's On Fire!, which debuted bassist Ronny Cates, brandished a heavier guitar onslaught in the wake of Stryper's success as a Christian metal band, although Petra never neglected their trademark lush ballads. Petra has soldiered on through the '90s and into the 2000s with few signs of slowing down. 1995 saw Lawry replaced by Jim Cooper, and the addition of guitarist David J. Lichens. Subsequent efforts include 1998's God Fixation and 2000's Double Take. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I remember when they came to Aurora University (then Aurora College) and played in the gym.
Hi
Great song there I have cd
This band is probably one of the best in Christian music period. Excellent ministry. When fishing you use bait that attracts. Good bait to fish for men.
Ages ago (1986,) I wandered into a Fred Meyer's in Newport, Oregon and started browsing through cassettes. Located at the very, very bottom of one set of shelves in the darkest corner of the music department, I pulled out a clear plastic box that was covered in the dust of what must have been twelve years. I cleaned it off and gazed upon the cover art, the letters P E T R A as if carved into the stone face of a cliff. I made the decision to buy that tape, and the rest, as they say, is history...
Was never a big Petra fan , but this song really made an impact in my life , I really have a heart for the homeless , the hungry and the destitute, God bless you Petra
I'm 14 and apparently it's weird that I Love Petra, white heart and guardian lol
Was one of my fathers favorite bands as a teen..,And I must admit it is a very interesting band:D
Back to the Street was the 1st album I ever bought. This Means War my 1st concert.
Give us This Means War Album. Love Petra huge staple of my music in my teens lots of memories.
YES!!!
old school
pamrisner1
David John Eden, what an honor that must have been! Love Petra. The message is still relative today and always...
It was one of the most joyful days of my life when my pals in Petra called to say they'd be recording Coloring Song, a song the Lord had given me. And how He did bless this little tune & their ministry! PTL forever!
we4fishhunt
Still remember the 3/4 checked sleeve concert shirts from the 80's I bought at all the concerts I saw them at. Very influential band in my life at that time. Saw them on T.V. recently performing.
Never say dinosaur was a rad tribute to these cats, the Galtic cowboys killed it
I dig there early work the most, never say die!!!
The first time I ever heard hard rock in my life was when I was 5 and discovered my parents' tape of More Power To Ya. Changed my life.
What can I say about Petra. . .struck a couple of cords in my heart during my youth
mwp1212
Never Say Die was one of the first albums that actually showed that Petra could compete musically with any secular rock band. This tune, Without Him We Can Do Nothing, is an example of that. The high vocals of lead singer Greg Volz (with whom I jammed once in my hometown of Springfield MO) always reminded me of the voice of Steve Perry of Journey.
i.e. perspire...l o l
Great! I was just typing a longwinded post to a Christian who just followed me, when this classic Petra tune came on. I cut my message short, bout to go out into the heat and make a good impression on a tree job i'm in the middle of...No fun, but reassuring to be straightened out by the Spirit! Off to be seen and not heard. And SWEAT.
Fantastic band. Been listing to them since the 70's best Christian rock band ever was.
*Humble band? I was helping with youth group right after being saved when I moved to Austin TX. The band appeared, with Josh McDowell, before a not-huge group, in, I believe, a GYM. Their fame in heaven will be inversely proportional to that afforded to them on earth. Was such a new Christian, didn't recognize Josh McDowell standing next to me til he introduced himself!--Th o u g h his book AND Petra CASSETTES were gifts to me from my first Christian friends, after being saved. See y'all in heaven!
Such great, foundational Christian rock, humble band, sound good or better than secular, plus passion & scriptural accuracy! -Sadly, as noted below, no lyrics & tiny biography, though I DID learn from Pandora bio, & kudos Pandora even HAS Christian bands, bios, in this bigoted age. Sad, Christian rock station establishmen t treats Petra same, occasional play of Petra Praise cuts only. (Like classic rock station w/o Beatles.) The Worldly are wiser in their ways than sons in CCM estab., it seems.
They were at their best with Never Say Die through Beat the System. On Fire and Jeckyll and Hyde were later high points. One of the truly great Christian Rock groups.
aultmanm66
Petra was by far my favorite group growing up! Wishing they would go on tour again!!
does anyone have a copy of the video of Beyond Belief?
dcTalk
Christian Skate Night at The Rink Bergenfield NJ !!!
one of the most successful?! ? who is more successful? The closest is DK
When the Grave Robber goes and death finally dies...
Grave Robber, listening to it right now!
We Are Not Of This World...We are aliens, we do not belong....
Read all comments you amaze me!! I've been a backslider too;)
We all need Jesus is my favorite song of them all. http://www.p e t r a b a n d . c o m /
I am pleased to see you all still going. PETRA I remember seeing you guys in small coffee shops back in the 70's. The "Angels Wing and the Adams Apple" in Indiana. Still to this day my favorite tune you play is "Backsliding Blues". I got the bluiuuuuuuuh o o o z the backsliding blues. Bass solo was the best.
OK where is beat the system
this is so 80's
I have been listing to petra my hole life and some of theses songs I have never heard of .awesome.
NO DOUBT is listed here. The album art is incorrect.
Where is No Doubt in the album list? That is probably their best one. It's certainly my favorite.
What can anyone say about these guys other than that they actually were one of the most professional bands around (Christian or secular) after Volz stepped up to the vocal job. Prior to that they weren't that great.

I saw them live in 82 doing songs like Grave Robber etc. They were as good live as on the record!
Pandora this order is not right plus you missed some albums and some mixture albums songs taken from other albums put onto one. correct this please. and with the other bands to .have a little respect
Petra doesn't really sound like these other artists lol
they came out with anew album and are touring.by far the best band ever.was born and raised on Petra and Carmen so my fav song is our turn now
Washes Whiter Than is great
I loved Schlitt when he was with Head East in my crazy days, love his music with Petra now.
unbelievably awesome band!! my favorite song is.....oh dont make me choose!!!
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