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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

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jlotzford
I decorated. PETRA about 1981 and it was love at first note I'm 51 years now and my faith has been PETRIFIED for life!




.
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Just found my new favorite Christian song
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Cool group my brother turned me on to them early 80's
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Its like the eagles or Boston, or someone like that, BUT CHRISTIAN
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I like it!!!
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Great Christian rock. I love Petra.
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lulubell_72_ 2 0 0 0
My first live concert was petra and 4him at kings island! In 1993 when beyond belief was popular!!
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Petra is my favorite Christian Rock group and always will be.
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my fav christian band
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I love this rock group! They put me on to Christian Rock/ Contemp music.
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claudiashepa r d
One of my first Christian rock bands and will always hold a special place in m heart.
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houstonkd73
Just recently found out about Petra from my Pastor. They are AWESOME and I for one would LOVE to hear more.
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Still love Petra after all these years.
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In the early 80's as a teenager I loved hard rock but had no outlet and worse I was being taught rock was only evil. I heard Petra and was steadied in Christ during some very tough years. When I hear their songs today they bring tears as I am reminded of how God used them to speak love and encouragemen t into my life. To this day they are still one of my favorites.
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I'm encouraged and blest by Petra .
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jorokmaeshil
יאהאה. Old favorite
Hallowed eyes. באךאשצ
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First Contemporary Christian Band I listened too in 1982 and haven't stopped! Awesome just Awesome! Thanks!
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one of my all time favorites from the 70's when i first came across contemporary christian. the coloring song and praise ye the Lord still get me going!!!
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christopher. s t m a r i e
For me the song that epitomizes my Christian walk and the song that brought to me the brutal realization of the suffering Christ endured for me a sinner is It Is Finished. The center piece of Christian Faith. Our battle with sin ended when Christ died for us. When I truly believed in this truth and turned to Him and His ressurection power my life truly became transformed. Thank you Petra.
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First concert i was allowed to go too. Randy Stonehill opened for them. There is no other band that can compare with Petra. Faithful to the word of God. Faithful to giving God the praise. The favor of God was with them. Thank you Yahweh for the great music.
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On fire!!!! Awesome rock band.
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I remember when they came to Aurora University (then Aurora College) and played in the gym.
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Hi
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Great song there I have cd
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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.
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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...
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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
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forgiven1s4
I'm 14 and apparently it's weird that I Love Petra, white heart and guardian lol
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Was one of my fathers favorite bands as a teen..,And I must admit it is a very interesting band:D
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Back to the Street was the 1st album I ever bought. This Means War my 1st concert.
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Give us This Means War Album. Love Petra huge staple of my music in my teens lots of memories.
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YES!!!
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old school
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pamrisner1
David John Eden, what an honor that must have been! Love Petra. The message is still relative today and always...
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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!
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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.
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Never say dinosaur was a rad tribute to these cats, the Galtic cowboys killed it
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I dig there early work the most, never say die!!!
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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.
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What can I say about Petra. . .struck a couple of cords in my heart during my youth
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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.
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i.e. perspire...l o l
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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.
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Fantastic band. Been listing to them since the 70's best Christian rock band ever was.
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*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!
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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.
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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.
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aultmanm66
Petra was by far my favorite group growing up! Wishing they would go on tour again!!
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does anyone have a copy of the video of Beyond Belief?
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dcTalk
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