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Stryper

Heavy metal has been associated with ol' Beelzebub ever since its inception, but a few acts took the opposite route and put their Christian beliefs in hard-rocking songs, such as Stryper. Formed in Orange County, California in 1983, the group was originally known as Roxx Regime, and consisted of singer/guitarist/main songwriter Michael Sweet, drummer Robert Sweet, lead guitarist Oz Fox, and bassist Timothy Gaines. It wasn't until the group changed its name to Stryper (which stood for "Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness") that things really began taking off for the quartet. Specializing in the melodic Van Halen/Def Leppard style (with heart-wrenching power ballads tossed in), dressed in all black-and-yellow outfits, and spreading their religious message even further by tossing bibles out into the crowd at their shows, Stryper were signed by the Enigma label in 1984. The same year, the group's debut recording, a six-track mini-album titled The Yellow & Black Attack, was issued.

The album created a buzz for the group among metalheads, which was only heightened with the release of the band's first full-length album, 1985's Soldiers Under Command. The first Stryper release to crack the Billboard charts, its success led to the re-release of The Yellow & Black Attack (which included an extra two tracks and new artwork) in 1986. Later the same year, Stryper issued their sophomore full-length, To Hell with the Devil, which many consider to be the group's finest hour. Turning out to be the highest-charting album of their career (barely missing the Top 30), the platinum-certified album benefited by MTV's repeated airings of the videos for "Calling on You" and the syrupy ballad "Honestly" (the latter of which peaked at number 23 on the U.S. singles charts). Despite possessing a different message than their peers, by this point Stryper fit in perfectly with the other popular pop/hair metal bands of the day (Bon Jovi, White Lion, Dokken, etc.).

Yet just as it seemed that Stryper could possibly break through on a massive scale, such new metal styles as thrash (Metallica) and more stripped-down rock (Guns N' Roses) began to usurp Stryper's pop-metal audience. As a result, Stryper's next release, 1988's In God We Trust, failed to expand their following, nor did it live up to the promise of its predecessor (although it did manage to earn gold certification). Sensing this, the group adopted a harder-edged sound and look for 1990's Against the Law, and even covered the Earth, Wind & Fire funk classic "Shining Star." Neither managed to cross over to the top of the charts. A greatest-hits set, Can't Stop the Rock, followed in 1991, but with Nirvana just about to ring the death knell for pop-metal bands, Michael Sweet decided to leave the group for a solo career. Surprisingly, the remaining members of Stryper opted to carry on as a three-piece (with Fox handling lead vocal duties), and continued to tour for a spell. The Michael Sweet-less version didn't last long however, as Stryper officially called it quits in 1992.

In the wake of the band's split, its members remained busy. Michael Sweet's solo career never scaled the same heights as Stryper's, although his releases appeared on a somewhat regular basis, with 1994's Michael Sweet, 1995's Real, and 2001's Truth. Robert Sweet issued a solo recording, Love Trash, in addition to studio work, while Fox and Gaines formed a new group, Sin Dizzy, who issued a rock opera (concerning the crucifixion of Jesus Christ) titled He's Not Dead.

During the intervening years, a large core of devoted fans remained intact, resulting in all of Stryper's albums being reissued by Hollywood Records. In 1999, Sin Dizzy played a show with Michael Sweet that ended in an off-the-cuff jam session of old Stryper tunes -- resulting in reunion rumors. And with a heightened nostalgic interest regarding '80s-era metal bands during the early 21st century, Stryper agreed to sporadically reunite for a "Stryper Expo," which has since turned into an annual event. Stryper's second greatest-hits collection, 7: The Best of Stryper, was issued in 2003, and included a pair of new tunes recorded especially for the collection, "Something" and "For You." Fueled by a renewed interest in the Christian rock scene, the band returned to the studio for 2005's Reborn and again in 2009 for Murder by Pride, the latter released in celebration of the band's 25th anniversary. In 2011, Stryper released The Covering, featuring covers of songs by bands that inspired them, including a take on Black Sabbath's 1980 hit "Heaven and Hell." 2013's Second Coming saw the band offering up a set of re-recorded versions of earlier material, along with two brand new songs, as well as the release of a new studio album, No More Hell to Pay, their first outing for Frontiers Records. In 2015, Stryper issued their eighth studio long player, Fallen, again via Frontiers. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Second Coming

1. Loud N' Clear

2. Loving You

3. Soldiers Under Command

4. Makes Me Wanna Sing

5. First Love

6. The Rock That Makes Me Roll

7. Reach Out

8. Surrender

9. To Hell With The Devil

10. Calling On You

11. Free

12. The Way

13. Sing Along Song

14. More Than A Man

15. Bleeding From Inside Out

16. Blackened

x

Track List: The Covering

1. Set Me Free

2. Blackout

3. Heaven And Hell

4. Lights Out

5. Carry On My Wayward Son

6. Highway Star

7. Shout It Out Loud

8. Over The Mountain

9. The Trooper

10. Breaking The Law

11. On Fire

12. Immigrant Song

13. God

x

Track List: Murder By Pride

1. Eclipse For The Son

2. 4 Leaf Clover

3. Peace Of Mind

4. Alive

5. The Plan

6. Murder By Pride

7. Mercy Over Blame

8. I Believe

9. Run In You

10. Love Is Why

11. Everything

12. My Love I'll Always Show

x

Track List: 7 Weeks: Live In America 2003

1. Sing Along Song

2. Makes Me Wanna Sing

3. Calling On You (Live)

4. Free

5. More Than A Man

6. Caught In The Middle

7. Reach Out

8. Loud 'N Clear

9. The Way

10. Soliders Under Command (Live)

11. To Hell With The Devil (Live)

12. Honestly (Live)

13. Winter Wonderland

14. Closing Prayer

x

Track List: Seven - The Best Of Stryper

3. Shining Star

4. Lady

5. All For One

6. In God We Trust

7. Always There For You

8. To Hell With The Devil

9. Calling On You

10. Free

11. Honestly

12. The Way

13. Soldiers Under Command

14. Makes Me Wanna Sing

15. Reach Out

16. From Wrong To Right

17. Loving You

18. Believe

x

Track List: Against The Law

1. Against The Law

2. Two Time Woman

3. Rock The People

4. Two Bodies (One Mind One Soul)

5. Not That Kind Of Guy

6. Shining Star

7. Ordinary Man

8. Lady

9. Caught In The Middle

10. All For One

11. Rock The Hell Out Of You

x

Track List: In God We Trust

1. In God We Trust

2. Always There For You

3. Keep The Fire Burning

4. I Believe In You

5. The Writings On The Wall

6. It's Up 2 You

7. The World Of You And I

8. Come To The Everlife

9. Lonely

10. The Reign

x

Track List: To Hell With The Devil

1. Abyss (To Hell With The Devil)

2. To Hell With The Devil

3. Calling On You

4. Free

5. Honestly

6. The Way

7. Sing-Along Song

8. Holding On

9. Rockin' The World

10. All Of Me

11. More Than A Man

x

Track List: The Yellow And Black Attack

1. Loud 'n' Clear

2. From Wrong To Right

3. My Love I'll Always Show

4. You Know What To Do

5. Co'mon Rock

6. You Won't Be Lonely

7. Loving You

8. Reason For The Season

x

Track List: No More Hell To Pay

1. Revelation

2. No More Hell To Pay

3. Saved By Love

4. Jesus Is Just Alright

5. The One

6. Legacy

7. Marching Into Battle

8. Te Amo

9. Sticks & Stones

10. Water Into Wine

11. Sympathy

12. Renewed

Comments

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The old stryper is the first Christian Rock group I listen to at 13 years n still rock to them today thank you
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Saw them last night in KC. The boys still bring it hard! The venue was awful, and the opening acts were way off on start times, but once Stryper was on the stage, things picked up!
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Been a Stryper fan since the 80's.
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I don't really like these guys' musical style, but they should put Fallen on Pandora....
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dcastleman16
Been a fan since the beginning. Fantastic music and musicianship ! Thanks guys for getting back together and making music again.
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I have loved Stryper since the beginning and listen to them constantly to this day, their style and the message is powerful, I'm glad you guys are still making music, I hope you guys go on tour, I will definitely be there to rock in Jesus's name
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I want to hear Honestly. It is the song about the love of a man for his good dog.
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Fallen is a God awesome album. Luv It!!
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Fallen is an awesome album. Love it!
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Their new album Fallen is divine.
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cathyl198511 1 4
Great lyrics and a great and powerful voice!!!! Michael's voice is phenomenal ❤
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may stryper keep rocking
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I've been backstage with Stryper, and hung out with each one of the boys in turn during different stages of their careers. Nothing but love and respect for the single greatest influence in modern Christian music. Any accolades thrown their way are well deserved. The single most picked-on Christian group ever, and likely the most influential. Keep Rockin Boys!!! - Matt
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trygarr1
No retirement in the near future for these rockers. They continue to put out better music with each new album. Michael Sweet is thee heavy metal disciple. No More Hell to Pay
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I don't know if you have ever been backstage at a Stryper concert it was alot like backstage at a Aerosmith or most hard rock or metal show. If you know what I mean...
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Awesome band always!! One of my fave.. Coming soon to PR
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Great band not afraid to speak their beliefs within their chosen profession! Another point that's never brought up is the bands musicianship as instrumental i s t s . Overall, the abilities they possess to play their instruments far surpasses most of their 80's competitors as well as the song writing capabilities they have! But the reasons for these "oversights" are quite obvious!
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Keep rocking...HA R D !
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One of my favorite bands! Great inspiration for all of us!
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Stryper , is motivational . Great band .
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One of the first christian bands...love styper..oz fox and mike sweet great band.
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One great Christian band , u help me get threw trying times, you are great keep spreading Gods word
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Saw them where they started in LaMirada, CA my 8th grade year 1983 at our high school quad. LMHS was their Alma Mater, been a fan ever since
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I happened to stumble onto their music while I was in college around 06-07. I had no idea that they were one of my older brother's favorite bands when he was in high school/colle g e .
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Ear easy.luv ittttt.get summmm
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They ROCK saw them for the first time in 1984 or 85 and they still sound great.
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met micheal sweet once great guy..
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I love this band! I've seen them in concert which was my first one they set such a high standard
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Stryper rocks
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/kk/
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Now this is true music
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drevracing
They continue to spread the message
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Bobonnit , you know nothing about metal. You are the one who sounds stupid.
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1 more like an they will have 1,000 likes!!!
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They sound like all the other stupid metal bands of the period
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I've loved this band ever since they came out
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Simply Amazing, found an old cassette of them from my high school days played it, went out to the local Zia records bought all the albums I never had, been to 2 different concerts in 2 states they guys are the REAL deal !Awesome messages, awesome music and even more awesome human beings these guys ROCK!!!! See them live the music is even better.
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defcon888
They started it all for me. Use to go to Bible study with Tim, Oz and Michael....a b s o l u t e l y nice guys. Gave Michael a ride home one time...had me in tears.....hi l l a r i o u s guy!. I think the Covering is one of their best albums.
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great band
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calling on you Christ to save your live everlasting life the way to heaven call to Christ today he waiting on always 777
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in god we trust and his son Christ we must to be saved, he the only way to heaven Christ lives forevermore 777
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drzero174
Never thought I would find a really good rock band with good lyrics; looks like I found what I was looking for.
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Stryper is coming to town tuesday. Should be good times.
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There music saved my life back in the 80s. Thank you Jesus
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anthonywafer 9 2
Stryper put Christian Heavy Metal on the map.
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Makes the day bearable! :D
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Oh yeah!!!
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Sing it!
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Monty...Plea s e remember me!!!! I have a Stryper recruit-my daughter!!! love to you and yours!
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These guys wrote some pretty catchy rock songs. Amazing lead vocals and stellar guitar work.
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