So a few months ago Shannon and I were trying to determine who would be the Top 5 Christian bands ever. This isn't favorite ones, but who is the best period. I had to put my feelings for certain bands aside and come up with the final list.
Here is what I came up with:
1. Jars of Clay - was there ever really a question? Easily the #1 choice, no one else compares to them. Look at their debut album and tell me which of those songs is still *not* relevant? I can't think of any, and they sound like they could be released today and seem contemporary, not 15 years old. No one has been better, or done it as well for so long. Not only did they top the Christian charts, but they also made some noise on secular charts as well. Ergo, #1.
2. dcTalk - Was there a bigger draw than dcTalk in the 90s? Big hits, big shows, big personalities. dcTalk WAS Christian music during the 90s. The problem they had en route to #1 was longevity. They broke up, and there went their shot at knocking off Jars. Don't get me wrong, I feel like they could be the best ever, but when you break up at the peak of your popularity, that makes me wonder what could have been. Seriously though, is "Jesus Freak" the best Christian music song ever?
3. Newsboys - Yes, I had to include some foriegners in my list. Just kidding, but the Newsboys have been a headlining band for YEARS. From "Shine" to whatever they're doing now (cuz I don't listen to them anymore), they are still a major attraction to Christian music fans. Definitely hit the worship music bandwagon and the popularity kicked up quite a bit. It's saying something to be this high and have gone through 3 lead singers and multiple other band members. I am a little weirded out though seeing Michael Tate (dcTalk) in their press pics as the lead singer...
4. Petra - Ok, for those of you who don't know Petra, they were a Johnston family favorite. They wrote some killer songs, from "Beyond Belief" to "This Means War!" they were great. Killer 80s/90s guitar rock with amazing vocals from John Schlitt, Petra defined 80s/early 90s Christian rock. Every rock band wanted to be them, and no one came close.
5. Audio Adrenaline - My childhood favorite. Can't say enough about a band that essentially is the same as when it formed, consistently made good music, stayed true to their sound while never sounding exactly the same, and always put on a great show. I never left an Audio A show disappointed, and I always wanted to go see them again. Mark Stuart's original voice (too bad that's the reason they also had to disband) and the classic rock sound, they are what I would declare, the U2 of Christian music (I'm sure that's a biased overstatement, but I LOVED Audio A)
Honorable Mentions - DC*B, Six Pence, Third Day, Supertones, Five Iron Frenzy
Update: I forgot 2 VERY important Honorable Mentions, which completely eluded me when I was writing this (and VERY tired I might add) : Switchfoot (duh) and Relient K