When you think of Christian Rock, the last band you probably associate with it is Black Sabbath. But according to many rock historians, their song “After Forever” is the first true Christian Rock song.
In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys talk about Black Sabbath, Christian Rock, and bad music in the liturgy.
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9 comments on The Unlikely Source Of The First Christian Rock Song
Love this episode especially the comment of the church needed to be open to different ways of reaching all types of people instead of being one dimensional. Unfortunately I feel I’m at a 1 dimensional church so that spoke volumes.
Alice Cooper is interesting to listen to. He talks about himself as a “prodigal son” and describes his life starting in the church as the son of a preacher, constantly in church circles etc, then moving to a rock star life before experiencing alcohol and drug addiction and the break up of his marriage. He and his wife (also a preachers daughter) reunited and work in the church with kids at risk. Have a listen to his song “My God” off the Lacey and Whisky album, and also the album “From the Inside” – all the songs on this album are about people going through trauma in a psychiatric institution. He was the first (I think) to write about the evil of Domestic and Family Violence (“Only Women Bleed”), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“Jackknife Johnny”), alcoholism and gambling (“Serious”), the excesses of life (“Wish I was born in Beverley Hills”) and most of his themes are about the struggle between good and evil. Love the show – this latest one about Black Sabbath (my vintage but not necessarily my band) was excellent. Jennifer
This episode ROCKS — literally! Who knew a head banging band like Black Sabbath actually had CHRISTIAN LYRICS in some of their songs!
I am totally blown away!
Liberal bullshit. The sublime chantics and hymmns the Church has
brought us, make “Christian Rock” utterlly unnecessary and disgusting. Rock n Roll was born to excite our animalistic nature, christianity, to elevate from it. Trying to forcefully bring toguether two oposite ideals, does more harm than good. Learn to apreciate the true Catholic culture, and stop making excuses for your dubious tastes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L6FEk_RM7c
Where did you get your information on Black Sabbath? My Brother-in-law does not believe me that they made Christian Songs, and he wants a direct source from the band and want to know that it was there intentions to make Christian songs.
Interesting podcast and various lyrics. Why shouldn’t there be Christian rock when there are Christian folk songs, carols, etc. Everyone has their own thoughts and approach to God and our souls. Everyone uses different words to describe their experiences with God so why not music and lyrics to that effect. I am a writer, I write my words out to God and others need to create lyrics and sing them out to God.
Drugs, booze, rock and roll and God don’t sound like a good mix, musical or otherwise, but although it is an irreverent approach to God it nevertheless is an effort to get to know God. Fr. Rich is right, the message has to be deliverable on all types of levels, and RS is also correct, you need to meet people where they are at, and we are all at different places. I will go one further, RS, the Church will die if it is one dimensional. You are right we are all practicing Catholics trying hard to get it right for God.
I truly love Christmas carols and hymns and the classical music pieces but also love the Trans Siberian Orchestra and their Christmas rock opera. God listens to all voices singing to Him. One of the most beautiful hymns ever written is ‘Morning Has Broken’ by Cat Stevens. It is like he is singing out the words of Genesis.
RS, that St. Augustine quote is one of my favorites and I can’t hold a note to save its life. I agree the quote should be modified to state that all those who sing WELL pray twice to God. But, God listens to all voices and hears the notes that are coming from the heart.
Thanks and God Bless Us Everyone!
I hate to burst in this late in the conversation but you are wrong. Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum in 1969 was the first true Christian themed rock song.
Just listened to this episode. Started great, since I’m a boomer and grew up with Black Sabbath. I did not know how deeply religious they, and their music, was. But then your show became an indictment on liturgical musicians, like me playing guitar and bass. Not sure why you had to go there. I and my fellow musicians are deeply respectful to the traditions. But it sounded like you condemned all of us as hedonistic rock and rollers with no respect for the solemnity of the Mass. Far from the truth for me and my worship team. Sorry the show had to degrade to that. It started so well and so interestingly.
Just so everyone is aware the very first. Chrstian Rock was done by Larry Norman. His album released by Capitol Music in 1969 the official first. Christian Rock album having many Christian rock songs. That is 2 years before Sabbath’s song you claim to be first Christian rock.