Music / Delirious
Delirious? was a British Christian Rock
band from Littlehampton, West Sussex, England, active from 1992-2009. They are best known for popularizing a more rock-oriented form of praise music commonly referred to as "modern worship". many of their songs such as "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever", "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?", and "Majesty (Here I Am)" are still sung in many churches today, while "Deeper" and other singles experienced varying levels of success at both Christian and mainstream radio.
Their members were:
- Martin Smith - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (19922009)
- Stuart Garrard (aka Stu G) - lead guitar, backing vocals (19942009)
- Tim Jupp - keyboards (19922009)
- Jon Thatcher - bass guitar (19952009)
- Stew Smith - drums, percussion (19922008)
- Paul Evans - drums, percussion (20082009)
The group released eight (or nine, depending on how you look at it) full-length studio albums:
- Cutting Edge (1997 - a 2-disc compilation of material from their independent releases as "The Cutting Edge Band")
- King of Fools (1997 UK/1998 US)
- Mezzamorphis (1999)
- Glo (2000)
- Audio: Lessonover? (2001 UK) / Touch (2002 US)
- World Service (2003 UK/2004 US)
- The Mission Bell (2005)
- Kingdom of Comfort (2008)
And also too many singles, EPs, and live albums to easily enumerate here.
Tropes that apply to Delirious? include:
- Arc Words: Martin really likes to sing about shoes, feet, and running.
- Black Sheep Hit: Martin didn't actually think "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" was one of his better songs. It was their most popular song in America.
- Christian Rock: They're one of the bands credited with launching the "Modern Worship" movement. Albums like Mezzamorphis and Audio: Lessonover? demonstrated that they weren't entirely comfortable with being pigeonholed as just a "worship band".
- Cover Version: Surprisingly averted; all of the songs on their studio albums are originals (though they sometimes reference well-known hymns quite liberally). They did cover U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" once for a Tribute Album.
- "Hang on to You" is a weird case: Martin wrote it, their American label gave it to then-labelmates Luna Halo for a cover version, and then Delirious? released their own version on Glo later that year.
- Continuity Nod: Two tracks on Glo, "Investigate" and "Jesus' Blood", both reference lyrics from "Deeper" in their vamp sections when Martin is singing spontaneously.
- Department of Redundancy Department: They started out as a worship band; it kinda comes with the territory - although they tend to not go back and repeat earlier verses the way many worship bands do.
- Distinct Double Album: The Cutting Edge recordings were originally four separate, indepedently released cassettes. Just prior to King of Fools, they were re-released as a 2-disc set. The fairly mellow approach on the first disc (mostly material from volumes One and Two) can be quite surprising into the more rock-oriented material on the second disc (from volumes Three and Fore), which more closely resembles the sound that the band was best known for.
- Early Installment Weirdness / Obvious Beta: The Cutting Edge recordings were mostly made before the band had even decided on Delirious? as a permanent moniker, and several band members hadn't joined yet. While these recordings contain several of the band's most famous songs, the recordings (especially on volumes One and Two) are much more low-budget and have more in common with your local church's worship team throwing together a record rather than the big-budget, stadium-sized songs they'd later become known for.
- Epic Rocking: "History Maker", especially when played live.
- Done frequently in the Cutting Edge days, with "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?" (at nearly ten minutes) and "Obsession" (at about eight and a half) as arguably the most triumphant examples.
- Glo is an entire album of this. If you consider the spontaneous "Glo in the Dark" segments to be extensions of the preceding songs, then there are only three songs on the album that are under 6 minutes.
- Executive Meddling: Happened quite a bit with Sparrow Records, their American label. At first, every American release had extra songs or somehow rearranged the track listing. "It's OK" quite nearly got left off of Mezzamorphis due to this. Glo, being a straight-up worship album, was the first of their releases to not be tampered with in any way for its US release. But then Audio: Lessonover?, given its unexpected stylistic swerve, took about a year for Sparrow to figure out what the heck to do with it, finally getting released as Touch. This practice thankfully ended with World Service, and from then on their US and UK releases were identical.
- Follow the Leader: They've come dangerously close to sounding like U2, Radiohead, or Coldplay at various points in their career.
- Long-Runner Lineup: Once bassist Jon Thatcher joined, finalizing the initial line-up in the mid-90s, the lineup went unchanged until drummer Stew Smith stepped down in 2008.
- Lucky Charms Title: Having a question mark at the end of your band's name always guarantees headaches for critics and journalists when their word processors auto-correct the next word, assuming it's the beginning of a new sentence.
- Making matters worse, it was often written as "Deliriou5?" in the old days, because Martin first typed the band name on a keyboard that didn't have an "s" key, and because the album cover art for The Cutting Edge showed a stylized version of the band name with a 5 in it - but the official name of the band has always been "Delirious?"
- Mood Whiplash: Since the band has their fair share of both Epic Riffs and long, meditative Subdued Sections, these can sometimes collide in jarring ways. Take, for example:
- The trance-like "August 30th" segueing into the noisy, distorted "Promise" on King of Fools.
- The acoustic, reflective "What Would I Have Done?" segueing into the roaring "My Glorious" on Glo. At least that one has a Call Forward to hint at what's coming (which they often did for "My Glorious").
- Just a few songs later on Glo, "Intimate Stranger" shows up - a long, drawn-out, and appropriately mellow song. it's sandwiched between the loud, bouncy "Hang on to You" and the loud burst of guitars and bagpipes that open "Awaken the Dawn".
- The buzzing, riff-heavy "Fire" ending abruptly right before the slow, ambient "There Is an Angel" on Audio: Lessonover?
- New Sound Album: Mezzamorphis was far more electronic than their previous work, and Audio: Lessonover? was intentionally oriented toward more of a mainstream audience. Neither of these changes went over well with a largely Christian fanbase expecting more worship songs.
- No Export for You: A big problem for American fans when Audio: Lessonover? was first released in 2001. A rearranged and heavily edited version, featuring only 9 songs from the original album plus a remix of a non-album track, was finally released in the US as Touch the following year.
- Label problems also initially prevented them from selling their live release Access:D? in the US.
- Not Christian Rock: Each album, with the exception of Glo and the Cutting Edge recordings, will have a few songs that don't appearance to reference God or Jesus with any specificity, but which have deep spiritual significance if you know the story, or which are just for fun. Audio: Lessonover? is the only album which seems to intentionally shrug off the Christian Rock label for its entire duration, and even then there are several references to grace, heaven, etc.
- Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The last two Cutting Edge tapes. Volume Three was called "The Red Tape" while the fourth volume was intentionally misspelled as "Fore".
- Portmantitle: Mezzamorphis gets its title from two songs, "The Mezzanine Floor" and "Metamorphis".
- Precision F-Strike: "It's OK" attracted some controversy over the line "She's as pretty as hell". (Remember, this is a Christian Rock audience we're talking about. "Hell" is only an acceptable word if you're talking about a literal place of damnation.) A few teetotallers also didn't like that song's reference to drinking wine.note
- Rearrange the Song: Up until Glo, the US release of each album would contain at least one remixed song from a previous album, or that would appear on a later album.
- The US version of King of Fools has a remix of "Louder than the Radio", originally found on Cutting Edge Fore.
- The US Christian market release of Mezzamorphis has "Jesus' Blood", which wasn't released in the UK until Glo appeared the following year. It also had "Deeper '99", a remix of the band's biggest hit from King of Fools.
- Touch was essentially a re-arrangement of an entire album, with a few remixed tracks and a bit of Orwellian Editing to excise the tracks that were perceived as least likely to catch on with the American audience. Ironically this included the song "America".
- Refrain from Assuming: Martin has a habit of titling many of his songs after the first line in the song, rather than anything which appears in the chorus.
- Having all of the Cutting Edge recordings together as a single album makes it incredibly easy to confuse "Lead Me" with "Oh Lead Me". They're two completely different songs.
- Rhyming with Itself: Martin does this from time to time. But then he's not one who necessarily feels the need to force lyrics to rhyme in the first place. Several of the songs don't have any rhyming at all.
- Scare Chord: "King or Cripple" can be quite startling if you're fooled by its false ending.
- Significant Anagram: Audio: Lessonover? owes its strange title to an anagram: Radio One Loves Us. They didn't.
- Silly Love Songs: Audio: Lessonover? opens with two of these, "Waiting for the Summer" and "Take Me Away". There are a few others farther into the album. (Just one of many things that their fanbase didn't seem to like about it.)
- Step Up to the Microphone: Stu G takes the mic for part of several songs, most notably the verses of "Inside Outside" and "A Little Love", and the bridges of "Bliss" and "Stare the Monster Down".
- Audio: Lessonover? has the Hidden Track "Making Art", which sounds an awful lot like Stu G. spontaneously snuck a 2-minute song onto the album when no one else was looking.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: A rather baffling case in "Solid Rock".
On Christ the solid rock we will stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid rock we will stand,
Well climb on your back, take us to higher ground.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Bicycle Gasoline". It Makes Sense in Context.