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THE Christian Rock band. Not technically the first, but the first to have a major impact on the culture. Formed in 1972 by Bob Hartman (who had himself just become a Christian at the time) and some friends of his from college, but best known for their work during The Eighties. Appropriately enough, their name is simply Greek for "rock".The band underwent many, many changes in both its lineup and its sound over the years, but its most well-known lineups — and the only ones that lasted for more than two albums — were Bob Hartman (guitars), Greg X. Volz (vocals), John Slick (keyboards), Louie Weaver (drums), and Mark Kelly (bass); and Bob Hartman, John Schlitt (vocals), John Lawry (keyboards), Louie Weaver, and Ronnie Cates (bass). These changes, mainly responding to the changing face of contemporary rock, were mostly welcomed, at least until The Nineties when they moved toward a more Alternative Rock sound, which left fans... disappointed. They returned to a hard rock sound in 2003, before finally disbanding.In 2010, their 1985 lineup reunited for a tour as Classic Petra and a studio album released in 2011.Being the first major band to introduce rock music to a culture known for being largely hostile to it, they were no strangers to controversy, including the predictable accusations from Moral Guardians that they were hiding Satanic messages in their songs. They fired right back in 1982 with a prominent back-masked message at the start of the song "Judas' Kiss" (when played backwards, the message says, "What are you looking for the devil for when you ought to be looking for the Lord?"), and in 1985 with the bitingly satirical "Witch Hunt", which accuses their critics of caring more about stamping out things they are suspicious of than actually spreading the Gospel. Eventually they outlived the criticism and went on to win many awards, including four Grammys for Best Rock Gospel Album.Discography (not counting concert albums or the many, many compilation albums released over the years, mainly by their former labels):
Petra provides examples of: