Petra – Beat The System – 1984

Petra’s Beat The System was released in 1984 into a musical age that was dealing with the first generation of electronic sounds, video games, and mainstream home computers.

Petra continues to build on their sing-along arena rock style with even more synthesizer and electronic drum sounds. Their updated version of “God Gave Rock’n’Roll To You” brings that forward but without the acoustical drama of the original. Its inclusion on this album helped maintain the song as a CCM anthem for yet another generation.

This is the last of Greg X. Volz’s albums with the band before Jon Schlitt took over as lead vocalist. Greg joined Petra for their third album, Washes Whiter Than in 1979, then billed as the “New Improved Petra.”

Beat The System had several tracks that stayed with the band as classics, including “Clean” and “Adonai.”

Track Listing:
1 – Beat The System – 4:22
2 – Computer Brains – 4:01
3 – Clean – 3:01
4 – It Is Finished – 3:52
5 – Voice In The Wind – 4:30
6 – God Gave Rock And Roll To You – 3:54
7 – Witch Hunt – 4:34
8 – Hollow Eyes – 4:03
9 – Speak To The Sky – 4:16
10 – Adonai – 4:42

Credits:
Bass Guitar, Synthesizer [Synthesizer Bass], Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Mark Kelly
Drums, Percussion – Louie Weaver
Keyboards, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – John Lawry
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Bob Hartman
Lead Vocals – Greg X. Volz
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown

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Phil Keaggy – Ph’lip Side – 1980 / 1982

Ph’lip Side generally doesn’t get a lot of mention by fans but it honestly deserves to.

The set up of the album is novel in that one side is acoustic guitar and the other electric. The album jacket represents this by having an acoustic guitar on one side and an electric on the other. A novel approach and idea for an album which I like.

Keaggy’s guitar work is flawless as usual and this album gives us examples of his varying styles. The original album was released in 1980 and then re-released in 1982 with a substitute song as well as the order being changed. The 1982 release has stickers on the jacket to represent the changes. Piece of trivia – Greg X. Volz and Matthew Ward both do some backing vocals on this album.

Playlist Includes “Send Out Your Light” courtesy of Elisha Belcher

Track Listing:
1 – Just A Moment Away – 4:00
2 – Sunday School – 4:32
3 – A Royal Commandment – 5:46
4 – Pulling Down – 5:28
5 – A Child (In Everyone’s Heart) – 3:55
6 – Little Ones – 4:27
7 – Spend My Life With You – 4:13
8 – I Belong To You – 4:10
9 – In Your Keep – 3:28

Credits:
Backing Vocals – Dan Collins, Greg X. Volz, Jamie Owens-Collins, Matthew Ward (2)
Bass [Electric Synthisized] – Leon Gaer
Coordinator [Production] – B. Charlyne Hinesley
Drums – Paul Leim
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Phil Keaggy
Engineer – Jack Joseph Puig
Percussion – Alex Acuña
Piano, Piano [Rhodes], Synthesizer – Richard Souther
Producer – Dan Collins, Phil Keaggy

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Greg X. Volz – The River Is Rising – 1986

Greg X. Volz was the lead singer of Petra from 1979 to 1985 and was part of the Classic Petra project Back to the Rock.

This was his first solo effort and it was well received. It is a very heavily produced keyboards and guitar rifts affair that fit relatively well in 1986.

Lyrics were good but not outstanding but quality instrument tracks make up for it. This playlist includes “Break Out Of The Trance” which was a bonus release on the CD reissue.

Track Listing:
1 – Barrier – 4:34
2 – Joyous Grave – 4:26
3 – Livin’ For The Bell – 3:51
4 – Still Waters – 5:04
5 – All I Can Do – 4:40
6 – Heaven Is Within You – 4:38
7 – The River Is Rising – 5:17
8 – Hold On To The Fire – 5:07
9 – Man Like You – 5:32
CD Bonus Track
10 – Break Out Of The Trance – 3:38

Credits:
Bass – Jimmy Lee Sloas
Engineer, Mixed By, Cymbal [Overdubs] – Jonathan David Brown
Guitar – Kirk Henderson
Piano, Synthesizer, Keyboards [Fairlight], Drum Programming [Fairlite Drums] – Carl Marsh
Producer – Greg X. Volz, Jonathan David Brown
Vocals, Backing Vocals, Cymbal [Overdubs] – Greg X. Volz

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Petra – More Power To Ya – 1982

This album was the fifth offering from Petra.

It was one of the heaviest rock albums of the time, Ressurection band still held that title at the time.

Judas kiss features some supposed backmasking but in reality it was just a backwards sound track that said “What are you lookin’ for the devil for when you oughta be lookin’ for the Lord?”. It was a cute gimmick, but didn’t suit the song or make any sense attached to it. All in all a darn good Rock and Roll album that was very edgy for the time.

Track Listing:
1 – Stand Up – 3:33
2 – Second Wind – 4:32
3 – More Power To Ya – 3:37
4 – Judas Kiss – 4:43
5 – Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows – 4:16
6 – Run For The Prize – 4:31
7 – All Over Me – 5:51
8 – Let Everything That Hath Breath – 4:21
9 – Road To Zion – 3:58
10 – Disciple – 3:29

Credits:
Arranged By – Jonathan, Petra (9)
Bass, Vocals – Mark Kelly (8)
Drums – Louie Weaver
Guitar – Bob Hartman
Keyboards, Vocals, Synthesizer [Programs & Arrangements] – John Slick
Lead Vocals – Greg X. Volz
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Technician [Technical Assistance] – Brian Tankersley
Written-By – Bob Hartman (tracks: A1 – B2, B5), Greg X. Volz (tracks: B3), Mike Hudson (2) (tracks: B4)

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Classic Petra – Back To The Rock Live – 2011

Petra recorded this album (using the name Classic Petra) on November 20th, 2010 at Trinity City Music Hall in Hendersonville TN.

Picking 12 songs to perform and record out of a catalog as large as theirs must have been a difficult process however I think they did a great job. The choices are a wide variety of their material and I believe they left out some of their biggest hits quite intentionally. Because of that, this retro release is just about perfect.

Track Listing:
1 – Bema Seat – 4:38
2 – Clean – 3:32
3 – Angel Of Light – 4:45
4 – Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows – 4:43
5 – Godpleaser – 5:07
6 – Second Wind – 4:55
7 – More Power To Ya – 3:37
8 – Let Everything That Hath Breath – 4:29
9 – Grave Robber – 5:24
10 – Adonai / Back To The Rock – 9:21
11 – Too Big To Fail – 4:50

Credits:
Art Direction, Coordinator [Project Coordinator] – Mark Kelly
Bass Guitar, Vocals – Mark Kelly
Booking – H2O Artist Agency
Design [Art Design / Creation] – Julie Sturgeon
Drums – Louie Weaver
Engineer [2nd Engineer] – Jon Blass
Engineer [Live Tracking Engineer] – Greg Malenovsky
Engineer [Mix Engineer] – John Jaszcz
Guitar, Vocals – Bob Hartman
Keyboards, Vocals, Producer, Edited By [Studio Editing], Engineer [Tracking Engineer], Engineer [2nd Engineer] – John Lawry
Lead Vocals – Greg Volz
Legal [Legal Counsel] – Lannie J. Cates
Management [Band] – Bob Bender Productions
Management [Business] – Kim Hartman
Photography By – Jon LeMay

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Petra – Never Say Die – 1981

Never Say Die is the fourth album from Petra.

This album had a few new band members plus a new sound for Petra. It had a much more hard rock sound than their previous releases.

The single was The Coloring Song which I find odd as it stands out as not being in the style of the rest of the album.

Years later the album is remembered for its hard rock sound regardless of the single. Point of trivia, the album cover was the first with Petra’s signature flying guitar.

Track Listing:
1 – The Coloring Song
2 – Chameleon
3 – Angel Of Light
4 – Killing My Old Man
5 – Without Him We Can Do Nothing
6 – Never Say Die
7 – I Can Be Friends With You
8 – For Annie
9 – Father Of Lights
10 – Praise Ye The Lord

Credits:
Arranged By [Track Arrangements] – Jonathan, Petra
Bass, Backing Vocals – Mark Kelly
Drums, Percussion – Keith Edwards
Guitar – Bob Hartman
Illustration – Randy Rogers
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – John Slick
Layout – Mary Ann Smith
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Greg X. Volz
Mastered By – Steve Hall
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Photography By [Sleeve] – Diane McLaughlin
Producer, Engineer, Mixed By – Jonathan David Brown
Trombone – Joe Miller
Trumpet – Bob Welborn

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