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Number of Pages: 1000
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Dimensions: 9.25 X 7.5 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
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This groundbreaking work covers both major and minor Christian music artists and those associated with Christian music from the 60s to the present day, highlighting their influences, their struggles, and their achievements. Powell treats each artist or group with a balanced, intriguing, and fresh look into their background and discography. Every entry summarizes critical response to the group, and provides band member lists, complete discographies, lists of awards, artist website addresses, and biographies of the artists. The fun, easy-to-read writing style provides fans with accessible information on their favorite artists, while also encouraging them to greater appreciation of the stylistic breadth and historical depth of the music they have come to love.
The CD-ROM features a searchable version of the complete text for both Windows and Macintosh systems, as well as live links to artist-websites, album information, and music clips.
"Mark Allan Powell has done a great service - not only to the vibrant scene we often call Christian rock, but to the rock and roll world in general and to the church. While it is true that many of us Christians have developed and relegated ourselves to a subculture, there are many artists living and working in this evangelighetto that have made and are continuing to make relevant and very beautiful art. Yes, some music made by Christians can truly be labeled trite and propaganda, but there is a vast universe of musicians who are fusing their faith with their art in an outstanding way. This encyclopedia helps legitimize those remarkable artists that, up until this point, were clustered away as legends in an unknown and ignored genre. Treating this art with the respect it deserves, along with the occasional but warranted criticism, does a great justice. Good art deserves to be appreciated and this book helps save my voice from having to shout as loud to get people's attention for it."
Doug Van Pelt, Editor, HM Magazine
"Powell's Encyclopedia is exhaustive, all that you'll ever want to know about the artists and history of Christian rock. This is a noble work - honest, fair and complete - paying respect where it is also overdue, and honoring the genre's true artists alongside its most successful sellers. Careful to value the art of pop music, Powell's greatest contribution is the thoughtful theological insights and honest critical voice. I wish I'd written it."
Brian Quincy Newcomb, pastor of Christ UCC, Maplewood, Mo., and freelance music writer, contributing regularly to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and CCM Magazine
"Mark Allan Powell has accomplished a most formidable labor of love with the publication of this Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. With a fan's zeal and a scholar's dedication to research and accuracy, Powell has treated the music made by these artists - dismissed for too long by too many in the music business and the church - as a valid, and often vital chapter in the ongoing history of popular music and Christianity. Thorough, informed and opinionated, Powell's refreshing take on the music and its messages is an important contribution to this sadly overlooked phenomenon."
Thom Granger, author and former editor of CCM magazine
"I wish this book had been available when I was working on mine. How Powell managed such comprehensive coverage is beyond me. This is certainly the defining volume of every recorded work our community has released. I am impressed and overwhelmed. So many of these works existed way under the radar and then disappeared almost instantly. Its important that they be remembered and archived for future generations. As a fan, and aspiring historian, I thank Mark Allen Powell from the bottom of my heart."
John J. Thompson, Founder; True Tunes Etc., and Author of Raised By Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock and Roll
"More than a reference book, The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music is a fascinating commentary on the church in America since the late 1960s. For those of us who were part of the Jesus movement, this is a documentary on our music. For all observers of the genre it is THE encyclopedia that provides a substantive historical context for todays industry. Powells success at providing a comprehensive list of artists associated with contemporary Christian music is exceeded only by the monumental size of this amazing undertaking. It takes an academic to create a useful tool of this nature. It takes an artist to make it enjoyable. Powell has demonstrated that he is both."
Rick Edwards, Editor of CCM magazine
Mark Allan Powell has published articles on contemporary Christian music in Christian Century, Christianity Today, and Trinity Seminary Review. He is frequently interviewed in print and over the airwaves concerning the proliferation of rock, rap, and other popular genres of Christian music. He is Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and is the author of seventeen books, including the best-sellers Jesus as a Figure in History and Narrative Criticism: A New Approach to the Bible.
"The alphabetically arranged entries cover individuals and groups. Each entry lists all albums produced, with date and record company. An essay provides biography and evaluation as well as partial lyrics for significant songs and notes on performance style. Group entries name all members (including dates for when various members came and went), the instruments they played, and who sang the vocals. Entries conclude with lists of chart hits and awards.
"Powell drew upon every available issue of prominent and lesser-known Christian music periodicals, newspapers, and Web sites, then created a database of each artist and group discussed, interviewed, or reviewed in these sources. Some of the groups he includes are primarily known as rock or pop bands that occasionally have songs or albums with a spiritual nature, such as Moby and U2. Powell states that in these cases, he erred on the side of inclusion. More well known singers and groups have longer entries (for example, Amy Grant, the Winans, Jennifer Knapp), but even the less well known (for example, Phat Chance, Project 86, Jan Krist) have at least a long paragraph.
"Given the sheer volume of material, the relatively modest price of this work is a wonderful bargain. Add to that the unique coverage, and this volume is highly recommended for music collections and Christian schools."
Danny L4 Stars Out Of 5August 19, 2010Danny LReally useful reference book, but sometimes I would prefer if the author stuck purely to facts and not opinions - though I do find many of his views amusing. Quite a comprehensive work, but unfortunately a few years old - so some of the newer bands I enjoy are not listed (which is obvious I know - but just bare that in mind).
Steve5 Stars Out Of 5May 11, 2004SteveFor any fan of Christian music this is a phenomenal resource. Find information on a performer or band that you haven't heard from in ages, learn more about your favorite groups or individual singer, or use it as a checklist for those larger-than-most music collections some of us have accrued over the years. Half the fun of this book is opening it up anywhere and finding something interesting about the industry. A list of music genres makes it easy to figure out what the writer means when coming across a strange musical style, and a complimentary CD-ROM version of the entire book makes it incredibly easy to find exactly what you are looking for.
Brent Wilcox5 Stars Out Of 5October 1, 2002Brent WilcoxEverything You Could Want, And Then . . . Something More!First, this book does deliver everything that anybody could ever want in a reference book on Christian music. Every artist is included. There are complete discographies, personnel lists, bios, updates on "where are they now," summaries of album reviews, and lists of chart hits. For some that may be all they want or need. The something more is that the author also provides his own critical analysis of the music. This is easy to skip, if you dont care about it. But it isnt commentary by just anyone. Mark Allan Powell is one of the most prominent theologians of the late twentieth-century, a world-famous, prominent author and profound analyst of religion and culture. Still, he writes in such a humorous and friendly, easy-going style that youd never suspect its the same guy responsible for all those intellectual tomes for which he's won academic accolades(of course, hes also been a professional music critic for about thirty years now, writing about rock and roll as a hobby for newspapers and popular magazines). Powell presents his book as a gift to Christian music artists, industry, and fans--people who have made my life more pleasant and meaningful. What a gift it is! This is the first time that anyone of this stature has ever even noticed the little parallel universe of Christian rock, much less taken such care to document it or invested himself so personally in commenting on it. The comments are so incisive that, even if they were negative, the criticism would be welcome. Butgood news!he loves the music and consistently discovers what is best about every artist. The book isnt just informativeits positive, upbeat, inspiring, and a whole lot of fun!
Lester Long5 Stars Out Of 5September 28, 2002Lester LongFor Any Christian Who Likes Rock and RollThis book is an absolute treasurean incredible achievement! Over 1900 entries containing everything that anyone could ever want to know about any artist even remotely connected with Christian music. There are full, entries on all of the big name Christian stars, appropriate listings of mainstream artists whose recordings have sometimes dealt explicitly with matters of faith, reminiscences and updates on long-forgotten Christian artists from years ago,and major articles on critics favoritesedgy artists who dont get a lot of attention in the official Christian music scene but who have made some of the best music the field has to offer. If youre a Christian music fanthis is the book youve been waiting for! But even more important! This book would make the best gift imaginable for someone you know who likes rock or pop music, but might be kind of skeptical about the whole Christian rock scene. The author has a delightfully disarming style and he doesn't come off as though he's trying to sell the music. He just helps you find which of the artists may be to your liking. The result, is that he kind of sneaks up on you. He obviously loves this music but he doesnt take it too seriously. He is witty, provocative, and never, ever forgets that rock and roll (even Christian rock and roll) is supposed to be fun. So,if you know some Christian who reads Rolling Stone but not CCM--buy this for them! They'll see Creed and U2 and read around a bit. They'll think Powell is funny and they'll read some more. Next thing you know . . . well, if ANYONE can turn them on to Jesus music, this is the person (and book) that will do it.
John J. Tollefsen3 Stars Out Of 5September 26, 2002John J. TollefsenThe strength of Mark Allan Powells Encyclopedia of Christian Contemporary Music is its humorous opinions (bad music about God by white people) and is thoroughness (Eric Clapton). These are also its weaknesses. Those who want a scholarly resource to use in this area of church history will be somewhat disappointed by the flippant opinionated approach. Those who want to understand the field and not be put to sleep while doing so will be appreciative of the authors witty style. While far from perfect, Powell has found a way to launch an important work despite skeptical publishers. Lets hope subsequent iterations turn it into a more serious multi-volume hardback series that is the definitive resource for Christian contemporary Music.
Located in: Columbus, OH
Submitted: July 10, 2002
Tell us a little about yourself. I started out thirty years ago as a rock journalist but got caught up in the Jesus movement revival of the early 70s. My life was transformed and I went on to become an ordained minister and, then, a Bible scholar. I got fairly well known in that world and wrote some 17 books on Bible and theology. But with this book Ive returned to my roots, to pay tribute to those people who have provided a soundtrack for my life. Im married and we have four children, four cats, and a turtle.
What was your motivation behind this project? Contemporary Christian music is an important part of modern culture but I find that many people do not take it very seriously. My theologian friends tend to dismiss it as shallow or superficial and my rock critic friends just write it off as bad music. I am a theologian and a rock critic and I am here to say that (by and large) it is neither. I think that there are millions of people in our society Christians and non-Christianswho would really enjoy this music and find their lives enriched it if they would only discover what is really available.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? This book is for any Christian who likes popular music. Fans of what gets called contemporary Christian music will find a great resource here to learn more about their favorite artists and to discover other artists who they might have overlooked. But there are also a lot of Christians in this world who enjoy popular music but, for a variety of reasons, have never gotten into the ccm scene. I think this book will enable them to find out what is available, to get past some stereotypes, and to decide for themselves whether there might be more to contemporary Christian music than they thought.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In terms of Christian theology, I have been most influenced by the writings of Martin Luther, and by such authors writers as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, and C. S. Lewis. But this book is about contemporary Christian music, and a number of Christian music artists have inspired me as well. A list of my personal favorites would include Andrae Crouch, Kim Hill, Daniel Amos, Amy Grant, Mark Heard, Phil Keaggy, Love Song, P.O.D., The Seventy Sevens, and Starflyer 59.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I love Jesus and I love rock and roll. If you love either of those two things, this book might be for you. And if you love them bothwell, then, it cant miss.