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Number of Pages: 1000
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
|Dimensions: 9.25 X 7.5 (inches)|
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. It's 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 today's industry. Powell's 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.
-- Publishers Weekly
"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."
Author: Mark Allan Powell
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.