218. On Rock – Daniel Band

ON ROCK (1982)

Daniel Band

Sometime in the Summer of 1982 I went to see someone at a Saturday Night concert at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I have no recollection as to who the “somebody” was that night, but have distinct and impressive images of the unknown opening band, Canada’s Daniel Band.

At that time the debut album had not been released. The next day I went by the Calvary Chapel store and asked if they knew when the album was coming out. they had no idea what I was talking about. But the band members happened to be in the store and overheard my conversation. they followed me out and told me they had just received some advance cassette copies of the album and gave me one for free!

It would not be the only copy of the album on cassette I would own a I ruined a few by constantly playing it for friends at school and church. This was it! A real hard rock band with great production, blazing guitar solos and huge hooks. Often mistakenly compared to Rush, the sound is much more Boston, Triumph, First Strike and Foreigner.

The album kicks off with “Creator,” a straight ahead rocker in the vein of Triumph. Like most of the album the lyrics are straight ahead and blatant evangelical statements. Nothing too creative or edgy here. But what is lacking in depth is blown away by passion and energy.

The second song, and first single, is “I’m Sorry.” Starting with an acoustic intro before the obligatory heavy, crunching guitars. Great power ballad that just works perfectly. KYMS played it for a short while.”In the Sky” has a Black Crowes riff and “Free From Sin” is the heaviest of the bunch with great guitar work.

There are really no poor cuts and the album and the final cut deserves special consideration. “Somebody Loves You” was great live that night and that image still sticks me. A rollicking southern rock tinged kicker that seemed about 15 minutes live with great solos from all band members.

The album has been reissued on CD but with a new cover that I never really appreciated. I have yet to figure out the fascination of new covers on classic albums. The sound board lit up to spell the band name is classic.

  1. Brian
    December 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Great story about the band in the store!

    Never saw them live and I regret it. I received this album the same week as Jerusalem’s WARRIOR….what a great time in CCM music. It was creative and fresh and rockin’!
    Away at college in Tampa, FL, I was listening one Saturday night to FREE THE PEOPLE (late night Christian radio program which played all this wondrous music not allowed in the light of CCM day), when I heard “I LIKE TO ROCK”

    WOW! WHAT???WHAT WAS THAT???? I did not stop until I got this album. I played it a million times and that was just the first day.

    I really like the song “I’m Sorry” the best. That acoustic guitar and the searing licks…oh my. Tasty.

    You failed to mention the Cat Scratch Fever riff in Two Roads (I think)….every time I want to sing CAT SCRATCH FEVER….

    It began a love affair with this band for sure. nothing like this on the market AT ALL at the time far out distancing my then favorite Resurrection Band.

  2. JM
    December 23, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Glad to see the Daniel Band recognized. A remastered version of On Rock was released in early 2010. They still play occasionally in the Toronto area.

  3. Sundog
    February 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Brian, I’m with you. Amazingly enough, I bought this LP right around the same time I bought Jerusalem’s WARRIOR LP. How odd is that? I still have both LP’s stored in a safe place, along with some other classic LP’s from other bands. I’m especially proud of my early Glass Harp LP’s, too. Thankfully, they are all in great shape, still. Long live vinyl!

  4. Rob K
    August 10, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Love the band, but the ‘Run From The Darkness’ album is an AYSO! No weak cuts on it all in my opinion.

  5. Brent Johnson
    May 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I was thirteen when this came out, what?!, and in Portland Or. no one that I knew was into christian hard rock beyond Petra so I would buy albums blind. This one was phenomenal and Toni Rossi should’ve been a way more known guitar slinger. Always felt they were a mix of Triumph and April Wine. Simple but great lyrics.

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