Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 176. Rockin’ Revival – Servant

176. Rockin’ Revival – Servant



Counter-cultural and social justice oriented way before it was cool or even known within evangelical circles, Servant played an important role in the history of Christian rock, and many don’t even remember them. Juxtaposed against the progressive and theologically driven ideologies were loud guitars, smoke machines, laser light shows and fireworks on stage. Theatrical and original, Servant broke molds and practiced what they preached.

I was at Summer camp at Pine Summit in Big Bear, California in the summer of 1981 and walked into their bookstore. There I saw the cover shown above and laid down my $6.99 for the cassette. Scorn and ridicule from the Youth Pastor (and Music Director) at my Baptist church soon ensued. The devil’s music wrapped in Christian lamb costumes.

Screw that…this album rocked!

Actually in retrospect it didn’t rock nearly as heard as I thought it did at the time. it was no where the contemporaries of Styx, Foreigner, Boston…but it still had guitar solos and big drums. It also had great songs and reinforced my then nearly unending obsession with the rapture with several songs about the coming Tribulation and end of the world. My views have changed drastically over the years, but I still love this album and for more than just nostalgia’s sake.

Bob hardy was still the leading voice of the band on the album and I always saw him as an underrated rock vocalist. Sandy Brock is at her best on this album and Bruce Wright’s guitar work never sounded better. The album also contains the most consistent sound quality and strongest songwriting (Light Maneuvers is close). This was also before the kayboard sound began to take over the band.

But really it is about the songs and this record is filled with great ones. The almost 50’s influenced chorus of Look Out Babylon and the grinding, funky groove of the title track sound nothing alike yet work wonderfully back to back. More progressive and creative undertakings work well here like the disturbing “Isolated” and the brilliant “Jealousies.” Admittedly, songs like “Suburban Josephine” are great concert standards but tire after repeated listens.

When the band launches into the heavier experiments the results are exceptional. “Heidelberg Blues” and “Ad Man” work quite well as the guitar becomes the focal point. The album closer, “I’m Gonna Live,” the half spoken, half sung rocker pre-dates modern worship by over decade.

During this time the band was the biggest thing in Christian Rock and constantly allowed up and coming bands to open for them. At one time or another the lower half of the tour bill included Petra, DeGarmo & Key, Joe English, Jerusalem and a host of other soon to be household names.

  1. Mike
    February 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I was so excited when this was finally re-released on CD. My wife wants “I’m Gonna Live Forever” played at her funeral. That might wake some people up!

  2. Rick Giovanetto
    February 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    The week Shallow Water was released, I saw Servant at Bradley University in Peoria, Il. Amazing! is the only phrase that adequately describes that evening. I saw them several times over the years, and I was never disappointed.

  3. Greenchili
    March 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Side note.. “I’m Gonna Live” was cowritten by non other than Doug Pinnick.

    Apparently this was produced by Bob Rock as well.

    “Ad Man” is a great/fun song.

    Wish I woulda had the opportunity to see this group in concert.

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