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The Hidden Supernova of Music (Did Christian references keep a rock band from making it big?)
tea party tribune ^ | 7/31/12 | jim funkhouser

Posted on 07/31/2012 12:30:09 PM PDT by HMS Surprise

I have an alter ego in the blogosphere. Here, it’s politics, but on Facebook I blog about popular music, usually leaning heavily towards rock and roll. And until a few days ago I never imagined that there would be any ideological cross-pollination to worry about. But then I had an epiphany…

I’ll start my little tale here- I blog about music to promote a fiction book that I wrote 3 years ago. The book is about a garage band from the early 70′s that was on the cusp of making it big, but then fell just short. I plot an improbable future success for the fictional band decades after they break up and go their seperate ways, and then have some fun as our heros revitalize and reenergize the sad state of contemporary music. Why is this relevant to the dicussion of culture and politics today? Wait for it…

(Excerpt) Read more at teapartytribune.com ...


TOPICS: Activism; Current Events; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: alexchilton; bigstar; music; septembergurls
If you have heard of Big Star you get an automatic "A" in rock history.
1 posted on 07/31/2012 12:30:17 PM PDT by HMS Surprise
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To: HMS Surprise

How many times were you planning to post this?


2 posted on 07/31/2012 12:36:40 PM PDT by Lucas McCain
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To: HMS Surprise

Alex Chilton was the driving force/ front man /songwriter of the “BOX TOPS”. He’s the guy you hear singing on “The Letter” and their other hits. “BIG STAR” wasn’t his first rodeo. And “Sweet Cream Ladies” doesn’t quite fit with the author’s narrative.


3 posted on 07/31/2012 12:39:07 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: HMS Surprise
you make a convincing pitch, and you sure know how to pepper it with hooks. but the name "Jesus" was all over music in the 60's and 70's. The list of bands that included it would probably be longer than the list of ones that didn't.

Furthermore, the list of excellent acts that got nowhere has to be as endless as a list gets, esp. since it's always growing. It's true in every field.

I think your draw to Big Star was that they were clever and confident promoters, like yourself.

4 posted on 07/31/2012 12:47:50 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: the invisib1e hand; HMS Surprise
you make a convincing pitch, and you sure know how to pepper it with hooks. but the name "Jesus" was all over music in the 60's and 70's. The list of bands that included it would probably be longer than the list of ones that didn't

Indeed - so much so, that Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman made a "mockumentory" LP on the subject:

5 posted on 07/31/2012 2:32:26 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2898271/posts?page=119#119)
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To: HMS Surprise

Why would jimfunkyguy write this in his ‘about me’ bio;

Howdy, my name is Jim Funkhouser and I write almost as well as Sarah Palin (verified at 7th grade level).

& why is THAT on the Tribune site?

I smell a rat - oh! and there’s the nice mittens pop-ups there as well.


6 posted on 07/31/2012 3:31:01 PM PDT by spankalib (The downside of liberty is the need to tolerate those who despise it.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I have the CD of this LP. Spirit in the Sky is very nicely done. Although they are mocking the semantic mysticism of those trying to cash in on the religious theme, they treat the music decently. The recording and mixing is great.


7 posted on 07/31/2012 3:39:51 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: HMS Surprise

How about Glass Harp?


8 posted on 07/31/2012 3:41:23 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: HMS Surprise
The Hidden Supernova of Music (Did Christian references keep a rock band from making it big?

More likely it was creative differences between Alex Chilton and Chris Bell.

9 posted on 07/31/2012 3:47:20 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: aruanan
I have the CD of this LP. Spirit in the Sky is very nicely done. Although they are mocking the semantic mysticism of those trying to cash in on the religious theme, they treat the music decently. The recording and mixing is great.

My favorite is Larry's cover of Jackson Browne's "Song for Adam". I think it's better than the original.

10 posted on 07/31/2012 4:09:41 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2898271/posts?page=119#119)
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To: Alex Murphy
My favorite is Larry's cover of Jackson Browne's "Song for Adam". I think it's better than the original.

I'll have to look for it when I get home. For some reason, I think that what's on the CD doesn't completely match what's on the LP. And there was something on the CD that indicated the existence of enough material for a second CD. I asked them about this at the Larry Norman website and they said there was a possibility of a future release. I hope so.
11 posted on 07/31/2012 4:14:17 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: HMS Surprise

I’ve heard of Big Star but couldn’t name a song.


12 posted on 07/31/2012 4:15:23 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Alex Murphy

looks like a cool project. I never got into larry norman, though I acknowledge he seems to have been an innovator in his particular niche, and played the role of iconoclast (as it were) with gusto. And back when I had friends that played his music for me, I thought “Let it Be” was blasphemy, too. But not anymore.


13 posted on 07/31/2012 4:55:21 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: aruanan

Larry Norman had a great song called Six O’Clock News:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3IpPbiq_SY


14 posted on 07/31/2012 5:01:30 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: aruanan
How about Glass Harp?

Phil Keaggy. Saw him in 1980.

As for Larry Norman; I bought two tickets to see him and Randy Stonehill but the concert was cancelled due to lack of interest.

Sad but true.

15 posted on 07/31/2012 6:39:47 PM PDT by Tolkien (Grace is the Essence of the Gospel; Gratitude is the Essence of Ethics.)
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To: HMS Surprise
U2 had plenty of Christian references in their music, especially early on.

It didn't keep them from, "making it big."

16 posted on 07/31/2012 6:46:18 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: spankalib

And if you dug a little deeper you would find that I penned at least ten apologetic articles praising Ms. Palin. Your sarcasm meter is set for stunned.


17 posted on 07/31/2012 6:49:12 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: Alex Murphy

His “Spirit in the Sky” was hilarious and strangely compelling at the same time.


18 posted on 07/31/2012 7:33:06 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Alex Murphy

Yes, the “Song for Adam” was fabulous.


19 posted on 07/31/2012 7:35:29 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Lucas McCain

Three more times... at least. I need at least as many fans as the Facebook Page for Herpes Simplex.


20 posted on 07/31/2012 7:36:18 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: spankalib

Yeah, you caught me... Oh wait, did you check the ten articles I wrote praising Ms. Palin? Ooopsie.


21 posted on 07/31/2012 7:37:55 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I don’t disagree about U2 and many others besides. The difference is that U2’s references are subtle, Big Star’s more religious songs were not covert at all. And you’re assuming that I claim that ALL record companies did this. It could have been one person at Columbia, or I could be completely wrong. It’s simply my belief based on eliminating all other relevant factors.


22 posted on 07/31/2012 7:42:59 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: GSWarrior

The first album tanking was probably what caused the rift about band direction. Obviously both of them thought they had produced a pretty decent intial release. To see it sell a mere 10k copies must have been hard to accept. Much easier to accept if the product is crappy.


23 posted on 07/31/2012 7:47:12 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise
"The difference is that U2’s references are subtle..."

Titling a song, "Yahweh" is subtle? Or turning Psalm 40 into a song titled, "40" is subtle?

I'd hate to see what you call "overt"!

:-)

24 posted on 07/31/2012 7:49:28 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Alex Murphy

Your post makes my explanation more likely, not less likely. If there was indeed a sense that Jesus was to prevalent, or had become passe’, then a executive decision to stop distribution would seem even more likely. I arrived at my decision by eliminating possibilties. The music is solid, Rolling Stone doesn’t place a song that never sold on their top 500 list unless the circumstances are extraordinary.


25 posted on 07/31/2012 7:52:28 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Throwing out songs without context isn’t helpful. Once a band sells, it can do whatever it wants and sing whatever it wants. Bono is worth about 2 billion dollars (look it up). Of all of the U2 songs that get airplay I don’t detect anything but subtle references. It’s good stuff, and very artistic, and I love U2. But “Jesus round her neck” can be interpreted many different ways. Let’s suppose that U2 STARTED with the songs you mention... Think it would have been easier to convince the business side of the industry, or harder?


26 posted on 07/31/2012 7:58:07 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise
"Let’s suppose that U2 STARTED with the songs you mention..."

While they may not have "started" with it, by the release of October in 1981 (their second album), they were pretty solid in Christian, or at least spiritual imagery. It's pretty hard to claim anything subtle about the lyrics of "Gloria," which was one of the most popular songs on that album...

I try to sing this song
I...I try to stand up
But I can't find my feet
I try, I try to speak up
But only in you I'm complete

Gloria...in te domine
Gloria...exultate
Gloria...Gloria
Oh Lord, loosen my lips

I try to sing this song
I...I try to get in
But I can't find the door
The door is open
You're standing there
You let me in

Gloria...in te domine
Gloria...exultate
Oh Lord, if I had anything
Anything at all
I'd give it to you
I'd give it to you

Gloria...Gloria...

27 posted on 07/31/2012 8:11:35 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: the invisib1e hand

Even Black Sabbath was there with After Forever. One of the best bands ever.


28 posted on 08/01/2012 3:47:58 AM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: HMS Surprise

Hilarious.

Did not inhibit the Doobie Brothers and they had a pretty big hit with “Jesus is just all right with me”.

The Byrds (who also recorded Jesus is just all right) also had a huge hit with a song with lyrics pulled from the Bible (by way of Pete Seeger).

Methinks there were other reasons for Big Star not making it big.


29 posted on 08/01/2012 8:57:10 AM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz

Jesus is just alright... Not exactly a ringing endorsement. I’ve examined all of the critques, and none have as of yet actually listened to the songs that Big Star sang which I would call pertinent to the instant case.


30 posted on 08/01/2012 9:17:00 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise

Actually I have listened to them, time and time again. A guy in my band is a huge Big Star/Alex Chilton fan.

Your thesis - at least so I thought - was that Christian references kept them from making it big. In fact it is the title of this thread. If we find other bands that also make Christian references AND they have made it big, it does speak to your thesis, don’t you think?


31 posted on 08/01/2012 10:18:36 AM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz

Here’s my final statement on the subject. I too have listened to Big Star and slowly uncovered their entire discography, including reading the lyrics, over the last two years. Their first album is all that is important here, because it was their best overall, and it was for better or worse the most likely launch pad for a career. I didn’t expect to find solidly conservative christian orthodoxy. “Jesus is just alright” yes, but what from my perspective was channeled from a Southern Bapist hymnal? Not. Regardless, I was surprised, pleasantly, but did not think it was a reason for their stunted success at that point. As I continued to uncover what I considered to be solid lyrical and melodic material I became more and more amazed, and confused. Could I be wrong, of course, because it’s obvious that I don’t quote any sources. It is simply my conclusion. Sorry it upsets you so much.


32 posted on 08/01/2012 10:54:56 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: Tolkien
Phil Keaggy. Saw him in 1980.

As for Larry Norman; I bought two tickets to see him and Randy Stonehill but the concert was cancelled due to lack of interest.

Sad but true.


Some people didn't get Larry Norman, like my uncle, for instance. He listened to the lyrics of Walking Backwards Down the Stairs and asked what kind of a Christian song that was supposed to be.

I saw Phil Keaggy about that same time. I was about 20 feet away. It was a nice concert. When I lived in NYC, I found the original Glass Harp LP unopened in a used record store. I still have it somewhere--well, had it until grad school. Somehow fewer of my albums are still around.
33 posted on 08/01/2012 10:57:48 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: HMS Surprise

It might be a safer bet for you to consider that there’s someone on FReep that doesn’t know who you are - that you were the author.
My s-meter is stuned.

The snark is great in you, as is the touchiness of your ego.

I’m not sure all that time listening to “Jesus music’ has had much effect on you.


34 posted on 08/01/2012 10:58:26 AM PDT by spankalib (The downside of liberty is the need to tolerate those who despise it.)
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To: HMS Surprise

Here’s my final statement on the subject. [snip] It is simply my conclusion. Sorry it upsets you so much.

<><><><><><

What makes you think the musical opinions of an anonymous poster on an internet forum could even reach a place where upsets occur? A tad self important, doncha think?

I disagree with your thesis, find it rather shallow and completely unsupported. Hence my disagreement.


35 posted on 08/01/2012 11:18:19 AM PDT by dmz
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To: spankalib

Great detective work. You were the last to know.


36 posted on 08/01/2012 11:43:39 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: spankalib

And weren’t you the one that concluded that I was anti-Palin. Many here would find that laughable. If you care to look, you’ll find all of my pro-Palin articles at teapartytribune. Check my tagline mate. Chris Christie earned it by rolling his eyes at the mention of S. Palin. Color me tragically befuddled.


37 posted on 08/01/2012 11:48:17 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: dmz

Yes, it’s my main character flaw. (self-importance)


38 posted on 08/01/2012 11:50:21 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise

lol!
I was the last to know?

If your phone doesn’t ring, it’s me.


39 posted on 08/01/2012 5:24:58 PM PDT by spankalib (The downside of liberty is the need to tolerate those who despise it.)
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To: aruanan; Tolkien
Glass Harp?

(sound of grey_whiskers purring!)

Note also the rumor that Ted Nugent supposedly said, "I don't know whatever happened to that Phil Keaggy. He could have saved the world with his guitar."

I *did* manage to track the Jimi Hendrix / Keaggy rumor as far back as (IIRC, it was many years ago) the Feb. '75 or Feb. '76 Saturday Evening Post...

Cheers!

40 posted on 08/01/2012 8:55:46 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Here's a nice tidbit for you.

Christian band The Seventy-Sevens were confidently predicted to be about to take both the secular and Christian rock world by storm, according to the guy who signed them...except that the label they signed on? Island Records -- which released U2's debut album just a little bit later.

As Rick Perry would say, "Oops."

Cheers!

41 posted on 08/01/2012 9:03:18 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Tolkien
Did someone mention Phil Keaggy ?

(I saw him doing that clip live in 1981 outside of DC...; IIRC the E-bow came out in 1977 and he was using it on albums in 1978.)

(sound of grey_whiskers purring)

Cheers!

42 posted on 08/01/2012 9:08:47 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Nice! I first heard of Phil Keaggy in 1974 when someone at school gave me What a Day to listen to.


43 posted on 08/01/2012 9:37:11 PM PDT by aruanan
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