Christian rock and christian rock bands, just like rock had an early tumultuous start. Fundamentalist christians do not like change. In the 50’s when rock started, christians, mainly older christians were totally against rock. They thought it was Satan’s music with explicit sexual content including the gyrations.
Christian rock gets its roots from gospel and rock music. It started to get a foot hold in the 70’s. Elvis Presley’s gospel album “he touched me” sold over a million copies. Larry Norman, who many consider the father of christian rock bands famously said “why should the devil have all the good music?”. It was a very small part of the contemporary christian music scene until really the 90’s.
The nineties is where christian rock bands really started to proliferate. Christian rock was called alternative until the 90’s when it became mainstream. So mainstream that other genres were being created, such as christian metal and punk. Christian rock music has now become a recruiting tool in getting young adults into churches. As many churches now have full bands performing during services.
Today there have been many many christian rock bands created. Too many to name them all. As well christian rock just like any musical drama is very subjective. Everyone has there favorite bands and favorite styles. So some might agree with this list and I am sure some will not. So let’s get to it. Singer Katy Perry appears in one of these top 15 best christian bands, video. Can you guess which video? The 15 best christian rock bands are…..
Petra has to be on this list because they are one of the founders of christian rock. This christian rock band was founded in the 70’s the name is greek for rock. There sound is like a lot of country rock bands of the 70’s like the eagles. Although they have evolved over the years. They have sold over 10 million albums and have 4 grammy awards. No christian rock band list should be without this band.
14/ Third Day
Third day is a christian rock band formed in Georgia in the 90’s.The band gets its name from the reference of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day. They have sold over 7 million albums and their fans are known as gomers, after a song on their second album about gomer. The bands 8th album “Wherever you are” debuted on the billboard 200 at number 8 and won the band their 3rd grammy award.
Casting crowns is a christian rock band that originally started as a student worship band in Florida in the 90’s. Lead singer of Sawyer Brown, Mike Miller is actually the person who discovered them and signed them to his label. They won the ccm award for best band in 2005 and have sold over 10 million albums. In 2007 they were the most played artist for christian music, and they also are the second fastest band to get their first two albums go platinum. The fastest is also on this list. Their song “lifesong” was voted most inspirational of the year and won a grammy for the group.
This christian band has been around since 1994. They have had 7 singles reach number 1 on the billboard christian music 100 list. Billboard magazine gave the song “word of god speak” song of the decade honors. They also named the album “almost there” number 4 on their album of the decade list. And though they have been around since 1994 they are still going as strong as ever. Their latest album “lifer” has got rave reviews and is doing very well on the charts.
Some would argue lifehouse is not a christian band and should not be on this list. The band itself are all christians and the two founders met at church. So lets not worry too much about the labels. Below is one of their best singles “everything” and I believe you will agree that this is a christian song. They are a great band with a lot of talent. I really like their music, some does not directly talk about God, but all their songs have deep meaning and feeling. The band started in the 90’s and had a major main stream hit with “hanging by a moment”.
This christian rock band was created in the late 90’s and disbanded in 2014. The band themselves do not like to be labeled as a christian band. This is not unusual bands, want their music to be heard by everyone, they are proud of their music. They are christians but as the lead singer Stephen Christian once stated, they are not preachers. They have played at many christian music festivals and have a strong christian following.
9/ Jars Of Clay
Jars of clay are what I would consider a mellow christian rock band. Full of great melodies and fantastic lyrics this is one of the great christian rock bands. Their first two albums were the fastest ever to platinum status. The band formed in the late 90’s in college. The bands lyrics are more subtle than some christian fans would like but make no mistake this is a christian band with strong christian beliefs. Proof being they have won 3 grammy awards in the gospel category.
It is great to see so many female lead vocalists in the christian rock genre. Formed in the late 90’s in Florida this band has some really catchy tunes. Very up beat and just a great sound. I love their videos,I think they do one of the best jobs of any christian rock band with their videos.
This christian rock band has been around since 2002 and is originally from Nashville Tennessee. They are a great band and this song below “breathe into me” is I think one of the greatest christian rock songs of all time. They might be a little too heavy of a rock band for some, but they have great musicians and vocals, there is no denying it. Very professional and great style. The band has one 6 GMA dove awards. I highly suggest you take a look at this band. At least check out the song below.
6/ Hawk Nelson
Hawk Nelson is a canadian christian rock band formed in 2000. The band has great lyrics, melodies and the lead vocalist is absolutely amazing. Just a great all around band. If you check them on youtube, you will see that they are beyond just a christian band. Their songs are very inspirational and stick with you all day. I am sure they will put a smile on your face, check them out.
Formed in Oregon in 1999, the band was originally called “call box” and changed the name to Kutless in 2001. Their song “the feeling” is on the game rock band 2 and they were scheduled to play at the summer olympics in 2004 but it did not happen. The band was more of a heavy metal band at the start but as the years have gone by they have matured into a more traditional for lack of a better word, rock band. They are a cohesive unit that has a great sound.
Payable on Death is a christian rock band formed in 1992 in California. This is the heaviest christian rock band on this list. Some would say they are heavy metal, I think they are more in between. Especially in the video below. A very well put together song, and definitely not heavy metal. There is a special celebrity guest appearance in this video, with Katy Perry making a singing appearance in this christian rock bands video.
3/Thousand Foot Krutch
Here is our second canadian christian rock band. Formed in 1997 I believe this band is just hitting its stride. Listen to this song below, a beautifully written and performed song. Absolutely one of the best songs of the last few years. Very catchy, love it. Well known in Canada I believe they are becoming more popular in America because of youtube. Check them out, I think you will like them.
I know some people are going crazy right now. To be honest I am not a huge Stryper fan myself, but that being said I almost made them number one. Because the fact is they deserve it. Formed in 1983 they are a California metal band. Yes they are metal but they have just done so much for the christian rock genre. In the 80’s Stryper was extremely popular with all metal fans. The band opened up for big acts of the 80’s, such as RATT and Bon Jovi. They were an openly christian band that did a lot to show mainstream america that christian rock musicians were as good as any. Of course the band was heavily criticized by many christians. Which actually makes me a little sad. A group of guys love god and love music. Combine the two into a career, and are criticized for bringing positive messages, and the word of God to the masses.
Skillet was formed in the 90’s in Tennessee. There classic rock sound with great lyrics and musicianship makes them the number one christian rock band. They are known as the hardest working christian rock band out there, with an incredible touring schedule. Full of energy and with their awesome lyrics this band is deserving of the number one title. Check out their video below, they have a lot of great songs. Please explore.