Petra are one of Christian rocks' oldest  and most respected bands. Formed in 1972, the band took its name from the Greek word for "rock". With four decades of history behind them, the band has run the gamut of styles. The band has released over 20 studio albums and has experienced numerous lineup changes.
By the late 1990's there were no original members left in Petra. The band announced its retirement in 2005, but have played a handful of reunion shows since that time. In November 2010, a reunited form of the band's mid-1980s lineup, using the name Classic Petra, and released a CD.

Never Say Die/Washes Whiter Than Petra - Never Say Die/Washes Whiter Than (Star Song) 1979/1981

1. "The Coloring Song" (2:52)
2. "Chameleon" (5:47)
3. "Angel of Light" (4:21)
4. "Killing My Old Man" (3:46)
5. "Witout Him We Can Do Nothing" (3:26)
6. "Never Say Die" (3:42)
7. "I Can Be Friends With You" (4:12)
8. "For Annie" (4:24)
9. "Father of Lights" (3:02)
10. "Praise Ye the Lord" (3:18)
11. "I'm Thankful" (3:41)
12. "Why Should the Father Bother" (3:46)
13. "Morning Star" (4:47)
14. "Mary's Song" (4:00)
15. "Yahweh Love" (5:38)
16. "Taste & See" (3:23)
17. "Deep Love" (3:57)

This was one of the first Petra albums I had ever heard and purchased on my own. I found it back in the mid-90's in a bookstore in a clearance rack and decided to give it a shot. In the early 80's, when I was younger, many of the kids in my youth group were into Petra, but I never understood the appeal. At the time I was already getting into heavier stuff, so hearing Petra's smooth, glossy sound coupled with all those ballads just didn't do much for me. Well, after picking up this CD, I finally began to really appreciate this band. Besides being excellent musicians and songwriters, Petra's lyrics really spoke to me. Their lyrical direction was obviously aimed at building people up rather than tearing them down. There are some great, timeless classics on this disc like "The Coloring Song", "Chameleon," "Yahweh Love" and "Morning Star." This CD actually contains two albums on the one disc. This was Petra's third and fourth album respectively.

On Fire! Petra - On Fire! (Star Song) 1988

1. "All Fired Up" (4:30)
2. "Hit You Where You Live" (4:20)
3. "Mine Field" (4:28)
4. "First Love" (4:10)
5. "Defector" (4:30)
6. "Counsel of the Holy" (3:37)
7. "Somebody's Gonna Praise His Name" (4:02)
8. "Open Book" (4:28)
9. "Stand in the Gap" (4:10)
10. "Homeless Few" (4:33)

A very popular album for Petra that produced several CCM hits. This CD actually rocks pretty hard, and almost has a heavy metal sound. However, it's just a bit to happy to be considered heavy metal. The production by Dino Elefante and John Elefante is almost flawless. Favorite songs are the upbeat "All Fired Up", "Somebody's Gonna Praise His Name" and the ballad "First Love."

Beyond Belief
Petra - Beyond Belief
(Word) 1990

1.   "Armed and Dangerous" (4:06)
2.   "I Am on the Rock" (4:34)
3.   "Creed" (4:35)
4.   "Beyond Belief" (5:02)
5.   "Love" (4:11)
6.   "Underground" (4:29)
7.   "Seen and Not Heard" (3:54)
8.   "Last Daze" (5:01)
9.   "What's in a Name" (3:32)
10. "Prayer" (4:14)

"Beyond Belief" is Petra at their commercial prime. While I tend to prefer some of their 70's stuff a tad more to this very slickly produced arena rock stuff, there is no denying that Bob Hartman and Co. were at their prime here. Big drums, big guitars, big choruses and big production. Everything is here and this album should have been monumental. Of course it was a huge hit on Contemporary Christian Radio and even reached some rock radio, it would never be as massive as it could have been due to the very blatant and unapoligetic Christian lyrics. Petra were never ashamed of their faith and even less so about sharing that faith with their audience. Regardless, the album contained a bunch of hit singles including "Seen and Not Heard," "Beyond Belief." "Prayer," and "Creed."

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