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Raised By Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock & Roll Paperback – November 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550224212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550224214
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An insider's look at the birth, evolution, and growing popularity of Christian rock music. As the counter-cultural movements of the sixties gathered steam, one of its first splinter groups was the Jesus freaks. In addition to culturally hip pastors, the scene produced a handful of musicians who brazenly coupled rock & roll music with lyrics that reflected a Christian world-view and often became an outright evangelistic tool. Jesus music was born.

Raised By Wolves is about this music. It traces the birth and growth of a genre that has married seeming opposites - Jesus and rock & roll - for 30 years. John J. Thompson looks at the social conditions in which this music developed and how it has been evolving in North America since the Jesus Movement of the sixties, including a look at contemporary Christian rock. He also looks at the artists behind this music, including groups like dc Talk, The Supertones, and crossover artists such as Jars of Clay, MxPx, and Sixpence None the Richer. These are the real rebels of rock & roll who live on the fringes in an underground Christian culture. One group, Sixpence None the Richer, recently scored two international hits with "Kiss Me" and "There She Goes." The band's self-titled album has also stormed the charts after seven years underground. Which one of the thousands of bands will be next?

From the Author

In 1989 JOHN J. THOMPSON opened True Tunes Etc., a cutting-edge music store located just outside of Chicago. Thompson founded his own band and his own record label and has produced two albums for independent bands. He has published articles about progressive Christian music, has contributed a chapter to a handbook for Christian musicians, and has written two short books.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul on November 23, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're trying to find detail on your favorite Christian pop stars, this really isn't the place. You will, however, find great information on those tenacious Christian music "artists". These artists, for the most part, came on-scene before contemporary Christian music was well accepted. They had, out of necessity, to develop their own ministry and distribution systems. They kept their stuff a bit too controversial for the mainstream --both mainstreams. They were too Christian for the secular market, but too edgy for mainstream Christians. The artists Raised By Wolves concentrate on really show some of the better work in Christian music. I made lots of great discoveries in the book.
This all is not to say other artists aren't mentioned. Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk, and more, get very positive reviews, too. I bought the book because I'm questing for Christian music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Benz on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent source of dates and names. However, it is lacking personal glimpses into the lives of the artists. We find out the songs and albums produced by a number of Christian artists (and those preferring not be identified as a Christian artist) but the book is almost completely devoid of personal interviews with the artists or profiles of their life experiences and influences.
The book is useful as an encyclopedia of the history of Christian rock and roll but begs a follow-up book profiling more in depth some of the artists such as Terry Taylor, Steve Taylor, Larry Norman, and Phil Keaggy.
Also, a minor note here but the author also drops the name of his band (The Wayside) more often than the band's success to date would warrant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Fromer on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a long overdue look at the world of music made by people of faith. An interesting read as well as encyclopedic in its breadth. The author does a wonderful job of detailing the little-known world of "Christian" rock, and in so doing introduces the reader to many overlooked, underrated artists in a much-maligned "sub-genre." Stories of great artists pigeonholed and subsequently confined to the "Christian ghetto" mingle with stories of those who broke out into the mainstream - and we're talking about the likes of Dylan, U2, Bruce Cockburn, and T-Bone Burnett here - NOT the usual fare of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, thank you.
Recommended to anyone who thinks they'd never be caught dead listening to "Christian" music: you might be surprised to find that such unfamiliar names as Mike Knott, Terry Taylor, Mark Heard, the 77s, The Choir, and Adam Again (to name a few) provide music as honest and relevant as anything offered up by Elvis Costello or as creative as anything produced by Pink Floyd or the Talking Heads.
Recommended to anyone who thinks they're a big fan of Christian music because they really like Jars of Clay, DC Talk or The Newsboys: there's a whole world that you have yet to discover, and you owe it to yourself to take a good look at the "underground" that made bands like those I just mentioned possible.
And finally, to anyone who's suffered as a fan with the same frustrations that many of these artists have confronted: finally, someone's told the whole story!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Doyle on October 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Raised By Wolves, by John J. Thompson, was a thoroughly disappointing read. Expecting a fair, comprehensive look behind the Christian music scene over the last 30 years, I was surprised to find the book very one-sided, much like a newspaper editorial. The "cooler-than-thou" author thumbs his nose at some of the biggest names in Christian music, relegating them to a paragraph's worth of note (almost parenthetical), while devoting pages to bands like U2. No argument that U2's success was phenomenal, but I fail to see what effect they really had on Christian music, in general, or spreading the Gospel. Meanwhile, artists and bands like Allies, John Elefante, Mark Farner, Idle Cure, Jag, Legend Seven, Liaison, Mastedon, PFR, Ruscha, Skillet, Switchfoot, and Matthew Ward get little, if any, credit in this book. I spent most of the weekend focusing on what I didn't like about this book, like the author's personal taste in music. Sure, the 80's group Daniel Amos was okay, but they are mentioned throughout the book as if they were to Christian rock what the Beatles were to secular rock and roll. Maybe they were in Mr. Thompson's mind. The book reads more like a longwinded editorial about the evils and perils of the Christian music industry, or an indictment of mainstream CCM, at the very least. I am not sure how the author overlooked Mark Farner when he seems totally enamored with other secular rockers who converted and began recording Christian rock. Don't be fooled by the endorsement of Glenn Kaiser (Rez) on the back cover. Upon reading page after page about Rez Band, Jesus People USA and the Cornerstone Festival, it will become apparent why Kaiser gave it such high marks. I only gave this book as high a rating as I did for all the work and research that went into putting it together. I won't be recommending it to anyone I actually like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Rimmer on October 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
In these days of a Nashville-centric Christian music scene, it was refreshing to read John's book and remember that it wasn't always this way. The history of what we now call CCM is very complex and every author has his own foibles and favourites when it comes to writing about the significant artists who have made a contribution. What I really like about John's approach is that he has managed to stretch out beyond the usual suspects to a wider frame of reference. Sometimes it does become a little bit of a CCM trainspotter's paradise as John seems intent on listing so much music by so many artists. For me, the accusations of a lack of depth when profiling artists are far outweighed by the fact that the scope of his writing extends way beyond Nash-Vegas and anyway if you want artist profiles, fan type interest etc etc, read CCM magazine or other books! John is attempting a serious overview of the scene and just how we got here.
As a Brit, it's also refreshing to find an American who recognises that some of the best Christian music in the world has actually been recorded on these shores! And that for me is the crux of the issue, John demonstrates his wide knowledge of his subject, thorough research skills and solid writing style to deliver a book that takes you on a journey through the formative years of Christian music to see that some of the very foundations of the industry, some of its theology and thinking and approaches are actually flawed. He's not alone in thinking this but still it all rumbles on...
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