Petra is a music group regarded as a pioneer of the Christian rock and contemporary Christian music genres.

Formed in 1972, the band took its name from the Greek word for “rock”. Though they disbanded formally in 2006, incarnations of Petra have played reunion shows in the years since and released an album in November 2010. In 2013, the band returned from retirement with a new drummer Cristian Borneo and recorded a new song titled “Holy is Your Name”, as well as going back on tour.

With a style initially similar to The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Petra’s sound evolved into a more energetic, driving rock sound in the early 1980s akin to Foreigner, Styx and Journey. Throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, Petra was one of the world’s most popular Christian rock bands, with each of its albums during that period selling hundreds of thousands of copies while the band sold out arenas and regularly placed songs at the top of Christian radio charts. With its lyrics, music and style, Petra influenced numerous other artists at a time when Christian rock experienced strong opposition from many conservative pastors and churches.

In more than three decades, the band experienced numerous lineup changes yet released 20 studio albums, as well as three Spanish-language and two live albums, selling nearly 10 million copies while being nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning four, and winning 10 Dove Awards. Its biggest hit, “The Coloring Song,” reached the top position on three Christian radio charts simultaneously, and at its peak, the band’s tours rivaled Amy Grant’s in popularity among Christian audiences. Petra was the first rock band inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the first Christian band whose memorabilia was included in the Hard Rock Cafe restaurant chain.

The band announced its retirement in 2005, launching a farewell tour that was recorded for release on CD and DVD. Petra’s 33-year career ended with a performance in the early hours of January 1, 2006, in Murphy, North Carolina. However, the band has continued to perform sporadically since then. In November 2010, an incarnation of the band’s mid-1980s lineup surfaced under the name Classic Petra. They released an album, Back to the Rock, featuring two new songs as well as re-recordings of hits from that era. The band released a companion live CD and DVD in 2011.

Selected Discography

Back To The Street

Star Song 1986

Tracks: Back To The Street, You Are I Am, Shakin’ The House, King’s Ransom, Whole World, Another Crossroad, Run For Cover, Fool’s Gold, Altar Ego & Thankful Heart.

Musicians on the Back To The Street album: Bob Hartman, Mark Kelly, John Lawry, John Schlitt, Louie Weaver & John Elefante.

Beat The System

Star Song 1984

Tracks: Beat The System, Computer Brains, Clean, It Is Finished, Voice In The Wind, God Gave Rock And Roll To You, Witch Hunt, Hollow Eyes, Speak To The Sky & Adonai.

Musicians on the Beat The System album: Bob Hartman, Mark Kelly, Greg X. Volz, John Lawry, Louie Weaver, Rhett Lawrence & Carl Marsh.

Not Of This World

Star Song 1983

Tracks: Visions (Doxology), Not Of This World, Bema Seat, Grave Robber, Blinded Eyes, Not By Sight, Lift Him Up, Pied Piper, Occupy, Godpleaser & Visions (Reprise) (Doxology).

Musicians on the Not Of This World album: Bob Hartman, Mark Kelly, John Slick, Greg X. Volz, Louie Weaver & Mike Brignardello.

Never Say Die

Star Song 1981

Tracks: The Coloring Song, Chameleon, Angel Of Light, Killing My Old Man, Without Him We Can Do Nothing, Never Say Die, I Can Be Friends With You, For Annie, Father Of Lights & Praise Ye The Lord.

Musicians on the Never Say Die album: Bob Hartman, Mark Kelly, John Slick, Greg X Volz, Keith Edwards, Alex MacDougall, Joe Miller & Bob Welborn.

Washes Whiter Than

Star Song 1979

Tracks: I’m Thankful, Why Should The Father Brother ?, Morning Star, Magic Mirror, Mary’s Song, Yahweeh Love, (Couldn’t Find Love) Without You, Taste And See, Magic Words & Deep Love.

Musicians on the Washes Whiter Than album: Rob Frazier, Bob Hartman, Greg X Volz, George Atwell, Joel Balin, Gerald Byron, Chip Meyers & Randy Nichols.

Come And Join Us

Myrrh Records 1977

Tracks: God Gave Rock And Roll To You, Ask Him In, Sally, Without You I Would Surely Die, Come And Join Us, Where Can I Go, Holy Ghost Power, Woman Don’t You Know & God Gave Rock And Roll To You (Reprise).

Musicians on the Come And Join Us album: John DeGroff, Bill Glover, Bob Hartman, Greg Hough, Steve Camp, Allen C. Hornung, Steve McElyea, Steve Mergen, Steve Pfeiffer, Austin Roberts & Greg X Volz.

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