Saturday, July 06, 2013

When "Guitar Masses" became a chew toy

Bonnie Tyler, Call Your Office...
A very good discussion with many quotable quotes:
... "Where power ballads go, praise bands follow" ...

... "Yet smart pastors no longer shepherd their flocks in terms of equations like 'memorable sermon + rocking band = full collection plate'" ...
Patrick O'Hannigan, "Can Litugical Music Be Saved? - Reassessing the quarrel between the power ballad and the hymn" (The American Spectator, June 17, 2013):
Remember the power ballad? It was a subgenre of rock music pioneered by Boston in 1976 and Styx a year later. From near-symphonic beginnings in “More Than a Feeling” and “Come Sail Away,” the power ballad elbowed its way to prominence in the early Eighties.

Tom Scholz of Boston and Dennis DeYoung of Styx welded songwriting craftsmanship to imaginative orchestration and “wall of sound” microphone placements, mixing electric and acoustic guitars in tunes that did more than build to crescendos. Artists like Bonnie Tyler and REO Speedwagon then parlayed their own examples of the form into successful recording careers.

Power ballad pioneers play now in places like state fairs. But when the power ballad fell out of fashion, it found a home among the “praise bands” of “Christian Rock.” Where power ballads go, praise bands follow. That unabashedly Christian lyrics can be heard on FM radio is a good thing, but that power ballads also enabled praise bands to displace so many church choirs ought to give us pause. Power ballads are not hymns. That is precisely the problem with singing them during church services, even — perhaps especially— services aimed at younger people.

[Hat tip to JM]


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

I would much rather bring back the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love and all the other girl groups engineered by Phil Spector, a basket case who was also a pop music genius. You want choral magnificence? Listen to the Ronettes "Baby I Love You" or "Do I Love You" on Youtube. Pop music choral genius. Sure, being it into church, why not? Dub in "Jesus" for "baby." The kids'll love it. Maybe beehive space invader hair-dos will make a comeback. And for a change of pace, Jackie DiShannon "What the World Needs Now Is Love" as the communion processional. "Oh listen Lord, if you want to know . . ." Listen to Jackie, Lord, listen to Jackie!!!

I am not Spartacus said...

A new Catholic Church in my town features two HUGE video screens (and two smaller ones) bolted high up on the walls beside the sanctuary because there is no absurdity from the protestants mega churches we refuse to adopt.

True, there is no Bouncing Ball above the lyrics of Yahweh you are near, sung by the fat guitarist wearing a pony tail (no. I am not joking) still, such features at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are as apt as would be hiring an Organ Grinder and a monkey to perform at Mandelas' funeral - and that would never be done for fear of offending Cultural Marxists, but as for the fear of offending God?


Today's liturgists makes one think they lament that Jerry Jones (Cowboy Stadium) was not an Apostle rather than Saint John.