’80s Christian Essentials

’80s Christian Essentials

At the dawn of the ’80s, contemporary Christian music was barely a decade old and something only believers consumed. By decade’s end, however, the swiftly rising profiles of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith had the movement standing on the edge of mainstream acceptance. In that time, CCM’s emphasis on lush, oftentimes gospel-kissed ballads (see Sandi Patty) made room for many new flavors. In addition to DC Talk’s streetwise hip-hop, there was Newsboys’ MTV-inspired edginess and Petra’s embrace of synthesizers and hair-metal riffs. These represented clear signs that the genre had its eyes set on the youth-driven pop market.

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