It started in 1982 in Orange County, California when brothers Robert and Michael Sweet formed a rock band called Roxx Regieme. Guitarist Oz Fox came on board in '83. The same year Kenny Metcalf witnessed to the band and, feeling that God had called them to play music for Him, the band changed their name to Stryper (Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness). Bassist Tim Gaines was added to the line-up and the band signed with Enigma.
Their first album, an EP called Yellow and Black Attack
, released in July of 1984 but it wasn't until the summer of 1985, when their first full-length album, Soldier Under Command
, hit the streets that Stryper became a household name in the world of metal.
Through the next few years, though they had a change in labels and they faced a great deal of criticism from some Christians for being too worldly and from some non-Christians for being too Christian, Stryper continued to make hit records.
In January of 1992, Michael Sweet left Stryper to pursue a solo career. After a year of continuing on as a three piece, Robert Sweet, Oz Fox and Tim Gaines went their separate ways musically. Tim Gaines and Robert Sweet joined Christian guitar player Rex Carrol in the band King James for one album. Oz Fox stayed out of the limelight for about three years, only making occasional guest appearances with bands like JC & The Boyz, Bride, and Ransom.
In 1995 Oz and Tim came together again to form Sin Dizzy, and released one album. Tim started working with his wife on her music in 2000. Robert tried his hand at a solo career and then joined Blissed in 2003.
In 2000, Stryper came together on stage again for their first full set in nine years in Costa Rica. 2001 saw the band playing a handful of events, but they weren't back together full time by any stretch.
Two years later, in 2003, Hollywood Records approached Michael Sweet about releasing a "Best of" album. In only a matter of weeks, the band was back in the studio, adding two new songs to the release. Things went well and the old passions were ignited and that fall Stryper embarked on a 35 city "20 Year Reunion" tour and released a live CD titled 7 Weeks: Live In America as well as a DVD. In 2004 Tim Gaines left the band and Tracy Ferrie joined Stryper as their new bass player but after five years, Tim returned for the 25th Anniversary Tour and has been back on bass ever since.
Stryper has sold more than 8 million records worldwide in their history. They were the first Christian band with certified double-platinum sales. The group’s RIAA-certified platinum 1986 release To Hell with the Devil was selected as one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine. Two other albums were certified RIAA gold: Soldiers Under Command (1985) and In God We Trust (1988), with both releases spending several weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart.
As the first Christian rock band to enjoy any real success in the mainstream market, Stryper was regularly seen on MTV and VH1. They also received coverage in Rolling Stone, Time, Spin and Newsweek. Not bad for a garage band from Orange County!
- The Covering, February 15, 2011
- Murder By Pride, 2009
- The Roxx Regime Demos, 2007 (Compare Prices)
- Reborn, 2005 (Compare Prices)
- 7 Weeks: Live in America, 2003 (Compare Prices)
- 7: The Best of Stryper, 2003 (Compare Prices)
- Can't Stop The Rock, 1991 (Compare Prices)
- Against The Law, 1990 (Compare Prices)
- In God We Trust, 1988 (Compare Prices)
- To Hell With The Devil, 1986 (Purchase/Download)
- The Yellow And Black Attack, 1986 (Compare Prices)
- Soldiers Under Command, 1985 (Purchase/Download)
- The Yellow And Black Attack (EP), 1984
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