The Yellow & Black Attack is Back!
By Steve Henricksen
That’s right, The Yellow and Black Attack is back in a BIG way ~ Stryper is about to embark in a string of select tour dates world- wide and they’ll be touching down at Showcase Live at Gillette Stadium on May 25 for an all ages show.
Stryper is one of the few bands from the decadent ‘80s that still features all its original members. They continue to tour the world and produce Billboard-charting albums. Brothers Michael Sweet and Robert Sweet, along with Oz Fox and Timothy Gaines, make up the legendary hard rock quartet.
With a 25 year career (and still counting!) to their credit, Stryper is considered to be a groundbreaking act on all accounts. They are one of the first Christian rock bands to achieve unprecedented success in the mainstream. Stryper, as their many fans know, stands for Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness. The Isaiah 53:5 under their logo is the bible verse that states “…by His stripes we are healed.” The band ~ a combination of message and musical mayhem, certainly earned their stripes on the Los Angeles metal club circuit and, in 1984, after hiring Gaines as their bass player, signed with Enigma Records to release their debut mini-album, The Yellow And Black Attack (Y&BA).
Their first full-length release, Soldiers Under Command (SUC), sold over half a million units worldwide in the eighties, and stayed on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart for over forty weeks. Their 1986 album To Hell With The Devil is listed among CCM’s “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.” A bit of a departure from the hard-rocking tunes that Stryper’s core audience has come to expect, their power ballad “Honestly”(admit it, you can still sing the entire song!) became a Billboard Top 20 hit and reached Number 1 on MTV. Their pop-rock hit “Calling On You” also entered MTV’s Top 10 at the same time as “Honestly,” making the band one of the first to have two top 10 videos on MTV. 1988 saw the near-platinum release of In God We Trust (IGWT), as well as renewed success for the band on MTV, which was bombarded by thousands of phone requests for “Always There For You.”
Even as recently as 2010 and 2011, Stryper has been a presence on the Billboard charts with their albums Reborn, Murder by Pride and The Covering.
“After almost 30 years in this business, we are blessed to be able to continue doing what we love most – making music,” shares Michael Sweet, lead singer/ lead guitarist and songwriter. “God has blessed us with talents and abilities so we plan to continue on this path as long as God calls us to do so.”
And those of us who have been Stryper fans since we first caught a glimpse of those famous striped tights or realized that “Honestly” was one of the best ballads to come out of the 80s hope that’s a good long time.
Photo (top): Stryper during their The Yellow And Black Attack years
Photo (bottom): Stryper in 2012
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