Sunday, December 19, 2021

"I Believe in You" by Stryper

Song#:  3706
Date:  11/05/1988
Debut:  97
Peak:  88
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Contemporary Christian, Glam Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's fourth album, In God We Trust, would end up being a #32 gold seller that reached #5 on the Christian Albums chart. It got a boost from MTV where the video for its first single "Always There for You" got some heavy airplay. Unfortunately, that didn't necessarily translate into a mainstream hit with the single only reaching #71 on the Pop chart. Hoping for a better result, this next single was released. It couldn't get a leg up and stalled even lower on the chart. Still, a gold record by a CCM glam rock band was quite the accomplishment even though it was a drop from the platinum status of their previous LP To Hell with the Devil.

ReduxReview:  With the pop/rock tune "Always There for You" stalling early, Stryper then sent out this power ballad to get them back in the Pop Top 40, but it didn't work out. This really isn't a bad song. I just think it couldn't compete with tougher power ballads coming from the likes of Poison and others. In fact, this one sounds like a leftover track from an early 80s Styx album. Michael Sweet's vocals were even reminiscent of ones by Styx's Dennis DeYoung. Overall it kind of sounded old-fashioned for the glam late 80s and it just didn't click with mainstream listeners.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  After In God We Trust, the band was having a hard time trying to navigate the treacherous waters between CCM and mainstream pop/rock. Their next effort, 1990's Against the Law, had them floating more away from CCM themes and even changing their looks and logo. The LP also had an usual first single with the band covering Earth, Wind & Fire's 1975 #1 hit "Shining Star." Needless to say, none of it worked. The single failed to make the Pop chart and the album stalled at #39 Pop and #25 Christian. The results and struggles within the band led to them splitting up in '93. Lead singer Michael Sweet would start a solo career and his 1994 self-titled debut LP would do well reaching #4 on the Christian chart. Of course, Stryper would later reunite and beginning in 2005 would release a series of albums that all save one made the Christian Top 10. All of them also reached the Pop Albums chart. Sweet would continue to maintain a solo career as well with a few of his LPs reaching the Christian Top 10 along with the Pop chart.


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