Mark Joseph’s soon-to-be-published book, “Rock Gets Religion: The Battle for the Soul of the Devil’s Music,” is on fire.
It’s already No. 1 on Amazon among Christian Music titles and No. 17 in Rock Music.
And it’s still nearly two weeks away from its publication date.
The book explains how “the religious and religiously influenced are now commonplace in the music scene.”
Is it that good?
A few recognizable names think so.
“Mark Joseph has been a key voice in the transformation of American popular music; in this book, his final in a three-part series, he shows us how the transformation happened and outlines a vision for the future of the unlikely alliance of rock music and serious faith,” explains Gary Cherone, lead singer of Extreme and Van Halen.
“‘Rock Gets Religion’ is a long overdue and brilliantly written book about art that expresses relationships not just with a higher power but in many cases with Jesus Christ. … Mark Joseph has written a must-read book that brings to light the kind of music that has been etched forever in time,” added John Elefante, lead singer of Kansas.
“Rock is at its most exhilarating when it’s asking those big questions of our existence, and I’ve been honored to have my songs of praise to Him happen in the center of the rock music culture and not in the religious basement of pop culture. ‘Rock Gets Religion’ is a stirring call to all of us to occupy until His return, and work hard to make the greatest music the world has ever heard,” said Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed.
Joseph produced the official soundtrack for “The Passion of the Christ” and is a multi-media producer with accomplishments in music, film, commentary and television.
He explained in a recent interview that there was a time when religion had no place in rock music. But those days are gone.
“In the early days, rock and religion were like mortal enemies,” Joseph said in an interview with Chicago’s “Mancow Morning Show.” “It turned into that, and part of it was the religious guys didn’t want rock in the tent, and they were going to burn records and do the whole thing until the rock guys returned fire and said, ‘Fine, we’ll make songs about Satan!’ So you had this tense relationship for 20 or 30 years, and it’s changing.”
His new book, “Rock Gets Religion: The Battle for the Soul of the Devil’s Music,” explains how a bevy of religious and religiously influenced artists have found acceptance and success in the contemporary mainstream music scene.
This includes many hip-hop artists, such as Chance the Rapper. People may think hip-hop is anti-God, but plenty of rappers come from a church background, according to Joseph.
What’s more, iconic 1980s pop stars Prince and Michael Jackson were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses. In his book, Joseph shares the story of one man who opened his front door in 1991 and was surprised to see Jackson going door-to-door with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
These are only a few examples of the takeover of the mainstream music industry by devout recording artists.
“When you and I were teenagers, it was like the rock guys who loved God were shuffled off into Christian rock – ‘Hey, go over there and make songs; we don’t want to hear from you,'” Joseph said to host Erich “Mancow” Muller. “It wasn’t a tolerant atmosphere. Today, it’s much more tolerant. You can be in the mainstream; you can be an Alice Cooper, you can be a [Dave] Mustaine, you can be a Chance the Rapper and be in the mainstream music scene.”
Watch Joseph’s interview with the Chicago radio shock jock here:
Leith Nash, lead for Sixpence None The Richer, said, “From someone who’s been in the mines, ‘Rock Gets Religion’ is a very engaging and accurate depiction of the history and state of the union between faith and rock music.”
And longtime artist Phil Keaggy added: “Mark Joseph’s research into the lives and accomplishments of artists reveals some very poignant discoveries, such as the roots of faith and the diverse detours that lay ahead for those pursuing their dreams. We are spiritual beings and what and who we worship must come out into the open eventually. I am thankful that God our creator cannot be boxed in or limited because of tradition and status, or the approval of a few. Sit back and enjoy ‘Rock Gets Religion’.”