Music Wordcloud

As we have been flipping through our CDs and selecting CDs for our five disc player, I have been reflecting on the music that influenced me the most throughout my life. I thought I would share with you a similar series as I did on books that influenced me over the years. This week, we discuss the rhythms and harmonies of the early nineties. What songs were playing while I worked on my college homework or attended concerts and coffee houses at Taylor University?

My music tastes both diversified and found focus during college. My passion for 80s music, Christian Rock, and Metal continued. I heard so much new music during college, attended so many live concerts, and found music I really spoke to me during college, I purchased so many cassettes and CDs, and have music I continue to listen to today. Here is music that I listen to heavily still today and have so much in my music library.


Petra album covers

My step-dad introduced me to Petra during high school and I really fell in love with their maturing musical style and their lyrics. I saw them in concert live three times while attending Taylor and have seen them numerous time since college. My step-dad and I even attended their “final” concert and dinner with the band before classic Petra started and the band came together again. I love all their musical styles from Petra “Petra” to Petra “Petra Praise” to Petra “Jekyll and Hyde.” They wander from a 70s country fried rock to a mellow rock to 80s rock to praise music, to a 90s/2000s hard rock, and I have enjoyed them all.


Rush album covers

While I was introduced to Rush in high school, they were just one classic rock band among many that I listened to and enjoyed then. But in my junior year of college, I made a new friend on the floor (Jason) who was passionate about Rush. We spent hours listening to Rush and discussing the depth of their lyrics. Neil Peart speaks to my soul and I was greatly impacted by his passing. Jason and I started alternating who purchased Rush CDs, so combined we slowly built a catalog of all their albums. Over the years, Jason and I have attended numerous Rush concerts together and we still discuss their music when something references a song in our minds.

King’s X

King's X album covers

While at Taylor, I was introduced to so many more amazing Christian metal and hard rock bands (Holy Soldier, X-Sinner, Bloodgood, Daniel Band, Stryper), but one stands out above all else, King’s X. Yet again, my friend Jason introduced me to King’s X and I was instantly a huge fan. Their vocal harmonies, the driving rhythms, and the lyrical storytelling are so amazing and surprise many of my friends who are not into heavy metal when I introduce them. Jason and I have seen King’s X in concert together a couple times over the years. Like Rush, I have so many of their songs memorized and instantly recallable.

Dr. Demento and “Weird Al” Yankovic

Dr. Demento and Weird Al

Growing up with my friend, Mari, we often listened to funny songs like The Purple People Eater, Junk Food Junkie, and the Monster Mash and these crazy parody songs by some guy named Weird Al. Yet we had no idea who Dr. Demento was at the time. In college, I was introduced to the Dr. Demento show and fell in love with the insane songs, and really got into the parodies and polka of Weird Al. I have a Dr. Demento Greatest Hits I like to listen to at times and always enjoy a Weird Al song when I need cheered up. “White & Nerdy” could be a personal anthem of my geeky life, and it made me fall in love with Donnie Osmond while watching the video outtakes.

That gives you a few beats from the #CollegeKnight’s listening habits that continue to influence me today. What music influenced you just after high school?

Check back next week as we delve into the earworms of an early married life #AdultKnight.

What music influenced a #CollegeKnight?

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