ApologetiX: Repurposing Classic Rock Performances for the Glory of God (or at Least the Enjoyment of Some Christians)

There’s a Christian band named ApologetiX. They started in the 90’s. Their thing is recreating classic rock recordings, but overlaid with Christian lyrics that tell a new story.

I first encountered them about fifteen years ago when I heard (on the radio, I think), their song Triune Godhead. They recreate the Stones’ classic Satisfaction, but with words that cite Scripture and make an argument for the Trinity of God.

They match the musical arrangement and the energy of the original. The concept may sound dubious, but they pull it off. Give it a listen.

(If you don’t know the recording they’re repurposing, it’s here. Satisfaction was the number one pop song in the world during 1965, or so I’ve been told. Otis Redding’s cover also deserves honorable mention.)

In this, the first of their songs that I heard, they achieve the purpose of their name. This is apologetics for the divinity of Christ and the Trinity of God.

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They say their works are parodies of classic rock. I don’t think “parody” is quite the right word. A parody generally makes fun of the original, but ApologetiX ignores the original, except to reproduce the musical style. Their songs are more accurately described as repurposing of the originals.

Back when I learned that The Tube archives songs I searched for ApologetiX but found nothing but brief clips. No full recordings. I gave up for several years.

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A few days ago I searched again. This time I hit the jackpot. Full ApologetiX songs are all over the Interwebs:

Bible O’Really  (based on the Who’s Baba O’Riley.) Recorded live. The lead singer made himself look and sound like Roger Daltry. Sample lyrics: Change “Teenage wasteland” into “New Age waste can.”  Change “They’re all wasted!” into “They’re all atheists!”

Walk on the Water  (repurposing Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.)  You know: Christ walks on the water, He invites Peter to join Him,…

Born Again Child  (derived from Steppenwolf’s  Born to be Wild.)

Apparently this link has their complete oeuvre.

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I provide links to the originals because not everyone knows the canon of classic rock. The effect is greatly heightened if you know the original. If it’s the future and my links are broken, go to a search engine (preferably not the one that has taken over the world) and search for the band name and song title.

[Philosophical question: Is it ever the future?]

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In case the guys in the band are listening in: I’d like to hear what you can do with Closer to Home by the Grand Funk Railroad. Maybe “He’s your Captain,” and “I’m getting closer to Heaven”?  Just a thought J

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That’s enough of that, I think. If you like it, you’ll search for more on your own. If you hate it, you’ve already given up in disgust.

10 thoughts on “ApologetiX: Repurposing Classic Rock Performances for the Glory of God (or at Least the Enjoyment of Some Christians)

    • I’ll second that! And it stands inimitably authentic. I respectfully don’t prefer these derivative ‘repurposives’. They are counterfeits. Our pearl of great price is the real thing.

  1. Pingback: Repurposing Classic Rock – Carlos Carrasco

      • Some Rock is good. Much Rock is bad or indifferent.

        “Triune Godhead” does bring glory to God. Expressing truths about God, especially presenting arguments in support of them, glorifies God. The style is energetic and perhaps simplistic, but that only makes it not your cup of tea. It does not make it bad.

      • Taste is one thing. Many eat at McDonald’s. Early rock n roll was still musical. By which I mean, it rose to the level of making music, rather than just arranged noise, intentionally ugly. Later, that musicality evaporated, because its proponents — this happened in jazz and classical, too — were purposefully destructive. In their own words. When you listen (they are not worth really listening, but rather you are reacting to indicative sounds), you hear the result of their intention. Noise, hype, ugliness, a traducing of music.

  2. You don’t think “parody” is quite the right word, because a parody generally makes fun of the original?

    Quite often that is the motive for a parody, but parody as a technical term simply means the fitting of new words to existing music. Bach’s cantatas are full of parodies, done in no spirit of mockery, but just to meet the cantor’s Sunday deadline. Many of the choruses in Handel’s Messiah are parodies.

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