Friday, September 11, 2020

Flashback Friday

 Its Friday again... time to be like Doctor Who and jump into TARDIS to go back to talk about Contemporary Christian Music in the 80's & 90's.

This week, I want to feature a Christian rock group from Minnesota, PFR. Though they never reached to level of success that a lot of our featured artists have attained, it seems important to feature a group with "local connections". 

PFR was founded in 1989 as the Joel Hanson Band by Joel Hanson, who was a camp counselor at Camp Shamineau, a Christian youth camp just outside of Motley, MN.  Patrick Andrew suggested the band change the name to "Pray for Rain" after a line from a poem. In 1992, the band released Pray for Rain, and gained some attention with the song "Do You Want to Know Love". Shortly after releasing the first album, an existing band (an instrumental group who did soundtrack work) known as Pray for Rain threatened a lawsuit, leading the band to settle on the name PFR

In 1993, PFR released their second album, Goldie's Last Day, whose title track was inspired by the passing of Patrick Andrew's pet golden retriever. One of my favorite PFR songs came off this album, "That Kind of Love"...

Also in 1993, the band recorded a cover of "We Can Work It Out" by The Beatles with guitar legend Phil Keaggy. PFR released their third album, Great Lengths in 1994. The album had the band's biggest hit, "The Love I Know", inspired by I Corinthians 13. The Great Lengths tour introduced a new band, Jars of Clay, who would become one of the most popular Christian groups to date, also enjoying great mainstream success.

Having changed musical direction with each album, PFR moved into an edgier, heavy sound for 1996's Them. While the album was well-received, the band shortly afterward announced that they were splitting up. In 1997, The Late Great PFR was released, a greatest hits album containing three new songs, with one, "Forever" becoming a Christian radio hit.

PFR disbanded in 1997, they reunited in 2000 and have since recorded two albums and performed several shows.

 In 2012, PFR performed the "PFR Twelve in 2012" tour. Their first show was at Joel's home church, The Church of the Open Door, in Maple Grove, Minnesota on January 27, 2012. In December 2012, PFR released a 13-track, live album entitled Minneapolis. This album was made available exclusively as a digital download.

In 2013, PFR reunited once again and played the main stage at the Sonshine Festival in Willmar, Minnesota, but unfortunately announced on October 16, 2013 that the band had once again disbanded, for the first time, permanently, since 1997. 

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