Album cover

Never Say Die is the fourth album from Christian rock band Petra. It was released in the fall of 1981 by Star Song Records. It is the first album to feature bassist Mark Kelly and keyboardist John Slick.

Album history[]

After the commercial failure of Washes Whiter Than and the departure of Rob Frazier, Bob Hartman considered breaking up the band. However, he met bassist Mark Kelly and keyboardist John Slick and invited them to join the band. The band also hired Jonathan David Brown and Mark Hollingsworth as producer and manager respectively.

The band recorded the album at Rivendell Sound Recorders in Pasadena, Texas. Session musician Keith Edwards was the drummer during the recording. Additional overdubs were handled at Martinsound and Whitefield Sound, in Alhambra and Santa Ana, California respectively. The album was also mixed at Whitefield Sound. Steve Hall was in charge of mastering the album at MCA/Whitney Recording Studio.

The album is also notable for starting several trends that the band would maintain through the 80's. First, the theme of "spiritual warfare" present in the military-themed cover and promotional pictures with the band members wearing camouflage clothes. And second, the cover featuring the flying guitar design by Randy Rogers, which would become a trademark of the band's artwork during the decade.

Star Song later reissued the album on a 2-on-1 CD package with 1979's Washes Whiter Than.

Musical style[]

Never Say Die represented another departure in style for Petra. The sound in this album is considerably heavier than Washes Whiter Than, and more rock-oriented than Come and Join Us. Their sound has been compared to bands like Styx, Kansas, or Foreigner. CCM Magazine also drew comparisons to Boston while calling the album "by far their finest to date."

"The Coloring Song" reached the top of four Christian radio charts: rock, adult contemporary, inspirational, and southern gospel. It eventually became the #3 Christian Adult Contemporary song of 1982, and the 14th highest-ranked single of the decade in the same category. The song remained on the radio charts for 14 months. "For Annie" also reached the top five on Christian radio in 24 markets.

After a successful tour in 1981, opening for the band Servant, Never Say Die became a commercial hit. It was the first Petra album to crack the Billboard Top 40 Inspirational LP's chart, debuting at #27 and peaking at #7 in April 1982. It remained on the charts until February 1983; more than 60 weeks after its debut.

Track listing[]

All songs written by Bob Hartman, except where noted.

  1. "The Coloring Song" (Words & Music by Dave Eden) – 2:52
  2. "Chameleon" – 5:47
  3. "Angel of Light" – 4:21
  4. "Killing My Old Man" – 3:46
  5. "Without Him We Can Do Nothing" (Words & Music by Greg X. Volz) – 3:26
  6. "Never Say Die" – 3:42
  7. "I Can Be Friends With You" – 4:12
  8. "For Annie" – 4:24
  9. "Father of Lights" – 3:02
  10. "Praise Ye the Lord" (Words & Music by Volz) – 3:18



Never Say Die promotional picture (l to r: Slick, Volz, Kelly, Hartman)

Additional musicians[]

Recording and production[]

Art design[]

External links[]