Washes Whiter Than is the third album from Christian rock band Petra. It was released in 1979 by Star Song Records. It is the first album to feature Greg X. Volz as the official lead singer of the band, although musician Rob Frazier is the lead vocalist in three songs.
After the release of Come and Join Us, and their subsequent release from Myrrh Records, Petra suffered their first major lineup change. First, Greg Hough and John DeGroff left the band. Rob Frazier was then hired as guitarist and keyboardist, but as they began to work on their third album, drummer Bill Glover also left. Hartman then approached singer Greg X. Volz for help, and the trio continued to tour and work on an album.
As the band continued to perform, they were signed by a new label called Star Song Records. The band also decided to take a nine-month sabbatical to ponder the direction to follow. As they returned to the studio, Hartman, Frazier, and Volz worked with a group of session musicians to record Washes Whiter Than. Recording was done at Bee Jay Recording Studios in Orlando, Florida, while mastering was done by Allen Zentz Recording in Hollywood, California.
Despite one radio hit, Washes Whiter Than didn't sell that well. This was largely because of distribution problems that prevented copies of the record from reaching the stores until demand had subsided. Star Song later reissued the album on a 2-on-1 CD package with 1981's Never Say Die. This resulted in the songs "(Couldn't Find Love) Without You" and "Magic Words" being cut out to save space.
Washes Whiter Than marked a further departure from the band's former country/southern style. Instead, the album carries a more mellow tone that leans more on ballads and soft rock. This was an attempt from the band to distance themselves from the controversy caused by the harder style of their previous albums.
The lyrics are also less evangelistic, but aimed more towards their bigger fanbase of young Christians. Four of the songs were written and sung by Rob Frazier, while the rest where written by Bob Hartman and sung by Greg X. Volz.
The album produced the band's first radio hit in "Why Should the Father Bother?" while also giving more musical credibility to the band with its toned-down style.
All songs written by Bob Hartman, except where noted.
- "I'm Thankful" – 2:41
- "Why Should the Father Bother?" – 3:46
- "Morning Star" (Words & Music by Rob Frazier) – 4:47
- "Magic Mirror" – 3:27
- "Mary's Song" (Words & Music by Frazier) – 4:00
- "Yahweh Love" – 5:38
- "(Couldn't Find Love) Without You" (Words & Music by Frazier) – 4:19 *
- "Taste and See" – 3:23
- "Magic Words" (Words & Music by Frazier) – 3:27 *
- "Deep Love" – 3:57
- Bob Hartman – Lead and rhythm guitar, vocals
- Rob Frazier – Guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Greg X. Volz – Vocals
- Bob Prince – "The Crown Of Sound"
- George Atwell – Keyboards, strings and horn arrangement
- Gerald "Jit" Byron – Guitar
- Joel Balin – Guitar
- Chip Meyers – Bass
- Randy Nichols – Drums, percussion
Recording and production
- George Werth – Album design and artwork
- Washes Whiter Than on Wikipedia