CCM Hall of Fame: Daniel Amos
- Michael Ciani Contributing Writer
- 2004 10 Jan
“Why?” Terry Scott Taylor laughingly says that was the first thought to cross his mind when told that Daniel Amos, the band he has fronted for 28 years, was chosen for CCM’s Hall of Fame.
Originally hailing from the Calvary Chapel “Jesus Music” scene of 1970s California, Taylor, Jerry Chamberlain, Greg Flesch, Tim Chandler and Ed McTaggart are collectively known as Daniel Amos (also known as DA and Da), a name derived from two Old Testament prophets. The band began as a country-turned-new wave act and, by the early ‘80s, led the way as a pioneering alternative-rock band. Years ahead of its time, DA’s musical creativity and lyrical depth was virtually unparalleled in Christian or mainstream music. A darling of critics, yet for the most part ignored by the Christian music industry and record-buying public, DA has never had a gold album, never cracked the Top 10 on Christian radio charts and never won a GRAMMY or even a Dove Award. (“Maybe it’s a compliment,” Taylor says with a mischievous chuckle.)
The band’s history includes work with many other California-spawned Christian music legends such as Mark Heard, Randy Stonehill, Mike Roe (The 77s), Larry Norman and Steve Hindalong and Derri Daugherty (The Choir). DA’s always adventurous members even formed a side project in 1988 called The Swirling Eddies, which released four tongue-in-cheek albums and is currently “talking about” recording another. Taylor has also recorded as a solo artist and is a founding member of Christian music supergroup The Lost Dogs (along with Roe, Daugherty and the late Gene Eugene), which continues to record and tour.
DA devotees remain steadfastly loyal to the group’s humorous, satirical, insightful, deeply spiritual, often evangelistic and always versatile work that has now persevered through three decades. Many — including Taylor himself — feel that 2001’s "Mr. Buechner’s Dream" is DA’s best album yet.
Though now relegated for “financial and logistical” reasons to only the occasional festival appearance, Daniel Amos goes on.
“It’s not like we’re out touring the world; but every time there’s an opportunity for us to be back together, we’re just ecstatic about it,” Taylor says. He mentions that the band is preparing to release a live DVD of an Anaheim concert from the early ‘80s and that he doesn’t believe “anyone in the band thinks that we’re going to stop making records. It’s just a pragmatic thing of finding the budget and the time.”
He adds, “I love it when the band gets this kind of recognition. The guys have worked hard all these years, and they deserve it. I’m honored by CCM’s choice; it really kind of caught me by surprise. I’ve learned not to expect things like this. Thank you!”
"Daniel Amos" (1976)
"Shotgun Angel" (1977)
"Horrendous Disc" (1981)
"Vox Humana" (1984)
"Fearful Symmetry" (1986)
"The Revelation" (1986)
"Darn Floor - Big Bite" (1987)
"Live Bootleg ‘82" (1990)
"Preachers from Outer Space" (1994)
"Songs of the Heart" (1995)
"Live at Cornerstone 2000" (2001)
"Mr. Buechner’s Dream" (2001)
CCM’s “25 Best Contemporary Christian Albums of All Time” — June 1988
No.19 "Shotgun Angel"
No. 20 "Horrendous Disc"
CCM’s Top 100 Albums of Christian Music History — July 1998
(no numerical ranking given)
© 2003 CCM Magazine. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Click here to subscribe.