I don’t think you can utter the words ‘praise and worship’ without uttering the word ‘Delirious?’ in the same sentence. There, I said it. Yes, this is my bold assertion. No it’s not Hillsong or even Chris Tomlin (both these two have been influential and instrumental in the praise and worship movement), nor is it Paul Baloche or even Tim Hughes. The founding ‘father’ if you will, of praise and worship music, even a founding father of ‘modern CCM’, would have to be Delirious?. Yes, the 5 piece British outfit who impacted the world stage back during the 1990s and the 2000s. Yes, that same Delirious? Then, again…maybe I’m a little bias, right? I mean after all, Delirious?, alongside Carman, has shaped my years in my own tastes of music as I grew up, and taught me all there was to know in my formative years about Christianity…so I guess this statement of Delirious? being one of the pioneers of the modern praise and worship movement, can be a bit of a stretch, right? Maybe, maybe I am just tapping into a little bit of nostalgia for a little. Maybe I am further off the mark than I’ve ever been, and Delirious? aren’t the founding ‘fathers’ as I assumed they were. Nevertheless, Delirious? (headed by Martin Smith as lead singer, Stu G. as guitarist, Stew Smith (and later Paul Evans) on drums, Jon Thatcher on bass and Tim Jupp on keys) has been with me on this journey of life and the mark they have had on Christian music, and maybe even to a broader extent, mainstream music; cannot be denied. Even during their tenure of 17 years as a band, the quintet have given to us songs of healing and hope, of poignancy and power- put it this way: had the band not exist, how would the worship landscape and the ability to create worship and praise music, how would that have changed? Would we have more free expressions of worship, people discovering new ways of delivering praise to our Father who certainly deserves such glory and honour? If Delirious? wasn’t as successful as they were, if their songs didn’t touch as many people as it did, frankly, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. Frankly, in all honesty, we ought not to give thanks for bands and artists like Chris Tomlin and Hillsong for paving the way of CCM and worship music (they very much indeed continued along the way), but rather, in my bold opinion, Delirious? by far ought to be congratulated- taking risks and daring to grab the chance of singing something bold and powerful, it is only when artists travel outside the box, like Delirious?, that they can be influential to music and society. Yes, it has been 11 years since the band played their last concert, and 12 years since their latest album. But also yes, the band has shaped CCM like I’m sure we’ve never seen before. Delirious? will forever be my favourite group/band, ever. It is in the impact of the songs on the people that I can safely say that this British band from Southampton, England, carried with it an ability to put worship into song in a way that I don’t think anyone has come before them, and I don’t think anyone would come after, as well (though I do think veteran CCM/worship singer/songwriter Jason Ingram comes close!).
Continue reading MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 38: DELIRIOUS?