STRYPER: Against The law LP 1990 “Shining Star” (Earth, Wind & Fire cover), “Two Time Woman”, “Lady”. Check the exclusive video showing this LP for sale


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Check the exclusive video showing this LP for sale

Check the exclusive video showing this LP for sale

Stryper – Against The Law
Label: Enigma – ENVLP 1010
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: 1990
Style: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
A1 Against The Law 3:48
A2 Two Time Woman 3:38
A3 Rock The People 3:33
A4 Two Bodies (One Mind, One Soul) 5:15
A5 Not That Kind Of Guy 3:57
A6 Shining Star 4:21 Bass – Randy D. Jackson*

B1 Ordinary Man 3:51
B2 Lady 4:53
B3 Caught In The Middle 3:47
B4 All For One 4:29
B5 Rock The Hell Out Of You 3:33

Against the Law is the fifth release, and fifth studio album, from the Christian metal band Stryper, released on August 21, 1990. Three singles and videos were released for this album including “Shining Star” (an Earth, Wind & Fire cover), “Two Time Woman” and “Lady” but received minimal airplay.

This album marked a change in the musical and visual direction of the band. Gone were the yellow and black spandex outfits, the bold evangelical lyrics and the original band logo with Isaiah 53:5. In their place were leather outfits, and lyrics more focused on rock n’ roll and relationships, although arguably from a Christian worldview. The album sold poorly compared to the band’s previous gold and platinum releases.

Track listing :

All songs by Michael Sweet except where noted

  1. “Against the Law” – 3:49
  2. “Two Time Woman” – 3:40
  3. “Rock the People” – 3:34
  4. “Two Bodies (One Mind, One Soul)” – 5:17
  5. “Not That Kind of Guy” – 3:59
  6. Shining Star” (Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Maurice White) – 4:22   Earth, Wind & Fire COVER
  7. “Ordinary Man” – 3:51
  8. “Lady” – 4:53
  9. “Caught in the Middle” – 3:48
  10. “All for One” – 4:31
  11. “Rock the Hell Out of You” – 3:35


Additional musicians

  • Randy Jackson – bass guitar on “Shining Star”
  • John Purcell – keyboards
  • Jeff Scott Soto – background vocals
  • Brent Jeffers – drums, keyboards
  • Tom Werman – percussion
  • Tom Werman – producer

Tim Gaines said the album was titled Against the Law because it was, “our response to these religious folks who Christ said “They swallow a camel and strain on a gnat.”  In other words: in response to the criticism from Christians protesting against them.

11. Rock the Hell Out of You

5.0 out of 5 stars Their best…..and their last.,
For those who don’t know, Stryper were the biggest overtly Christian band of the ’80 rock/hair metal scene by a long way.
Having caused a stir with an EP of demos that later became a full album (dodgy production), and then grown and matured with their next release, they struck gold (and even platinum) with “”To Hell With The Devil””. Vocals from the Vince Neil school, but far higher range, more power, and good vibrato (diaphragm, to those who know). And Heavy guitars.
This was a heavier album than the last one, and overall much better. The production is superb, the musicianship has once again moved on – Oz Fox on the guitar was fantastic, some of the stuff he does is in the same league as the Van Halen of this world. And he uses a wah too! And this time Tim Gaines did get to play on the record – very good he is too. They must have been nuts to replace him in the past. Having said that, Randy Jackson plays on Shining Star, and I can understand why, fret-less is quite a specialised thing.

The band also explore some different feels. The title track (following a “”comical”” intro) uses a swing feel (a bit like The Prisoner by Iron Maiden), a superb guitar riff (following a comical intro), a great solo, and interesting chorus that sticks in your brain.

Other favourites of mine are Not That Kind Of Guy (very funny, crazy guitar work, including a ping-pong??!!) Shining Star (walking bass, nice chorus, great solo – shame it a cover!), Ordinary Man (harmonies galore), Lady (excellent ballad), Caught In The Middle (fast rocker, wonderful chorus, heavy riff, great for head-banging), All For One (slower rocker, some off the wall timing, very interesting guitar lines, combining acoustic and electric, and I’m still not sure how he does the solo), and Rock The Hell Out Of You, which ends things at a furious pace.

The down side was the lack of overt Christianity on this album, after all, they were supposed to be Christians. In later times they all admitted they regretted that omission, and maybe that was partly why ATL wasn’t as successful as perhaps it should have been. But it still an excellent hair-metal album, and musically perhaps Stryper best. Treat yourself.


5.0 out of 5 stars Christian Glam-Rockers harden their image,
In this their last release up to present, the premier Christian Glam-Metal group harden their image with a good set of rockers and ballads that have been their trade mark. This album was made after a change of management and this was reflected in the slight change in image and less religious content in their lyrics though they continue to do what they do best from the frenetic “”Not that kind of guy”” to the beautiful “”Lady””. All in all a good, solid album which showed that they were more than a band with a gimmick.


5.0 out of 5 stars their best album,
JESUS is non existent on this one, and that is a VERY positive thing, and they rock harder than ever!
an album that every heavy metal fan should own!
This album always get bad reviews because it is not ‘Christian rock’ as such, but hey,.. who cares it rocks and finally the non Christian Stryper fans can enjoy an album by them without being preached at!! hooray for Stryper.


On location in Hollywood, MuchMusic spoke to Tim Gaines and Oz Fox of Stryper about their new album Against the Law!  Cast your memories back to 1990.  Stryper told the bold step of dropping the Christian lyrics and yellow-and-black outfits.  It was a move that they expressed regret about later, but check out the young Stryper’s perspective in this interesting Power Hour clip.


AGAINST THE LAW_0001STRYPER – Against the Law (1990 Enigma)

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, Stryper finally took the second biggest gamble* of their lives and dropped the overtly Christian themes in their lyrics.  It was a decision they would quickly regret.  Changing their lyrical message did nothing to help them sell records, and they found themselves without a record deal.  They spurted out some new songs for a greatest hits album called Can’t Stop the Rock before Michael Sweet bailed and the band dissolved.  In the liner notes to that album, drummer Robert Sweet states, “We were making a grab for musical freedom, but we never should have let that be misinterpreted as a change in our beliefs.”

Before the change, cynics accused Stryper of faking the sincerity of their beliefs in order to “cash in” on the “gimmick” of being a Christian metal band.  Now that they had dropped those lyrics, they were accused of cashing in once again.  There was no winning at this point for Stryper.  No wonder the band caved in.

The shame of it is, fans in the know consider their 1990 album Against the Law to be among their very best.  It earned a cult classic status with those who ignored the hype.  The change wasn’t just lyrical, but total.  Eager to reverse the musical damage of In God We Trust, Stryper toughened up their sound and got veteran producer Tom Werman behind the console.  They also changed their image for the better.  Gone were the massive hairdos and the yellow and black bumblebee suits.  In were beards and goatees, and darker understated clothes.  The stripes were still there in the stage costumes, but they were now gray and black.  New logo, new start.  Or not.

A thunderous new sound opened the new album — a funky heavy metal riff.  No, this isn’t Extreme, it’s Stryper.  “Against the Law” is a really cool shuffle with echoes of Van Halen too.  The band were displaying a new toughness, and Werman captured a more appropriate raw sound from the band.  Guitar-wise, Michael Sweet and Oz Fox are not content to just law down some solos, but instead leave jaws on the floor with their creative shreddery.

“Two Time Woman” is not the kind of song title that Stryper fans were used to see on their albums.  This Motley Crue/Scorpions-ish rocker is strong but not a standout, despite its release as a music video. It’s just nice to hear Stryper rocking out with solid production behind them.

The next track “Rock the People” takes the album back to a funky “extreme”. It’s the lighter “Two Bodies (One Mind One Soul)” that really had hit potential. The acoustic guitars lull you in, but the chorus kills! “Two Bodies” gets my vote for best track on the album. It really is a shame that it never became a hit in this universe. Maybe on another Earth, where rock never fell to grunge….

“Not That Kind of Guy” is a blazingly fast Van Halen-style shuffle. David Lee Roth would have given his left nut for a song this much like his old band at the time. This kind of tune really reveals why Stryper were right to free up their songwriting a bit, if only for one album. This kind of music does not really fit spiritual lyrics all that well, so good on them for stretching out and writing a few songs like this. And listen to Michael Sweet’s scream at the end! Never before on a Stryper album had he let loose like that.

The big surprise of the album was the song chosen as lead single: a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star”! In a 1990 MuchMusic interview, bassist Tim Gaines recalled that the song was suggested to them and the reaction was “‘Shining Star’? What the hell is that going to sound like?” Not bad, actually. “Then we ended up making a video for it, which I’m not sure how that came about,” said Gaines.

“Shining Star” did not grab me at all, at the time. Today I really find it fun and enjoyable. Stryper already had funky metal elements on this album, so why not cover Earth, Wind & Fire? I’d say they pulled it off in their own way. The only mistake was choosing this song as the lead single! Leading with “Two Bodies” might have given the hard rock fans at the time something more familiar to sink their teeth into, than an Earth, Wind & Fire cover. That’s Randy Jackson on bass for this track by the way — that’s one reason why it’s so dang funky!

A few songs ago, Michael Sweet claimed to be “Not That Kind Of Guy”, now he is saying he is just an “Ordinary Man”. This smooth mid-tempo track retains those classic Stryper angelic harmonies, but better arranged to suit harder rock music. Of course, every hard rock album needed to have a ballad. Rather than keep re-writing the same old piano ballads as they had been, Stryper went acoustic for “Lady” (not the Styx song). It was a good move, and a good song. It too had hit potential, but alas, it was not to be for Stryper. They were “Caught in the Middle”; so goes the next song. It is as close as we got to old-school metal Stryper. It’s good that they did not neglect that side of the band’s sound. Again, Sweet throws in some of those unearthly screams that he is capable of.

The sleek metal stomp of “All For One” sounds like classic Dokken to me, and that’s not a bad thing. It has the same dark, ominous chug that George Lynch is so capable of. No wonder Sweet & Lynch hooked up later on! The chorus kills it, too. Against the Law is ended by “Rock the Hell Out of You” which is about as preachy as Stryper get on this album (not very). It’s another killer speedy metal scorcher to go out on. Kudos to Robert Sweet on drums for being able to play like this!

I like stories with happy endings, so I’ll share this. Stryper has since reunited, heavier than ever. Christian lyrics and ordinary rock songs co-exist on the same albums now, and fans couldn’t be happier that they are back. 4.666/5 stars

*Their biggest gamble was trying to be a Christian metal band in the first place.

Also check those:

STRYPER: Reason for the season 12″ USA. 1985 Check the video of the 12″ for sale! Best EVER cover version of the Christmas classic “Winter Wonderland”. Check audio + review video


STRYPER: 7 Weeks: Live In America, 2003 CD. Check audio (whole album)