I’ll never forget the first time I heard Degarmo & Key. I was sitting in the back seat of my friends Maroon Grand Marquis. I remember my buddy handing the white-ish cassette across the seat and asking his mom to put it in the deck. I had no idea what was about it hit me, and as the first few bars of Out of the Danger Zone blasted out I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was raw, and it was heavy.
As each song played I knew I had to have this tape. It was soaring, anthemic and atmospheric. I didn’t know it then, but it was arena rock at it’s best. Melodies and harmonies tickled my ears as they blended perfectly with Dana Key’s crunchy guitar riffs. The lyrics wear clear and unflinching. Each message was tailor made for teenage listening. Challenging us to give our lives to Jesus and to avoid the pitfalls this world has to offer. it was the right music for the right time.
As I stated earlier, every song is great on this project, but a few of my favs are the ripper Danger Zone as well as Rock Solid, Brother Against Brother ( You Know It’s Not Right), and Radical.
The two ballads Stand and When the Son Begins to Reign are still among my all time favorites. Stand, with it’s Inspiring chorus, still challenges believers young and old to not be ashamed of the Gospel. While When The Son Begins To Reign hopefully longs for the day Jesus returns.
Although released in 1987 the music hold up surprisingly well and screams to be added to you arena rock music collection.
An interesting note about the D&K album is that the band insisted that the cassettes be sold in a “witness pack”. One for you and one for a friend. A radical idea for sure. I found one of these witness packs in a closeout bin about 15 years after its release and I just had to buy it.
Co-founder and Guitarist Dana Key passed away unexpectedly in 2010 at age 56. At the time he was Pastor of The Love Of Christ Church in Memphis, TN.
Keyboardist Eddie Degarmo helped found Forefront records and launched the careers of CCM notables DC Talk and Skillet. he is the Uncle of American Idol finalist Diana Degarmo.