Roland Stephen Taylor (born December 9, 1957), also known as Steve Taylor, is an American Christian singer, songwriter, record producer and film director.
In 1980, Taylor wrote and directed a pop musical comedy titled Nothing To Lose based on the story of the prodigal son from the Bible. It had a short run at a community theater in Denver. He also wrote and starred in a short film, Joe's Distributing, a parody of avant-garde films.
Taylor wrote articles during this time that were published in the Wittenburg Door and Contemporary Christian Music magazine (for which he won an award from the Evangelical Press Association).
After recording a demo of original songs, Taylor began to write for the musical group The Continentals. The Continentals' founder, Cam Floria invited Taylor to join the group on a tour of Poland sponsored by Solidarity.
When he returned to the United States, he was asked to perform at the Christian Artists' 1982 Music Seminar in Denver. Billy Ray Hearn, president of Sparrow Records, was backstage and immediately signed Taylor to a recording contract.
He recorded his debut solo project I Want to Be a Clone in 1982 and released it in January 1983. He quickly gained a reputation for writing songs that satirized beliefs and practices with which he disagreed.
In 1983, Taylor recorded his first full length album. Released in 1984, Meltdown included some of the demo material that was not on Clone along with some new material. His video single of the title track, "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)" was played on MTV, which was unusual for a Christian artist at the time. The video featured an appearance by actress Lisa Whelchel. The album also included "We Don't Need No Colour Code", which was critical of Bob Jones University and its anti-interracial dating policy, a policy that was not abandoned by the university until 2000.
Another track on Meltdown, "Guilty By Association", one of the original demo songs, includes a jab with an impression in the middle eight at televangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The song "On the Fritz", the title track from Taylor's next studio album, was also targeted at Swaggart. Swaggart later struck back by devoting part of a chapter of Religious Rock 'N' Roll, a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (ISBN 0-935113-05-3) to Taylor, whom he saw as playing evil rock music.
During a performance at 1984's Cornerstone Festival, Taylor fractured his ankle while jumping off the stage. He finished the summer's tour in an electric wheelchair.
Taylor followed that release with On the Fritz, produced by Foreigner's Ian McDonald. Fritz was Taylor's first album to use all studio musicians instead of his usual backing group. Some of the musicians who played on this album were George Small, Tony DaVilio, Hugh McCracken, Carmine Rojas, Larry Fast and Allen Childs. Fritz, keeping with Taylor tradition, took aim once again at religious leaders, such as Bill Gothard ("I Manipulate"), greedy TV evangelists (again) ("You Don't Owe Me Nothing"), politicians using religion or avoiding questions of morality in order to get votes ("It's a Personal Thing"), and public schools teaching "values clarification" to children, asking them to determine who should be thrown overboard in an overcrowded lifeboat ("Lifeboat").
In 1985, Steve received his first Grammy nomination in the "Best Male Gospel Performance" category, while also being nominated for Dove Awards as "Gospel Artist of the Year" and for Meltdown as the "Best Contemporary Album of the Year". Taylor and "Some Band" performed at the Dove Awards ceremonies in Nashville in April of that year, where they were introduced by Pat Boone.
Taylor also recorded a duet with Sheila Walsh, "Not Gonna Fall Away", a tune written and recorded in 1981 by David Edwards. This was released as a 12" single titled Transatlantic Remixes. Taylor and Walsh embarked on the "Transatlantic Tour" which included dates in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Taylor and Walsh also participated in the recording of "Do Something Now", a collaborative effort, similar to "We Are The World", to raise money for Compassion International's famine relief programs in Africa. Other artists participating included Amy Grant, Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Mylon LeFevre, Steve Camp, Evie, Phil Keaggy, Second Chapter of Acts, Sandi Patti, Bill Gaither, and Rick Cua.
In between performing, recording and touring, Taylor met and married Debbie Butler of Irvine, California. They were married by Taylor's father at a private ceremony in Connecticut. Mrs. Taylor designed the album cover for a compilation on Sparrow, The Best We Could Find (Plus 3 That Never Escaped), as well as some of Taylor's more colorful stage costumes.
In 1987, Taylor once again lived up to his controversial reputation with a song called "I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good". The song criticizes anyone who claims to be a pro-life activist who would blow up abortion clinics or kill doctors. The point of the song was lost on many and resulted in Taylor's album, I Predict 1990, being pulled from the shelves at some Christian record stores. Taylor himself would occasionally call those stores to explain the song to them. With 1990, Taylor's targets included mainstream Universities ("Since I Gave Up Hope I Feel A Lot Better", featuring fiddle work from Papa John Creech of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna). Other tracks included "Jim Morrison's Grave", which once again brought Taylor some MTV exposure, and the Flannery O'Connor inspired "Harder to Believe Than Not To". Some stores also pulled the album as they thought the cover looked like a Tarot Card.
Taylor's tour for "I Predict" was his most ambitious to date, bringing him to Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and the Philippines.
READ MORE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Taylor
VIDEO: Jim Morrison's Grave
This is the video for Steve Taylor's classic song, "Jim Morrison's Grave." This video landed on MTV's "120 Minutes" back in 1987.
VIDEO: Drive, He said