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  • Writer's pictureJoel Caballero

On the Fritz (1985)

Updated: Jun 12

On the Fritz is the third release and second full-length studio album by Christian musician Steve Taylor, released in 1985 on Sparrow Records. The album was produced by Taylor and Ian McDonald, an English musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist who is best known as the founding member of rock bands King Crimson and Foreigner.

On the Fritz continues the Christian rock/new wave sound from his previous album Meltdown with no drastic changes in style. The first Christian Rock single "This Disco (Used to Be a Cute Cathedral)" describes a church that has gone disco in order to stay relevant, promising to "only play the stuff you want to hear." The track "You Don't Owe Me Nothing" takes aim at television evangelists. "I Just Wanna Know" is a relatively rare look at Taylor's own heart, as he struggles with his intents and aspirations. It is his first song to be released to Christian radio as a single, strictly to CHR stations. The track "Lifeboat" narrates an all-too realistic "values clarification" exercise in which school children are asked to determine who should live and who should die in a disaster situation. A music video was made for the song, with its hilarious humor--despite its serious subject matter, featuring Taylor in drag as a school marm. Taylor wrote and arranged the album.

On the Fritz peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart. In 1986, Taylor released a compilation video on VHS titled Video Works featuring music videos of "Lifeboat" and "Meltdown (At Madame Tussauds)," live performances of "I Want to Be a Clone" and "On the Fritz" and interview footage.

Track listing

All songs were written by Steve Taylor.

1. This Disco (Used to Be a Cute Cathedral) -4:06

2. On the Fritz -3:57

3. It's a Personal Thing -2:59

4. To Forgive -3:55

5. You've Been Bought -2:45

6. You Don't Owe Me Nothing -3:25

7. I Manipulate -5:07

8. Lifeboat -4:28

9. Drive, He Said -4:29

10. I Just Wanna Know -4:40

Radio singles

1985 "This Disco (Used to Be a Cute Cathedral)" -#3 Christian CHR

1986 "I Just Wanna Know" -#5 Christian CHR

Previous release: Meltdown (1984)

Next release: Limelight (1986)

Watch the music video of "Lifeboat" here:

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