As I am not a true Christian Rock fan, I need to say that Jerusalem is one of those bands I do listen too. Why if you do not really like it, you may ask. When in the early 80's I was involved with the Flevo Pop Festival in the Netherlands it happened that while backstage, helping to maintain security, the Band Jerusalem would play. Volunteering because there was no true interest in seeing the band, it ended up to be one of the great Holy Spirit experiences in my life. As the band was praying fervently for the presence of the Holy Spirit during their music set, He was already moving. Thousands of roudy young people where available and ready to have a good time. When the band came on stage it was a roaring noise, then Ulf Christianson started in prayer and silence fell, yes so silent that you could hear a pin drop (even in the grass). The Lyrics were harsh, truthful, touching, scriptural, and above all convincing, ending up in a altar call and hundreds now truly won for Jesus.
It all began in 1975 with a fifteen year old transit bus, bought from a surplus stock at the Swedish Telecom. It was a miracle that they even got out of Gothenburg. The water leaked out of the bus very quickly. Sometimes on tours they had to stop in the middle of nowhere and the guys had to wade in swamps to get water for the bus. But that didn’t keep the enthusiasm away. Every second weekend they took all the equipment and went on tour. The mission was to tell young people about God. In clubs, discos, schools.
They had to face a heavy resistance doing this.
Playing hard rock and being a Christian was very controversial at the time. Hard rock was connected to drugs, aggression and Satanism. Furthermore the music was ear-splitting. Being the first Christian hard rock band in Europe, Jerusalem had to endure a lot of criticism. They weren’t welcome at all to some churches. Smoke-bombs, long hair and luxury equipment was more than some people could accept, even if Jerusalem radically proclaimed Jesus. Hard rock was considered of the devil.
Jerusalem's message was primarily aimed at youth, with their lyrics describing the band's relationship to God in an ordinary, but radical way. The band's purpose was expressly evangelistic. Their concerts have been described as a series of revival meetings which often included altar calls and occasionally exorcisms. When the band first toured in the mid-1970s in Sweden, their combination of Christian lyrics with a hard rock sound was very controversial. The band was only permitted to perform at a few churches.
Ulf Christiansson wrote as much as he could, and at almost every concert he had a new song to present. Heavy music delivered a heavy message and between the songs Ulf preached. In that way the concerts were more than just concerts, they turned into revival meetings. Side by side, hard rockers and confirmands were rocking. But also older people who were touched by God in a new way.
Jerusalem Official Logo
Bertil Sörensson - bass (1978?)
Danne Gansmoe - drums (1978?)
Ulf Christiansson - vocals, guitar (1975–present)
Anders Mossberg - bass (1978? - 1981?, 1996–present)
Peter Carlsohn - bass (1981–1995, 2003? - present)
Reidar I. Paulsen - keyboards (1986? - 1995?, 2006–present)*
Michael Ulvsgärd - drums (1981–1995, 2003? - present)
Over time, Jerusalem gained broader acceptance, and after three years of touring record companies began making offers to record the band. The Christian record company Prim signed Jerusalem, without much expectation of success. However, the band's self-titled debut album, Jerusalem, became an instant hit among Christian listeners, and within the first six months the record sold 20,000 copies, unheard of within the genre of Christian rock in Europe.
“One night, an old lady came to us after a concert and wanted to beg our forgiveness. She said that she had turned terribly mad when we started playing. She wanted to grab her purse and leave. But then she saw Jesus walking from the stage down towards her. He sat down in front of her, turned around and said: Those are my guys. Tears were streaming down her eyes when she told us.”
Bounce from Struggle
Jerusalem continued growing as a band. They toured both in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. And Ulf Christiansson continued writing songs. Ulf’s lyrics was captivating, demanding and brought many people into a real relationship with Jesus. The next album was released already in 1980 and was named “Volume 2″. This record, which was made both as an English and Swedish version, opened the doors to the surrounding world. All of a sudden their working schedule was filled with tours in Germany, France, England, Belgium and Scandinavia. They decided to leave their jobs and go fulltime. From the Christian Greenbelt festival in England, where Jerusalem participated during the summer, Americans brought the record to USA and Glen Kaiser, leader of one of the largest rock bands there. He gave the record to Pat Boone, who owned the record company Lamb and Lion. They released the records in the USA.
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