New Album: Legacy
"If the purpose of your life is not wrapped up in God's purposes for the world, you will miss the reason you're alive."
-- Bill Drake

Legacy Cover Song coming soon

The Rock Web2

Legacy Cover Mission comingsoon

Rock

The Rock

The words “The Rock” are of course a double-entendre, the rock being the style of music on this first-of-three compilation, but more importantly, the words represent who Jesus Christ is – The Rock of our Salvation. I decided to lead off the album with the latest rock tune I have written, and then follow through in chronological order when I wrote the songs (with the exception of Death in the Womb, the oldest song on this compilation, but I wasn’t about to lead off with it!).

These 25 songs come from ten of my thirteen albums. Given that the first three albums were really demos, only Death in the Womb comes from them. Surrender, and Talk is Cheap were on the 3rd Demo, Living in the DMZ (1988), but the versions that appear here were rerecorded on Seasons & Souvenirs eight years later for production and higher-fidelity reasons. My thirteenth album, Azure Dawn (2014), is an instrumental piano album, so no songs on Legacy originally come from there. But other than that, these 25 songs come from 10 albums that span a 30-year recording career.

Christ is my rock, the foundation I have build the rest of my life on, having been suffocating in the quick-sand of a life not committed to anything but my own ignorant understanding and self-rational moralizing. Proverbs 3:5&6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”. Nothing could be more true. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the first and the last, and the chief cornerstone that provides the solid foundation for life. Pluralism manifestly doesn’t work, all religions are certainly not the same, and only Christ provides the platform and proof for reality and clear thinking about the value of all human beings, the purpose for our existence, and our ultimate destiny.

  • Open The Window – 2014 (previously unrecorded)

    Walking around Bobbio Pellice, Italy in 2014 with Teri during Incarnate (the OM Arts school of mission), we noticed that there were so many different kinds of cool doors and windows on all the houses, barns, and buildings in this old Waldensian town. And of course all this beauty is laid against backdrop of the history of the Waldensian people, a tale filled with daring escapes, group martyrdoms, and eventual religeous freedom as they waged a war of survival against those literally hell-bent on exterminating them. The mountains around the Pellice Valley are still littered with the remains of their stone houses and fences, all constructed above the “killing zone line”, below which a Waldensian could be “shot on sight”. (If you ever have a chance to visit their museum in Torre Pellice, or walk the trails above Bobbio, I highly recommend it.) How these Italian Protestants endured is an inspiration and lasting legacy for all who suffer religious persecution, and serves as a constant reminder that our God is the One Who opens things that no man can shut.

    This song began forming in my mind as the chorus lyric danced around in there with the melody from the very start. I think I literally wrote it in my mind, before I ever played it on piano, something which I rarely have ever done! I physically typed it into my mac laptop in the Garage Band app, so I wouldn’t forget the progress I was making on it each day I went for a walk, higher and higher up on the ridges just to capture a ‘better view’. I used stock U-2 guitar riffs and drums to build it up, since I didn't physically write it on an instrument. But Tim Friesen really brought it to life here in 2016 by taking the bare bones of sampled music, a strong melody and lyric, and produced something very, very special in my opinion. Don’t let any dust settle on your faith my friends – Open the Window…

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Piano, vocals, BGVs
    Tim Friesen – Bass, all programming and arranging
    Joe Ricciardi – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    HB – Drums

    Open The Window

    There is a fire that burns down through the years
    Littered with scars and nails and crowns and legacies of tears
    There is a steel that holds on through the flame
    There is a rock that will not yield or bend the knee in vain

    Open the Window

    There is a love that echoes from the past
    Sent from a cross that ripples out in waves that martyrs cast
    There is a hope that cannot be denied
    Piercing the darkest night with embers to all who seek and find

    Open The Window
    Oh Let the Clouds Go
    Spirit of God Flow Through This Place (repeat)

    Oh Let the Wind Blow through the Ages
    Open the Gates and Flood the Ranges
    Oh Let the Light Shine in the Darkness
    Dancing with all Your Sons and Daughters (repeat)

    Open The Window
    Oh Let the Clouds Go
    Spirit of God Flow Through This Place (repeat)

    Fire of God fall
    Fill every life and every hall
    Hearing the Years call to their hearts

  • Surrender – 1986 (Living in the DMZ/Seasons & Souvenirs)

    Surrender was literally written in a dream I had in Bremerton, Washington. I woke up from a deep sleep having imagined performing the entire song for the President of Biola University at that time, Dr. Clyde Cook, a godly man who had taken a personal interest in my developing ministry. I had been invited to a youth event by Kerry Schottlecorb, another man that God used to speak something into my life and ministry early on that has stuck ever since: “Bill, you are one of those guys that God decided ahead of time, to entrust a brutal testimony, so that He could redeem so many others who have been brutalized by the same thing.”

    This encouraged me that the sharing of my testimony in my concerts was not a self-indulgent cathartic thing, but rather a redemptive thing God could use to rescue so many others trapped by tragedies in their past. He was right. After sharing the story countless times all over the world of how Jesus Christ has saved my life, it is impossible for me to calculate how many lives have been touched and saved as a result. But He knows. The God who saves our tears in a bottle is the same God who declares that we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us, and gave Himself up for us, so we didn’t have to be trapped in sin and death for the rest of our lives.

    I used this song to open my concerts for many, many years. The title is one of two words I used when I became a follower of Jesus: “I surrender”. I used to bang it out on the piano “Keith Green Style”, and the original recording on the Living in the DMZ album captures that (link?). In this later 1996 Seasons & Souvenirs version, you get a bit more energy from Bob Soma’s guitar!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Stevie D – Drums
    Mark Levang – Keyboards, Hammond B3 Organ
    Jeff & Vangie Gunn - BGVs

    Surrender

    This is the moment, when we stand and face the truth
    This time there’s no turning back
    Faced with the conflict, and with everything to lose
    Who’s gonna control the life that lives in you?

    Evil distractions will try
    But don’t be persuaded by some truth in many lies

    Surrender, Surrender
    Open your heart to Him, Conquering everything
    Surrender, Surrender,

    It’s the only way you can win
    Lay down your life and live

    Pressed to the limit when you try to take a stand
    You’re not the master of your mind
    ‘Cause you can’t have freedom if your soul is chained to sin
    Caught in a struggle you can never win

    Join the rebellion and die
    Or win the battle and come running to the light

    Are you trapped with no defense
    When the pressures of you life start closing in
    But you can stand, against any foe
    When you realize that your life is not your own

  • Talk Is Cheap – 1986 (Living in the DMZ/Seasons & Souvenirs)

    This song was written over a period of months in the mid-1980s, but came into its finality at a youth camp in Mancos, Colorado. It had started as an instrumental, and by the time it came to do a concert for the camp, Joe and I had worked it up into the rock tune it is. The half-time instrumental bridge in the middle is a nod to Linda Ronstadt’s ‘70’s song, You’re No Good, which also had the same kind of haunting segways that captivated me the moment I heard them, especially at the end. The message here is pretty straight forward, and approaches the subject of hypocrisy and lip service as a contributor to the destruction of a people and a society. The great apostle John exhorts us, “Little children, do not merely love with words, but with your deeds.” 1 John 3:18

    The original version, like Surrender, was recorded by Tom Cox in his home studio in Chino Hills, California, and was on the on the Living in the DMZ album. I am forever indebted to Tom for his heart, passion, generosity, and investment into my music and ministry. We met during the recording of my first album, and his wife Debbie sang on a number of my early songs, including Death in the Womb. I decided to rerecord Talk is Cheap for Seasons & Souvenirs, as I wanted a higher-fidelity CD quality version. But I have always loved the original guitar parts that my brother Joe Schmeeckle put down on this, especially the lead parts, which we preserved for this version as well. One of my favorite ‘live’ concert memories is in Budapest, Hungary, where Tim Friesen and Joe Ricciardi traded ‘facemelt’ solos on Bass and Electric Guitar respectively, using the middle bridge as a sonic bed to bring their ‘pyrotechnics’. All I can say (and I am biased), this song seriously rocks!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Joe Schmeeckle – Lead Guitar
    Stevie D – Drums
    Mark Levang – Keyboards, Hammond B3 Organ
    Jeff & Vangie Gunn – BGVs

    Talk is Cheap

    It’s not the words that you say to me that impress me
    Words are prolific but they’re only temporary
    You’re speech is eloquent and boasts of being able
    You speak a fantasy that rivals fairy tales

    You’d better watch what you’re sayin’
    We don’t need lies or evasions
    Reality lies waiting
    We don’t need words, we need actions

    Oh it’s not what you say to me that counts
    For Talk is Cheap
    What’s done in deed and truth with last for eternity
    Count the Cost for talk is cheap

    Lip service is the tragedy of the ages
    It walks through history, and wreckage lines its pages
    A lack of commitment marks this generation
    And a hollow existence is the price we’re payin’
    You’d better say what you mean, and mean what you’re sayin’

    Life isn’t lived in orations
    Or in the dust of discussion
    Reality lies waiting
    We don’t need words, we need actions

  • Breakaway – 1987 (There’s An Answer)

    When my brother Joe came to faith, and joined Teri and I in California, we immediately began to make music together. His signature is all over my early albums, in the form of electric guitar work that even today leaves me gasping, especially for someone who was 19-20 years old. On my album There’s An Answer, his solos on Breakaway, Collision Course, and Anorexia were brilliant, and his harmony guitar solos on Hope Has Begun and Touched By Love are two of my favorites of all time. I would jokingly resent that people would walk away from one of my early concerts humming his guitar solos, and not necessarily my melodies! I truly miss making music with my brother – it was an awesome season of creativity.

    Which translated into an awesome season of ministry. Together with my wife Teri, and then later joined by vocalist Debbie McKay who we met at Pine Summit Christian Camps in Big Bear Lake, California, we travelled all over the Western USA bringing the Gospel through music to churches, camps, schools, and anywhere else that would let us bring an uncompromising message of hope and holiness. Two of my most memorable moments from that time were leading over 2,000 youth in worship down at the Mexicali Outreach run by Azusa Pacific University, and taking the worship leading responsibilities for Hume Lake Christian Camps during one of their Winter Camp Seasons. We got to see countless kids come to Christ, and many dedicate their lives to the cause of world missions. I still hear from some of them today, and get a request to send them digitized versions of my original Cassette tapes!

    Musically, this song has some interesting influences! I of course had been pretty impressed with Tom Shultz’ guitar work on Boston’s first two albums, and the opening riff on Breakaway is a nod to Tom’s riff on Don’t Look Back. The portamento slides are unashamedly influenced by Manheim Steamroller’s unique work in the late 70’s & ‘80s.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Synths
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    John Waller – Drums
    Debbie McKay - BGVs

    Breakaway

    Are you tired of slamming your head against the wall
    Caught in a maze of manipulation and corruptions of the law
    Feel the pressure mounting to twist your point of view
    To the left, to the right, but you’d really better choose

    To breakaway from the lies and games
    The chains that hold your mind
    For the price you pay for futile gain
    Will throw away your life

    Are you tired of running, chased over the line
    Being pushed in the wrong direction, then caged in from behind
    Feel the tension burning, it’s tearing you apart
    First you’re up, then you’re down, but you might as well get smart

    You’ve got one foot in the middle
    And one foot over the line
    But it’s death or it is salvation
    That’ll take control of your life

    You gotta breakaway from the lies and games
    The chains that hold your mind
    For the price you pay for futile gain
    Will throw away your life

  • Collision Course - 1989 (There’s An Answer)

    This was originally written as a blues-rock tune. I had been experimenting with using a Harpsichord sound on rock tunes after hearing the band Boston do it to much success (you hear it on Anorexia as well), and my brother Joe came along with the guitar riffs, and before you know it, we had something pretty special. Steve Brown recorded it in Baldwin Park, California with John Waller on Drums, Tim Jaquette on Bass, my brother Joe on Guitar, Debbie McKay on BGVs, and me on keyboards, and if I must say, we seriously rocked the house!   John was heading back to Australia, so we actually had to record the drums before we normally would have. He drew out the ending a bit, and we actually re-arranged all the chords and riffs at the end to fit what he did, instead of visa-versa – but it really worked! I’ll never forget shredding the DX-7 with that old ‘80s’ Rock Organ sound, as we ‘burned down’ the ending to sound like a collision of sorts!

    In terms of singing it, I really never had “sung the blues” before. But somehow Steve was able to inspire me, and I ended up singing this a little like I thought Elvis might sing a “rock” tune (NOT that my voice is anything up to that standard!) When I was done laying it down, I came out from the vocal booth, and Steve said, “Honestly, I wasn’t sure if you had that in you. I was wrong.” J

    There’s so much energy in this song, especially after the guitar solo in the middle that when I listen to it, I still just want to explode! If you can stay still during this tune, you are either paralyzed, or capable of a physical self-control that I will never attain!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Harspichord, Organ, Synths
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    John Waller – Drums
    Debbie McKay - BGVs

    Collision Course

    You’re over the yellow line in the middle of the road
    You’re in on-coming traffic, but you thin you’re in control
    And you know you should read your Bible, and you know that you should pray

    But you don’t want to
    You don’t see no law enforcement, but you’re on a collision course with the love of Jesus

    Now you can say that you’re a Christian, you’ve even ‘walked the aisle’
    But livin’ this commitment is getting harder all the time
    ‘Cause you’re tired of the excuses, and you’re tired of all the games
    But you still play them
    Now I said it once before, but you’re on a collision course with the love of Jesus

    You can run you can hide, you can try what you like but you won’t win
    You can push it to the limit, but he’s waiting for you up around the bend
    And this fence you’re riding on won’t be too long
    And you really can’t afford it ‘cause you’re on a collision course with the love of Jesus

    Now there’s a shadow of a crucifix that leans on every man
    You can choose to go deny it, or deny yourself instead
    You can turn your back on the Gospel, you can grieve the Holy Ghost if you want to
    But you’d better change direction, cause you’re on a collision course with the love of Jesus

    You can run you can hide, you can try what you like but you won’t win
    You can push it to the limit, but he’s waiting for you up around the bend
    And this fence you’re riding on won’t be too long
    And you really can’t afford it ‘cause you’re on a collision course with the love of Jesus

  • Leave It Behind – 1990 (There’s An Answer)

    I’ve had a lot of musical influences in my life. Growing up in a home where mostly classical music was played, not to mention a few years of piano and cello lessons – yeah, I was certainly influenced by that! And I’ll never forget the first time I heard Elton John play – being a piano player myself, this ignited a creative fire in me that has never gone out, and was only further stoked by hearing the music of Billy Joel. Some friends in High School introduced me to the prog-rock bands Genesis and Yes, and the Alan Parsons Project, and I found in them sonic landscapes that pushed boundaries and created more room for expression of the deeper emotions I was experiencing from having been abused as a child, and watching my mother die of cancer.

    There were many other musical influences during that tumultuous time, like the band America, and the amazing musician and song-writer, Dan Fogelburg. I was into the Eagles and Doobie Brothers, and even the odd country, bluegrass, or Jazz Rock Fusion, like Dave Weckl. But none of that gave me any answers no matter how skillful, only the vacuous platitudes of needy love-songs, or the vain philosophizing of ignorant prophets who could sure lay out the problems, but offered no genuine hope. I would sing many of their songs in bars and nightclubs, and got to experience first-hand the chilly emptiness of love unfounded. Facing more heartache and desperation, and I found myself sinking deeper, and deeper into darkness.

    In June 1979 one of my closest friends had just died in a rock climbing accident, and I was on my way back to the University of Idaho from San Francisco, California, and well on my way into a suicidal slouch. The image of Teresa Schnabel that evening at a Nursing Home in Payette, Idaho, with food and slobber stains coloring her beautiful white nursing costume, made me think that maybe angels did exist, and just maybe, they might be willing to speak to me. Teresa did more than that. She comforted me, prayed for me, unconditionally loved me, and eventually befriended me into the Kingdom of God. And while I have done it in ballads many times, Leave It Behind is one of my few rock songs that lyrically attempts to explain the arduous and painful journey I made from death to life thanks to Jesus Christ the Son of God and the light of the world.

    Musically speaking, I can’t deny that Leave It Behind was slightly influenced by the groove and feel in the chorus of the Pointer Sisters’ tune He’s So Shy. And after being gob-smacked by Tom Scott’s sax solo in Carol King’s song Jazz Man, I insisted to myself that I would have more of that on my albums! The result can be heard on songs like Without You, Tell Me Why, and here, where we let saxophonist Louis Taylor air it out a bit! Enjoy!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Organ
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    John Waller – Drums
    Debbie McKay – BGVs
    Louis Taylor – Tenor Sax

    Leave It Behind

    I’ve been thinkin’ about the way I’ve been, spendin’ my life with the wages of sin
    Always dealt a losing hand by a world that cheats to win
    I’m fascinated by its flashing lights, but I’m disgusted with it’s parasites
    The half-truths that infect my mind and the lies that control my life
    I’m gonna leave it behind

    (Goodbye old life, hello sunlight)
    I’m gonna leave it behind
    (Goodbye old life, hello sunlight)

    You know temptation is a deadly game, so don’t be foolish with a poisonous snake
    It’ll charm you and then it will harm you as you’re eating out of its hand
    You’ve got a better way to spend your life, than being pushed around by compromise
    So take a stand for what is right, and to that which holds you back,
    You gotta leave it behind

  • Anorexia – 1990 (There’s An Answer)

    We all experience painful experiences in our lives – to be “hurt” is to be human, whether self-inflicted, or brought on by the behavior of others. In this case, watching someone who was very, very close to me go on a slow, intentional walk away from the Lord was excruciating, especially as they made their body and mind totally available to the lies of the Enemy, and purposely gave themselves over to his cruel clutches. The healing that I had to undergo from rejection and betrayal was nothing compared to the irreparable damage that precious soul did to themselves. This person still suffers the consequences to this day.

    With all compassion for those who have fallen victim to the horrible disease, Anorexia Nervosa, this song is not about that. Being a witness to someone intentionally spiritually starving themselves to death made an indelible impact on me, and eventually birthed this prophetic song. In the USA, we are the most biblically illiterate nation we have ever been in our history, and we are drunk on our own torrid entertainment. We are totally ignorant to the faith of our forefathers that birthed our nation, and have mortgaged our grandchildren’s future on the altar of our own indulgence and debt. I write these album notes as we face one of the most excruciating elections in our nation’s history, brought on by the fact that we haven’t had the national wisdom to make good choices. The consequences for making biblically uninformed decisions lasts for generations, and can reshape the very fabric of a nation.

    Friends – true freedom is not found in the individual choice to do whatever you want, when you want, where you want, and with whomever you want, but rather, it is found in the unconstrained pursuit of living out being made in the image of God, and being conformed into the image of Christ. Anything else is bondage…

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Harspichord, Organ
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    John Waller – Drums
    Debbie McKay - BGVs

    Anorexia

    You’re out trying to live life on your own
    And you don’t know where you’re going, and you don’t know where you’re from
    Your rejection of the truth seems so profane
    It’s no surprise you lack direction, or the power to sustain

    You bite the hand that understands, treat enemies as friends
    You’ll starve yourself a hungry death unless you break the fast on life

    There’s a killer on the loose tonight
    It’s out of sight so it’s out of mind
    You’re on a self-imposed hunger strike
    And it’s desperate, anorexic, Anorexia

    Your life is not a fantasy or game
    And the end to short term pleasure is the consequence of pain
    You emptiness is feeding your desire
    And the longer you consume it, the more you play with fire

    You haven’t read your daily bread, or tasted words of life
    The table’s set, but you still beget, a wanton appetite for lies

    It takes a hollow heart, and prideful mind to accomplish the absurd
    It's a fatal lie that you’ll be alright without feeding on the truth

  • Death in the Womb – 1982 (You Are The One)

    I’m just going to warn you, this is dark. I guess that’s cause that’s what murder is. In true Old Testament prophetic tradition, the lyrics to this song pull no punches. The challenge was to find a sonic soundscape that could support such sentiment. I recalled the darker emotions that I had experienced listening to secular influences like Paul McCartney’s Venus & Mars, Elton John’s Madman across the Water, and Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, and decided to move in that direction. In a nod to the later, I remember working with Mike Hodges as he crafted the guitar solo. Along with being a brilliant musician, Mike was able to capture the sheer agony, the abject tragedy that abortion is, all in his instrument. I told him to “make that guitar cry”. Well, when he was done laying it down, I was the one weeping.

    One other comment – recognizing that I was 22 when I wrote this, filled with a bit more righteous prophetic zeal than understanding grace – I still stand by these lyrics. But I also recognize that it isn't just “darkness and hate” that leads to the killing decision that is abortion – some of it is ignorance, and some of it is sheer desperation – both tragedies in themselves. However, no one today should be ignorant about what this gruesome butchery is and the horrific process it entails. But as the inner-city Pastor explained to his suburban social-activist friend, “We are so busy working with our unwed mothers here, that we don’t have time to go with you and picket abortion clinics”, we as followers of Christ should always be living on the ‘unconditional love’ side of compassion for all the victims of a ‘world with devils filled’, whilst not shying away from calling it like it is. Abortion is wrong. I totally believe a woman has the right to steward her own body, but, she does not have the right to murder her helpless guests.

    Bill Drake – piano, synths
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Mike Hodges – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Dave Spur – Drums
    Debbie Cox, Teri Drake – BGVs

    Death in the Womb

    Softly, silently the hand of God works; forming, preparing for the new birth
    Two little eyes and a little nose, tiny feet and tiny toes and fingers
    The innocent infant in his innocent world he won’t remember

    Hidden from the sight of man still unnamed the baby lies there waiting
    Unknowing that his parents in their darkness and their hate plot his destruction
    Oh terrors’ waiting at the door – the babys’ pronounced guilty of his parent’s wrong
    And no one hears the silent screams as infants die of salt saline and vacuum tubes

    People, can’t you see the crime, when it’s legal to kill the life of an unborn child
    It’s God Who gives life – who are we to claim the right to fill the tomb
    And put Death in the Womb

    Lord have mercy on this country, we’re doing wrong
    Politics and legal fights, but changing laws don’t make it right in the name of God
    We have the freedom to be stupid and the right to cover up the evidence
    Some claim rights over themselves, abuse them and then kill the helpless consequence

    Liberty and justice – who does it leave out when it says “For all”
    Man will make the answer fit the circumstance he is in as best suits him
    Who knows where to draw the line – where life begins where does it die for all man
    The human race is playing God, has made a right from murder’s wrong
    As shredded parts of infant flesh go in the trash to rot

    People, can’t you see the crime, you’ve been fooled by the devil and his cold bloody lies
    It’s God Who gives life – who are we to claim the right to fill the tomb
    Your mother wanted you… but we ignore the truth
    And put Death in the Womb

  • Galatians 2:20 – 1991 (God is Awesome)

    The year was 1987. I was studying at Biola University in La Mirada, California, and my Contemporary Christian Music career was taking off. I was beginning to get some radio play and had produced four albums to date. Then George Verwer came to speak at Biola’s missions conference. I had heard of George – a wiry, energetic American; founder and director of Operation Mobilization; considered by many to be the inventor of short-term missions. I knew he liked the music and ministry of my hero, Keith Green, and I wanted to impress him. So I got permission to lead worship before he spoke to the school and conference. This was it. This was my big chance!

    At first all went well. He was actually moved to tears by my worship-leading, and when I was done, he stopped me from returning to my seat, and ask me to continue. Ego swelling to the size of the packed auditorium, I returned to the piano and led some more worship, throwing in some of my own songs. I came to the end of the set and tried a second time to make my way back to my seat. But George got to the microphone first. This time he didn’t have tears in his eyes. This time he was pointing a long, bony finger at me and using that tone your parents use when you know you are in deep, serious trouble:

    “Young man,” he boomed, “How dare you sing songs like that if you are not willing to back it up with your lifestyle?” That moment changed my life. One little question, dropped into the stunned silence of a Bible-school missions conference. Standing there in front of my friends, my fellow-students, the faculty, and the board of directors, I was exposed. Stripped bare to the very motivations of my heart. My hypocrisy laid out for all to see.

    “I can see you standing there struggling in your hypocrisy”, He said. “God needs another American christian musician like He needs a hole in the head. What He is looking for is people who will use their talents, gifts, and lives for world evangelism. How about you?”

    I could just hear my Contemporary Christian Music Career blowing off into the weeds. I knew that from that moment on my life would never be the same again. I tried to put it out of my mind, but every time I sat at a piano to lead worship, I would hear those prophetic words again. Not from a fiery American missionary, but in the still, small Voice that can convict and correct with such gentleness, but such unyielding strength.

    Musically, I love this simple song so much, and the profound truth it expresses. I was exposed to Manheim Steamroller by Teri when we were dating up at the University of Idaho in Moscow. Back then Chip Davis was putting out these cool instrumental albums called Fresh Aire, and you can hear the influence here in the “sus4” turnarounds and high synth sequences. There are not too many songs I have recorded where I personally take a full synthesizer solo, but that “Dirty Flute” patch on my old DX-7 just needed airing out I guess!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Drums – Dave Spur
    Debbie McKay – BGVs

    Galatians 2:20

    I am crucified in Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me
    And the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me
    And gave Himself for me

    I am crucified in Christ, I have risen to new life in Him!

    (repeat)

  • Glory, Honor, and Praise - 1991 (God is Awesome)

    The God is Awesome album was recorded the same year Teri and I moved to the UK, and the idea was to capture many of the worship songs we had been leading at camps and churches leading up to our going to the Mission Field. I would then use that on the Mission Field. Tim Jaquette, my brother Joe and I worked on this over a short two week period while I was back in the States for a month. It has always amazed me how much we got done in such a short period of time!

    One of the most important songs to me on that album, I’ll Obey, and its incredible stories, will appear on the third compilation of this Legacy series, Legacy – The Mission. But this song, and actually all these songs have been sung literally all over the world by camps, conferences, and congregations seeking to honor The Lord with their voices, and their lives. I just ran into someone in Germany, who learned this from me back in 1991, and she is now part of a worship team in a Brazilian Church in Munich! I invited her to sing it with me during my concert there!

    Harpsichord again! I have to admit, I like the texture of it, especially with a little “chorus effect” on it. I can just imagine Mozart jamming on one! This tune started as a simple classical-style jam, which I turned into a praise song. The idea for the lyrics was simply this: State Jesus’ names in the verses, and then bring Him glory, honor, and praise in the choruses! Hallelujah! He is worthy of all of it!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Drums – Dave Spur
    Debbie McKay – BGVs

     

    Glory, Honor, and Praise

    Jesus Christ, Lord of all, Prince of Peace, Mighty God
    Alpha and Omega, God’s only begotten Son

    And I want to bring Glory, and I want to bring Honor
    And I want to bring Glory and Honor and Praise

    King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Lamb of God, Cornerstone
    The Great I Am and Immanuel, Holy One of Israel

  • Jacob Marley - 1992 (Against The Night)

    One of the most tragic characters in English Literature for me is the damned miserly partner of Ebenezer Scrooge. Tom Cox brought in a big chain and we dragged it across the floor in A-Z Studios in San Dimas, California, to emulate Marley’s bonds. Tim joined us in the mayhem, and looking back at it now I have to admit, we might have gotten a bit carried away at the end, with trashcans, cat screeches, wolves howling, and fading it in and out! But regardless of that chaos (!), this song is a powerful prophetic statement against capitalistic greed run-amok.

    Shortly after I became a born-again Christian, I had moved down from Moscow, Idaho to Austin, Texas into my Grandfather’s house. Grandpa Drake was an Enlightenment Jeffersonian, who had a liking for Clarence Darrow and Carl Sagan, and especially enjoyed questioning the veracity of the New Testament. And even though we had some very interesting ‘discussions’, he seemed to have the highest respect for Jesus Christ, albeit not ascribing to Him the mantle of ‘Son of God’. But man would he criticize the direction he saw the USA moving in, and he especially decried ‘vulture-culture’ capitalism without ‘ethical commitment’. The biggest hole in his argument for me was exposed when I asked him “But where do human rights and ethical commitment come from?” However I couldn’t agree more that the kind of greed that this song talks about comes from the breath of hell, and enslaves many either directly in its idolatry, or the want thereof.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Synths
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Drums – Dave Spur

    Jacob Marley

    Excuse me but I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself to you
    I was a character of sorrows, and an acquaintance of Ebenezer Scrooge
    My story is a warning to the people of The Fall
    There is a ‘grave condition’ that has stained one and all
    Death waits in the shadows for the life that does its dealings in the dark

    I left virtue and value to be seduced by the money and the power
    I sacrificed my life and my integrity to serve a paper God
    It's a profession of possessions and the subtlety of greed
    Filled with financial artists who love the color green
    And the illusion of compassion lies slain on the world’s stock exchange

    There is life, and there is pain
    There is a war between love and hate
    And in the cross, there is escape
    But there is only Death if you wear The Chain

    I wear the chain of selfishness I fashioned it and forged it part by part
    The real fools and the losers are the ones who weld their shackles to their hearts
    We build our Gods to have and hold, but stones are hard, and steel is cold
    We close our eyes to the needy and our ears to their cries
    Then sacrifice them on the altar of public enterprise
    Now then tell we where’s the profit when you gain the world but forfeit your own soul.

  • Against The Night - 1993 (Against The Night)

    I had been profoundly impacted by the surgical accuracy of Chuck Colson’s book of the same name as this song, chronicling the decline of the United States of America into ‘license and lasciviousness’. Many of the lyrics in this song are almost lifted right off the pages – I did get Chuck’s permission, and sent him the final version! I have to say here – Chuck’s books are awesome, and I can’t recommend them to you more highly. Loving God, Kingdoms in Conflict, Against The Night, and The Body are some of my favorite books of all time.

    Having been influenced by the ‘minor 9ths’ and melancholic instrumental sequences of the Alan Parsons Project, many of the songs I wrote from this period feature instrumental intros or segways that are attempts as providing a sonic atmosphere that can carry heavier messages, or give you space to absorb what just got sung. One of my greatest criticisms of Christian Music has been their reticence to take the prophetic tool of music and lyric, shying away from saying difficult stuff that really needs to be said. We pretty much silenced the “prophets” in our evangelical churches in the 1990s, to our supreme detriment. The cultural morass that we find ourselves in today in the West was totally predicable, but no one wanted to hear it in the heady days of high profits, comfortable lifestyles, and “manifest destiny”. Nixon didn’t get away with his lies, but Clinton sure did. His contribution to the acceptance of unacceptable behavior has lent to the discipleship of a generation of deception and debauchery. The Culture War that is raging right now in the USA is actually a battle that will influence the entire world.

    But without revival, the USA, like all nations before it who abandoned the One True God, is on its way down friends, and very likely we will see things in our lifetime we never believed would happen – like the dissolution of our country. And for us who follow Christ, it could be our finest hour, or, we’ll fold like Peter, or betray like Judas.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Synth Sequencing
    Smitty Price – Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Drums – Dave Spur

    Against The Night

    There’s a plague social evils on the loose
    White-collar barbarians join their partners in the pews
    It's the rise of crime in the news today
    The price of moral breakdown’s getting’ harder to pay

    It’s a scam when the perceived wise men are the fools
    Shaping tender intellects while twistin’ all the rules
    And they’re redefining “right” and “wrong”
    And arrogantly work at playing God

    Militant relativism launches its attack
    Radical individualism jettisons the past
    Kingdoms are in conflict and the sunset is in sight
    Who will rise to be the holy warriors of the light
    Against the Night

    Now this smorgasbord morality prevails
    While “openness” and “tolerance” ignorantly lead the way
    But as the slick veneer looses its grip
    We fall prey to the enemy within

    A great civilization is brought slowly to its knees
    By diabolic forces behind masks of selfish greed
    Constitutions shudder as virtue sounds the retreat
    Epochs call and empires fall to the “justice of the streets”

  • Tell Me The Truth – 1993 (Against The Night)

    My brother Joe had come to me with this very cool guitar riff he had worked out from a Spanish flamenco guitar album early in the process of putting together the Against The Night album. And even though I had already moved to the UK, we had begun working on Tell Me The Truth before I left, and realized pretty quickly that his instrumental and my song would work together quite nicely. Add his Saga influences, and mine from Journey, throw in Dave Spur’s idea to put the intro into ‘4 over 6’ when the drums come in, and you pretty much have it!

    Another musical note here – while recording the song, we decided to reprise the intro after the 3rd verse, but using keyboards to carry the main riff instead of guitar. I hadn’t had the time to sequence the parts, and I’ll never forget Smitty Price saying, “well guys, let me have a go at it live.” He just stepped up and flat melted it down! And then Bob Soma answered with a barn-burning guitar solo to match. The musicianship on this tune is nothing short of supreme, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    Lyrically, can you figure out which group of people each of the three verses refer to? And aren’t you just really tired of getting lied to? Satan is the Father of Lies as Jesus tells us, and it has been interesting to learn over the years that so much of spiritual and emotional bondage actually comes from believing lies. Proverbs 18:21 and James 3:5b-8 make it clear that words have incredible power, and as a lyricist and speaker I am 110% convinced! When you believe the lies of the enemy, you basically come into agreement with an unholy legalist that will brutally hold you to your agreement until you break it with repentance (a changed mind that results in changed actions), confession (come back into agreement with God), and renunciation (disavow the original agreement with the enemy). We need to memorize the truth so that we can have the thoughts of God in our heads, and the “original” with which to recognize and reject the counterfeit (2 Cor. 10:3-6).

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano,
    Smitty Price – Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Joe Schmeeckle – Opening Electric Guitar Arrangement
    Drums – Dave Spur

    Tell Me The Truth

    You create illusions with reality
    And manipulate the longings of the heart
    People come and pay you for their fantasies
    It glitters but it’s cold – it's a web of fool’s gold

    Why don’t you tell me the truth
    I can see through your lies
    Take off your mask and your hollow disguise
    I’ve got nothing to gain
    Playing your wicked game

    You woo us with pontificated strategies
    And calculated statement that entice
    Electors face the slick mask of integrity
    A choice must be made, then a price will be paid

    Clever deceptions to quiet your fears
    Cloud your perceptions and tickle your ears

    You present us with informative authority
    Then only tell us what you think we aught to hear
    Spinning out the issues with selectivity
    It’s corruption at its best all for ratings and prejudice

  • Legacy - 1993 (Against The Night)

    You may have noticed that many of the songs on the Against The Night album are prophetic warnings of what’s coming if we don’t repent and change our ways as a people or a nation. This song doesn’t shy away from that, but rather than just point out the problems and the coming consequences, this message is a message of hope coming straight from the example of the Savior. Growing up, this was my eldest daughter Shelby’s favorite song. She would dance, and twirl, and shout, “Be a Megacy!” It was so cute! Little did she know at that time the miracles God had worked in her father’s life to even get her to “be”.

    Growing up in a violent home, I had an unhealthy view of my Dad. Dad was wealthy, Dad was successful. Dad drove a Triumph Sports Car, Dad smoked a pipe. Dad was a Neurologist, and lived a very nice lifestyle on top of a hill in San Rafael, CA, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in what is one of the wealthiest counties in the USA. Dad was a fantasy place to fly to for 6-weeks of the summer, a custody battle he fought and won when I was 5 years old. My older sister Lisa and I would always look forward to escaping our manic home in New England, a home dominated by an overbearing and at times sadistic step-father.

    But Dad was weak. Dad didn’t really ‘wear the pants’ in his new family. And as I discovered, Dad not only married one of his mistresses down in Mexico before he divorced my mom, but Dad also disinherited Lisa and I, and gave it all to his new wife. I found this out as she contested a hand-written will he had made in the hospital right before he died of cirrhosis of the liver – self-inflicted, at the end of a bottle. That hand-written will was thrown out, as she produced an older, hurtful one that disinherited Lisa and I by name.

    Being disinherited has been one of the most vicious wounds in my life – especially by my father who I am named after – I am his only son. And with him gone, and true reconciliation between the two of us impossible, what was left was for the Holy Spirit to bring me to a place of true Forgiveness, repentance from Bitterness and Betrayal, and a new-found appreciation for being adopted as a son, whereby I can call my Heavenly Father, “Abba”! And I am only just beginning to discover what is in this new and greater inheritance that I get from him – even now…

    My father unfortunately left a nasty legacy for me. I want to leave a different one, and that is what the lyrics of this song are all about.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Synth Sequencing
    Tim Jaquette – Bass, BGVs
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Drums – Dave Spur

    Legacy

    There’s a condition and it’s out of control
    The pulse is steady and it’s dark and it’s cold in the night – alright…
    Down in the cities, they’re out on the streets
    The wretched victims of societal greed and vice – oh it’s not nice

    Their heroes have fallen their champions lie on the floor
    All hope for survival was raised after three days of war

    It’s a Legacy, a Legacy of Love (Stand and Fight)
    A Legacy, a Legacy of Love (Live and Die)

    There’s an addiction to the wine of the world
    A sweet seduction from the wise to the fools who drink… hey, hey
    There are the symptoms, but there is a cause
    We pay the consequence for living above the law… missin’ the mark

    Commitments are shattered, promised slaughtered by lies
    Righteousness counters with those who would lay down their lives

    Dark or Light, Wrong or Right, Narrow – Wide, Truth or Lies
    Realize Sacrifice, Stand and Fight, Live and Die

  • Redeem the Time - 2000 (Crimson Thread of Grace)

    My album Crimson Thread of Grace was recorded at ICC Studios in Eastbourne, England. My manager at the time was Jo Harman, and she had approached them with the idea of recording me since we were starting to become known in the UK. After Jo and Nige started their family (!), Dave Price took up the reigns as manager, and we not only got this done, but toured every corner of the UK with it, and even got on TV.

    As a family, we have so many great memories and friends from living in England, and of course, our second daughter, Sharayah Marie was born there! The Brits are awesome people, and we made a number of friends for life there, and are very, very grateful. My years of being ministry based in the UK were some of the best of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. One of my most enduring musical memories is getting to play and sing this song (amongst others) at a huge Christian event that was taking place during that season, Spring Harvest.

    Redeem the Time was inspired by one of the many messages of my former boss, world-renown speaker, and founder of Operation Mobilization, George Verwer. You can see George’s HUGE impact on my songwriting by the time of my album Against The Night (I Will To Obey, 10-4-0, Open My Heart, and Jesus I Will Follow) – on the third compilation of this Legacy series, Legacy – The Mission.

    Musically, I love how Andy Harsant produced the backing vocals – just awesome! Marcel’s “lazy snare” – it’s almost menacing to me in the verses! I also love the way this song just simply catches fire and starts to take your breath away with crushing energy after the guitar solo. Rock on!

    Bill Drake – Vocals
    Andy Harsant – Piano, Hammond B3 Organ
    Dan Boreham – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Mark Prentice – Bass
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums & Percussion
    Aaron David Frith & Esther Alexander – BGVs

    Redeem The Time

    The time is now, the hour is late
    No holding back, don't hesitate
    Let there be no doubt in your mind
    Forsaking it all, hear the call
    Redeem the time

    Just one life, so lay it down
    Just one voice, so let it sound out
    Just one man, was crucified
    Just one choice to put it all on the line
    Redeem the time

    Nations rise, and nations fall
    But the Word of God outlasts them all
    The trumpet sounds, the armies rise
    Obey His command, take our stand
    Redeem the time

  • Toward The Mark - 2000 (Crimson Thread of Grace)

    Toward The Mark was written one autumn night in our little home on 23 Howard Road, Bromley Kent BR13QJ. I must confess, this is one of my favorite songs (OK, OK, they all are really!), but this one I love because it is just so “me” – at least it feels that way! It plays and sings from my hands and voice as naturally as breathing air.

    Toward The Mark was written musically as a “call back” song in the verses, a song I could teach to a congregation quickly by having them repeat a line after me. This was especially important to me because I was leading worship with saints all over the world for whom English was a second or third language. Toward The Mark went on to become one of my most well-known songs. The Choruses are based specifically after Romans 12:1, Hebrews 12:1, and Philippians 3:13-14.

    I remember going to Adrian Thompson, A&R for ICC in Eastbourne, England at the time, to ask for some extra budget to get a sax player for some of the tunes on the album. He not only readily agreed with the idea, but then went and booked the sax player from one of my favorite British bands, Iona! I couldn’t believe it! And wow did Mike Haughton play! The variety of sax that he laid down on this album is awesome, and I am so grateful to Adrian for providing for it, and Mike for his musical genius.

    Bill Drake – Vocal, Piano
    Andy Harsant – Hammond B3 Organ
    Dan Boreham – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Mark Prentice – Bass
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums & Percussion
    Mike Haughton – Alto Sax
    Aaron David Frith & Esther Alexander – BGVs

    Toward The Mark

    There is a witness, The Word of the Spirit
    Longing to bring it, dying to live it
    There is a message, the Great Commission
    The ultimate purpose, a consuming vision

    I want to give my life as a living sacrifice
    I’m going to run this race with all of my might
    Forsaking what’s behind, laying hold of what is mine
    I’m going to press on toward the mark of Jesus Christ   (to intro)

    Laid out before us, it’s the run of commitment
    A test of endurance, with all perseverance
    Driven by passion, that will never diminish
    It’s from the beginning, and through to the finish

  • Talk’in ‘bout Love - 2001 (Every Nation, Tribe, and Tongue)

    OK – this was just fun! Marcel and Elisha came over from Holland, and we worked this up at West Watch House in East Sussex, England thanks to the hospitality of Wayne and Hillary Thomas. Their daughters danced with Shelby and Sharayah all around the house as we banged out the arrangement to this. We then took this song along with some others that will appear on the next anthology compilation, and recorded them “live” in Holland at the DeBron Center near Dalfsen, together with hundreds of young people who were joining OM that year filling in as the background “choir”. It was awesome.

    Every Nation Tribe & Tongue was in many ways my second God Is Awesome – a worship album, except this time recorded live at an OM event in Holland. The lyrics to Every Nation Tribe & Tongue were translated into numerous languages and put on an accompanying CD ROM, and 20,000 CDs of it were subsequently distributed all over the OM world. I still use some of them in live worship events.

    One of the reasons Missions exists is to bring people from every nation, tribe and tongue to the worship of the one true and living God. In fact, the relationship between Mission and Worship is inescapable – just read Isaiah Chapter 6, or John 20:21. Mission is the Holy Spirit-driven activity that garners more Worshippers for the Glorification of the Living God and the expansion of His Kingdom. I am forever convinced that true Worship has gratitude in its heart, renewal in its mind, compassion in its eyes, blessing on its lips, justice in its hands, humility in its knees, and mission in its feet.  

    Bill Drake – Organ, Vocals
    Elisha Krijgsman – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums
    Bass – Mark Dekkers
    Lydia Zimmer & Reni Krijgsman – BGVs

    Talkin’ ‘bout Love

    Listen to the heavenly beat
    It's the sound of the gospel being taken to the streets
    Saints are dancing to the joyful sound
    with the rocks and the stones with creation crying out

    To the noise of injustice, and the pain of this world
    There's a voice that is righteous and it's dying to be heard

    And it's talkin' 'bout love, talkin' 'bout faith
    Talkin' 'bout Jesus being the answer
    For the whole of the human race
    There will be freedom, and there will be peace
    When we choose to move in power, in the power of His grace

    Now there is a Spirit, and there is a Truth
    There's a new life in God that sets captive spirits loose
    There's a Commission, and there's a Command
    To tell nations and peoples that the Kingdom is at hand

    In the face of oppression and the cries of despair
    There's a voice of compassion, and a word for ears to hear

    In the distant thunder, hear the gates being opened wide
    It's the sound of revival, and it will not be denied . .

  • Christ In Us – 2005 (Aroma)

    The theme of this song is taken from one of my favorite verses in the Scriptures: …God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27. The impact of this is statement is so huge, there was actually no way to capture it all in the limitations of 17 lines! But try we might!

    Theologically, it is the fact of the Son of God’s Incarnation that makes such an eventuality even possible: that Christ and the Holy Spirit could now dwell in a human being! Given that the spiritual power of the resurrection is now available to us in ‘real time’, this makes it possible for us to spiritually and practically overcome our ever-present adversaries: “the world, the flesh, and the devil”, as Martin Luther put it.

    And this is Hope indeed! Hope that we will be made ‘like’ Christ. Hope that we will be glorified one day. And a secure Hope that the things we do and suffer here and now in the physical realm actually do make a huge difference now and eternally – hence the power of our Ambassador of Reconciliation role given to us in 2 Cor. 5:17-21, as an outworking of being a new creation: being ‘in Christ’, and Christ ‘in us’.

    Christ In Us was the first song Josh and I started to record for my first CD after returning from ten years in the UK. I had started touring the USA again in later part of 2001, and invited Jill McAfee to join as a backing vocalist. I had met Joe Ricciardi at local church we were attending, and Jon Simpson at a Church in Los Gatos, CA. Jon not only joined me in OM, but has gone on to not only develop his own songwriting, recording, and touring ministry, but was a founding member of OM Arts and is now the Associate Director! Jon has a cool little bass riff in this song, but is also an accomplished guitar player as well. All of these guys have become my dearest friends, and we have had the privilege of sharing “The Hope Of Glory” all over the world over the last ten years.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Jon Simpson – Bass
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Kevin & Susane Haglund– BGVs

    Christ In Us

    Held in these earthly vessels, there is a heavenly hope
    One Who turns darkness into light
    Though we are weak and broken, One Spirit lives within
    One power that raises death to life

    Christ in us, the hope of glory reigns
    Lift Him up, He is the risen living King of Kings

    One hope for all the living, One died for all our sins
    One through Whom we are reconciled
    We are a new creation, old things have passed away
    Made as ambassadors for Christ

    Christ in us, the hope of glory reigns
    Lift Him up, He is the risen living King of Kings (repeat)

    He is the risen living King of Kings (4x)

    Christ in us, the hope of Glory,
    Christ in us, the King of Kings
    Lift Him up, His name is holy
    Lift Him up, He is the risen King

  • Hearts On Fire – 2005 (Aroma)

    Worshipping at Braelinn Baptist Church in Peachtree City, Georgia, in late 2001, I saw an electric guitarist on stage just “bringin’ it”. Man, you just needed a fire extinguisher when this guy was done burnin’ it down! I turned to Teri and said, “I’m gonna invite that guy to tour around the world with me.” I went down there on the stage after the service, walked right up to him, paid him some honest and large compliments, and the rest is history. Joe is one of my closest friends, and we have been playing together all over the world ever since!

    A few years later while we were working on this, Joe came to me with an idea to do the “news reports of martyrdom” in the middle of the song, and include the mention of Bonnie Witherall’s death, the inspiration behind the song Wear The Crown. We asked a bunch of my colleagues from OM to read the “reports”, and the result is pretty incredible – Joe’s voice being heard reading, “… a Christian nurse was shot today in Sidon, Lebanon…”

    Joe also reintroduced me to the concept of “facemelt”. One time just for fun, he rewrote our concert’s set-list by renaming all the songs in it with the word “facemelt” woven in somehow! Imagine my surprise to look down for my set-list as a concert started to see my songs labeled, And The Facement Waits, Facemelt on Fire, and Wear The Facemelt! Joe’s subsequent guitar solos have left carbon and burn marks all over the place, with the amp a smoldering heap in the corner! Hearts on Fire is seriously one of the most rockin’ songs I have ever had the privilege to write (I actually wrote the chorus music when I was 16 years old!). And the subject matter couldn’t be more provocative – some things need a little more force behind them, and that’s what I would call the passion and power of the persecuted church.

    Hearts On Fire became one of the main features of the Wear The Crown Tour that took us literally all over the world, to highlight not only the plight, but the courage and devoted passion of the Persecuted Church. Pray for our brothers and sisters – they are setting the pace folks…

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Jon Simpson – Bass, BGVs
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Jill McAfee – BGVs

    Hearts On Fire

    Across the desert, and through the sand
    Righteous pilgrims bound for the promised land
    A holy hunger, unquenching thirst
    Impassioned convicts freed by the second birth

    Saints in ages past dared to take Your name
    Many paid the price by goin' against the grain
    Standing up for the truth in the lion's face
    With their Hearts On Fire...

    A new millenium, a different time
    But people do what's right in their own eyes
    We measure standards, with plastic truths
    And make the nations pay for the crimes we do

    Still Your legacy stokes a burning flame
    For those who'll wear the cross,
    And not despise the shame
    Voices rising up to proclaim Your name
    With their Hearts On Fire...

  • And The World Waits – 2005 (Aroma)

    We’re a drugged, aborted, euthanized, deceived culture of death were the first words I had for this song. The musical progression had been creeping up on me for some time, and when Josh and I started working on Aroma, I pulled this out. He liked it. I haven’t put a song like this on an album for a while, and it just seemed time… there has always been a prophetic side to some of my songwriting, and although I explored that a bit more in the early 1990s, it's never gone away…

    Lyrically, this is cut from the same cloth as some of the Against The Night songs, but with a much more modern production thanks to Josh Fisher. The bridge actually borrows some lyrics straight out of Collision Course, as it just seemed to “ask for it”! I couldn’t help but throw that Gospel Organ in there as well. The intentional collapse at the end of the song was skillfully orchestrated by Josh, who wanted to musically emulate the chaos that is going on in our society. Most cool.

    Part of the inspiration for this came from this thought: that we are not better than barbarians when it comes to sacrificing our children to idols. Partial-birth abortion is a phrase that has been so anesthetized from the satanic procedure it is, that I’m convinced he’s behind it, as we kill our offspring on the altar of our sexual immorality. Neo-Darwinism, Existentialism, Hedonism, and Pluralism are all human attempts to philosophically escape from this simple truth: there is a God, He has revealed Himself, and “He has shown thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee: but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Micah 6:8. Otherwise we are going to be treated to a stroll through Romans 1:18-32 when the Judge comes back – not good…

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric and Acoustic Guitars
    Jon Simpson – Bass, BGVs
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming

    And The World Waits

    There's a cold east-wind a blowin', the season's startin' to change
    A post-christian west embraces now it's close post-modern friend
    The truth lies dead and buried, slain by ethics-relative
    Justice is bought, Love is sold; who cares if God is dead
    And the world waits...

    Our pleasures are the standard by which we draw the line
    As we sink into the deep abyss of a steep moral decline
    Digital lies hack their way into our consciousness
    We're a drugged, aborted, euthanized, deceived culture of death
    And the world waits…

    A post-christian west embraces now it's close post-modern friend
    Justice is bought, Love is sold; who cares if God is dead
    As we sink into a dark and deep abyss don’t hold your breath
    We're a drugged, aborted, euthanized, deceived culture of death

    Now there's a shadow of a crucifix that leans on every man
    You can choose to go deny it, or deny yourself instead
    From the four points of the compass, it dares to make its claim
    And inherent in its promise is that the Judge will come again

    If all roads lead to heaven then we all can play this game
    Hedonists, Atheists and Agnostics ride this train
    Dancing on the slippery slope, we're out there tempting fate
    But The last time Sodom played this game, they made a bad mistake

  • Great Are You – 2005 (Aroma)

    I wrote this song, starting with the main riff, on my Martin D-28. This guitar was given to me by an ex-marine after a concert I did in Camarillo, California. He had approached me as we were packing up, and asked if I could wait around until he came back with something he wanted to give to me. Well, 30 minutes later we were in the parking lot, everyone was gone, and we were wondering if he was coming back! A few minutes later he appeared in his small pickup truck, and pulled a guitar case out of the bed. He explained that all his life he wanted to be a ‘rock-star’, and when he got out of the military, he had purchased all this gear – and then discovered he really didn’t have any talent! He explained that over the last couple of years, he had sold or had given almost all of it away, and this was one of the last remaining ‘idols’. He said that during the concert, the Lord had really convicted him, and even led him to give it to me, but only upon one condition – that I would never use it to play or write anything that didn’t glorify God. He made me swear on it. I did – not because I wanted the guitar, but because I had already crossed that threshold a few years before when I gave my life to Jesus out of the Bar and Nightclub scene. Upon my ‘swearing’, he gave it to me. Well, we put it in our truck, but didn’t make it more than 3 miles down the road before we had to see what it was! We opened, it, and I wept – a Martin D-28 in immaculate condition.

    Since then, I have written many, many songs on it, including this one, influenced by some of the music I was exposed to while living in the UK. Josh amped this up a bit, and the result is just pure Worship and Joy! Joe Ricciardi’s electric guitars are simply awesome, and his guitar solo in the middle was literally a “one-take wonder”, as he told Josh, “Just put me in the red, and I’ll go in there and put something down…” Well, he did go in there, and simply nailed it!

    Bill Drake – Acoustic Guitar
    Joe Ricciardi – Acoustic & Electric Lead Guitar, Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Jon Simpson – Bass, BGVs
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Jill McAfee – BGVs

    Great Are You Lord

    Great are You Lord above the heavens
    Great are You Lord, on the earth
    Great are You Lord in the sanctuary
    Great are You Lord by Your Word

    You are the Lord, You are the King
    You are the Maker of heaven and earth
    You are the Christ, The Sacrificed
    You rose forever victorious
    From age to age, beyond today
    Your name is ever exalted
    To the ends of the earth . . .

    Praised are You Lord by the nations
    Praised are You Lord, by heavenly host
    Praised are You Lord all throughout Your Kingdom
    Praised are You Lord by Your Truth

    Give Glory to God above the heavens
    Give Glory to God on the earth
    Give Glory to God in the sanctuary
    We Give Glory to You by the power of Your Word

  • You Are My God – 2005 (Aroma)

    I have to admit that at first I wasn’t so sure if Josh Fisher would be a good fit to produce my next album after returning to the USA from the UK. Travis McAfee, Jill’s brother, highly regarded Josh though, not only as a drummer, but as a musician who had a killer ear for bringing things out that might not at once be apparent in a tune. And Travis was so right! Josh did an awesome job on Aroma, and You Are My God is a great example of this, as the production is simply amazing!

    I wrote this song on my Martin D-28, waiting for my manager Kevin to come and pick me up for a promo photo shoot. I was sitting on the bench of our little hall tree, looking outside, and simply worshiping. The song just literally started “happening” and the entire thing came together in about 15 minutes! And I have found a similar principle at work all over the world, in prisons, under trees, and even driving down the road: worship doesn’t need a massive production, sound systems, and hoopla – it is a simple response to God from a thankful heart. Sure we can add truckloads of technology, and I admit that I enjoy the odd subwoofer and light-show. But at the end of the day, worship should be simple, unadulterated, genuine, honest, and natural. You can’t hype authenticity, but you can certainly let it flow. And that’s what happened here on this tune. Praise God.

    When I brought this to Josh, he immediately envisioned what you hear now. The radio voice, the intro in muted string and then full-blown – he had it all in his head, and then proceeded to flush it all out. And this included using Maggie Vaughn for backing vocals on some of the songs on this album. Her voice was perfectly suited to a song like this, and she totally nails it! For me, one of the highlights here is the ending, which picks up a new progression, new lyrics, and some serious energy!

    I just have to add that I LOVE Joe’s guitar solo on this, and I really dig the bagpipe-esque nod on the third phrase, where he finds a root note, and then keeps coming back to it after a varying note – simply awesome technique!

    Bill Drake – Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Jon Simpson – Bass
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Maggie Vaugn – BGVs

    You Are My God

    You are my Lord and my Savior, You are my Sovereign Creator
    You are my Everlasting Father, You are my God

    You are my Forgiver and my Friend, You are the Beginning without End
    You are the Grace to start again, You are my God

    And I praise You Lord
    And I raise Your holy name on high
    You are crowned above the nations
    Your the living revelation of the
    Glorious Pre-eminent One
    You are my God

    You are the life that comes from death, You keep my every living breath
    You hold me close upon your breast, You are my God

    You are my God (You Are Crowned above the Nations)
                                            (You’re The Living Revelation)
    You are my God (You’re The Author of Salvation)
                                   (And The Lord of all Creation)

  • Arise – 2010 (Broken & Complete)

    I started writing this song after my band and I witnessed first-hand a woman who was demon possessed. Yeah, it scared us good, but it was even more humiliating know that we didn’t know what to do. I finished writing this song in Thailand, after walking past a ghastly display of idolatry, and the connection between Idolatry and demons is well laid out in Deut. 32:16-17, and 1 Cor. 10:20-12. It sent chills through me.

    Oh, we worship idols in the West as well, they just look a little different! Honestly, the lack of teaching on Spiritual Warfare in our Evangelical Churches my friends is a scourge upon the church. To send an army into a battle unarmed and unarmored is so ridiculous as to be absurd. I’m afraid the enlightenment has done us a great disservice – we are in the middle of a supernatural war that is being waged in at least two dimensions and we need to wake up and realize that there is an enemy who is out to destroy us, and learn how to defeat him.

    Lies, disunity, taking up the offense, mental assent to falsehoods – all of these and so much more are spiritual landmines laid out to blow the Body of Christ apart. I take great comfort in the beautiful words of Rev. 13:12: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” The apostle Paul teaches us that we ‘Wrestle not against flesh and blood but rather against powers, principalities, and powers of spiritual wickedness in high places”. He informs us “Brothers, we are not unaware of His schemes”, and encourages us that we have been given “weapons that can pull down strongholds”, he exhorts us to “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ”, and not to engage with a Spirit of Fear, but rather to receive His Spirit of Love, Power, and a Sound Mind.

    A real good start for this is Neal Anderson’s great book The Bondage Breaker, C.S. Lewis’ famous Skrewtape Letters, and Derek Prince’s book, And They Shall Cast out Demons. Check it out, and get your amour on…

    I asked Joe Ricciardi if he could arrange this tune, as somehow I knew he would light it up, and I couldn’t be happier! The only thing that made it better for me, is when Tim Friesen asked me to bring that “Pinball Wizard” arpeggiated synth to play in the choruses! 80’s? Really Tim? You’re gonna let me?!?!?!   Awesome!

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Tim Friesen – Bass, programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums
    The Gang – BGVs

    Arise

    We hear the drums of the Mighty Warrior
    We hear the rhythm and we raise the battle cry
    For there’s an enemy determined to slay us
    But by God’s word and love we’ve come to testify

    Hail Hail the King of Glory!
    Hail Hail the Price of Peace!
    Hail Hail The One Who’s overcome the world
    Hail, Hail the Conquering One!

    We have been purchased by the blood of the Savior
    And from His bond of love nothing can separate
    We pledge our breath to the One Who saved us
    We pull down everything that’s raised against His name

    We arise in all the armor of The Lord
    We arise in the name of Christ
    We arise to join the battle for the world
    We are willing to give our lives!

  • Star of the Morning – 2011 (Broken & Complete)

    This is one of those songs that took a few years to write for some reason. I actually had some of it done by the time we recorded Aroma, and actually performed a version of it on tour in South Africa at a worship event in the mid-2000s on the Wear The Crown Tour. But it wasn’t until I started working on my Masters Degree in 2011 that it all fell together.

    You will notice that all early church worship services had four movements – something that is today called the 4-fold pattern of worship – The Gathering, The Service of the Word, The Service of the Table, and The Dismissal. Most evangelical churches leave out the 3rd movement for reasons I totally disagree with, but the Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant and independent churches still employ all four. For one of my Masters projects, I took on the task of writing a song for each of the 4 movements, and you can find them all on the Broken & Complete CD. Star of the Morning was The Gathering song for that project, and I still use it today to start many of the events that I do around the world.

    Musically, when I first heard the drum part to the verses of It’s All Because of Jesus I’m Alive by Steve Fee, I just knew that I wanted to engage creatively with that kind of pattern – it was awesome! What’s so amazing, is that when I suggested that to Josh Fisher, he humbly told me that he was the one who came up with that, and laid it down on Steve’s song! I said, “Is it OK to plagiarize yourself mate?!” He said, “No problem, I’ll do it again just for you!”

    One last musical note – I always have enjoyed singing with Ty Stewart – he’s got a great tenor voice, and a knack of just getting the right line. Tim and I threw him behind the microphone one day up in Whetstone Studio, just to see what might happen – well, we kept it! Ty and his family have ended up serving the Lord in Belgium, had Ty has led worship for huge events in Europe now, and I couldn’t be more proud of them! They are great and humble examples of followers of Jesus who are full of His Spirit, reigning down through them.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Tim Friesen – Bass, programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums
    Ty Stewart – BGVs

    Star Of The Morning

    We fill Your gates with Thanksgiving, we flood Your Courts with Praise
    You are the Lord of Creation, the Name above every Name
    A wave of pure restoration, a place where righteousness reigns
    Rebuild the ancient foundations, with a Tsunami of grace

    Star of the Morning Arise and Shine on Us!
    Reveal Your Glory and by Your Spirit Reign down Your love!
    Star of the Morning Arise and Shine on Us!
    You've opened the Gates of Heaven to us
    Arise Oh God and let Your Kingdom come!

    You call the people to Zion, if they will seek Your face
    If they will turn from their idols, embrace repentance again
    You will pour out a blessing, that they cannot contain
    You'll raise a new generation, You'll send the fire again

    Let Your Kingdom be raised, and let Jesus be praised!
    Let the ruins be restored, fill Your people once more!

    Come and Reign Down!

  • To The Ends of the Earth – 2013 (Broken & Complete)

    Ever since I heard Scott Wesley Brown’s song of the same name, I wanted to write a song by the title as well. Scott’s song is a beautiful ballad, and that having already been well-covered, I decided to write something that enjoined the call to “Go ye therefore into all the world” in a more upbeat sort of way. I remember driving down the highway kinda singing and humming the title, and before you know it, I had the lyrics to the chorus. I got home, picked up my guitar, and bang, song done.

    I love Joe’s guitar solo for numbers of reasons in this, not the least of which is the nod to the Allman Brothers! He nailed it in just a few takes, and when he was done, there was a tear streaming down his face. I asked him what was going on, as the song is a joyful celebration of the privilege it is to follow in Jesus steps. He just said, “Bill, I’ve been waiting my whole life to lay a solo like that, and I finally got to do it. Praise God.” Joy comes in different forms, but certainly being able to deliver something with excellence that “speaks” so totally from your soul – well, that qualifies!

    And that’s it isn’t it – we were born to worship, and being able to take that to others who need to be set free from the equally shared bondages of iniquity and false identity – there is nothing more fulfilling. For over 2,000 years, followers of Christ have been willing to lay down their lives so that their fellow human beings would have a chance to enter the Kingdom of God, and know the King of Love. As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A man doesn’t know why he is alive until he knows what he would die for.” Jesus said that if we try to save our lives, we will lose them, but, if we lose our life for His sake, we will find it. So let’s lose it, find it, and then take it to the ends of the earth.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards,
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    David Cooper – Acoustic Guitar 
    Tim Friesen – Bass, programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums

    Take It To The Ends of the Earth

    Oh Lord how majestic is Your name
    You are God and you alone are worthy of all praise
    You spoke light into the darkness
    You made us to be reflections of Your grace

    Take it to the ends of the earth for a God of infinite worth
    All Glory and Honor and Praise
    Going in the Spirit of Christ
    Offering the whole of our lives   
    Forever Your Kingdom will Reign... Forever will Reign

    Oh Lord how exalted is your name
    You're the Christ and you have died for sickness, sin, and pain
    You have conquered death and darkness
    You have risen up and crushed the enemy

    Take it to the ends of the earth for a God of infinite worth
    All Glory and Honor and Praise
    Moving in the power of Christ
    We will bring the truth and the life
    Forever Your Kingdom will Reign... Forever will Reign

    Following the footsteps of Christ
    We will go and lay down our lives
    Forever Your Kingdom will Reign... Forever will Reign

Concert Photos
Many incredible memories with our friends at each concert. Where did you see Bill Drake.