Daniel Amos

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"Get it straight: Terry Taylor is a legend. ... Over the course of 20 years and as many records, Taylor has, with inimitable wit and lyrical prowess, exposed the collective neuroses and hypocrisies of the American Church. As a member of such bands as Daniel Amos, The Swirling Eddies and The Lost Dogs, he and his compatriots rewrote the Christian rock paradigm, giving a voice to frustrated young Christians."
—"Terry Tyler Rides a New Wave", 7-Ball Magazine, July/August 1998

Daniel Amos was a genre-pushing rock, New Wave, and alternative band fronted by Terry Scott Taylor (yes, that Terry Scott Taylor), notable for their huge influence on Christian Rock's underground scene, and later influence on some not-so-underground Christian rock acts of the '90s and later. Even outside that scene, the members of U2 were fans, and Collective Soul have cited them as an influence.

DA started off in 1974 as a folk group, and signed to Maranatha Records in '75. Needing to come up with enough material for a debut album, they settled on a style that was easy to write and would give them a wide appeal: country-rock. Almost immediately, their ambitions pushed them to the boundaries of the genre, and they soon abandoned the country sound altogether. Unfortunately, while advertising hyped how "bizarre" and "multifaceted" their upcoming Horrendous Disc was, the album itself languished in pre-release limbo for three years, due to some equally-bizarre behind-the-scenes record label shenanigans that, to this day, no one really understands. During this period, DA managed to accidentally run afoul of the über-conservative Christian scene of the '70s several times; this, and their focus on new material over the old country songs at live shows, alienated most of their fans and forced DA to rebuild their fanbase almost from scratch.

Some of their fellow Christians had criticized DA for not gearing their music specifically for the Church body; DA responded with The Alarma Chronicles, a series of four concept albums intended as a wakeup call for Western Christians. The music was cutting-edge New Wave, and the lyrics satirized hypocrisy, dodgy theology, televangelists, and the shallow nature of modern society, tempered with heartfelt meditations on God, doubt, and the band's own failings. This was followed up by Darn Floor-Big Bite, which--though a critical success and considered by many fans DA's best album ever--was a commercial flop.

DA could have quit right there and their place in Christian rock's history would have been assured, but they didn't. In the wake of Darn Floor-Big Bite, DA decided to try something different; the result was several of the members taking on pseudonyms and recording as The Swirling Eddies, whose music was even more silly and satirical than DA's usual fare.

The 90's saw DA reunite and resume recording new material. In the 2000's, their productivity slowed down quite a bit, but Terry Scott Taylor is still writing music and none of his bands have officially called it quits.

Terry Scott Taylor is also a member of roots music Supergroup Lost Dogs.

Personnel:[edit | hide | hide all]

DA themselves[edit | hide]

  • Terry Scott Taylor: lead vocals, guitar, keys
  • Marty Diekmeyer (DA - ¡Alarma!): bass
  • Steve Baxter (DA only): guitar
  • Jerry Chamberlain (DA - Doppelganger, Motor Cycle - Songs of the Heart): guitar
  • Mark Cook (Shotgun Angel - Horrendous Disc): keys
  • Ed McTaggart (Shotgun Angel - present): drums
  • Alex McDougal (Horrendous Disc): percussion
  • Tim Chandler (Doppelganger - present): bass
  • Rob Watson (Vox Humana - Fearful Symmetry): keys
  • Greg Flesch (Fearful Symmetry - present): guitar, keys, mandolin

The Swirling Eddies[edit | hide]

  • Camarillo Eddy (aka Terry Scott Taylor)
  • Berger Roy Al (aka Tim Chandler)
  • Gene Pool (aka Greg Flesch)
  • Arthur Fhardy (aka Rob Watson)
  • Spot (aka Jerry Chamberlain)
  • Hort Elvison (aka David Raven): drums
  • Prickly Disco (aka Gene Eugene): guitar, keys
  • Picky Swelly
  • Derry Air
  • Judy Ism
  • Newt York Newt York


Discography:

Daniel Amos[edit | hide]

  • Daniel Amos (1976; deluxe edition reissued in 2006)
  • Shotgun Angel (1977)
  • Horrendous Disc (recorded 1978, released 1981)
  • The Alarma Chronicles (reissued as a CD box set in 2000)
    • ¡Alarma! (1981)
    • Doppelganger (1983)
    • Vox Humana (1984)
    • Fearful Symmetry (1986)
  • The Revelation (1986) A remix of side B of Shotgun Angel.
  • Darn Floor-Big Bite (1987; deluxe edition reissued in 2008)
  • Live Bootleg '82 (1990)
  • Kalhöun (1991)
  • Motor Cycle (1993)
  • Bibleland (1994)
  • Preachers from Outer Space! (1994) A live album, originally recorded 1978.
  • Songs of the Heart (1995; deluxe edition, titled When Everyone Wore Hats, reissued in 2001)
  • Our Personal Favorite World Famous Hits (1998) Greatest Hits Album.
  • Live at Cornerstone 2000 (2000)
  • Mister Buechner's Dream (2001)

The Swirling Eddies[edit | hide]

Terry Scott Taylor solo[edit | hide]

  • Knowledge and Innocence (1986)
  • A Briefing for the Ascent (1987)
  • The Neverhood game soundtrack (1996)
  • John Wayne (1998)
  • Skullmonkeys game soundtrack (1998)
  • Avocado Faultline (2000)
  • LITTLE, big EP (2002)
  • All Day Sing and Dinner on the Ground EP (2002)
  • Songs for the Day After Christmas EP (2002)
  • Imaginarium: Songs from The Neverhood (2004)
  • Random Acts and Hodgepodge (2008)
  • Swine Before Pearl (2010)

Daniel Amos provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Anime Hair: They sported gelled-up hair on the Vox Humana cover, and the lyrics even referenced it:

My hair points to the sky
the place I wanna be.

  • Anonymous Band: The Swirling Eddies.
  • Book Ends: Doppelganger begins and ends with the song "Hollow Man".
  • Continuity Nod: "Hollow Man" uses the rhythm section from the previous album's song "Ghost of the Heart", looped backwards. "Travelog" briefly features a vocal sample from The Price Is Right that was used extensively on the previous album's song "New Car!"
  • Cover Album: The Eddie's Sacred Cows, featuring parodic covers of the most popular Christian rock songs of the moment.
  • Development Hell: Horrendous Disc. Delayed for three years, and was only released one week prior to their next studio album.
  • Dying Dream: As revealed in Fearful Symmetry, the entire Alarma Chronicles.
  • Evil Twin: "The Double", "Distance and Direction"... pretty much a running theme of the Doppelganger album.
  • Eyeless Face: The ¡Alarma! cover.
  • I Am Not Shazam:

"People always ask," comments Taylor wryly, "which one's Dan? We took our name from the two Old Testament prophets--Ezekial and Jeremiah." [1]

  • I Want My Jetpack: "(It's the Eighties, So Where's Our) Rocket Packs" (In-Universe.)
  • Name's the Same: Before getting the record deal, they called themselves Jubal's Last Band, then shortened it to Jubal. At a Maranatha Music Group meeting, they had a chance run-in with Daryl Mansfield and realized that his new band was also named Jubal. Embarrassed at the overlap, both bands immediately decided to change their names.
  • Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition: Most of their CD rereleases are this. Swine Before Pearl takes the cake, however: for an extra $100, you could commision Taylor to write and record an original song, exlusively for your copy of the CD.
  • Listing Cities: Or rather, listing seminaries on "Hide the Beer, the Pastor's Here".
  • Literary Allusion Title: Fearful Symmetry, after a line from William Blake's "Tyger Tyger".
  • New Sound Album: Horrendous Disc marked a complete change. Goodbye, Daniel Amos the country band; hello, Daniel Amos the "whatever the heck we feel like playing" band.
  • Punny Name: Most of the Swirling Eddies' pseudonyms.
  • Rock Opera:
    • The entire Alarma Chronicles is organized around the story of one man's apocalyptic dream-vision of the western Church, his own soul, the world, and finally Heaven.
    • Songs of the Heart is the story of Bud and Irma Arkendorf, an elderly couple on their last vacation together.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: DA wasn't offensive, but their material demanded contemplation. As a result, folks with an overly-narrow opinion of Christianity and Christian rock frequently took offense at their material, and DA earned an entirely-unwanted reputation as a "controversial" band.
  • Self-Demonstrating Song: "Dance Stop", an energetic white-man's-dance-music tune about dancing... on the eve of nuclear Armageddon.
  • Stop and Go: "Dance Stop" again.
  • Stylistic Suck: Most of Sacred Cows. "God Good Devil Bad" was performed as if Taylor had just suffered a blow to the head, "Baby Baby" was performed like a hotel lobby karaoke song, and so on.
  • Trope Name: "This is the Title".