Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell Could Have Been A Stryper Song?

(Gibson) In a recent interview on RockConfidential.com, Stryper frontman Michael Sweet talked about the Christian band's latest, decidedly non-Christian covers album, The Covering. According to Sweet, the idea to do a covers album was suggested by his wife after the band had added brought a little Priest to their recent sets.

"We were doing covers way back in the day before we were Stryper," Sweet said. "Over the years we'd always sound check with a cover or two. We started adding [Van Halen's] 'On Fire' to the set in '91. Recently we started adding [Judas Priest's] 'Breaking The Law.' My wife Lisa was backstage one night and said, 'You guys oughta do a covers album. Look at the response you get live.' That's what really got me to thinking and we talked about it as a band. We agreed that now would be the perfect time to do these because the four of us would be able to go in and have some fun, loosen up and show people where our roots lie. Add to that, a lot of people over the years have asked us about doing a covers album. It just felt like the right time and having my wife suggest it confirmed what we had been thinking for years. We went in and did it, so props to her!"

As for some of the material, including the Dio era Sabbath classic, "Heaven and Hell," Sweet thinks fans should give the lyrics a listen before condemning the music. "There were some songs we were thinking about and decided we probably shouldn't. There were some Ozzy songs, some Maiden songs, some Priest songs. We tried our best to be appropriate with the lyrical choices. Some may argue, 'How can they justify doing a Sabbath song?' If you read the words to 'Heaven and Hell,' those are lyrics that Stryper would've written. There's nothing wrong with those lyrics. They're absolutely dead-on the money."

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