King's X PhotoFORMED: 1985, Springfield, MO

Although King's X got much of its radio and MTV play among a host of simple pop-metal bands, its music was a great deal more complex and distinctive. King's X blended intricate, Beatlesque vocal harmonies with hard rock riffs, complicated song structures, and lyrical metaphors often concerning Christian spirituality (but never overtly) to win an audience of both metal and progressive rock fans, plus considerable critical acclaim. Bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick and drummer Jerry Gaskill met while both were touring with the Christian rock band Petra, while guitarist Ty Tabor met Gaskill at Evangel College in Springfield, Illinois after having played bluegrass in his family band.

The three formed a band called the Edge in 1980, initially specializing in Top 40 covers, and toured for five years. The group moved to Houston in 1985 and met Z.Z. Top video producer Sam Taylor, who took them under his wing and suggested the name King's X, after a local band he was fond of in high school. After several years of trying, King's X finally scored a deal with the independent Megaforce label and released their debut album, Out of the Silent Planet, in 1988. The track "Over My Head," from Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, received a moderate amount of airplay, and the band found widespread favor with critics and fellow musicians. Faith Hope Love by King's X was their first album to reach the Top 100, due in part to the single "It's Love," and its success led to a major-label deal with Atlantic.

Their debut there, 1992's King's X, fizzled, but the band rebounded in 1994 with Dogman, also playing at the Woodstock '94 festival. Tape Head followed in 1998, and two years later the band resurfaced with Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous. Around the same time, King's X received a pleasant accolade from their peers when they were voted as one of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" on a VH1 TV special. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide