The lyrics are great, but how is the taste?

With sales of secular exercise records soaring, Christian record companies are flexing their marketing muscles in an effort to carve a slice of the economic action. If initial sales of Christian aerobic albums are any indication, these companies should fare rather well.

Aerobic exercises are strenuous routines intended to improve cardiovascular fitness as well as muscle strength and toning. The choreographed exercise routines are generally performed to the accompaniment of rhythmic music. The Christian albums substitute a sampling of Christian pop, rock, and jazz in place of the pop, rock, and jazz commonly used on secular aerobic records; and though secular aerobic albums freely refer to the exercises as “dance,” most of the Christian versions prefer a more innocuous euphemism such as “strenuous exercise.”

When Judi Sheppard Missett’s Jazzercise became the first fitness album ever to attain the record industry’s certified gold status (sales in excess of 500,000), it was only the warm-up. Now, only one year later, Missett’s success has been followed by Carol Hansel’s Exercise and Dance Program, Vol. I (gold), Jane Fonda’s Workout Record (gold), and Richard Simmons’s Reach (certified platinum, sales in excess of one million). With the nation caught up in the fitness craze, Christian music executives are eager to remind the religious record-buying public that their bodies are indeed temples of the Holy Spirit. And to meet the anticipated demand, the Christian companies are producing aerobic albums faster than you can say, “Eight dollars, please”: Aerobic Celebration, Aerobic Praise, Aerobic Jubilation, Firm Believer, Devotion in Motion, Praise-R-Cise (Slogan: “With Praise-R-Cise I can ...

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