Larry Norman

larry norman

The founding father of Jesus Rock, Larry Norman wed the rhythms of pop music with the spiritual and social outlook of Christianity to create a kind of flower-power gospel. While his efforts were instrumental in shaping the sound and themes of contemporary Christian rock, Norman never enjoyed the commercial success or acceptance afforded to his musical descendants, admitting his sensibilities were "too secular for the Christians and too Christian for the secularists."

Born in Corpus Christi, TX on April 8, 1947, Norman was raised in San Francisco. A devout follower of both Jesus Christ and Elvis Presley, as a boy he regularly sang original Christian-themed lyrics over his favorite rock & roll records, and in 1959 even appeared on the CBS television variety series The Original Amateur Hour. In 1965 Norman co-founded the Bay Area psychedelic group People!, which a year later signed to Capitol and scored a minor hit with the single "Organ Grinder." A subsequent cover of the Zombies' "I Love You" yielded a U.S. Top 20 entry, and in early 1968 the group began work on its debut LP. However, around this time a number of Norman's bandmates embraced Scientology, and when Capitol resisted his entreaties to title People!'s debut LP We Need a Whole Lot More of Jesus and a Lot Less Rock and Roll -- the album instead hit retail as I Love You -- he left the group and mounted a solo career.

Capitol nevertheless agreed to release Norman's solo debut, 1969's Upon This Rock -- the album vaulted him to iconic status within the growing Jesus People counterculture movement but earned the scorn of the conservative Christian establishment, and because secular pop radio wanted nothing to do with the album, either, Capitol soon cut its ties with the singer. Norman resurfaced in 1972 on MGM, issuing the landmark Only Visiting This Planet, commonly cited among the most influential Christian rock records of all time. The first chapter in a three-album trilogy retelling the story of creation, the fall, and redemption, it was followed by So Long Ago the Garden and In Another Land, and together the LPs represent the creative zenith of his career. Upon leaving MGM in 1974, Norman's founded his own Solid Rock Records imprint, releasing his own material as well as albums by Christian acts including Randy Stonehill, Mark Heard, and Daniel Amos -- he also launched The Vineyard, a Bible study program for musicians and actors that at one point welcomed Bob Dylan, who later embraced Christianity and released a series of Norman-inspired spiritual LPs highlighted by 1979's Slow Train Coming. Secular performers including Van Morrison, John Mellencamp, and the Pixies' Black Francis later cited Norman as an influence as well, and more than 300 artists covered his songs, among them Sammy Davis, Jr.
Norman died of heart failure on February 24, 2008 -- he was 60 years old.

allmusicUnless otherwise noted the information was gathered from AMG.

Rough Street Love Letter

Rough Street Love Letter

1999 - 2xCD compilation

Just Like A Woman

Also on:
Barking At The Ants (1981 - LP - not shown)
Rough Mix 3(1990 - LP/CD compilation - not shown)

Copper Wires

Copper Wires

1998  US CD

When He Returns

Note: In The Garden  on this album is an original, not the Dylan song.

Copper Wires

Copper Wires

1998  Euro CD

When He Returns

Note: In The Garden  on this album is an original, not the Dylan song.

Breathe In Breathe Out

Breathe In Breathe Out

1998 - Live

Like A Rolling Stone Live in Holland,  backed by the Dutch band  Beam

Rock, Scissors et Papier

Rock, Scissors et Papier

2003 - CD compilation

In The Garden Live, rec.?, this one is the Dylan song!
Positively 4th Street

Note: Just Like A Woman  and  Positively 4th Street  were both recorded for “Before and After,”  an unreleased Dylan tribute album circa 1982



Sessions

Sessions

2004

Knockin' On Heaven's Door (some new lyrics)
Everything Is Broken

Dust on Rust

Dust on Rust

2006 - Live

Queen Jane Approximately / Father Of Night
Sign On The Cross
When The Ship Comes In
Visions Of Johanna

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