Archive for Larry Norman

Randy Stonehill – Welcome To Paradise

Posted in Christian Rock, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Larry Norman, Legends, Music Reviews, Randy Stonehill with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by rezband1

Randy Stonehill’s Welcome to Paradise album was a well crafted work Produced by Larry Norman and Engineered by Andy Johns (The Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin).

The production was good for 1976 and the lyrics showed Randy was soulful and humorous. His music had that Larry Norman feel to it. Some Influences of James Taylor and others abound but it was uniquely Stonehill.

The Album starts with King of Hearts with an almost lullaby quality to it, gently showing you the purpose to this life. Keep Me Runnin’ is the best song on the Disc and is still a favorite live. This song is driven by a rough edged acoustic guitar and a haunting vocal that recalls our struggle with sin and being human. The Tunes Winner (High Card) and Lung Cancer are sarcastic looks at the ego’s of the powerful, Pride and Cigarettes. I used to love requesting the song Lung Cancer at Randy’s shows so I could here him say, “Oh, I am so sorry to hear that!” and I can almost see Randy’s tears welling up in the song Puppet Strings. Other songs deal with everything from Christmas to Christ’s Return, like the Jammin’ rock song, Good News where Larry Norman is cranked up in the background.

Randy Stonehill created a work of art that lasted the archives of Christian Music. This will always be a well deserved classic of extremely talented songwriting and production.

Randy was just as powerful at his live shows. He would have a combination of zany comic attack that left you in stitches, then sing and have you in emotional tears. Randy is still doing shows so if you ever get a chance to see him it’s a real treat!

I do not know how much I impressed upon you that Randy Stonehill is probably the living Father of “Christian Music”, now that Larry is gone. I do not know how comfortable Randy is with that? But he deserves a round of cheers and applause for this record!…

at the very least!  -MP


· Randy Stonehill: acoustic guitars, vocals.

· Larry Norman: electric guitar, piano, harmonies.

· Jon Linn: lead guitar.

· Mark Walker: drums.

· The Mighty T-Bone: bass.


Side One: Paradise Lost (sorrow and sadness….)

  1. “King Of Hearts” – 4:53
  2. “Keep Me Runnin'” – 5:57
  3. “The Winner (High Card)” – 3:43
  4. “Lung Cancer” – 3:31
  5. “Puppet Strings” – 4:25

Side Two: Paradise Regained (….turn into gladness)

  1. “First Prayer” – 3:08
  2. “I’ve Got News For You” – 3:49
  3. “Song For Sarah” – 3:28
  4. “Christmas Song For All Year ‘Round” – 3:56
  5. “Good News” – 3:18

If anyone knows where to buy the CD Re-Release in stock, please tell me. Until then it is HERE. (rar File)


Larry Norman – Upon This Rock

Posted in Jesus Music, Larry Norman, Legends, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2008 by rezband1

What do you say that already has not been said about this man, that is almost as much of fiction and legend than fact or history. I struggle to put into words the years of curious fascination with Larry Norman, be it his music or life. So I will try to keep this as much a record review as possible although that is hard when reviewing anything by the “Father” of CCM and Christian Rock, a title of which I am not sure Larry was comfortable with.

Before Larry there was not much in the horizon of contemporary based Christian themed music.  If you look real hard, sure you can find some. Nothing as well written, produced or as edgy as Larry for the time, especially his first album Upon This Rock in 1969 and many of the songs from Larry’s Band PEOPLE! in 1968.

In the Beginnings Larry stated what he was trying to do in those early songs, “I wanted to push aside the traditional gospel quartet music, break down the church doors and let the hippies and the prostitutes and other unwashed rabble into the sanctuary…I wanted to talk about feeding the poor, going into the world….[I felt that] most of the modern music was anemic and needed a transfusion.” Soon Upon This Rock became a declaration of forgiveness and stability to a hippie culture trying to find answers in a place where drugs, rock ‘n roll and free love no longer seemed to promote peace but violence, insanity and sexual diseases.

Larry became that figure for a new and radical yet odd generation that were finding a different yet somehow familiar Jesus. That generation began bringing a new language and music to The Church, to the dismay of some. Larry Norman songs were being played in evangelistic movies and sung from church hymnals although some had no idea. The One Way sign was synonymous with Larry’s long blond hair and pointed finger going straight to the sky.

The record Upon This Rock was the catalyst that started much of it. Songs like Sweet, Sweet Song of Salvation and I Wish We’d All Been Ready were the theme songs of The Jesus Movement and everything it seemed to stand for.  The song Moses could easily had been sung in Sunday School and shared Larry’s fascination with humorous tendencies along with Nothing Really Changes. Lyrics on future recordings would become more sarcastic and satirical with age. The Last Supper and Ha Ha World proved what a great lyricist, poet, writer and creative musician Larry could and would be.

If you hear the original capital mixes there is a tad more orchestration and really getting hard to find. The production is very 60’s sounding but not bad. It is all we had and we were fairly proud of it, so I heard from friends and family because I was a whopping three when Upon This Rock was released.

Larry died on February 24th, 2008 after many years of health problems, leaving a large catalogue of music and memories. I realized early that Larry was multidimensional and full of mystery. After Norman’s death his lifes pages have become just as puzzling as when he was among us.

One things for sure, I know the Jesus Movement or Christ-centered music would not have been as creative or impacting without God using Larry Norman or that first album; Upon This Rock.

-Marty Phillips

Larry Norman Pages

Upon This Rock at Amazon

Gone But Not Forgotten…

Posted in Jesus Music, Keith Green, Larry Norman, Legends, Servant with tags , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by rezband1
Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten

So many musicians and friends from the Jesus Movement and the aftermath of that movement are getting up in years. Many have already left this earth and hopefully have entered that ultimate communion with the Lord.

Some were known as fiery “Prophets” like the late Keith Green who one moment would seem like a Paul or Peter and the next would be wrestling with his own shortcomings of being human. Larry Norman was called the Father or Grandfather of a movement that was short lived but impacted the world and Christianity greatly. Larry was as much of an enigma as Bob Dylan and till he died of heart failure on Feb. 24th of this year, Larry still seemed shrouded in mystery. No one can deny the impact he had on a movement that brought us so much in terms of music and ministries into the 21st Century.

Lonnie Frisbee not a musician that I know of but definitely an influence for those that came to Calvary Chapel looking to be disciples, many of course were musicians and Calvary Chapel took them in an Lonnie was one of the leaders to help them. Lonnie’s struggles would also become more evident and there is even a documentary done about Lonnie.

Calvary Chapel was a beehive of new ideas and struggles for a batch of many new converts with long hair and rowdy music. Coming to Jesus was usually a simple prayer followed by Bible studies and worship and baptisms. People that have left us early on like Bill Sprouse from The Road Home were one of the popular country rock bands from Calvary Chapel at the time.

California was a hub for Jesus Freaks spreading to other churches and opening new ones like The Vineyard. Keith Green started to attend here in 1973 with his girlfriend Melody who soon married at The Vineyard Church. Keith started his own Intentional Community and Ministry soon after, called Last Day’s Ministries. In the Early 80’s while taking off in a small plane to look over Last Day’s Property Keith and others including two of his children died when the plane crashed during take off. Keith really made us aware of Missions and making Jesus Lord of our lives and was and still is greatly missed.

Later on others that came along like Mark Heard, Denny Correll and Rich Mullins would leave us. Rich came after the Jesus Movement but many felt he brought the principles of that Jesus Movement back to the Christian Music industry. Many were affected by Rich in deep ways with his worship music and life the same way Keith Green or Larry Norman touched someone.

Mark Heard was a great producer, songwriter, and engineer that would be praised by Bruce Cockburn, Phil Keaggy and many others. Mark’s poetic lyrics and intelligent music sent tremors through the whole church and beyond.

Gene Eugene of Adam Again and other groups like the Lost Dogs died all of a sudden in his sleep at a young age (40), like Mark, Gene was amazing in the studio or on stage. Gene was responsible for Christian Music turning more alternative in the 80’s and 90’s.

Roby Duke, Mister “Blue Eyed Soul.” Roby wrote moving lyrics and music in the R&B and Pop Jazz genre. He left us with some of the most compelling lyrics, many written during his own turmoil’s in life. His last video of him singing “I Shall See God” shot just a few days before his passing, seemed to foreshadow history. Roby left us with the simple but profound words “I’m older so much older but I still believe.”

In the Midwest, Jesus People Milwaukee Separated into different traveling groups, one of these groups ended up being The Highway Missionary Society eventually settling in Oregon. the band Servant came from HMS and had a great guitar player named Bruce Wright who ended up Going to be with Lord in 1993 from cancer. Another guitar player that left us was Jon Linn in 1989? Larry Norman’s lead guitarist. Jon “Wonder fingers” and Bruce sure could play those blues!

Many have left us and are going to in the future. It amazes me how I looked up to all these “heroes” as a kid and realizing the only true hero is Jesus Christ. I learned so much from them and it was usually heart changing. Many of these early Pioneers had earth shattering experiences of Love and Grace and true struggles that many are not aware of. Hopefully through the pages of all their lives and ours, Jesus will somehow be glorified. Even if it means to show us how human we are without Him.   -MP

Denny Correll –

Keith Green –

Larry Norman –

Rich Mullins –

Lonnie Frisbee –

Gene Eugene –

Mark Heard –