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Only Visiting This Planet (Remastered Bonus Track Version)

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Albenrezension

When Larry Norman recorded Only Visiting This Planet in 1972 for MGM at George Martin's studio in London, there wasn’t place in the music industry for "Jesus Rock." MGM had no idea what to do with it. This meld of rootsy pop, gospel, and rock & roll songs about Christ had less than nothing to do with hymns, and was rejected by the Christian church at large at the time. In the 21st century, Norman is regarded as the “father of CCM” and that $450 million dollar a year industry, and this album is regarded by CCM Magazine as "the greatest Christian rock record of all time." It’s ironic. Norman died largely broke in 2008.

Only Visiting This Planet (Solid Rock Records, 1972) is the first part of a trilogy that included So Long Ago the Garden (MGM, 1973) and In Another Land (Capitol, 1976). This set (which ironically was the first one to be reissued) concerns itself with the present (So Long Ago the Garden concerns the past and Another Land the future). All three albums have been remastered and reissued by Solid Rock Records, a label Norman founded — he was well-known for his fiercely independent streak. The album is a masterpiece; one needn’t believe in God to enjoy it; it stands on its own as an enduring work of popular art.

Norman's studio band included bassist John Wetton, drummer Keith Smart from Wizzard, keyboardist Rod Edwards, and percussionist Roger Hand. These songs were expertly written and arranged, they spill across the rock, pop, and gospel spectrum, and they were gorgeously produced. “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” with its wash of strings and a backing choir, adds to the drama of Norman’s topic: the Rapture, when all Christians, living or dead, are prophesied to be reunited with Christ before the end of the world. Belief in this premise is not necessary — the song is delivered with such understated conviction and produced for maximum dramatic effect that it’s deeply moving. The hard-rocking “Why Don’t You Look into Jesus” addresses addictive behavior amid snarling guitars, punchy drums, and popping pianos. The opening track is a mysterious broken love song called “I’ve Got to Learn to Live Without You” that drips with longing. “I Am the Six O’Clock News” is a straight-out rocker that reflects the irony in the media’s coverage of the Vietnam war. The acoustic ballad “The Outlaw” is a poetic narrative pondering Christ's life and death. There is biting social commentary in “The Great American Novel” that reflects Bob Dylan’s early work but, “Righteous Rocker #1” is payback: it’s a lyrical precursor to — and was perhaps inspiration for — “You Gotta Serve Somebody.” The album contains two bonus tracks, and is well worth checking out by anyone interested in genuine rock & roll classics.

Kundenrezensionen

Erdig, ehrlich und immer noch ein kleines bisschen provozierend

Die Platte kam 1972 überraschend zu Besuch auf unserem Planeten und ist bis heute geblieben, auch wenn Larry Norman uns im Februar 2008 leider verlassen hat. Als die Scheibe hier eintrudelte, schlug sie mit Wucht ein - und wenn man hinhört, weiß man auch warum. In der modernen Zeit der allgegenwärtigen Samples, Loops und Effektboliden sind die Songs hier von solcher Qualität, dass sie auch ohne den ganzen Schnickschnack beeindrucken. Nein, ich bin sogar richtig froh, dass das Remastern gemäßigt ausfiel. Der Textwitz zieht immer noch, der Tiefgang ist ehrlich und der erdige Sound dazu gerade richtig. Für mich eine der besten Platten, die uns je besucht haben. Man muss ihn halt mögen, den Larry.

Biografie

Geboren: 08. April 1947 in Corpus Christi, TX

Genre: Religiöse Musik

Jahre aktiv: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
Komplette Biografie
Only Visiting This Planet (Remastered Bonus Track Version), Larry Norman
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