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Upon This Rock

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iTunes Review

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of Larry Norman’s Upon This Rock in the history of Christian music. This album is arguably the first overtly Christian rock album — and it’s also a collection of compelling, superbly-crafted songs. Norman brought a mixture of reverence and rebellion to his solo debut, spreading word of an impending Judgment Day in the midst of war and moral decadence. He depicts this theme most eloquently in “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” an intentionally frightening look at the coming apocalypse that went on to become a Christian music standard. The album has its moments of comic relief as well — “Moses in the Wilderness” tells a Bible story in hipster slang, while “Ha Ha World” matches a wry routine to a propulsive groove. Sunny gospel-pop ditties like “Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation” and cautionary offerings like “Forget Your Hexagram” speak to the psychedelic generation without sacrificing their spiritual gravity. Norman shifts between orchestral arrangements and stripped-down acoustic settings to present these songs of warning, joy, and hope. Upon This Rock was the departure point for the ‘70s Jesus Music movement, and it remains a transcendently powerful work.

Customer Reviews


This album is 40 years old, but it still rates as a Classic from 1969.

Thankfully Before CCM

Its hard to believe, if you were born or came of age before 1969, that Christian music wasn't just a second rate rip-off of the secular genres and marketing. How many people can remember when Christian music wasn't a product of the ghetto of subculture? However, there were bands like Resurrection Band out of Chicago and mucian/songwriters like Larry Norman that would defy slick marketing campaigns and labels. Norman's "Upon This Rock" is a masterpiece of 60s eclecticism. Rock, Folk, hymns, the Blues, political commentary, and satire flowed from the turntable and speakers when I first heard Norman. Although you may hear echoes of the Beatles and the Stones, Norman had his own distinct style that would fit no where in the late 70s and 80s CCM culture. I happily recommend "Upon This Rock," and hope itunes will soon widen their Larry Norman catalogue.

Thank you

thanks for shaping my future, this music has helped me get to where i am today. thank you larry


Born: April 8, 1947 in Corpus Christi, TX

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '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...
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Top Albums and Songs by Larry Norman

Upon This Rock, Larry Norman
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Customer Ratings