Larry Norman -continued

The Trilogy is the name fans tagged onto three very different studio-quality albums which were linked by a concept but released on different labels. Because these albums were censored by the record companies to make them more "commercial," Norman never felt they adequately conveyed his vision. All three albums have since been individually released on CD, each with added songs. While this is a bonus for listeners, it obscures the original trilogy concept of the three albums taking place respectively in the present, past, and future, with the last line of the last song repeating the album title.*

The last song of Planet was originally "Reader's Digest"

Garden ended with "Nightmare #71"

      In Another Land ends with "Hymn to the Last Generation"

Only Visiting


This Planet
Only Visiting This Planet
Hear MP3s


Only Visiting This Planet (1972) is the best-known of the three trilogy albums and undoubtedly Norman's most popular album. Named the most influential album of the last twenty years by CCM magazine, Planet was Norman's bid for airplay. Arranged at Beatles' producer George Martin's London AIR Studio, it showcases some of Norman's best writing in songs that are by turns humorous and profound. "Great American Novel," "Reader's Digest," and "Why Shoud the Devil Have All the Good Music?"are rockers that should have made it on the radio, but who can fathom the wisdom of the airwaves? Norman addresses social issues, but with a spin, in "Pardon Me" and "Six O'Clock News." Planet also includes Norman's best-known, most-covered songs such as "The Outlaw" and "I Wish We'd All Been Ready." A classic. What are you waiting for? Listen to it now.


So Long Ago


the Garden

So Long Ago the Garden (1973). Norman had said he wanted to make an album of love songs, but when he came to do so, naturally it was from a unique angle that dragged in divine love and the apocalypse. It didn't help that MGM removed songs from Norman's original line-up, replacing them with songs deemed more "commercial." This was the first Norman album guaranteed to alienate the casual listener. Nevertheless, "Be Careful What You Sign" (also known as "38 Thornton Special"), a strange cautionary song about a rock singer's pact with the dark side, remains one of Norman's most requested numbers. His restless genius came to the fore in "Nightmare #71," which surveyed the entire history of the world through the eyes of Hollywood movie stars in an epic saga of talking blues.

So Long Ago the Garden
Hear MP3s


 In Another Land

In Another Land
Hear MP3s


In Another Land (1976). Having alienated the flock, it was time to bring them back with this vision of the future labeled "file under Jesus Rock." A lush, expansive, Beatle-esque mystery tour sprinkled with biblical allusions, In Another Land was a concept album in itself, as well as the third member of the Trilogy, unrolling an imaginative panorama of life to come in a future celestial city.


< More
Norman >