LARRY NORMAN
a discography
 

 

 

 

 

The free Larry Norman discography is available as a PDF-file and it comes with links to picture pages and more. Post-2003 releases are listed on this page and where necessary, the discography links to these post-2003 releases as well. Click on the image below to see the discography and/or to download it (you'll need Acrobat Reader and the file will probably either be shown immediately or it will be downloaded in the background, depending on your settings). The discography can best be viewed on a laptop or desktop computer.

Last version: 8.1 (April 1, 2020) - this is a pre-release version!

 

 

Historical sketch and recommendations

Larry Norman will be best remembered for his 1970's recordings. This decade showed our man at the peak of his creativity. In fact it started in the late 1960's; "Upon This Rock", his debut solo album (after recording with People), was recorded in 1969 (to be released in 1970) and featured catchy pop/rock songs. On listening to it now, it hasn't lost much of its fresh impact, although the production of especially the Capitol release could be criticized. It was something Larry Norman himself was very outspoken about and he worked on the production before it was re-released on Benson's Impact and Heart Warming labels. On his own One Way label, with less money to spend, Larry Norman then released "Street Level" and "Bootleg", two charming albums and both more personal and intimate than "Upon This Rock". The gold label version of "Street Level" is a rare piece of history and it has a completely different B-side than the more common version with other label colors. In the meantime Larry Norman signed with Verve/MGM Records and the first two installments of the Trilogy were released: "Only Visiting This Planet" (1972) and "So Long Ago The Garden" (1973). Both are great albums and they feature more Larry Norman classics, varying from acoustic folk songs to solid 70's rock. "So Long Ago The Garden" was misunderstood by the christian press and the christian community and added to the controversy that has been an integral part of Larry Norman's career. Most of the criticism silenced for a while after the release of part 3 of the Trilogy, titled "In Another Land", which was released on Larry Norman's new Solid Rock label. It was a positive and overtly christian album and a strong and convincing release. Around the same time Larry Norman recorded a satirical cover album about the Jesus-trend in popular music which was released in 1977 ("Streams Of White Light Into Darkened Corners" on AB Records). In 1976 Larry Norman recorded his blues masterpiece "Something New Under The Son", which remained in the can until 1981, and the continuation of that album (though it wasn't blues), called "The Tune" (released as "The Story Of The Tune" in 1983). The last years of the 1970's seem to have been very quiet, which was probably due to a plane accident in late 1977. Larry Norman also continued to have problems with record companies; for various reasons it appeared to be risky to release or promote anything that was associated with this enfant terrible of gospel rock music. From the LP/CD releases and articles that were written, following in the 1980's until now, it became clear that Larry Norman worked on several projects (musicals, albums) in the 1960's and 1970's which never materialized apart from some songs which were recorded and released on compilation albums or as bonus tracks on his CD reissues.

Larry Norman remained active until his passing in 2008, but most of the almost endless stream of releases is not of much interest except for a few albums, like "Stranded In Babylon" (although most credits for this album should go to Charly Norman). As you will understand I strongly recommend all 1970's albums discussed above and they are all available in the CD format. Larry Norman's website still offers quite a few CD's and can be found here. If you prefer vinyl, try eBay or other online music selling websites. From the reissues covering 1970's recordings, I can especially recommend "Rough Mix 2", released in 2011, and you may also look for "Gathered Moments" (1998), "The Cottage Tapes" (book 1, 2000) and "Rock, Scissors et Papier" (2003). But be prepared; these compilations feature mostly alternate takes of well-known songs and live versions of the same or other well-known songs. Only a few unknown titles can be found on these albums, which probably make them of less interest to the average listener.

 

Buying tips

Be careful when buying Larry Norman LP's and CD's on eBay, Discogs, MusicStack, etc. as various sellers somehow got the impression that everything Larry Norman made is as rare as can be and they ask the most ridiculous prices, especially for CD's. The following examples from Discogs and eBay illustrate this nicely (the Dutch seller is by far the closest to what this CD is worth):

Some sellers, like zuber and ciadrul on eBay, are after maximum profit trying to change the market with lies about scarcity, while others are just following the bad examples. And if an album sells for $200, it doesn't necessarily give an indication of the actual worth of the album sold. Of course, some albums are rare and worth more money, but most just are not. Be very skeptical about the prices for Larry Norman's CD releases. That Starstorm CD shown above isn't worth $259.99 nor $139.99; it's completely ridiculous. Some sellers even tried to sell CD's for huge amounts while these titles were still available from the Solid Rock Shop for normal retail prices.

Another warning goes out for the CD-r releases. CD-r releases are much more vulnerable to glitches and other playing errors. I have such a problem with the original 4CD-r version of "Rough Diamonds, Precious Jewels"; I almost never listened to it and always stored it under normal circumstances, but it now plays with glitches. Also, some of Larry Norman CD-r's are made in a low-budget, amateurish way, so they can also easily be duplicated. So, again: be careful!

For an indication of the price of CD's, you may want to check Discogs' statistics (shown at the right side of the release page) or eBay's sold items. For LP's you can check Discogs and eBay as well, but you can also look on Popsike to see what a certain title went for in the past. You can for instance see that the "Barchaeology" 3LP box was sold quite a few times with prices ranging from $20 to $100. Now I'm writing this, the box is offered for sale on eBay for $189.99, $259.99 and $349.95 respectively while a recently auctioned copy went for $62... So, don't be be a foolish buyer! You'll be sorry about the money spent. Just wait for a seller who offers the item in an auction with a low starting bid and most of the time you'll be much better off. OK, you need to be patient and sometimes someone else will win the auction, but remember that most Larry Norman items are just not as rare as some sellers want you to believe. It will show up again.