Larry Norman

So Long Ago the Garden

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Originally released in 1973 on MGM Records, So Long Ago the Garden is the second installment in Larry Norman's famous '70s trilogy that included the dual masterpieces Only Visiting This Planet and In Another Land. While this recording might indeed be the weakest of the three, that status should not inspire old-school Jesus rockers and music fans of all stripes to avoid the offering. There aren't as many transcendent moments on So Long Ago the Garden, but there are plenty of highlights, including "Christmas Time," with its footloose Rolling Stones swagger, and the incredible "Meet Me at the Airport (Fly, Fly, Fly)." Lyrically, this is one of Norman's more elliptical efforts in terms of its Christian references; however, the message is quite clear. Just underneath the '70s British rock dialect and shimmering songwriting is a defiant sermon that staunchly proclaims Norman's identity as a devout Christian outsider.

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