Long before the days of CCM and the cross-pollination of rock and gospel, Larry Norman and a small group of California musicians began the "Jesus music" movement. With his haggard appearance, sly wit, and street savvy, Norman was almost a pariah within the formal world of gospel, but a real-life godsend to open-minded music fans. With liberal amounts of sarcasm and a respect for religious skeptics, Norman delivered his church-weary message with skilled pop/rock songwriting. The "Christian Sgt. Pepper" comparisons might be a little overdone, but Norman's solo debut, Upon This Rock, is perhaps the first truly accomplished and relevant Christian rock testimony ever recorded. Tracks like "Walking Backward" and "Forget Your Hexagram" have an undeniable grooviness and a ringing message that, for its time, is amazingly unapologetic and free of dogma. Upon This Rock is more than a novelty; it is a bold announcement from a man who wasn't satisfied to simply create a music subgenre -- Norman reshaped an industry and the lexicon of the modern gospel.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson