You don't get a head of hair like that without a little divine intervention, and Larry Norman, who, beginning in the late 1960s, started singing about his own experiences with Jesus, seemed pretty obviously touched by the hand of God. But rather than go the cheesy white-bread gospel route, the nascent hippie singer did it with an acoustic guitar, a little bit of rock and an amazing head of hair. Big deal, you say? Norman was one of the first California folk rockers to merge a little rockin' with a little worshippin', to unapologetically preach the word of Jesus. For better or for worse, Norman's oft cited as the father of Christian rock. He embedded some pretty hardcore notions in his soft rock, as evidenced below.

It's some pretty powerful stuff, and the Arena Rock Recording Company is paying homage with a new anthology of Norman's highlights. Including some of his biggest “hits” (he never crossed over the way, say Scott Stapp did with Creed), including “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?,” “Rosemary's Baby (The Omen – 666)” and “The Sun Began to Rain,” the new collection is a nice offering of the God Father, who died in February. It takes guts to sing about what you believe without hiding the more controversial aspects of said belief system, and unlike Creed and a lot of the “crossover” Christian bands, Norman had the courage to step up and say it. (I'm talking to you, Justice.)

Larry Norman – “Rosemary's Baby (The Omen – 666)” (MP3)

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