PLANET: SONG BY SONG
I've Got To Learn To Live Without You
Larry had only been married a short time when his wife began seeing other men; a pattern that
continued for the next eight years. This song marked the beginning of many years of sadness
and tension in his stage persona. It also accounted for a raft of compositions like "The Same
Old Story," "Woe, Man o' God," "Why Can't You Be Good," and other songs of lament. Originally
released by MGM as the third song on side one, Larry re-positioned it as song number one,
feeling that it was a more common touchstone for people; an ode to unrequited love on earth,
for a planet of broken hearts.
This song was written in answer to those who recognised Jesus as teacher, political dissident,
healer, but not as the Christ. It was written in England, in the back seat of a car on the way to
a concert, during a long argument with a crooked promoter who routinely stole money from artists:
a strident conversation served as an unorthodox backdrop for such a moment of focused inspiration.
Why Don't You Look Into Jesus
This is sly and straight-faced rock and roll with touches of humor and street wisdom. Countless
aspiring gospel groups practiced this song in their garage rehersals, no doubt. It became a kind of
rock anthem for militant street witnessing. This song is still performed by artists in other countries
in different languages.
Righteous Rocker #1
This was retitled "Without Love" by MGM but was soon changed back. It is a study in contrasts and
comparisons: "play the blues (poor) or be a Howard Hughes" (rich) ... French provincial midwife
(bringing life) or go from door to door with a death knife" (bringing death) ... and so on. Larry wrote
three different versions of this song for the Trilogy albums.
I Wish We'd All Been Ready
Larry grew up reading in the Bible about the return of Christ but never heard any preaching on it. He decided
to write a song about it and talk about it in concerts, not realizing that the Second Coming would be a
centerpiece in the coming years within the Jesus Movement. This song has been translated into more than a
dozen different languages and probably recorded in more contrasting cultures and countries than any of his
I Am The Six O'Clock News
This song should have been released as a single but MGM thought the end of the war had resolved people's anger
about Vietnam. Not so. For years this song was heavily requested on rock format radio stations anywhere near a
military base. But the song was not so much about Vietnam as it was about the emotional indifference of the media
and their reluctance in taking a moral position on the stories which they report. There will always be wars; Larry
was angry about the conspiracy of media lies.
The Great American Novel
This composition might be Larry's finest moment of socio-political observation. It is an expansive Christian world
view, covering many levels of concern. It makes references to the MaCarthy era, the Ku Klux Klan, the Korean and
Vietnam wars, and illegal wire tapping. He concludes saying that he has no answers for mankind, except to follow Christ.
The Planet album was in the White House library during the Carter Administration and this particular song was
Carter's favourite from the album.
Larry takes what is traditionally a woman's complaint (being pressured for sex by the male) and examines it from his own
Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?
Larry's most unapologetic composition is a humorous and biting defense against the arguments and attacks he suffered between
the years 1956 and 1971, a fifteen year period when he seemed to be alone in his point of view within the church community
regarding the spiritual viability of rock music. He insisted that rock belonged to God and that the church should be trying to
reclaim it, not condemn it.
This is the album's final thrust: another irreverent commentary on American society. Larry makes fun of radio, rock and roll,
the space race, and ends with a reminder of our human mortality. Then he bids us farewell, saying that he has no opinions, though
demonstrating the converse. His real point: we are all on a journey and need to seek the truth about our existence more directly
from our Creator. We are responsible for our choices and need to undertake an examination of our souls.