Additionally, look at how the spells are organized. 2nd and 3rd level cleric spells in AD&D are mostly utility. A few combat, but, primarily utility spells. But the big thing is, no healing spells. You didn't have to compete between healing and utility because, well, there were no 2nd and 3rd level healing spells. And a LOT of those utility spells essentially created magic items - Create Food and Water didn't have a duration. Continual Light just worked forever. That sort of thing.
I can't be the only group that basically only saw cure light wounds prepped for 1st level spells (at least until very high levels) and then 2nd and 3rd level spells were whatever the caster wanted.
I noticed it too. It's why in my simple D&D hack, clerics only get "Create" Spells in the 2nd and 3rd levels. Druids were similar.
Only Wizards got attack spells every level.