A Moment In Time is was released on CD in 1994 and contains all new songs, which is something that Larry Norman fans had been waiting for for a while. Stop This Flight was ten years earlier in 1984, and there had been only two studio albums since then: Home At Last (1989) and Stranded In Babylon (1991).
Larry had been hospitalized for his heart condition a couple of months before recording this, but he felt some urgency to do the project because he needed to keep some income going to pay for another operation. Most of the vocal tracks were done once with no retakes due to Larry’s health at the time.
The musicians who apparently donated their time for this project were Herb Manuputy, Dave Mansfield, The Dave Nicar Band, Keith Turbet, and Steve League.
Overall the sound is a bit of well paced boogie-woogie blues with a bit of country twang.
The radio spot is a pitch for signatures for an anti-child porn amendment for the state of Oregon. I don’t know how that turned out in the end.
“Down the Line” is a studio rough cut with a country twang. Larry’s commentary for the studio musicians is left in the mix rather than edited out. It makes it a little more fun, although the song probably could have stood on its own.
“Long Hard Road” is a wordy country/blues tune. It has a lot of “some people…” lines in it, lamenting how he feels he has been treated and viewed over the years. “Some people don’t know truth from lies so they just make it up” is the gist of it. It’s a nice smooth blues tune with a good guitar sound.
“Elvis Has Left the Building” is a tribute, a lament and an ode to Elvis Presley. It is a phrase that even has its own Wikipedia page now. “…often used by public address announcers at the conclusion of Elvis Presley concerts in order to disperse audiences”
The expression took on a meaning of its own but Larry had a genuine place in his heart for Elvis. He frequently mentioned him when talking about the evolution of rock’n’roll, and how popular music took the style used in Black churches to record love songs for the radio. Stylistically I think that Larry admired Elvis, but he always held a tone of concern for him.
There has been plenty of theological debate for several centuries over whether one can “lose their salvation” or not, but this seems to be part of the concern of this song. When Elvis “left the building” is Larry thinking about him leaving this world, or leaving his faith? A little of both most likely. However, the last words reported to be called out when Elvis died are perhaps words of faith.
The three bonus tracks are included here probably because this would have been a very short album without them, but they were not all part of the same studio sessions as the rest of the tracks. Most of them, with the exception of Right Here In America had not been previously released.
01 Radio Spot
02 Down the Line
03 Long Hard Road
04 When the Son Comes Back
05 Elvis Has Left the Building
06 Lay My Burden Down
07 Toxic Tea and Toast
08 You Shall Be Saved
09 The Children of Nimrod
10 The Solid Rock
11 Leave It Up to God to Handle
12 Right Here in America