Larry apparently released this album almost grudgingly because he did not have many decent live recordings from this era of his touring and there were bootlegs making the rounds that he didn’t like. Larry stopped distributing Roll Away The Stone (although he continued to encourage people to buy it if they could find it), and he considered Live At The Mac a better version of that. The combination of bad recordings and bad timing haunted Larry’s late 70s work. He was touring but never did get good recordings done with a full band. Later works like the Live At Flevo recordings made up for it in a way, but they are not the same as Larry in this era. To hear it as it was, all we have are some bootlegs and some primitive recordings. This concert was August 18, 1979 in Eugene, Oregon. This CD was released in 1998 through Solid Rock Records and apparently only 200 were made, although some later versions were evidently sold by Solid Rock that were done up as CD-R with the same packaging.
Tracklist 1 – Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus – 4:58 2 – I’ve Searched All Around The World – 5:33 3 – Soul On Fire – 6:48 4 – Watch What You’re Doing – 8:36 5 – Let The Tape Keep Rolling – 5:00 6 – UFO – 10:16 7 – The Outlaw / If God Is My Father – 8:26 8 – Song For A Small Circle Of Friends – 3:37 9 – Shot Down – 2:41 10 – Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music – 2:44 11 – The Rock That Doesn’t Roll / Exit – 3:25 12 – Lonely By Myself – 6:15
This album is generally known as Larry Norman – The Israel Tapes, but it is really Larry Norman and People!, and the record calls itself “The Israel Tapes 1974 AD.” Not much difference really, but the labelling and the timing are both important. The release came out from Phydeaux Records in 1980, after Larry had established his own distribution company, which was primarily a mail order business run out of San Jose. Larry added some of the People! recordings to his catalog and so this is the first time some of these recordings were made public. The musicianship of this group is excellent, and has distinctly different characteristics than the group of studio musicians he worked with in the 1970s and 80s. This concert was done at UCLA for the benefit of The Israeli Fund. The Recording quality is not great, but for a 1974 live record it’s passable. What’s noteworthy here is that this 1974 live performance included a lot of songs that eventually became part of Larry’s core material. The album consists of songs from Upon This Rock as well as the Trilogy, along with a couple of others. This seems to be a reunion concert of sorts. Larry left People! several years prior, and here they are performing with him on subsequent songs. There are 2 different versions of “I Love You,” neither of which is quite the one that appeared on the In Another Land album in 1974, although you can hear the progression that got it there. “I Am The Six O’Clock News” was an anchor song on 1972’s Only Visiting This Planet, and here we get a slower, grittier version of it. “Sweet Song of Salvation” and “Forget Your Hexagram” get some updated arrangements from their original Upon This Rock versions, with great contributions from this band. All in all, a good spin on some classic Larry songs.
Tracklist 1 – Fly, Fly, Fly – 4:47 2 – I Love You (1967) – 4:36 3 – I Love You (1974) – 3:43 3 – I Am The Six O’Clock News – 5:59 4 – Lonely By Myself – 4:08 6 – Baroquen Spirits – 5:32 7 – You Knew What You Were Doing – 4:57 8 – Forget Your Hexagram – 3:49 9 – I’ve Searched All Around The World – 3:05 10 – Sweet Song Of Salvation – 5:21
This EP was released in 1985 when Larry made his big announcement that he was moving back to America after spending a lot of time working in Europe.
Between about 1980 and 1985 he worked with a lot of artists from UK and Western Europe, including Alwyn Wall, Bryn Haworth, Lyrix, Q-Stone and a lot of others. Larry really wanted to find a home for himself again where he grew up, on the West Coast.
Presumably he was hoping for a warm welcome this time after having a hard time releasing some of the music he wanted to put out in the 1970s.
The live version of “Messiah” showed off a mature sound compared to his early rock days. “It’s Only Today That Counts” is one type of prophetic song that Larry liked to write, urging people to make take life very seriously.
Side two is music and interview intertwined. Larry never gave up any opportunity to get his own words in about his own words. Rather than wait for interview requests to come in, he put this record out there with his side of the interview recorded. All that was necessary for anyone to use it was to set up the questions by either introducing them, or by fake-interviewing Larry using this material.
Here are some excerpts from the interview portions:
“I’m coming back to America, with the Young Lions. We’re going to do 200 concerts, go to all 50 states. There’s anew album coming out. there’s a live album and video from my foreign tours. That will be available next year.”
“When I was nine I got real serious about music and started writing about my feelings, my beliefs, things that were happening to me and my friends at school.”
“When Elvis Presley came along, he wasn’t doing anything new. He was just doing Black gospel music, only instead of talking about his saviour he talked about his ‘baby.'” Rock’n’roll came from the Church. It belongs to the Church. Rock’n’roll seems now to be providence of non-believers while the Church sits on the side and denounces rock’n’roll, says that it’s ungodly music and that if you play it backwards you hear secret satanic messages.”
“Certainly the lifestyles of the people performing rock’n’roll doesn’t coincide with the moral overviews of the Christian church but rock’n’roll was Black music and it came from the early American Black church. and I don’t know why we should let anyone steal it from us. It belongs to us I think we should steal it back.”
Tracklist 1 – Messiah (Live) 2 – It’s Only Today That Counts Side 2 – Interview If The Bombs Fall Letter To A Friend Woman Of God (Proverbs 31) Soul On Fire (1968 Version) and more.
Credits Bass – Charly Norman Drums – Kenny Bam Boom Guitar, Keyboards – Larry Norman Lead Guitar – Jon Linn Rhythm Guitar – Bill Romansky Written-By – Larry Norman
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Stress Records Copyright (c) – Stress Records Published By – Six Blue Lions Mastered At – Sheffield Lab Matrix – △11008
Tom Howard was another one of the Solid Rock posse that circled around Larry Norman throughout the 1970s. This 1981 release was on NewPax records, produced by Terry Taylor of DA, after his debut on Solid Rock with Larry. Danger In Loving You has some strong rock songs and also a lot of the softer side that Tom became known for in his career. “Power Play” is radio single material, while “This Quiet Place” is a song that lives up to its name. “The Serious Occupation of Fish” is a quirky tune that uses humour to get at a profound point. Randy Stonehill also makes an appearance on this album. He’s uncredited, but you can hear his voice come out of the background vocals in places.
Tracklist 1 – Horizon – 2:35 2 – Shine Your Light – 3:35 3 – House Of The Father – 3:32 4 – Passing In The Night – 4:24 5 – Run The Race – 4:30 6 – This Quiet Place – 3:24 7 – Strong Love – 4:15 8 – The Serious Occupation Of Fish – 3:15 9 – Power Play – 2:54 10 – Danger In Loving You – 4:40
Credits Art Direction – Ronald Thomas Backing Vocals – Bill Batstone, Dori Lynn Howard, Elsa Harris, Gerry Limpic, Jerry Chamberlain, Jessy Dixon, Linda McCreary, Randy Stonehill, Sam Allen, Terry Taylor, Tom Howard Bass [Alembic Five-string Base] – Flim Johnson Drums – Bill Berg Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Wayne Johnson Engineer – Thom Roy Lacquer Cut By – Wally Percussion – Alex MacDougall Percussion [Percussive Embellishments] – Bruce Brown Photography By [Black and White] – D.C. Riggott, Kim Halliday Photography By [Color] – Marlene Nelson Millican Piano, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer [Oberheim Polyphonic; Moog], Lead Vocals – Tom Howard Producer – Terry Taylor, Tom Howard Saxophone, Oboe – Jon Clarke Typography, Design – Kim Halliday Written-By, Arranged By – Tom Howard
Companies, etc. Produced For – Rebel Base Productions Recorded At – Whitefield Studios Mastered At – Capitol Mastering Pressed By – PRC Recording Company, Richmond, IN Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc. Copyright (c) – NewPax Records Phonographic Copyright (p) – NewPax Records Copyright (c) – Tongsongs Music Copyright (c) – Lifesong Music Press Copyright (c) – Joyful Road Music Published By – Tongsongs Music Published By – Lifesong Music Press Published By – Joyful Road Music Published By – The New Benson Music Company, Inc.
Mosaics is another folk-rock sounding album from Mark, a style he settled solidly into after releasing some softer, almost country albums and a few rock albums. This blend suited his creativity well. After this album he had a five year gap before putting out another one. Mark recorded few songs that were not his own writing, so this album stands out with a version of T Bone Burnett’s “Power Of Love.” It’s a pretty close cover of the original on T Bone’s 1980 album “Truth Decay.” An interesting coincidence with the T Bone cover is the appearance of David Mansfield playing lead guitar on four of the tracks on this album. However, David is not credited on “Power of Love” despite having played with T Bone on his albums, as well as their work together in Alpha Band and on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. As always, Mark was able to attract top level musicians to his project. It seems like everyone wanted to work with him and the results suggest the reason why. Leslie Phillips (aka Sam Phillips) appears on backing vocals on a few tracks, Tom Howard plays keys on several tracks, and John Mehler adds his drumming to make this another all-star cast project.
Tracklist 1 – With Broken Wings – 4:23 2 – Schizophrenia – 3:48 3 – All Is Not Lost – 3:05 4 – Heart On The Line – 4:08 5 – He Plays The Game – 3:20 6 – The Golden Age – 4:08 7 – The Power Of Love – 3:42 8 – I Want You – 4:04 9 – It Will Not Be Like This Forever – 4:18 10 – Miracle – 4:58
Credits Arranged By – Mark Heard Backing Vocals – Dave de Coup-Crank (tracks: 2), Dori Howard (tracks: 10), Leslie Phillips (tracks: 1, 3, 4), Mark Heard Bass – Bill Batstone (tracks: 4) Cover [Front Cover Concept] – Tim Alderson Design, Illustration [Computer Art] – Mark Heard Drums – John Mehler (tracks: 1-6, 8, 9) Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass, Lead Vocals – Mark Heard Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – David McSparran (tracks: 7, 9) Engineer, Mixed By – Mark Heard Harmonica – Buddy Rufus Greene (tracks: 3, 6) Lead Guitar – David Mansfield (tracks: 2, 4, 8, 9) Organ – Barry Kaye (tracks: 9) Percussion, Electronic Drums [Simmons Drums] – Harry Stinson Photography By – Stewart Ivester Producer – Mark Heard Synthesizer – Tom Howard (tracks: 2, 3, 6)
Companies, etc. Distributed By – Word Ltd. Printed By – Shorewood Packaging Co. Ltd. Recorded At – Fingerprint Recorders Mixed At – Fingerprint Recorders
In 1986 Randy woke up his recording sessions and brought us back to a sound he was always good at. Randy can create a rock concert just by showing up, and for the Wild Frontier, he showed up. Side 1 starts off with a slough of tracks that are almost Springsteen-esque but since we remember Randy’s roots from Welcome To Paradise in 1976, we know he was always capable of this. The Wild Frontier is in some ways a triumphant return. Side 2 is a little more of Randy’s personal style, but still much edgier than the two albums that he released before this one. DA’s Jerry Chamberlain provides guitar for this album, and a most of the other musicians are his familiar band-mates. Rick Cua plays bass on some tracks, as does Dave Perkins, who also produced the album. Tom Howard is on keys as usual, as well as Rob Watson.
Tracklist 1 – The Wild Frontier – 4:12 2 – Here Come The Big Guitars – 3:45 3 – The Dying Breed – 4:21 4 – Words On The Wind – 5:47 5 – What’s My Line – 3:13 6 – What Do You Want From Life – 3:54 7 – Get Together – 3:54 8 – Defender – 3:05 9 – Evangeline – 5:45 10 – Hope Of Glory – 4:55
Credits Acoustic Guitar – Dave Perkins, Randy Stonehill Arranged By [Brass Arrangement] – Tom Howard Art Direction [Cover Art Direction], Design – Roland Young Backing Vocals – Chris Harris (2), Dave Perkins, Gary Chapman, Jerry Chamberlain, Peter Case, Peter Noone, Tonio K. Bass Guitar – Dave Perkins, Rick Cua Contractor [Horn Contractor] – John Lunden Drums – Mike Mead Electric Guitar – Dave Perkins, Jerry Chamberlain, Jerry McPherson, Randy Stonehill Engineer [Additional Engineering] – Malcolm Harper Engineer [Engineered By] – Dave Perkins, Dave Schober Engineer [Second Engineers] – Bob Salcedo, Casey McMackin, Dan Garcia, Gene Ford, Jon Ingoldsby, Matt Freeman Executive-Producer – Ray Ware Keyboards – Reese “Mr. B-3” Wynans Mastered By – Bernie Grundman Mixed By – Dave Perkins, David Schober, Randy Stonehill Percussion – Alex MacDougall, Dave Perkins, Keith Edwards Photography By [Cover Photography] – Howard Rosenberg Producer [Produced By] – Dave Perkins Programmed By [Programmer] – Peter Robb Synthesizer – Dave Perkins, Rob Watson, Tom Howard Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Companies, etc. Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc. Copyright (c) – Word, Inc. Manufactured By – Word, Inc. Recorded At – Music Grinder Studios Recorded At – The Reelsound Truck Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios Recorded At – Whitefield Studios Mixed At – Mama Jo’s Pressed By – DADC – DIDX-010665 Published By – Stonehillian Music Published By – Word Music Published By – Undone Tunes Published By – Irving Music, Inc.
A lot of stuff happened between 1984’s All Fall Down and Tom Tom Blues. Six other albums in fact, so the fact that this one stands stark against their 1980s style isn’t that strange. However, here at Real 80s CCM we really like the 80s stuff so I have to talk about it. I first discovered this album in the used CD bin at a local record shop in the mid-90s. I think someone else must have bought it expecting that cutting, pop-new wave and found something else instead. Not that this isn’t a good collection of songs, but it required seriously resetting some expectations. Having said that, I don’t like it as much as some of their other work, such as their self-titled album in 1987. This 1995 release isn’t what I would call grunge, but it came from the grunge era and in retrospect, that is probably the most noticeable influence on the sound. 77s do not really excel at the grunge sound. The lead track, Rocks In Your Head comes on strong, and may be the most memorable one here. Throughout the album there is a lot of rumbly bassline and gutsy guitar. It did make me think back to Ping Pong Over the Abyss with the guitar sound. If there is such a thing as new wave grunge, maybe this is it.
Tracklist 1 – Rocks In Your Head – 3:37 2 – Honesty – 6:21 3 – You Still Love Me – 5:22 4 – Outskirts – 4:42 5 – Flowers In The Sand – 4:51 6 – Don’t Leave Me Long – 4:21 7 – Gravy Chain – 3:17 8 – Five In The Nave – 1:01 9 – Earache – 6:06 10 – Deliverance – 8:53
Credits Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Bass, Backing Vocals, Other [Bottom] – Mark Harmon Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Other [Everything In Between] – Bruce Spencer Band [Seventy Sevens Are], Guitar [Guitars], Lead Vocals, Other [Top] – Michael Roe Cover, Illustration – Rachel Thornton Design Concept [Art Concept By], Design – Seventy Sevens Engineer [Engineered By] – Craig Long, Kirt Shearer, Scott Reams Engineer [Engineered By], Mixed By – Guy Niosi, John Flanagan Executive-Producer – Gene Eugene, Ojo Taylor Featuring, Percussion, Other [Cool Vibes] – Cary Avery Illustration [Inside B/W Illustration] – Kathryn Garcia Smith Mastered By – Michael Romanowski Photography By – Pat Johnson Producer [Produced By] – The 77’s Songwriter [All Songs Written By] – The 77’s
This is one of the early albums that set the stage for Steve Camp’s 1980’s popularity. His recording career spanned from 1978 through 2002. The track “Under His Love” was co-written by Steve Camp and Larry Norman. The two would cross paths many times over their respective careers and there are a few examples of them appearing on stage together and recording each other’s songs. In addition to working with Larry Norman, it seems to me that Steve has an uncanny vocal similarity. Not only the tone of his voice, but the way he expresses it has a strong similarity to the way Larry sounded. No wonder they were able to work together easily.
Tracklist 1 – The Feeling Is Happening – 6:02 2 – You Are The Rainbow – 3:12 3 – Under His Love – 3:35 4 – Easy Livin’ (Under The Sun) – 3:05 5 – Ambassador In Chains – 3:51 6 – Start Believin’ – 4:46 7 – Do They Have To Grow Up? – 3:56 8 – I’ll Always Need You Lord – 5:47 9 – Bobby – 5:19 10 – Psalm 131 – 2:10
Credits Steve Camp – Songwriter, Vocals, Production Assistant Jack I. Baron – Tenor Saxophone Big Foot – Feet Stomps Phillip Blum – Cello Sol A. Bobrov – Violin Phil Bonono – Additional Engineering Leonard Chausow – Cello Dale Clevenger – French Horn Gary Elghammer – Additional Engineering Richard Royce Ferrin – Viola Ronald Friedman – Trumpet Joseph Golan – Violin Tommy Hanson – Additional Engineering John W. Haynor – Trombone Tom Howell – French Horn Arthur Hoyle – Trumpet, Fluegel Horn Russell Iverson – Trumpet Harold D. Klatz – Viola Robert Lewis – Trumpet, Fluegel Horn Paul Libman – Production Assistant, Songwriter Arthur F. Linser – Trombone Samuel Magad – Violin Glenn Meadows – Mastered Rodger Moulton – Viola Hank Neuberger – Recorded and Mixed Larry Norman – Songwriter David Isaiah Radford – Songwriter Arnold Roth – Violin Kenneth G. Soderblom – Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone Fred Spector – Violin Morris Butch Stewart – Producer, Songwriter The Chicago Hands – Hand claps and Finger Snaps Cyrill J. Touff – Trombone
“The Turning” is a fitting title for this album for several reasons. This 1987 release was Leslie Phillips’ last CCM recording. After this she signed with Virgin Records and released a few albums with then husband T Bone Burnett, whom she married after recording this album with him as producer. The Turning was the only one of her four CCM releases produced by T Bone and it has a very distinctively different sound. The acoustic sound familiar to T Bone’s work replaces all the the 80s glitz that Leslie had been doing an excellent job of until now. Leslie’s deep songwriting continued under the folk influence of the music on The Turning. However, she managed to squeeze out some pop sounding folk on a few songs, particularly “Libera Me”. In “Down”, Leslie addresses some of her “Turning” directly: “Shattered convictions I thought were offending you” suggests she has experienced a shift in her relationship with God, in a way that probably gives her more room as an individual. Bookended with two cheerfully haunting sounds at the lead track “River of Love” and the closer “God Is Watching You” this album brings a deep echoing sound that matches Her lyrics perfectly. It was an unexpected turn from the upstart who was hailed a few albums ago as the CCM version of Cyndi Lauper, but under T Bone’s influence, any artist seems to turn ahead of the curve.
Tracklist 1 – River Of Love – 2:43 2 – Love Is Not Lost – 3:57 3 – The Turning – 3:36 4 – Libera Me – 3:09 5 – Carry You – 4:18 6 – Beating Heart – 2:56 7 – Expectations – 3:15 8 – Down – 3:25 9 – Answers Don’t Come Easy – 4:10 10 – God Is Watching You – 3:50
Credits Bass – Jerry Scheff Drum Programming – Ralph Forbes, Ralph Forbes, Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett Drums – Mickey Curry Executive-Producer – Tom Willett Guitar, Producer – T-Bone Burnett Harmony Vocals – Dawn O’Hanlon, Peter Case, Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett, Tonio K. Mixed By – Tchad Blake Percussion – Alex Acuña Recorded By – Bill Jackson, Bobby Hickey, Judy Klapp, Larry Hirsch, Stephen Shelton, Steve Ford, Tchad Blake Recorded By [Assisted By] – David Knight, Mike Kloster Remastered By – Steve Hoffman Synthesizer – John Schreiner, Leslie Phillips Written-By – Leslie Phillips, T-Bone Burnett
Come As A Child is a live solo set by Larry Norman released in 1983. It was probably recorded in 1982 or 83. This record is billed as a concert for the benefit of The Calcutta Mission. Very little information about that transaction is available, but we assume that a portion of the profits of record sales were used to help the poor in India. It starts out with an introduction by Barry MacGuire, who was a late convert to Christianity and had a huge hit with the spiritual song “Cosmic Cowboy.” Larry always seemed to have a heart for California Culturals who were willing to learn about Jesus. There seems to be no lasting connection between Barry and Larry other than this introduction. Evidently Barry really was a fan. The performance is good and is a great example of vintage Larry. The sound quality is not great, but better than some of the other bootlegs released by Phydeaux. Unlike Roll Away The Stone and Live At The Mac, this album is primarily an acoustic performance. He did a lot of those on tours during the 1970s as well as the ones near the end of his career. Always with his “Spanish guitar” and the contract specifying 2 microphones set at the same volume. One for him and one for the guitar. Nightmare and Peacepollutionrevolution are stand-out tracks here because he did not do them live all that often, and they do not normally show up in his acoustic sets. Some of Larry’s humourous banter is here introducing songs, and talking about salvation and what we now call “Chritianese” on his talk “Heaven And Hell.”
Tracklist 1 – Barry McGuire Introduction – 2:34 2 – U.F.O. – 3:01 3 – I Hope I’ll See You In Heaven – 5:17 4 – Why Can’t You Be Good – 2:38 5 – Singing At The White House – 2:54 6 – The Great American Novel – 4:09 7 – Nightmare – 4:52 8 – Six Sixty Six – 2:26 9 – Peacepollutionrevolution – 2:45 10 – The Outlaw – 3:01 11 – Heaven And Hell – 2:16 12 – Strong Love, Strange Peace – 2:54
Credits Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano – Larry Norman Mastered By – Bernie Grundman Written-By – Larry Norman