Larry Norman – Streams of White Light into Darkened Corners – 1977

Larry released this album in 1977 and it was labelled “Part 1.” Like many of his projects, the rest of it was never released.

The idea here seems to be to “expose” the pseudo-Christian songs that were radio hits in the 60s and 70s. Larry seemed to feel that they were exploiting the Jesus Movement for profit.

Randy Stonehill plays the part of the radio DJ, and the two of them record covers of popular songs that many people considered religious in spite of the rest of the bands’ repretoire. The songs are not recorded very seriously, and you can hear them making fun and holding back laughter in a couple of places.

From the back of the jacket:

This album was originally a newspaper article, but several different publishers backed down from printing it so I decided to record the music that is described in the article and release the soundtrack to the “newspaper movie.”

This is a Satirical Record and anyone who doesn’t have a sense of humor that leans toward the surreal, a cursory interest in pop music, and a healthy indifference/disdain for ego-lipped disc jockeys should definitely stay away from this album.
Larry Norman, 1974″

Track Listing:
A1 Spirit In The Sky Written-By – Norman Greenbaum
A2 Put Your Hand In The Hand Written-By – Gene MacLellan
A3 Bridge Over Troubled Water Written-By – Paul Simon
A4 Let It Be Written-By – Lennon-McCartney
A5 My Sweet Lord Written-By – George Harrison
A6 Presence Of The Lord Written-By – Eric Clapton
B1 I Think He’s Hiding Written-By – Randy Newman
B2 He Gives Us All His Love Written-By – Randy Newman
B3 Stranger In A Strange Land Written-By – Leon Russell
B4 Prince Of Peace Written-By – Greg Dempsey, Leon Russell
B5 Song For Adam Written-By – Jackson Browne
B6 Shine A Light Written-By – Jagger-Richard*

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Mark Heard – Stop The Dominoes – 1981

Mark Heard created a tradition of going the extra mile on his records. He wrote lyrics that had real honesty packed in tight, and yet he still managed drop some tongue-in-cheek one-liners. The effect was that when he was cheeky, you still had to take him seriously. Stop the Dominoes is a classic version of this.

He had a lot to say. The liner notes are incredible. CCM records routinely included all the lyrics printed out on the sleeve, but in addition, Mark included 2 full pages of small print, written from his heart to his fans. Mark had a passion for reality. You can hear it in his song lyrics, and these notes include some personal diary entries from his tour stops through Europe. It’s hard to imagine this kind of thoughtful writing being shared with fans now.

These notes were written on his travels, and later collated into this form, typeset and arranged, sent out to print, manufactured, distributed to stores, and then finally brought home to read. I hope a lot of people read them, but then again, I know. In 1982 when we bought records, we read everything.

There was no Twitter feed. The Internet didn’t exist in any consumer form at that time. Mark died in 1992, well before fandom was available online. Long before we would be able to follow someone’s thoughts as they had them.

Sure, we can follow people on social media now, but that’s a different thing. Online posts are so disposable because they are so temporal. Reading someone’s deliberate writing, something that they know they would have to work on, proofread, and only be able to publish to the world once a year – that’s special in a different way.

Mark Heard was one of the most thoughtful songwriters, and gone much too soon and much too young.

Track Listing:
A1 One Of The Dominoes 4:23
A2 Stranded At The Station 3:30
A3 You Could Lie To Me 4:02
A4 One Night Stand 2:52
A5 I’m Crying Again 3:29
B1 Stuck In The Middle 4:39
B2 Call Me The Fool 3:11
B3 I’m In Chains 3:25
B4 Lonely One 4:35
B5 To See Your Face 3:31

Credits:
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Larry Norman, Leslie Phillips, Little Bobby Emmons, Randy Stonehill
Bass – John Patitucci
Electric Guitar – Tony Eisenbarger
Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Mark Heard
Engineer – Jonathan David Brown
Fiddle – Buddy Spicher
Keyboards – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Producer – Mark Heard
Saxophone – Karl Denson
Steel Guitar [Pedal Steel] – Sonny Garrish
Written By – Mark Heard

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Various – Jubilation! – 1975

This 1975 Myrrh Records sampler had some of the early 70’s best Jesus Music. Strangely, it had the exact same name (Including the exclamation mark) of an album released the same time from The Kingsmen. The album only had one unreleased track, Larry Norman – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn. Larry did finally release the track in 1993 on the So Long Ago The Garden re-release as a bonus track.

Include below is the info on which album the songs were released on

Tracklist
1 – Barry McGuire – Enter In – 5:35 – Seeds
2 – Lamb – The Sacrifice Lamb – 5:09 – Lamb
3 – The Sonlight Orchestra – Easter Song – 2:45 – Love Songs And Other Greats
4 – Randy Matthews – Johnny – 3:30 – All I Am Is What You See…
5 – Petra – Back Sliding Blues – 4:31 – Petra
6 – Walt Mills – You Got The Power – 2:55 – Sincerely, Walt Mills
7 – Ron Salsbury And J.C. Power Outlet – I Choose To Follow You – 5:15 – Forgiven…
8 – Evie – Clean Before My Lord – 3:05 – Evie Again
9 – Parchment – Light Of The World – 4:00 – Light Up The Fire
10 – The Pat Terry Group – I Can’t Wait – 3:42 – The Pat Terry Group
11 – 2nd Chapter Of Acts – I Fall In Love/Change – 4:22 – With Footnotes
12 – Ray Hildebrand – Didn’t He – 5:08 – Special Kind Of Man
13 – Honeytree – Heaven’s Gonna Be A Blast – 2:22 – The Way I Feel
14 – Aleksander John – Days Go By – 3:15 – Days Go By
15 – Love Song – A Love Song – 1:46 – Love Song
16 – Larry Norman – Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn – 2:36 – Unreleased until 1993
17 – Malcolm & Alwyn – Tomorrow’s News – 3:30 – Fool’s Wisdom
18 – Ken Medema – Come Let Us Reason Together – 3:35 – Fork In The Road
19 – Chuck Girard & Love Song – Think About What Jesus Said – 4:54 – Final Touch
20 – Marijohn – Where I’m Going – 3:58 – Where I’m Going

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Larry Norman – A Moment In Time – 1994

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.

Track Listing:
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
(Bonus Tracks)
09 The Children of Nimrod
10 The Solid Rock
11 Leave It Up to God to Handle
12 Right Here in America

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Larry Norman – Upon This Rock – 1969

This was Larry’s first album after leaving “People”. This album was initially released on Capitol Records but Capitol said it didn’t reach sales objectives and Larry was dropped by them.

Larry immediately negotiated a distribution deal with Benson Records who put the album in Christian book stores and sales picked up.

The folk/rock sound of the album was fairly well received by the Christian music listener and this album is generally regarded as the first Christian rock album as opposed to the Jesus Music of the day.

The album was denounced by evangelists Bob Larson, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jerry Falwell all of which continued the diatribe that rock music was of the devil. Whether you like the album or not it has to be agreed that it started a new movement in Christian music.

The digital download version contains 3 bonus tracks.

Track Listing (Digital Version):
1 – You Can’t Take Away The Lord – 2:11
2 – I Don’t Believe In Miracles – 3:11
3 – Moses In The Wilderness – 3:13
4 – Walking Backwards Down The Stairs – 2:45
5 – Ha Ha World – 3:25
6 – Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation – 3:53
7 – Forget Your Hexagram – 2:23
8 – The Last Supper – 3:14
9 – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – 3:15
10 – Nothing Really Changes – 3:18
11 – Postlude – 2:14
12 – You Can’t Take Away the Lord (Demo – Bonus Track) – 2:08
13 – Sweet Song of Salvation (Live – Bonus Track) – 5:23
14 – Nothing Really Changes (Demo – Bonus Track) – 2:32

Track Listing (Vinyl version – Canada):
1 – You Can’t Take Away The Lord – 2:11
2 – I Don’t Believe In Miracles – 3:11
3 – Moses In The Wilderness – 3:13
4 – Walking Backwards Down The Stairs – 2:45
5 – Ha Ha World – 3:25
6 – Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation – 3:53
7 – Forget Your Hexagram – 2:23
8 – The Last Supper – 3:14
9 – I Wish We’d All Been Ready – 3:15
10 – Nothing Really Changes – 3:18
11 – Postlude – 2:14

Credits:
Arranged By – Tony Harris
Concept By [Conceived By], Written-By, Performer, Mixed By – Larry Norman
Design [Album Design] – David Coleman
Producer – Hal Yoergler

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Alwyn Wall – Invisible Warfare – 1982

This was the first album from Alwyn Wall though he had released an album in 1977 under the name “The Alwyn Wall Band”.

A member of Malcolm & Alwyn in the 70’s this was really his second solo project. Albums were relatively rare from Alwyn but when they did come out they were good.

His albums had far less filler songs and I find it difficult to pick singles given the quality of the songs. You can’t really say this album sounds like anything. Instead Alwyn offers a style all his own.

This album was produced and engineered by Larry Norman and was probably the best job he ever did in those roles as most agree these roles were not his strong point.

Track Listing:
1 – Doctor, Doctor 5:15
2 – On Your Marks (Are You Ready?) 4:09
3 – Let The Light Come 4:43
4 – Hold On 4:24
5 – Someday 4:52
6 – I’m Alright Jack (The Greed Song) 3:16
7 – (You’ve Got To Be) Doers 3:42
8 – Greatest Show On Earth 4:08
9 – Jesus I Love You 1:42C

Credits:
Backing Vocals, Engineer – Mark Williamson
Bass – Tim Hatwell
Drums – Russell Caldwell
Engineer – Tim Jacquette
Guitar – Norman Barratt
Keyboards – Dave Morris
Producer, Backing Vocals, Engineer – Larry Norman
Vocals, Guitar – Alwyn Wall

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Steve Camp – Justice – 1988

This is the 10th release from Steve Camp and by this point in his career Camp had music mastered.

The quality of this album is excellent and the song writing spot on. While he is usually classed as easy listening I would argue this album really isn’t. I found it to be upbeat and edgier than previous releases.

The highlight of the album for me is Camp’s cover of the Larry Norman song “Great American Novel”. He covers it with a Springsteen feel that is perfect for the song. All in all a great release in my opinion.

Track Listing:
1 – Justice – 4:35
2 – Playing Marbles With Diamonds – 5:03
3 – Don’t Tell Them Jesus Loves Them – 5:19
4 – Living Dangerously In The Hands Of God – 5:04
5 – Do You Feel Their Pain? – 6:18
6 – Hell Is Burning While The Church Sleeps – 4:28
7 – Great American Novel – 4:57
8 – Servants Without Scars – 4:04
9 – Love That Will Not Let You Go – 5:09
10 – I Believe In You – 4:25

Credits:
Art Direction – Barbara Catanzaro-Hearn
Artwork By, Design – Peter Nomura
Engineer [Assistant] – Carry Summers, Howard Steel*, Kevin Twit, Wade Jennings
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Bill Schnee (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B4), David Schober (tracks: B1, B3), Jeff Balding (tracks: A2, A4, B2, B5)
Photography By [Collage] – Mark Tucker (7)
Photography By [Portrait] – Victoria Pearson (2)
Producer, Arranged By – Steve Camp
Recorded By – David Schober

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Mark Heard – Appalachian Melody – 1979

This was Mark’s second album and his first on Solid Rock Records.

As is typical on Solid Rock albums the whole gang is on the album. I’ve always wondered why Larry felt the need to sing backup on every album (ok almost all) he produced, but I digress.

The album is a fairly light rock affair but Mark does get closer to the Rock and Roll rank on a few tunes. This is an album that will likely grow on you if a first listening doesn’t really capture you.

Track Listing:
1 – On The Radio – 3:38
2 – Castaway – 3:26
3 – Bless My Soul – 4:04
4 – Here I Am (Once Again) – 3:54
5 – With The Setting Sun – 1:42
6 – Appalachian Melody – 4:17
7 – Happy Cornbread Aniversary – 1:48
8 – Two Trusting Jesus – 4:13
9 – Jonah’s Song – 5:26
10 – Sidewalk Soliloquy – 3:18
11 – The Last Time – 3:16
12 – The Saints – 0:22

And here are the bonus tracks from the 2009 CD release:

Credits:
Mark Heard – acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mandolin, hambone, vocals, harmonies, arranging, co-producer, mixing, photography, album artwork
Larry Norman – background vocals, producer, arranger, photography, album artwork
Randy Stonehill – background vocals
Tom Howard – Fender Rhodes, orchestration
Jon Linn – lead guitar
Flim Johnson – bass guitar
Peter Johnson – drums
Al Perkins – pedal steel guitar, dobro
Chuck Long – electric and acoustic guitars, additional photography
Alex MacDougall – percussion and congas
Janet Sue Heard – harmony, additional photography
Tom Howard String Ensemble conducted by Tom Howard

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Randy Stonehill – Paradise Sky – 2008

During filming of David Di Sabatino’s Larry Norman documentary, “Fallen Angel” the producers wanted to use various Randy Stonehill songs. This was a problem however, as the rights to those recordings were still owned by Larry Norman’s record labels who needless to say weren’t interested in working with the producers.

Randy however owned the rights to the songs so it was decided to send him back into the studio to rerecord the songs they wanted to use. The result is this album which includes songs from Randy’s first few albums.

The songs are very well produced and this album is an enjoyable visit back to the early days of Randy Stonehill.

Tracklist
1 – Keep Me Runnin’ – 4:57
2 – One True Love – 4:27
3 – King Of Hearts – 4:34
4 – Norman’s Kitchen – 4:11
5 – I’ve Got News For You – 4:30
6 – Even The Best Of Friends – 4:23
7 – The Winner – 3:38
8 – Counterfeit King – 5:34
9 – Trouble Coming – 4:34
10 – First Prayer – 3:20
11 – Good News – 4:10

Credits:
Design [Art Design] – Joe Redmond, Lara Kulczycki
Engineer [Engineered By] – Mike Pachelli
Executive-Producer – Ray Ware
Liner Notes – David Di Sabatino, Randy Stonehill
Photography By [Back Cover Photo] – Susan Uston
Photography By [Cover & Digipak Inset Photo] – Wayne Armstrong
Photography By [Insert Photos] – CCM Magazine*, Duane Pederson, Jerry Hauser, Leonard Stonehill, Pamela Newman, Pauline Stonehill, Hollywood Free Paper*, Randy Stonehill
Producer [Produced By], Arranged By – Mike Pachelli, Randy Stonehill

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Daniel Amos – Horrendous Disc – 1980

The album Horrendous Disc by Daniel Amos was a very popular early 80’s CCM album.

While it was released in 1981 it has a strong mid 70’s sound. The reason for this is that it was actually recorded in 1978. It was rejected by Maranatha Music and ended up in the hands of Solid Rock Records.

For reasons only known to Larry Norman (owner of Solid Rock at the time) it was not released until 1981. It played a part in a messy situation that ended up with Daniel Amos at Newpax Records.

All that said it was a well received album with the single “I Love You #19” still very popular.

Track Listing:
1 – I Love You #19 – 3:33
2 – Hound Of Heaven – 4:06
3 – (Near-Sighted Girl With Approaching) Tidal Wave – 3:05
4 – Sky King (Out Across The Sky) – 4:05
5 – On The Line – 5:20
6 – I Believe In You – 3:45
7 – Man In The Moon – 4:00
8 – Never Leave You – 3:08
9 – Horrendous Disc – 5:20

Credits:
Bass [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Marty Dieckmeyer
Drums [Uncredited], Percussion [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Ed McTaggart
Guitar [Uncredited], Lead Vocals [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Jerry Chamberlain, Terry Taylor
Keyboards [Uncredited], Backing Vocals [Uncredited] – Mark Cook (2)
Percussion [Uncredited] – Alex MacDougal*
Producer [Uncredited] – Daniel Amos, Mike D. Stone

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