Larry Norman – Back To America – 1985

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.”

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.

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

Jacket Front
Jacket Back
Side 1
Side 2

Lyrix – Songs From The Heart – 1982

The band here known as Lyrix were actually the British band, Mark Williamson Band. Larry Norman signed them for a one record deal and essentially just re-released their British album, Get The Drift. Larry apparently remixed some of the songs and it is generally thought that the original British version was much better. Back to the album, this is a great Rock and Roll album that still has a flavour of the 70’s on it. It’s definitely one of my favourite 70’s to 80’s transition album.

1 – Don’t Turn Your Back On Jesus – 3:37
2 – Midnight Diamond – 4:00
3 – All Very Well – 4:52
4 – Susanne – 5:23
5 – Dance – 3:15
6 – Rising – 4:04
7 – Somebody Told Me – 4:45
8 – I Would Have Listened – 5:31

Arranged By – Larry Norman, Mark Williamson, Paul Cobbold
Drums, Harmony Vocals – Mark Millin
Keyboards, Harmony Vocals – Chris Eaton
Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Harmony Vocals – Rob Marshall
Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Bass – Mark Williamson
Mixed By – Larry Norman, Mark Williamson, Paul Cobbold
Producer – Larry Norman, Mark Williamson, Paul Cobbold

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Chapel Lane Music
Copyright © – Chapel Lane Music

Mark Williamson Band – Get The Drift – 1980

This is the first album from the Mark Williamson Band who you may also know as LYRIX. Several tracks from this album were released in the United States on Larry Norman’s record label using the name LYRIX and the album name “Songs From The Earth”. That said this album is a much better mix as apparently Larry remixed the album for his own release and most people agree that this is a much better mix. Larry wasn’t exactly known for his production prowess. Back to the album, this is a great Rock and Roll album that still has a flavour of the 70’s on it. It’s definitely one of my favourite 70’s to 80’s transition album.

1 – Midnight Diamond – 4:08
2 – All Very Well – 4:56
3 – Junior – 2:55
4 – Somebody Told Me – 5:00
5 – So Far So Good – 3:46
6 – Dance – 3:23
7 – Don’t Turn Your Back On – 3:21
8 – Feelin’ Alright – 3:58
9 – Rising – 4:00
10 – I Would Have Listened – 5:46

Mark Williamson Band – Missing In Action – 1984

You might know Mark Williamson Band as Lyrix as they released an album using that name in the U.S. This is the follow up album to that album. At this point they used their original name. As near as I can tell the whole “Lyrix” thing was a Larry Norman bad idea. All that aside lets talk about this album. I love this album and it’s in my top 100. It’s a Rock album for the main part but has Pop overtones on a few tracks. The first 3 tracks are my favourite and get the album off to a great start. As you listen through the album it does get a bit weak by the end but this albums weak songs are stronger than a lot of albums strong tracks.

1 – Come On Over (To My Heart) – 4:26
2 – Missing In Action – 4:27
3 – Really Takes Care – 3:06
4 – The Voice – 4:30
5 – Deception – 4:10
6 – Better Way – 3:25
7 – Seven 8 – 4:12
8 – Give It Up – 3:10
9 – Lifetime Guarantee – 3:29
10 – Where Do We Go From Here – 3:49

Bass, Vocals – Mark Williamson
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Mark N. Millin
Guitar, Violin, Vocals – Rob Marshall
Keyboards, Vocals – Chris Eaton
Producer – Francis Usmar

Larry Norman – Barking At The Ants – 1981

This rather odd release from Larry Norman features 4 tracks of his own work on side 1 including a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”.

Side 2 is a sampler of British acts signed to Solid Rock records. This album was not licensed so it received no airplay and I’m mystified about the legalities of covering a Bob Dylan song.

If you only have time for one song I would suggest Alwyn Wall’s “Doctor Doctor”.

Track Listing:
1 – Larry Norman – The Tune (Almost)
2 – Larry Norman – Why Can’t You Be Good
3 – Larry Norman – Just Like A Woman
4 – Larry Norman – Deep Blue
5 – Various – The British Invasion (Medley With Cliff Richard, Lyrix, Sheila Walsh, Bryn Haworth, Steve Scott, Alwyn Wall, Barratt Band)
6 – Lyrix – Don’t Turn Your Back On Jesus
7 – Alwyn Wall – Doctor Doctor
8 – Sheila Walsh – Love In My Life