Larry Norman - Street Level

Published Thursday 8th September 2005
Larry Norman - Street Level
Larry Norman - Street Level

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13325-3021
LABEL: Solid Rock SRD970
RRP: £14.69

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

In the interim between his recordings for Capitol and being signed to MGM, Larry Norman had two independent releases and this was the first. This and Randy Stonehill's parallel recording 'Born Twice' were funded by a loan from Pat Boone and followed a simple pattern. Side one was live recordings and side two was studio songs. Like many of Norman's albums, there have already been two versions of this album and if you're buying for nostalgia, you'd better make sure it's the same album you want! Both have the same line up of live songs "Peacepolutionrevolution", a lengthy "Right Here In America" and "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" all recorded when Larry was at the height of his powers. The album kicks off with a witty poem "First Day In Church" which Larry reads in a strange, strangled mockney accent. The studio half of the album features a brilliant raw underground version of "I Am The Six O'Clock News" which in 1970 was probably the most far out music being released by a Christian anywhere. There are also early versions of "She's A Dancer" and "I Don't Wanna Lose You". There's a short piano song "The Price Of Living" and the better known groovy "Sigrid Jane". At only 35 minutes in length, there would have been plenty of room for Larry to include the alternative studio songs from the original release of this album including "No More LSD For Me" and "Baby Out Of Wedlock" but sadly they're not here. Still, it's a classic Jesus music album.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. A.G & Kate - He Turned The Water Into Wine [Listen]
2. Jerry Arhelger - I'm Just An Old Chunk Of Coal- Daddy Sang Bass [Listen]
3. Cliff Barrows - Dear Old Doc Brown [Listen]
4. James Blackwood Quartet - I've Got That Old Time Religion [Listen]
5. Pat Boone - Over The Hill We'll Be Home- Billy & Rex & Oral& Bob- Are All The Children In- [Listen]
6. Anita Bryant - When Johnny Comes Marching Home [Listen]
7. Glen Campbell - Suffer The Little Children [Listen]
8. Bill Clifton - Shall We Gather At The River [Listen]
9. Wes Davis - Take My Life- Just As I Am- A Gentle Breeze- Glory, Glory, Hallelujah [Listen]
10. Jimmy Gaudreau - Shall We Gather At The River [Listen]
11. George Hamilton IV - A Diamond Of Grace- Ragged Old Flag [Listen]
12. Garth Hewitt - When Johnny Cash Sang Man In Black [Listen]
13. Jimmy Payne - Teach Me A Little Each Day [Listen]
14. George Beverly Shea - When He Comes [Listen]
15. Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith - The Fourth Man [Listen]
16. Terry Smith - The Far Banks Side Of Jordan [Listen]
17. Bud Tutmarc - Amazing Grace [Listen]
18. Paul Wheater - If We Never Meet Again [Listen]
19. Johnny Cash - Suffer The Little Children [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

Reader Comments

Posted by Jerry Thompson in Essex,UK. @ 16:59 on Aug 3 2010

Upon This Rock, from 1969, was Larry's first solo release, it was a milestone in Christian rock.
However Larry felt that the lavish production would not be of interest to the every day teenager and therefore decided to record Street Level in 1970, which has some similarities with Bootleg, which
covers demos from 1968-72.
The monolouge The First Time I Went To Church is purposely provocative and leads on the Peacepollutionrevolution, a very perceptive take on the world and still relevent today.
Right Here In America is a stark warning that before long Christians in the western world are likely to face opposition for their faith, next are the fantastic I Wish We'd All Been Ready and I Am The Six O'Clock News.
I believe the best versions of the previous 2 songs are on Only Visiting This Planet.
I am not so keen on She's A Dancer, I Don't Wanna Lose You and Sigrid Jane, but I prefer The Price Of Living.
All in all an important album for Larry Norman fans and there were better to follow!

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