Larry Norman - The Colossus Of Roads

Published Wednesday 15th July 2009
Larry Norman - The Colossus Of Roads
Larry Norman - The Colossus Of Roads

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 81399-15520
LABEL: Solid Rock SRDX777
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RRP: £14.69

Reviewed by Dougie Adam

Broadly speaking the tracks on this album fall into three different categories. Firstly there are rehearsals and outtakes from the '70s which see Larry and Randy Stonehill working on their harmony parts for songs from Larry's seminal 'In Another Land' album and we hear Randy improvising lyrics for a song "Uptown To Burbank". These song segments might fit a studio outtakes compilation really well but probably won't be appreciated by the more casual fan. Secondly we have a few studio demos of cover versions. Here again I suspect the casual fan will find it frustrating to hear Larry shouting the chord changes to the band during "Man Of Constant Sorrow" when he released a perfectly listenable version on his 'American Roots' compilation a few years ago. "All Fall Down" as it appeared on his 'Sessions' CD was one of his greatest cover versions and arguably one of his best ever recordings yet here it just sounds rough as if Larry and the band have a lot of work left to do to polish the song into shape. Thirdly there are live tracks. A few rarities pop up in this section as Larry performs "Sonshine" with Steve Camp and recites the words to "The Outlaw" acapella. There is also a compelling live solo version of "Be Careful What You Sign", a song which rarely featured in Larry's live sets or live releases. The highlights are the four songs recorded live with Alwyn Wall and Norman Barratt on tour in 1977 and 1981. Here at last in the stunning band versions of "I Hope I'll See You In Heaven", "It's Only Today That Counts", "A Note From Mr God" and "Why Can't You Be Good" we find Larry on top form singing his own material and backed by an impressive band on some great sounding recordings and it becomes obvious why even though these are not his best known songs Norman was held in such high regard as a songwriter and as a captivating live performer. Because of the three different source types the quality of the songs and performances vary from excellent to disappointing as we journey with Larry from the '70s into this decade. Apart from the stellar live tracks I've highlighted in most cases we have most of these songs in much better quality on other releases meaning that sadly 'Colossus Of Roads' marks a slightly haphazard start to the process of sifting through Larry master tapes and releasing them after his passing. Many fans will hope that as Larry's estate and other record companies begin to re-release his music that their compilations will be a bit less random sounding than this one.

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.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Sample Track Listing:
1. All Fall Down (Studio Demo) [Listen]
2. You Gotta Have Jesus (Studio Demo) [Listen]
3. A Note From Mr. God (Live With Band) [Listen]
4. I Hope I'll See You In Heaven (Live With Band) [Listen]
5. Man Of Constant Sorrow (Studio Demo) [Listen]
6. Randy Stonehill [Listen]
7. Randy Stonehill [Listen]
8. Randy Stonehill Studio Improvisation [Listen]
9. Why Can't You Be Good (Live With Band) [Listen]
10. Be Careful What You Sign (Live) [Listen]
11. The One Way Sign And PTL [Listen]
12. It's Only Today That Counts (Live With Band) [Listen]
13. Reader's Digest (Live) [Listen]
14. Steve (Camp) Stonebrook) [Listen]
15. The Outlaw (Acappella) [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 Dougie Adam in near Glasgow @ 17:39 on Aug 6 2009

I wrote the review but would like to point out that tracks 6 and 7 are not "Randy Stonehill" tracks as listed in your tracklisting here - its Larry and Randy working on harmony parts during Larry's "In Another land" sessions.



The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

Add your comment

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.












We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.

NAVIGATION
CONNECT WITH CROSS RHYTHMS
SIGNUP

Connect with Cross Rhythms by signing up to our email mailing list

It's All About Lives
Cross Rhythms Media Training Centre
MORE ARTICLES
DISCOGRAPHY
ARTIST PROFILES
Artists & DJs A-Z
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Or keyword search

 

PRAYER ROOMS
Courts of Praise
Get close to God, be extravagant in declaring your love for Him in our Prayer Room