Larry Norman - Bootleg

Published Thursday 8th September 2005
Larry Norman - Bootleg
Larry Norman - Bootleg

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13322-3015
LABEL: Solid Rock SRD847
RRP: £14.69

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Originally released in 1972, 'Bootleg' was a double vinyl album collecting together demos and underground recordings of songs from 1968 to 1972. A dozen of the songs here would reappear in rerecorded finished form on his proper record label releases so like the title suggests these 'Bootleg' recordings are effectively demos. For those starved of new material from Norman in the '70s, this became a significant release and if you once had this on vinyl you'll want to get hold of this. The rough demo quality of the recordings don't diminish some of the songs where these are the only versions ever released. So the piano songs "No Change Can Attend" with its Jaggeresque vocal and "I Think I Love You" still rock along nicely. Other highlights include the live version of "Blue Shoes White" which illustrate what an incredible live performer Larry was in his prime. The start of the second CD features some media interviews and speaking and one of the absolute highlights of the album is "Addressing The National Youth Workers Convention" where he sings "Sweet Song Of Salvation", working hard to get some audience participation from a bunch of youth leaders. It's hilarious! Other highlights include a rocking version of "Righteous Rocker", a beautiful, short sweet piano ballad "Even If You Don't Believe" and a raw version of "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus". All in all, these are classic early '70s Jesus music recordings and for an overview of Larry Norman's music, they are essential listening.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Lenny in Earth @ 20:05 on Dec 4 2011

Ever since Larry died, the quality of his work has suffered.

Posted by Jeremy Thompson in Essex, UK. @ 17:27 on Jul 22 2010

This is as early as Larry Norman solo work gets, named Bootleg as some fans were putting out their own recordings and Larry was less than pleased.
CD 1 contains some demo type stuff, however I Think I Love You, I Don't Believe In Miracles and One Way are fantastic.
CD 2 has Let The Lions Come which is a challenging talk, then other highlights include Even If You Don't Believe, U.F.O. and Why Don't You Look Into Jesus.
Not the most polished recordings, but I find them very interesting.

Posted by David Smith in McKinleyville, CA @ 23:30 on Oct 21 2009

That was Randy Stonehill

Posted by Jim Harris in Odessa Texas @ 06:17 on Aug 2 2008

I thought Larry did a song about cigarrettes.
The lyrics spelled it out c -i- -g- -a- -r- -e- -t- -t- e one letter at a time. Other lyrics in the song were " lung cancer, emphasema, a cardiac arrest, she'll probably have a stroke when she sees the x-rays of her chest". Was that Larry or some other artist? Thanks

Posted by Dougie @ 13:31 on Jun 13 2008

even though the master tapes for many of the songs on Bootleg were used for the 2 Cottage Tape releases, here we have ANOTHER CDR re-release of another album which has been mastered from scratchy vinyl. Why do Solid Rock do this to fans? They NEVER mention this drawback in any of their website publicity, and i've yet to read a CR review where a reviewer spots that many of the CDRs of albums like Bootleg, Friends on Tour, Rehearsal 4 Reality have been copied from an old LP... like any fan could do themselves but for a fraction of the cost which Solid Rock charge! Except... many fans could compile a better sounding version of Bootleg using their Cottage Tapes CDs for many of the tracks.

Reply by Jeremy Pilgrim in Sweden @ 12:38 on Aug 21 2008

RIGHT ON! I have "Rehearsal 4 Reality" on vinyl and once made my own CD-R of it with my PC. I was happy when it was released "properly" on Solid Rock so I ordered it, only to find that my own homemade CD-R almost sounded better than the Solid Rock release (the bonus tracks weren´t really that interesting either. Only instrumental jams). "Bootleg" was another dissapointment, as it obviously was made out of a vinyl (and a bad one too!)

I e-mailed Solid Rock about this, but I never got a reply, and they have replied other e-mails from me before. (But in one of those other mails I was praising Charles Norman´s songwriting skills...)

Don´t get me wrong. I´m a huge fan of Larry Norman (R.I.P) But I don´t like being ripped-off. Solid Rock is no good when it comes to inform their costumers (hard-core Norman-fans like my) about their products; if the "new" album is a live-album, or another "best of", if it contains any new/unreleased tracks at all, etc.

BTW: As Dougie has pointed out before: Two of the "new" Norman-tracks on "Agitator" and "Survivor" ("Sweet Silver Angels" and "One Star Remains") are actually COVERS, written by Judee Sill. The titles are originally: "Jesus Was A Cross Maker" and "My Man On Love". WHY on earth doesn´t Solid Rock write this on the album covers? Is it to make us think Larry wrote the songs? Well, the Bible says: Thou Shalt Not Steal!

[report abuse]

Posted by Bill Dawson in Greensboro, NC USA @ 15:32 on Dec 24 2007

I'm about 10 years younger than Larry so I was late to the show in a lot of ways. I learned some of his music (living in Florida, USA) around '79-80. I NEVER even heard of this bootleg album (or a great many others) until I started searching the web. I've been on disability the last year; gives you time to think. I got caught up in school, job, etc.
Listening to these mp3 cuts, I HAVE to get this album. And I Have to start playing again. LISTEN to these cuts. Larry Rocks!

Posted by Bob Wright in Marshfield WI USA @ 21:30 on Sep 19 2005

without doubt one of the most influentual albums in my early christian life. Remember the "one way" sign?

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

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