STYLE: Jesus Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 28979-12885 LABEL: Solid Rock SRD119 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £15.99
Reviewed by Tom Whitman
Larry Norman's 1981 concert at the Dominion Theatre in London was one of the defining moments in his career. Rumour is that backstage after the gig The Jam's legendary producer Vic Coppersmith offered Larry a recording contract on the spot. This CD reissue of the concert exhibits more than just the passion exuded on stage, but the wit and personality of the man. By not excluding the banter between songs as many modern live CDs do, it provides an insight into the man and mission. Looking back on an era when The Beatles and The Who were admirers and contemporaries of Norman, it's hard to think of a rock'n'roll act achieving success on a par with Norman, yet remaining as outwardly Christian and evangelistic as he did. From the frank blues opener "I Feel Like Dying" to the poignancy of piano-led ballad "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" Larry introduces almost all his songs with a mixture of humour and serious messages. Before "Why Can't You Be Good" he talks about the nature of love, not before remarking "sometimes you have trouble falling in love with the right girlfriend. I mean it's hard enough picking the right parents!" The versatility of his powerfully resonant voice is apparent throughout as he embraces soul, blues and drawls like Bob Dylan on "Put Your Life Into His Hands". The CD opens with five tracks from support acts and friends Alwyn Wall and the Barratt Band, who combine social commentary with rock'n'roll. While this reissue only offers eight live tracks from the man many attribute as the father of CCM, the quality of recording and performance are fantastic.
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