Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
The endless cycle of Larry Norman releases must frustrate the serious Normanphile as the chances of ever constructing the definitive discography is something like the Christian music anorak's pursuit of the holy grail. The great blonde Normanski is undoubtedly one of Christian music's most talented writers and performers, but his albums can be divided into the absolutely essential ("The Trilogy", "Upon This Rock", "Something New Under The Son"), the pretty good ("Home At Last", "Stranded In Babylon", "Bootleg". "Street Level") and the dodgy (just about everything else!). So where does this rate in the scheme of things? A double CD re-release of the okayish 'Home At Last' (touted as a new album at the end of the 80's but clearly constructed of songs from the vaults) and the compilation 'Footprints In The Sand' drawn mainly from 'Something New Under The Son', 'Stranded In Babylon' and a few odds and sods slipped in from the late seventies and eighties. The fact that four songs from disc one are repeated on disc two only highlights the lack of thinking in compiling this album, but hey! Larry fans are used to a certain amount of being ripped off after a couple of decades of dodgy bootleg quality live albums, semi cobbled together studio recordings for sustenance. As a self-professed fan, I just wish the man would return to the high quality', well constructed artistic delights of the early/mid-'70s. Some hope! Actually Larry fans will already have all of this stuff and be engaged in some sort of crisis deciding which of the seven new Larry releases their bank manager will allow them to purchase! But for the uninitiated, even my previous ramblings shouldn't discourage you from checking out the great man's music, and this is one route into his immense catalogue. No absolute premier league performances here but the inclusion of first division contenders "God Part 3", "Leaving The Past Behind", "Let The Rain Fall Down" and "If You Don't Love You'll Fall" make it worth checking out. Like so much of Larry's material, this is good but not classic!
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