STYLE: Jesus Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11266-10183 LABEL: Solid Rock SRD773 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £14.69
Reviewed by Dougie Adam
Throughout the 1980s Phydeaux issued a number of compilation albums which found classic tracks from Larry's best albums rubbing shoulders with previously unreleased rough mixes and new wave instrumental demos following hard on the heels of songs from some of Larry's rock operas from the '60s. While such offerings always had their moments they were seldom cohesive and were not the best introduction to Larry's music and anyone hearing them must have wondered what all the fuss was about or why terms like "genius" were often banded around in Norman's direction. Well times change and in recent years Solid Rock have remedied things with regard to compilations with the Essential series proving adept at selecting great songs from the many eras of Larry's long and turbulent career and welding them into good sounding CDs. This collection finds many of the selections coming from 'Home At Last' and 1994's great but rough and rare 'A Moment In Time'. many of the 'Home At Last' tracks are alternate mixes which seem to carry a little more punch than the version which finally appeared on the lacklustre and dated collection which saw release in 1989. Meanwhile, the 1994 tracks profit from the editing they receive. End result? We get just under 20 tracks which sound pretty good together even though very few of them would crop up on fans' lists of their favourite Larry songs and even though many of them come from some of Larry's less cherished albums. A real treat for people getting into Larry's music, though once again collectors may view this as an inessential release due to the near absence of previously unheard material.
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