Larry Norman - Live At The Smith: The Solo Set

Published Thursday 15th November 2007
Larry Norman - Live At The Smith: The Solo Set
Larry Norman - Live At The Smith: The Solo Set

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 3 3 3
LABEL: Solid Rock SRV126
FORMAT: DVD Music video
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Steven Bridge

"The father of Christian rock" has, of course, had serious health problems in recent years which date back to the injuries sustained in an aeroplane accident in 1978. This reviewer is aware that some of the output of Larry Norman's huge catalogue is mixed in quality. But nothing prepared me for the solo set at the Smith - which is the great Smith Auditorium at Willamette University in the USA. Released in 2006 it would appear that this performance took place in that year, sometime after his "final" US concerts in 2003 and 2005. The DVD sleeve says that the recording includes "PeacePollutionRevolution" ("Keep your eyes on Palestine"), "The Great American Novel" ("A man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son"), "U.F.O." ("If there's life on other planets, I'm sure that he must know"), "Moses" ("Never borrow money needlessly"), "Pardon Me" ("Off you'd go. . . like a bird in freedom's flight. . ."), "Why Should The Devil?" ("I ain't dead yet!") and more. Unfortunately, the more did not include anymore music. Larry did say that he was sorry his voice was croaking and that he was tired. But in a recording lasting about an hour, the rambling rhetoric in between songs left one wanting more music or nothing at all. Period. There were the odd gems in the talk with his passion for witnessing ever to the fore. It made me search his website for recent musings and news. His Christmas message 'Life And Death On Planet Earth' in 2006 was very challenging, and if heeded life-changing. And if I were rating the message and music of the man, he would be 9.5 (who's a perfect ten in this world?), however this DVD would rate as very poor and is only for Larry Norman fans who are utter completists. Better off buying a classic CD like 'Only Visiting This Planet' or 'So Long Ago The Garden' to help Larry meet all his medical bills.

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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