Larry Norman - Safecracking

Published Wednesday 11th July 2007
Larry Norman - Safecracking
Larry Norman - Safecracking

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 22552-12405
LABEL: Solid Rock SRD113
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Ian Hayter

When Larry and Charles Norman recorded the seven albums that were to form the Essential collection awhile back, a number of "bonus" tracks were not heard by everyone. An internet pirate decided to put these songs on a bootleg album and release it to the wider public. Larry decided to counter this by releasing (on the Solid Rock label) his own version of the bootleg album and here we have a dozen great tracks which are all you'd expect from the master of Christian rock. They showcase all the old energy and innovation of the big blond pioneer, within classic rock idioms. The set begins with "Don't Wanna Be Like You", written about a self-centred music industry narcissus, and contains anthemic songs such as "Waves Of Grace" and "Down To The Water". There's a song that was originally intended for the early 'So Long Ago The Garden' album ("Butterfly") and a live version of "Everybody Work". If you're a Larry Norman fan you certainly won't be disappointed, either by the quality of the songwriting or by the standard of the performance. And if you buy it, you'll be joining in the fight against musical piracy (the album's subtitle is 'Illegal Noise 2006') and making a welcome contribution to the fund for Larry's medical treatment.

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 Dougie @ 15:16 on Jun 13 2008

Can CR reviewers stop just copying and pasting the hype from Solid Rock's website and re-issuing this in the form of a review? By buying Safecracking it is far more likely you will encourage Solid Rock to keep up the practice of re-re-re-releasing and re-re-re-remastering everything as well as repackaging and re-editing and re-doing compilations as opposed to achieving any significant dent into undoing the illegal internet counterfeiters out there. Larry feeds the desire for such counterfeited compilation CDs by releasing a 7CD career spanning best of series which has about 20 new tracks out of 140 on the series... and by the way they are all originally CDRs homemade on a Solid Rock PC and retailing at $23 each... thats $161 plus P&P on the 7CDRs for your 20 new tracks... given that many of the bonus tracks are rough mixes and demos it seems a bit steep to be paying $200 for all these rarities - thats why a) most fans stop buying Larry's releases and b) a market gets created for a counterfeit CD with all the rare stuff on one CD for $20 and c) people will see Safecracking as another compilation which yet again shortchanges Larry's fans

Posted by Dougie @ 13:19 on Jun 13 2008

I AM a Larry Norman fan and contrary to your review I AM disappointed with this release. It's ANOTHER compilation of a compilation. Again! And it doesn't do what it says on the tin either. This doesn't gather all the new and bonus tracks from the Essential Series in one convenient place... here's a list of some of the missing 'new material' on the Essential Series which isn't on Safe Cracking: Kulderachna (So Long Ago The Garden outtake on volume 1), 'Sweet Silver Angels' a song everyone except Larry knows as 'Jesus Was A Crossmaker' (Judee Sill cover - uncredited) from volume 2. God Part 2 - original version 1971 (from volume 2). People In My Past (from volume 2)... so none of the new bonus tracks from Agitator are on Safecracking. He Is A Friend of Mine (duet with Randy Stonehill) - bonus track on volume 5. I Love You (live duet with Randy Stonehill) - bonus track on volume 5. Dear Malcolm, Dear Alwyn - bonus track on volume 5. Watch What You're Doing - non album mix - volume 7. 'One Star Remains' (hey folks its another Judee Sill cover being disguised with another Larry-only title... this is My Man On Love) - bonus track on volume 7. The Tune - previously unreleased radio edit version on volume 7 and Epitaph - previously unreleased demo on volume 7.

There we go, there's 11 exclusive songs on the 7CD 'best of' collection Essential CDs not found on Safecracking which means LN collectors will be forced into rebuying 100's of songs they already own if they want to complete their collections for those tracks.

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

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