Reviewed by Dougie Adam
Following hot on the heels of 2002's partially released seven volume Essential Series - I wasn't all that excited. However, this album is designed for release in countries where few of Larry's albums have ever been sold commercially, and bearing this in mind it does a pretty good job of collecting many of Larry's best recordings in one place. One People track has been included ("Riding High") and while this still seems to be sourced from a vinyl copy the sound has definitely been cleaned up. Three songs have been included from Larry's '80s output and none from after that time and it's questionable whether these three tracks, while good, are the "best" from that period. Any reviewer asked to pass comment on a compilation will also usually deal with the omissions and that being so it is a shame that no recordings from 'Bootleg' (1972) and the classic blues album 'Something New Under The Son' are represented here never mind anything from later heavyweight albums like 'Stranded In Babylon' (1991) or 'Tourniquet' (2001). That said, the compilers have managed to include a few less obvious choices here such as the ballads "Pardon Me" and "Lonely By Myself". For the most part this is what you would expect or hope for from a title bearing this name with three tracks from 'Upon this Rock', the wonderful "Sigrid Jane" from 'Street Level', seven from the magnificent 'Only Visiting This Planet', two tracks from 'So Long Ago The Garden', and four from 'In Another Land' and most of Larry's best known songs such as "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", "Sweet Sweet Song Of Salvation", "The Outlaw", "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus", "Righteous Rocker", "The Great American Novel", "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music", "UFO" and " I Am A Servant" all present and correct this release just about does just what it says on the tin. And I suppose the omissions which have been highlighted earlier may well find their place on any future volumes in this series. Remembering that most of the songs do represent the best recordings of most of the best songs from one of Christendom's best songwriters I guess there can really only be one score for this one.
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