LARRY NORMAN
a discography
 

 

 

 

  Judee Sill

Larry Norman must have had some fascination with Judee Sill. He covered two songs from her self-titled debut album (Asylum LP SD-5050, 1971). Norman's cover versions were recorded at the time he worked on "Streams Of White Light Into Darkened Corners" (album #9) in 1974-76, but they were not included in that album. I guess the reason for that was that Judee Sill couldn't be the subject of satire in the way the other artists were.

 

About Judee Sill (from Dusted Magazine): "Born in Southern California in 1944, and dead in '79, Judee Sill's life was brief, yet filled with enough dark drama to satisfy a lifespan twice that long. It would be easy to relegate her life and musical career as a series of interesting footnotes in the biographies of other more well-known personas: her self-titled debut full-length was the first official release for David Geffen's Asylum imprint; Graham Nash produced her most well known single "Jesus Was a Cross Maker", which was a minor hit for Nash's group the Hollies; she penned a hit single for the Turtles. But doing so would deny the power and majesty of the two albums she released during her lifetime. Critics reacted warmly to her music, commercial success never followed. By the time of her death at the end of the 1970s, she had vanished completely from the music scene, so much so that when word of her death due to a drug overdose trickled down, more than a few people were surprised – they assumed she had already passed". Read more here.

You can listen to the orginals by making your choice below (click on the song title):

1. Jesus Was A Crossmaker
Larry Norman covered it as "Sweet Silver Angels" and it can be found on "Agitator", a compilation CD-r from 2002 (album #55).

2. My Man On Love
Larry Norman's cover version was titled "One Star Remains" and he released it on "Survivor", a compilation CD-r from 2002 (album #57).

 
   
 

Bob Dylan

Larry Norman covered various Bob Dylan songs and even planned to release a full album on Dylan, called "Before And After", but it never happened and only a couple of songs seem to have been recorded for the project. One of them was "Just Like A Woman" from Dylan's album "Blonde On Blonde". Norman's cover version first appeared on "Barking At The Ants".

 

 

About "Blonde On Blonde" (from Wikipedia): "Blonde on Blonde is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on May 16, 1966 on Columbia Records. Recording sessions began in New York in October 1965 with numerous backing musicians, including members of Dylan's live backing band, The Hawks. Though sessions continued until January 1966, they yielded only one track that made it onto the final album—"One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)". At producer Bob Johnston's suggestion, Dylan, keyboardist Al Kooper, and guitarist Robbie Robertson moved to the CBS studios in Nashville, Tennessee. These sessions, augmented by some of Nashville's top session musicians, were more fruitful, and in February and March all the remaining songs for the album were recorded. Blonde on Blonde completed the trilogy of rock albums that Dylan recorded in 1965 and 1966, starting with Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Critics often rank Blonde on Blonde as one of the greatest albums of all time. Combining the expertise of Nashville session musicians with a modernist literary sensibility, the album's songs have been described as operating on a grand scale musically, while featuring lyrics one critic called "a unique blend of the visionary and the colloquial". Read more here.

You can listen to the orginal Bob Dylan tune by clicking on the song title:

Just Like A Woman
Larry Norman's cover version first appeared on "Barking At The Ants" in 1981 (album #15).


 
   
 

Leon Russell

Larry Norman first mentioned Leon Russell in the song "Without Love You Are Nothing" (1971): "You can be a Leon Russell or a super muscle...". Larry was just jokin' around. Leon Russell sure was a big name in especially the 1960's and 1970's, working with numerous artists and releasing a couple of great albums under his own name. Especially his first two LP's are classics ("Leon Russell" from 1970, and "Leon Russell and the Shelter People" from 1971). Larry Norman covered two Russell songs, one from each of the before mentioned albums, "Prince Of Peace" and "Stranger In A Strange Land". Both can be found on Norman's "Streams Of White Light Into Darkened Corners".

 

 

About the CD release of "Leon Russell and the Shelter People" (from Allmusic.com): "Leon Russell's accolades are monumental in a number of categories, from songwriting (he wrote Joe Cocker's "Delta Lady") to session playing (with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, just to name a few) to his solo work. Unfortunately, it's the last category that never really attracted as much attention as it should have, despite a multitude of blues-based gospel recordings and piano-led, southern-styled rock albums released throughout the 1970's. "Leon Russell and the Shelter People" is a prime example of Russell's instrumental dexterity and ability to produce some energetic rock & roll. Poignant and expressive tracks such as "Of Thee I Sing", "Home Sweet Oklahoma" and "She Smiles Like a River" all lay claim to Russell's soulful style and are clear-cut examples of the power that he musters through his spirited piano playing and his voice. His Dylan covers are just as strong, especially "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "It Takes a Lot to Laugh", while "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall" have him sounding so forceful, they could have been Russell's own. A hearty, full-flavored gospel sound is amassed thanks to both the Shelter People and the Tulsa Tops, who back Russell up on most of the tracks, but it's Russell alone that makes "The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen" such an expressive piece and the highlight of the album. On the whole, Leon Russell and the Shelter People is an entertaining and more importantly, revealing exposition of Russell's music when he was in his prime." (by Mike DeGagne)
Note: the CD release of "Leon Russell and the Shelter People" contained three bonus tracks, all Bob Dylan covers.

You can listen to Leon Russell's "Stranger In A Strange Land" by clicking on the song title:

Stranger In A Strange Land
Larry Norman's cover version appeared on "Streams Of White Light Into The Darkened Corners" in 1977 (album #9).