289. Stranded in Babylon – Larry Norman
STRANDED IN BABYLON (1991/1993)
Stranded in Babylon is easily the finest work in Larry Norman’s career post the 1970’s. After a decade of spotty releases and countless reissues, covers and best of, Larry Norman roared back into the spotlight for some with this album. It should have received greater recognition and sales, but it did show that given the right situation that Norman was still an artist to be reckoned with.
The album is a collaboration of sorts with his brother Charles. In fact every note and vocal came from the two brothers. “God III” is a response of reaction of sorts to John Lennon’s “God” and U2’s “God II.” It shows a return to Normans sly with and caustic verbiage that had been missing since “Something New Under the Son.”
Musically there are touches of great mid-80’s alternative sounds like heard from World Party and a very modernized blues vibe that would recall his earliest projects. All this while sounding very “modern” for the release date. There are very few ballads as the album remains one of Norman’s most consistent rock efforts including some of the heaviest music of his career.
The biting lyrics of the 1970’s “Only Vising This Planet” return here. Few things are sacred as Norman unleashes attacks against politicians, the Church, hypocrisy and the embrace of the status quo.
This may not be Norman’s finest work ever, but it did show that his chops had not disappeared over the 80’s like many assumed and does rank among his best that will be addressed later on this list.