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Stranded In Babylon
Throughout the 1980s Larry's fans had become accustomed to a steady stream  of patchy releases which fell well below the quality of his trailblazing '70s  output. There were lots of live releases and compilation albums where half-  finished demos and instrumental "Electronica" pieces would rub shoulders  with rock opera recordings with People sourced from scratchy vinyls and  cover versions of other artists' songs and unreleased songs from the  archives and remixes and re-recordings of his earlier work. Then at the tail  end of 1991 Larry took everyone by surprise and released a normal studio  album: that is, 10 self-penned songs and three bonus tracks which had never  been   on a previous Larry Norman album, all recorded in the studio and with the exception  of "Oh Lydia" (which is deliberately cut short after a few seconds) all properly produced by  Larry with the help of his younger brother Charles.  Furthermore most of the songs showed that Larry was back on form as a songwriter and  after a decade or more of dabbling in new musical directions, Norman was back playing to  his strengths. "God Part III", "Step Into The Madness", "All The Way Home", "Let The Rain  Fall Down" and "Under The Eye" all stood comparison as songs and studio recordings with  the best of Larry's previous work. The album was recorded by Larry and Charles working  with drum machines, sequencers and samplers to fill out their own guitars, basses and  keyboards and achieved a contemporary sound at the time. 20 years later not all of the  album has dated well and some fans will also feel that if some songs had been given a  gentler, simpler, sparer treatment or used more acoustic instruments instead of so many  layers of overdubs they may have drawn more plaudits and the album as a whole might have  had a more varied sound. Happily the 'Totally Unplugged Vol. 1' CD captures Larry  performing some of the 'Babylon' songs solo and accompanied only by his own guitar for  those who would like to contrast the simple live versions with the full on studio versions.  'Stranded In Babylon' saw Larry write about a cavalcade of big subjects again and after years  in the musical wilderness showed he was still capable of writing and recording some of the  best songs and most striking and quotable lyrics in Christendom when he put his mind to it.  Recorded in Sweden (1988) and overdubbed in Norway (1991).