Sunday, June 27, 2010


Although released in 1981, "Something New Under The Son" was recorded in 1976 and/or 1977. It was Larry Norman's intention to release this as a double album with "The Tune" on the second album (and a blank fourth side or a side with a lengthy version of "Watch What You're Doing"). "Something New Under The Son" is a very blues-related album; Larry Norman took lots of musical & lyrical parts from old blues songs and from Bob Dylan songs. The inner sleeve of the original album gives rather exact remakes of most of the pictures on Dylan's album "Bringing It All Back Home" (or "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as the album was called in several other countries).

The album comes with a printed inner sleeve. On this inner sleeve there's mention of a free record; this is the "Barking At The Ants" single.

The song order on the 8-track tape is very different.

The cassette re-release on Phydeaux includes (much) longer versions of "Hard Luck Bad News," "Feeling So Bad," "Leaving The Past Behind," and "Put Your Life Into His Hands." The intro of "Larry Norman's 97th Nightmare" is longer (Larry Norman doesn't start singing immediately after the second turnaround). "Watch What You're Doing" has a short spoken intro and an extra verse about Little Joe Billy. The extra track "Twelve Good Men" is a raw version which is rather different from the CD version.

On CD "Larry Normans 97th Nightmare" is called "Nightmare #97" and "Let The Tape Keep Rolling" is called "Let The Tape Keep Rolling ('69 bio version)." Apart from the titles, there are no differences. The piano intro of "Leaving The Past Behind" and the "bababa" intro of "Born To Be Unlucky" are missing. "Watch What You're Doing" has the "Little Joe Billy" verse but is without the spoken intro.

"Deep Blue" is basically the same song as on "Barking At The Ants" but it is longer and the ending is a bit different.

The second CD has all tracks re-balanced, re-equalized, etc. according to information on the Larry Norman website. Larry Norman's website shows the front cover with 1977 erased and 2003 added.

The Rough Mix cassette (there might be two slightly different versions) features (variations on) songs from "Something New Under The Son" plus some additional tracks. The cassette has been titled "Something New Under The Sun" (yes, with a 'u'), but "Rough Mix" is a more well known title. The song listing is given above, see Part II for some additional information ("Rough Mix #1, #2").

The UK albums have the "Little Joe Billy" version of "Watch What You're Doing" and there is no intro to "Larry Normans 97th Nightmare." "I Feel Like Dying" is listed but it's not there (it has been released on single in the UK). The piano intro of "Leaving The Past Behind" and the "bababa" intro of "Born To Be Unlucky" are missing. I have seen a discography which lists the SRA 1 version as having nine songs; I guess this must be a mistake.

The first UK release has green labels with handwritten song titles, the second UK release has the common Solid Rock labels (open mouth) and typeset letters. The covers of the UK albums are the same but they are a little different from the US version. There are no catalogue numbers shown; only the words "A Solid Rock Ruff Mix" are given. Both albums came with an insert which is almost the same as the US inner sleeve (but it doesn't include the "free record" offer; this was meant for US citizens only).

The LP from New Zealand features the US version except that it has the "Little Joe Billy" version of "Watch What You're Doing" with spoken intro and there's no piano intro to "Leaving The Past Behind" (the drum roll is shorter). "I Feel Like Dying" is not listed. The spine and the yellow labels show "Something New Under The Sun" instead of "..Son."

There's a 7" EP called "Radio Disc VII" (released on Word AD-6568T) with radio spots to promote LPs, including a 60-second spot for "Something New Under The Son."

This album was number eight in a series of fourteen albums, mentioned on the inner sleeve of "Something New Under The Son" (albums number nine through fourteen have not been released, see part II).

Tracks :

Hard Luck Bad News
Feeling So Bad
I Feel Like Dying
Born To Be Unlucky
Watch What You're Doing
Leaving The Past Behind
Put Your Life Into His Hands
Larry Norman's 97th Nightmare
Let That Tape Keep Rolling
Twelve Good Men (demo)
Deep Blue (rough mix)
It's Only Today That Counts (rough mix)


  1. Hey Preacher,

    many thanks for this album, haven't heard this for nearly 30 years. apart from the fact it's a gospel based blues tinged rock album, musically this dude knows how to write a tune. Appreciate the effort of getting this one on, rocking on in the land of Oz.

  2. did any artist fleece his 'fans' more than Larry did?

  3. Will someone help me find the cassette copy? Mine got stolen with lots of other stuff from my house.


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