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17 Jun 2017

Randy Stonehill "Get Me Out of Hollywood" 1973 UK Jesus Rock,Folk Rock

Randy Stonehill "Get Me Out of Hollywood" 1973 UK Jesus Rock,Folk Rock

Recorded in London in 1973 but never officially released until 1999. 


Born Twice might be rare, but Get Me Out Of Hollywood is virtually non-existent. Recorded in England at a major studio for a major label, the album was pressed but never released. Whether the copies are lost in some London warehouse or were melted in some tax write-off furnace has been the subject of much speculation over the years. A few stray copies, however, apparently leaked out before fiasco (the infamous “Randy’s mom’s copy”), and there’s been at least one fluke copy that turned up in England a few years ago (lucky bum). The album exists today mainly in against-all-hope want lists, along with numerous nth-generation cassette dubs, probably all from the same original. From a 1987 interview in The Cutting Edge magazine Randy Thought there may have been 500 or so pressed. Although he apparently didn’t care much for the end results, I personally find the album right up there with his Solid Rock works. ‘Jamie’s Got The Blues’ would later appear on The Sky Is Falling, ‘Puppet Strings’ on Welcome To Paradise. The closing noveltytune ‘Vegetables’ would soon be recorded by The Sheep on the Lonesome Stone project. Side two is mostly acoustic oriented , including some moving string arrangements on ‘Strange Youth’ and the beautiful ballad ‘East Coast Lady’ (the former in grand Stonehillian splendorincludes a reference to picking his nose). Other selections include ‘Back To California’, ‘Lonely Mary’, ‘Strangest Feelings’, ‘One Man’s Blues’ and the Spanish-flavored title track. Cover has him posing with that same superman shirt, denim jacket and patched jeans used on one of the Welcome To Paradise shots. In early 2000 this album was finally released on CD courtesy of Solid Rock’s Historical Archive series. The sound is clean, the original artwork is reproduced, and the booklet is fat with numerous photographs, lyrics and liner notes (here stating that only ten copies of the original were pressed!). There’s even a bonus track – a delicate acoustic ballad entitled ‘Blind Minstrel’. At any rate, fans can finally hear this lp the way it was meant to be heard. (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition)..............

Randy recorded this album over in England at Air Studios, in the same suite that Planet and Garden were recorded in. It has that same warm sound. It's not a gospel album but you can see the future Randy shining through and in that aspect it is a nice historical document of Randy's evolution as a person and as a creative composer. 

Beautifully recorded by Bill Price, who also recorded many other great English artists (including The Beatles and later America) it was produced by Jon Miller & Co. 

This album really gets into the heart of Randy's early days. With the same talent he still shows, this album swings from mellow to uptempo, serious to silly in the vacillating tradition you've all come to know and love. 

If you like Randy's other albums, you might just dig this one too. 
~Solid Rock Records................

On his eighteenth record, Edge Of The World, Christian music veteran Randy Stonehill may be returning to his roots musically and lyrically, but this thirty-one year veteran is definitely moving boldly and relevantly into the twenty-first century as well. Stonehill, whose discography spans over thirty-one years, first took to melding his honest lyrics of faith, struggle and hope with rootsy folk-rock music in 1970 under the tutelage of his friend and fellow Jesus Rocker Larry Norman. Alongside a small cadre of Christian artists considered too “Christian” for the mainstream and too “Rock and Roll” for the church, Stonehill blazed trails that are now easily traveled by Christian musicians, influencing countless young fans and future artists along the way. 

The first decade of his career saw him release a string of records with Norman’s help, including the groundbreaking and massively influential Welcome To Paradise album of 1976. Stonehill’s deft touch with a lyric, his unique and engaging voice and his endearing wit and spirit made him an early and long-time favorite of thousands. 

In the '80s Stonehill developed further as one of the premier artists in the emerging “contemporary Christian music” subculture via a long-term relationship with Myrrh Records and a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, including Equator, Celebrate This Heartbeat, Love Beyond Reason, and Return To Paradise. Rock fans loved his commitment to guitars, hooks and classic sounds, and his lovingly subversive humor. Christian radio embraced his ballads and pop ditties for their spiritual meat and their irresistible tunefulness. Live audiences packed into churches, schools and theaters where the songsmith would leave them laughing, thinking and humming all at once, night after night. Compared favorably to veteran rock and pop artists like Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Paul McCartney and Elton John, Stonehill seemed to get better with age. 

The nineties saw Stonehill stay his course as a thoughtful, organic singer-songwriter despite massive changes in the industry he had inadvertently helped to birth. Continued incessant live performances and a string of the most acclaimed records of his career dominated the third decade of the southern California native. With his 1991, Terry Taylor produced masterpiece Wonderama, and his 1998 Rick Elias-produced classic Thirst, Stonehill grew elegantly into one of the true statesmen of contemporary Christian music. 

On the 30th anniversary of his music ministry Stonehill took another in a series of bold steps in his career. His irascible inner child came scampering to the surface in the persona of “Uncle Stonehill” via an independent concept album “for children of all ages” called Uncle Stonehill’s Hat. “Many people who started coming to my concerts years ago in high school or college,” the now officially “whacky” uncle explains, “are returning these days with their own kids.” Again, with the help of Terry Taylor, Stonehill challenged the status quo in Christian music, especially the kiddie type. “Children really seem to connect with the kid in me,” the singer adds, “so he’s coming out to play more!” The independent CD (released in limited quantities through his own Holy Sombrero imprint) did indeed capture the imaginations of young people and not-so-young people alike, and was even developed as a full production stage musical in the fall of 2002. “It was really exciting to see how well it worked in that capacity,” Stonehill enthuses. “We’re not sure how God might grow the vision for this aspect of my music, so we’re really casting our bread upon the water as it were.” Stonehill has spent the last four years creating the wonderful world inside Uncle Stonehill’s Hat and exploring just how far down the mythological pathway he can go. All the while, however, he has maintained a constant concert schedule, criss-crossing the country performing his classics, like “Shut De Do,” “King Of Hearts,” “Great Big Stupid World” and “American Fast Food.” 

Finally, Randy Stonehill is back with a new album of original songs, his first since the acclaimed Thirst in 1998. At the dawn of his fourth decade in Christian music, Stonehill is launching one of his strongest records yet; one that simultaneously pays tribute to the early days, including an unprecedented number of key collaborations, and serves as a strong reminder of his continuing role as one of the most important artists in the business. 

The musical aesthetic laid out for the album was a simple one. Every track, over-dub and embellishment would exist solely to enhance the song, the voice and the guitar. Stonehill explains, “People have asked me for years if I had a record that was more akin to my live shows: more acoustic based and intimate. I always had to answer, ‘Well, uh not really.’” Though the original plan was for the record to be exclusively comprised of Stonehill’s voice and solo acoustic guitar, Phil Madeira came along with a batch of vintage instruments and an innate sense of vibe and brought shimmering color and vibrancy to the tracks without drawing attention away from the core of the record. Madeira’s lap-steel guitar, string arrangements, Hammond B3 organ, sitar and slide guitar add beautiful ambience throughout the collection, giving it warmth and depth. “The record did bloom into something more fleshed out instrumentally than I had originally planned,” Stonehill adds, “but it was a very natural blooming.” 

Edge Of The World finds Randy Stonehill in his best element. With all but the most delicate and tasteful production flourishes removed, the album draws special attention to the songwriting, guitar skill and vocal intimacy that has defined Stonehill all along. While the sonic textures have been simplified, the cast of contributors is more diverse than ever. The credits read as a veritable who’s who of early Christian music artists, with several of the more acclaimed modern artists on the scene showing up as well. Names like Phil Keaggy, Barry McGuire, Love Song, Annie Herring (Second Chapter Of Acts,) Noel Paul Stookey, (Peter, Paul and Mary,) Larry Norman and Russ Taff are listed alongside newcomer and Dove Award nominee Sara Groves, the ubiquitous multi-instrumentalist Phil Madeira and one of the most respected names in Christian rock, Michael Roe (77s, Lost Dogs.) The result is a collection of songs that pull the listener in, creating an intimate living-room ambience. The fact that Stonehill uses the opportunity to unveil another batch of songs rich with his characteristic eloquence, thoughtfulness and compassion is what makes Edge Of The World one of the high-points of his career. 

Several songs stand out as defining moments. “Dare To Believe” captures Stonehill’s jangly roots rock side and features a gang vocal chorus destined to be a favorite at concerts. The bluesy title track churns and pulses with slow-burn intensity and features incredible slide guitar work and vocals. The atmospheric “Far, Far” (co-written by Terry Taylor and Stonehill and originally recorded by Riki Michele in 1994,) and the uplifting “Prisoner Of Hope,” add rich color to the overall sonic tapestry. Always a fan of duets, (Stonehill has had radio hits with Amy Grant, Phil Keaggy and others,) this collection turns up two duets with new artist and longtime Stonehill fan Sara Groves, (“Take Me Back,” “Hey, Pauline,” and a new gem with Keaggy, the tastefully Beatlesque “That’s The Way It Goes.” But the centerpiece is certainly the ambitious, nostalgic group effort “We Were All So Young.” Lyrically the song reflects on the early days of Jesus Music, recalling the sense of commitment, passion and fellowship that dominated those halcyon days. Vocal contributions by fellow veterans Barry McGuire, Larry Norman, Annie Herring, Love Song, Russ Taff and Phil Keaggy add to the living-room feel and take the song to a more universal level of relatability. Though the song was written by Stonehill, the story is the same for so many of those early artists. 

Edge Of The World manages to strike the nearly impossible balance between contemporary vitality and historical significance. The contributions, the songs, the stripped-down acoustic style and the independent spirit that pulses through each track make it a significant marker in the long and important body of work created by Randy Stonehill. Since 1971 he has been standing on stages and singing in studios, pointing to the next world and offering guidance, hope and consolation to those struggling to get there. As one of very few remaining veterans, Stonehill has something important to offer to the Christian music community; a sense of history. Randy got his the hard way. He lived it. Through his music, his wisdom and his artistic generosity the rest of us can re-live a bit of those heady, radical and meaningful days.........CBN...........

Randy recorded this album in England at Air Studios, in the same suite that Planet and Garden were recorded in. It has that same warm sound. It's not a gospel album but you can see the future Randy shining through and in that aspect it is a nice historical document of Randy's evolution as a person and as a creative composer. 

Beautifully recorded by Bill Price, who also recorded many other great English artists (including The Beatles and later America). It was produced by Jon Miller & Co. 

This album really gets into the heart of Randy's early days. With the same talent he still shows, this album swings from mellow to up tempo, serious to silly in the vacillating tradition you've all come to know and love.......................

Larry Norman is celebrating more than 45 years as a songwriter and performer. In 1956 he began writing his songs and performing them in public. He has continued to perform them all over the world. He has toured exotic places like Russia, Lebanon, Israel, India, Hong Kong, and Japan. He has also performed in Western World countries like Australia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Holland, France, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He has sung in small clubs like New York’s Bitter End and L.A.’s Troubadour and also given concerts at The San Francisco Pop Festival and other outdoor festivals with crowds of up to 180,000. He has performed for The White House, twice - and in direct contrast, in Moscow at the 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium. He has headlined at venues like The Hollywood Bowl, The Sydney Opera House, The Palladium and London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, which he has sold out six times; once filling it twice on the same day. Only recently has he slowed down.

The press has referred to him as “the father of Christian rock” because it was he who first combined rock and roll with Christian lyrics. In the 70’s Billboard Magazine called him “the most important writer since Paul Simon.” To the church, in the early years, these accolades only deepened their doubts about him. He was banned in most Bible bookstores. But in later years he began to gain wider acceptance. Christian Artists Seminar awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award and Contemporary Christian Music Magazine named Norman's Only Visiting This Planet record the most significant and influential gospel album ever released in the field of contemporary Christian music. This kind of recognition is not new to Norman. Time Magazine once called him “the most significant artist in his field.” He has said, “I’m just an artist, reaching toward Heaven.”

His recording ministry started in 1966 when he was offered a contract by Capitol Records and found himself on the same label as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. His first single, “Riding High,” was a song about the Christian life through the Holy Spirit. His first album was titled We Need A Whole Lot More Of Jesus And A Lot Less Rock And Roll. Larry and his band People! opened for secular groups like The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Janis Joplin, The Byrds and many others. Larry was outspoken about his beliefs. His music was original and thought-provoking. Pete Townsend credited Larry's own rock-opera, The Epic, for inspiring the rock-opera, Tommy, recorded by The Who. In 1969 Larry recorded his third Capitol album, Upon This Rock, which introduced the songs “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” and “Sweet Song of Salvation.”

His style of music had been controversial for almost fifteen years before the Jesus Movement sprang up. During the Fifties and Sixties, he felt pretty much alone, but when other Christians began to write songs which were more modern and rock-based, things began to change. Larry’s broken finger, held up after each song, had become the One Way sign for the 70’s movement and his song “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” had become its anthem. The film A Thief in the Night used this song as part of its storyline. Other films would later incorporate his music into their soundtracks. His ministry continued to grow. Over the years his songs were translated into more than a dozen languages, including Russian and Hebrew. His music was studied in various universities and seminaries. He became friends with writers like Francis Schaeffer, Malcolm Muggeridge, and Hal Lindsey. Larry has had over three hundred cover records of his songs by other groups, including artists like Sammy Davis Junior and Petula Clark. Later, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Black Francis of The Pixies nee Frank Black, the group U2, and Van Morrison have called themselves fans.

Larry has been written up by Time Magazine, Billboard, Record World, Cashbox, Screw, Cosmopolitan and many other secular magazines and newspapers around the world. To the church these accolades only confirmed his secularity. Upon This Rock had been banned by the majority of Bible Bookstores for two years. Only Visiting This Planet remained in limbo for over six years. Although on stage he rarely smiled and often appeared to be almost daring an audience to like him, this enfant terrible —the “bad boy of Christian music”— was making music which could not be ignored; and finally he began to be perceived not as a “tool of Satan” but as a Christian with an unusual perspective on both secular and Christian cultures.

After recording three albums for Capitol Records, Larry left and signed with MGM Records. Working in England with The Beatles’ producer, George Martin, and the Triumvirate production team in London’s brand new Air Studios, Larry recorded his next album, Only Visiting This Planet. It contained songs like “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music,” “The Outlaw,” and “Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus.”

In 1973, while recording So Long Ago The Garden for MGM, Larry decided to start his own record label, Solid Rock Records. He departed from MGM in 1974 and signed with ABC Records for distribution. At the time, ABC was branching out by purchasing Word Records - so suddenly Larry’s albums became more acceptable through association with Word. Before this time his albums may have been widely available at Tower Records, Our Price and other secular record stores, but they could rarely be found in Christian bookshops.

However, his first Solid Rock recording, Orphans From Eden, was never released. His next album, In Another Land, was censored by Word Records, which insisted upon removing music they felt was “too controversial.” When his 1976 album, Something New Under The Son, met with similar censorship, he took off on a seven-month world tour and wrote Voyage Of The Vigilant. This expansive tour was covered by journalist Steve Turner and also chronicled by photographer D.C. Riggott.

Larry toured with a rock and roll band and also performed solo sets throughout America, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom and more exotic locales

like Israel, Lebanon, India, Hong Kong, and Japan—but with songs like “Three Million Gods,” and “Cats Of The Coliseum,” discussing the Hindu religion and the early martyrdom of Christians in Rome, Voyage Of The Vigilant was not acceptable because it was considered too “avant garde.” It was never released.

Despite the censorship difficulties he was experiencing with his own albums, Larry displayed a talent for helping discover and develop other artists. He had found Randy Stonehill in obscurity, worked for several years to get him off drugs, produced Welcome To Paradise, and took Randy with him all across Europe and America, which firmly established Randy’s recognition by 1977.

Larry discovered Steve Camp, who signed with Solid Rock and then asked Larry to let him sign with Myrrh Records. Larry had discovered Keith Green, even before he had become a Christian. He helped lead Keith to conversion but felt that he was too restless to work with peacefully, so Keith signed with Sparrow. A country group on the verge of breaking up came to Larry and he jump-started a new career for them with the release of the experimental rock album, Horrendous Disc. Mark Heard was working in a chicken cage factory when Larry met him. Larry invited him to join Solid Rock. The albums these artists released on Solid Rock, have generally been considered the most definitive albums they ever recorded. Larry also discovered Steve Taylor and Scott Wesley Brown in their early years but was, regrettably, too busy to record.

This “golden age of Solid Rock” was still in full flower, and Larry was getting ready to sign with Warner Brothers when he was involved in the airplane accident of 1978 which injured his spine, neck, and skull—and caused him partial brain damage and silenced his literate voice for the next twelve years. Larry dismantled Solid Rock and moved to Europe.

He started a new label, Phydeaux—as in “Fido.” At the time, Larry joked that “if Christian music was going to the dogs, then he wanted to remain on the cutting edge.” Phydeaux released several studio compilations and bootleg style albums to compete with the illegal albums like “Live At The Mac,” being released by bootleggers and music pirates like Randy Leyton.

Larry has been re-discovered by Christian grunge, punk, metal and major CCM groups who perform his songs as standards. His songs have been recorded by contemporary artists like DC Talk, Rebecca St. James, Audio Adrenaline and others. His recent albums have become harder edged and even more confrontational.

Larry continued to travel extensively through other countries, coming back to America occasionally to report on his adventures. Although he avoided Christian television, granted very few interviews, and did not try to push his ministry as a commercial business - his ministry continued to grow.

His desire to preach went far beyond the format of vinyl; into evangelism. He led Susan Perlman to Christ and with Moishe Rosen she developed the international ministry, Jews for Jesus. And in 1974 Larry started The Vineyard Church which met in his living room on Wednesdays in Los Angeles. It grew to become several hundred churches around the world.

In 2001 Larry was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.................

1 Get Me Out Of Hollywood
2 Back To California
3 Lately Mary
4 Jamey's Blues
5 Puppet Strings
6 Strange Youth
7 Strangest Feeling
8 East Coast Lady
9 One Man's Blues
10 Vegetables
11 Blind Minstrel

Acoustic Guitar – Randy Stonehill
Backing Vocals – Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Bass Guitar – Bruce Lynch
Brass – Roger Ball
Drums – Chris Karan, Clem Cattini
Electric Guitar – Bob Wilson (8)
Engineer – Bill Price, Gareth Edwards
Keyboards – Rod Edwards
Pedal Steel Guitar – B.J. Cole*
Percussion – Ray Cooper, Tony Carr
Photography – Larry Norman
Producer – Jon Miller (4), Rod Edwards, Roger Hand
Strings – Del Newman
Synthesizer – Rod Edwards
Vocals – Randy Stonehill

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