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Spirit

4.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Their 1968 debut featured the songs Fresh Garbage and Elijah . Four unissued bonus cuts!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMVS0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,679 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As soon as I hear the "yeah" cried out in the distance, just before the first notes hit, I am lit. What a magically engrossing affair this is. Spirit was certainly a very special band from a very interesting time in rock history. The group's albums are a compelling blend of psychedelic rock and jazz, and I find their adventurous allure a constant delight.
The infectious beat of "Fresh Garbage" is in 4/4, but because of where the accents are placed, it sounds like five, seven or maybe nine. The piano break is a jazzy 6/8. Drummer Ed Cassidy completely understood jazz and rock. This is why the transitions between the rock rhythms and the jazz rhythms are seamless and utterly convincing. Much of his drumming on the album suggests far more than he's actually playing, while his perfect choices time and again yield the perfect complement to the music. Listen closely to what he plays on "Straight Arrow"; always interesting, always brilliant. Randy California's guitar work is magnificent throughout. Oh, the sound he gets on his solo in "Mechanical World"--what an incredibly delicious tone! And, the guitar harmonies at the end of "Gramophone Man" are simply divine.
Most of the tunes were written by Jay Ferguson, and are fantastic vehicles for the band to show off their unique style. "Girl In Your Eye" floats along beautifully, with sitar shadowing the melody. Listen closely to the guitar line in "Taurus" and you'll hear where the main line during the verse in Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" came from. (Jimmy has been known to lift a line or two.
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Format: Audio CD
There were many classic albums that came out of L.A. in the 60's and this is certainly one of them. One of the greatest opening songs for a band's career has to be "Fresh Garbage". A "green" song that was about 35 years ahead of its time, no less. "Uncle Jack" has a vocal that really sticks with you for awhile. Then the "Mechanical World". Great vocals, great guitar from Randy California, moody and strange song. Typical Spirit. This song leads directly into a beautiful Randy piece entitled "Taurus". If it sounds vaguely like "Stairway to Heaven" it should considering that Led Zep toured with Spirit in 1968 (as the opening act!) and Page essentially ripped off the main chords. I prefer "Taurus" to "Stairway". The opening string section with the cello and flute is beautiful. The variety on the entire album is awesome. You should consider these albums for your collection if you enjoy great musicianship and endless variety -

Love - Forever Changes
Spirit- 1st album
Doors - 1st album
Buffalo Springfield - Again
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats

I could go on.....suffice to say that the L.A. scene came and went in the 60's with barely any attention. A ridiculous mistake when you consider the fact that all of these albums and many more always end up on the "Greatest albums ever" lists that you see about once a year. Include Spirit's 1st album in your collection and enjoy the immense talent that this record offers. Buy it on Amazon and wear it out. It is hard to find elsewhere. A true classic and more like 8 or 9 stars......
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Format: Audio CD
From the first few moodily incisive notes of 'Fresh Garbage', you can tell you're hearing something very special, not to mention original. It and 'Mechanical World' (deep, slow and dark), link to the way our psyches were enmeshed in the reality of the Vietnam War, without mentioning it as such. There are beautifully judicious string arrangements flowing in and out of 'MW' to soften the tone somewhat . . . for in this their earliest period, Spirit was all about healing.
'Uncle Jack' is like [the Who] without the rough edges.
'Taurus' is gorgeous NewAge instrumental music (slowly-evolving acoustic guitar solo with string section) way before the genre came of age, and better than much that came after it (SewAge).
'Girl in Your Eye' is a gorgeous love song in [again, slowly-evolving] raga rock, with sitar and flutes playing at the heart, and at the edges of time, respectively.
All these songs stand solidly on their own, as do the next five, each rating at 5 stars.
Lastly, Elijah is their free-flowing jazz improv number, where each band member gets to stretch out and take an extended solo. The last four tracks are bonus tracks added for the CD release.
On the original 11 songs, the writing is of the highest quality, as is the playing. The band is very tight-plus each piece varies in style and tone.
Note: the young Randy California probably played fuzz-tone lead guitar in a more subtle way than anyone; his double-stop solos in the minor (etc.) mode are unbelievable. His stepfather (the one with the shaved head) was the drummer, he brought his well-traveled jazz sensibilities to the group's efforts. Electric piano and bass round out their usual instrumentation, all played tastefully and with relaxed energy.
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Format: Audio CD
There's something about this album. I can't quite place why I have such a strong attachment to it. I've been listening to it, on and off, for 30 years. There's something about the time, the place, the spirit. The Vietnam War. Topanga Canyon. Whenever I listen to "Mechanical World" and then "Taurus", immediately after, I feel a little melancholy. The Vietnam War comes to mind along with wasted youth. Then I listen to "Topanga Windows" and the "Great Canyon Fire" and images of California and what a special place and time it was in the late 60s, before Charles Manson. And then, there's the music, itself, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Psychodelic all mixed together in a very pleasing way. Randy California's great guitar! The mature jazzy drums are alot more present in these newer releases. Like many of these classic albums, they are one of a kind. It was a certain time, a certain place, and a certain group of artists. It was short lived and can't be repeated. Thank goodness it was recorded for all to appreciate for years to come.
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