Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spirit - The Best of Spirit

Our local library has started carrying an interesting variety of CDs lately, so I’ve been grabbing ones like this, that I might not have bought because I have the vinyl. But it is certainly worthwhile to spend the $1 or so on a blank CD and get a clean copy of classic albums such as this one. (shhh! Don’t tell anyone!)

I’ve been a fan of Spirit ever since “I Got a Line on You” hit big in 1969. This infectious pop-rocker has it all – great riffs, vocals, playing, etc. The story is that singer/guitarist Randy California decided they needed a hit and sat down and wrote this in a half an hour! Just goes to show that magic can be planned and spontaneous simultaneously!

Randy was always a focal point for the combo, with his fluid, sustained guitar licks, but this is definitely a band. Second guitarist Jay Ferguson also wrote hits (such as “Mr. Skin” and “Fresh Garbage”) and bassist Mark Andes, keyboardist John Locke and Randy’s step-dad Ed Cassidy (drums) all had full musical backgrounds before forming Spirit.

These 5 guys melded their influences into a psych-rock-pop group that could go from the almost prog-rock of “1984” to the gorgeous ballad “Nature’s Way” to the uptempo hit single of “Got a Line” while still maintaining a solidarity of vision.

Again, their full albums are recommended, but this is a fine starting point that includes their most famous tunes, including the bonus track of “Taurus”, which is where Jimmy Page got the idea for the intro to “Stairway to Heaven”. Great stuff!

Check out the Unofficial Spirit web page here.


Post a Comment

<< Home