# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Spirit - The Archive...An Introduction

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 22 / 4 / 2009

Spirit - The Archive...An Introduction
Label: Acadia//Evangeline
Format: CD


Fine retrsopective album and introduction to 60s and 70s group Spirit, which compiles together tracks from seven of their alabums

This compilation is exactly what its title says it is, an introduction to the band, Spirit, whose main man, Randy California, died in 1997. It has been released on the reissue label Evangeline, which has kept the memory of Randy California alive, both by keeping the Spirit back catalogue in print and issuing new albums of unreleased material of which there is a lot. I met Randy at the end of the 80s or beginning of the 90s at the Town and Country Club in London at a gig called the Night of the Guitar. He was rather sweet, and happily signed about 30 LPs for some fans from Manchester in the days in which fans were fans and not dealers. The compilation has tracks from seven different albums, and it opens with ‘Son of America’, which has commanding, crystal clear vocals from Randy. Acoustically backed, it is a song about America and fighting in another land for your country. It is a number that Springsteen would be proud of. ‘Cages’ is a mid 70s sounding pop number, which sounds very middle-of-the-road and radio friendly, while the guitar solo is blues based. ’Suntronics’ is an instrumental jazz rock track, while ‘His Love’, is Krishna based and mystical. Randy on this latter track sounds like Peter Gabriel when he was in Genesis. ‘Wagon of Wood’ is a steel guitar number with an Eric Clapton style vocal, while ‘When your Smilin' is a blues-based number. ‘French Apartment’ is charming and elegant and another steel guitar track, while ‘Charlie James’ sounds like a soft rock version of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. ‘Soldier’ is a spiritual, almost holy number, while ‘Jam Free’ is a live track upon which Spirit sound like a psychedelic version of Cream. ‘Shock Values’ is a jazz-fused track which recalls the Stooges at their most experimental, while ‘Oil Slick -Million Years Suite’ is a bluesy prog rock song, which is very avant garde with touches of both jazz and blues. ‘My Friend’ recalls the Byrds, while ‘You Know’ is slow paced and charming. ‘Neptune Caper’ is eccentric, like a cartoon set to music, and, with lyrics about neptune and shoe laces, very wacky. ‘Victim of Society’ is a live track that recollects Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. On ‘Zandu’ Randy is reminiscent in his vocals of Arthur Lee, while the guitar work sounds like that of the early Cure. ‘Reeling the Night’ has a Clapton-style vocal, and ‘Nature's Way (Edit)’, which ends the album, is a smooth and soft instrumental which brings to a strong finish this fine introduction to this massive band from the 70s.

Track Listing:-
1 Son Of America
2 Cages
3 Suntronics
4 His Love
5 Wagon Of Wood
6 When You're Smilin'
7 French Apartmant
8 Charlie James
9 Miss This Train
10 Soldier
11 Jam Free
12 Shock Values
13 Oil Slick-Million Years Suite
14 My Friend
15 You Know
16 Neptune Caper
17 Victim Of Society
18 Zandu
19 Reeling The Night
20 Nature's Way (Instr.) Edit

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