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SON OF SPIRIT

Spirit

Proto-Prog


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Spirit Son Of Spirit album cover
2.98 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Holy Man (3:02)
2. Looking Into Darkness (2:53)
3. Maybe You'll Find (2:38)
4. Don't Go Away (3:46)
5. Family (3:05)
6. Magic Fairy Princess (2:59)
7. Circle (3:30)
8. The Other Song (5:31)
9. Yesterday (1:54)
10. It's Time Now (3:02)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Randy California / guitars, keyboards, vocals, other instruments
- Ed Cassidy / drums, percussion
- Barry Keane / bass, vocals

Releases information

1975 LP Mercury 1053
1999 CD Great Expectations 40002

Thanks to akin for the addition
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  • Mr Skin Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, 1970

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Import
Import [Generic] 1999
Audio CD$15.15
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SPIRIT Son Of Spirit ratings distribution


2.98
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(20%)
20%
Good, but non-essential (53%)
53%
Collectors/fans only (27%)
27%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

SPIRIT Son Of Spirit reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Other than ‘Rapture in the Chamber’ this is probably the most obscure of the fourteen Spirit studio albums. It was released just four months after the unexpected but solid ‘Spirit of ‘76’, an album that not only marked the U.S. bicentennial (check out the cover artwork), but also the reunion of guitarist Randy California with his stepfather and fellow Spirit founding member Ed Cassidy.

Several of the tracks on ‘Son of Spirit’ came from the ‘Spirit of ‘76’ sessions (hence the name, I suppose). That album was recorded at Studio 70 in Tampa under unlikely circumstances. Cassidy and California had been touring for a few months following California’s return to the States after having left the band for Hawaii in 1971 and being replaced by the Staehely brothers for the disastrous ‘Feedback’ release. The lineup at this point was somewhat fluid, but it eventually included bassist Barry Keane, who appears on both ‘Spirit of ‘76’ and this album. At one point during their 1975 spring tour the band was scheduled to open for Ten Years After in Tampa, but when they backed out Cassidy approached the promoter and obtained consent to try and fill the hall himself. Surprisingly he managed to sell over 3,000 tickets for the show; more surprisingly, he used the proceeds to book time at Studio 70 where nearly all of these two albums were recorded. The band managed to secure a four record deal with Mercury, and following the modest success of ‘Spirit of ‘76’ the label rushed this one out in a failed attempt to capitalize on the band’s mild resurgence. The album didn’t fare all that well, but the subsequent tour saw the return of original keyboardist the late John Locke and bassist Mark Andes (who brought his brother Matt along). The only original member who did not return following this album’s release was singer Jay Ferguson, who was still plugging away with Jo Jo Gunne.

The music here is pretty much all California’s guitar and Cassidy’s drums along with some assorted percussion. This record is more acoustic than ‘Spirit of ‘76’, although both albums are instrumentally sparse compared to most other music of that period. California composed all the tracks except for a spaced-out cover of “Yesterday”.

The record is pretty focused for the most part and full of California’s signature mellow, spiritually- minded vocals and intricate guitar work. Cassidy is quite subdued compared to the complex and jazzy drum tracks he laid down on earlier Spirit releases. At some points one almost gets the impression this is a Randy California solo album.

“Holy Man” and “The Other Song” are the album’s high points. The first is the opener and probably was considered to be a potential hit single, and it was in fact released as a single backed with “Looking into Darkness” but failed to chart. California croons about lovin’ each other in true late-sixties fashion while strumming his guitar and backed by Cassidy playing what sounds like some sort of hand drums. Randy California and Spirit had their hardcore fans to be sure, but the guy did always seem to be either five years behind (or two centuries ahead of) everyone else.

“Maybe You'll Find” had the distinction of a recurring piano riff that sounds exactly like the one from the 1984 Night Ranger hair-ballad hit “Sister Christian”. Spirit work that sound into a ballad of their own, although this one is much earthier than the later Night Ranger tune.

The album does have some weak moments. “Don't Go Away” is an almost embarrassing love song where California is doing something weird with reverb and his vocal mic; and “Family” is an upbeat but largely throwaway seventies pop tune singing the praises of a close family, something California didn’t exactly have at the time.

But things pick up after that with a handful of mild electric psych guitar numbers including “Magic Fairy Princess” and “Circle” where California shows the chops that made him a de facto spiritual guitar hero to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Sky Saxon and others of his day.

The longest track on the album (“The Other Song”) is also the most progressive, and the most difficult to follow thanks to a really disjointed guitar riff and complex blues rhythm. That is followed by a typically California hippy-like cover with “Yesterday”, and finally by the closing and forgettable “It’s Time Now“.

This isn’t the best Spirit album by a long shot, and unfortunately its close association and release timing with ‘Spirit of ‘76’ caused it to be reduced to cutout bins almost immediately. Too bad, because although it’s certainly not a masterpiece by any stretch, this is definitely an album worth a spin or two and a decent effort from California and Cassidy. I’d say this is a solid three star album, and would recommend it to both Spirit and acoustic prog fans that haven’t yet checked it out.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#173255) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 07, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A chip off the old block

Having returned in a veritable blaze of glory with the double LP "Spirit of '76", Randy California and Ed Cassidy kept the fire burning in 1975 with this second Spirit release for that year. There is an element of floor sweeping going on here, with surplus tracks from the "Spirit of '76" sessions combining with even older previously discarded songs such as "Maybe you'll fine; it's time now" and "Family".

The results are therefore understandably an album which is indeed the "son" of its predecessor. The opening "Holy man" is however one of Spirit's finest songs. The semi-whispered vocals are delivered in deep gruff tones, but the song has an understated and smooth overall feel. The vocal harmonies are delivered very tightly with a hint of phasing and a general nod to artists such as Simon and Garfunkel and the Beach Boys.

"Looking into darkness" is a whispy, light-weight affair with a very high pitched repetitive vocal and even some sundry whistling. Later, "Circle" retains the lighter mood with harmonica and flute combining with multi-tracked West-Coast style vocals to create a delightful but most definitely time-stamped mood.

The intriguingly named "The other song" adopts a blues feel with dominant drums interplaying with incisive guitar intrusions. California's vocals are more offbeat than usual, the track seeming lazy until it suddenly bursts into life with a jazzy section followed by a much dirtier guitar solo.

Given that it is the most covered song in the history of pop, the choice of the Beatles "Yesterday" seems an odd one. On the plus side, this is a tastefully simple adaptation. "Family" is one of the old songs, being a 1972 composition. It is easy to understand why it was not used at that time, but the whimsical mood is ideal for this new Spirit. "Maybe you'll find/it's time now" dates from a year earlier than "Family", being written for the unreleased (at the time) "Potatoland" album. The song is a lovely soft piece of the type Paul Simon would have been proud of.

In all, a fine second album for the reformed Spirit, which is both atmospheric and enjoyable. The pop orientation of many of the songs means that the prog tendencies of the early days are largely suppressed, but songs such as "Holy man" and "Maybe you'll find" more than compensate.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#176625) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2008

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