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Spirit - Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus CD (album) cover

TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS

Spirit

 

Proto-Prog

4.13 | 179 ratings

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jammun
Prog Reviewer
5 stars You wouldn't have known it from listening to their first three albums -- well, there might have been a inkling or two-- but Spirit was slowly drifting towards something big, if not in terms of success then in terms of accomplishment. The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is so perfect one can't help wondering if, a la Led Zep, these guys made a pact with the Devil. Just kidding, all you Zep fans. The pact that was made was with David Briggs (Neil Young's producer back in the day), who simply frames the songs in the best possible light, and what beautiful light it is.

This is one of those sorta/kinda concept albums. There's no real concept, other than the twelve dreams segue one to the next and that the first song is quoted during the last, but there is a continuity and purpose here not evident on any previous Spirit recordings. The songs are the best Spirit had come up with yet; there's not a bad one -- not even a suspect one -- in the bunch. It's hard to list highlights because everything here is find, but I'll take a shot at it:

- the excellent rocker Nothing To Hide, with Randy California unleashed on slide guitar - the acoustic, eco-conscious Nature's Way, with great vocals - the funky Mr. Skin - the jazzy Space Child - the almost arena-rock vibe of When I Touch You - the polished pop-rock of Morning Will Come

So there's six of the twelve dreams, with the remaining six being equally satisfying.

Spirit finally realized the potential of that first album, releasing one of the great albums of the time. I won't call this one underrated; rather, it's overlooked. The band unfortunately splintered following its release and although there are later albums that carry the Spirit name, they are not worthy.

jammun | 5/5 |

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