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CHRONICLES (1967-1992)



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Spirit Chronicles (1967-1992) album cover
3.00 | 5 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. If I Had a Woman (3:10)
2. Darlin (3:05)
3. Hey Joe (3:28)
4. I Can't Stand It (2:46)
5. Genetic Dreams (1:55)
6. Fresh Garbage (3:42)
7. Somebody Loves You (2:34)
8. Lake of Love (3:14)
9. King of Days (3:12)
10. I Want Somebody (2:04)
11. Reelin in the Night (2:37)
12. Cass Drums (:42)
13. Holy Man (2:32)
14. Salvation (3:46)
15. Would You Believe (2:15)
16. Time to Fly (2:54)
17. Nature's Way (3:07)
18. Stuck in L.A. (2:26)
19. Darlin' If (3:14)
20. Kokomo (3:53)
21. Circle-Prelude (2:46)
22. Elijah (11:52)

Total Time: 71:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Randy California / guitar, vocals
- Jay Ferguson / guitar, vocals, tambourine
- Mark Andes / bass, vocals
- Ed Cassidy / drums
- John Locke / piano

Releases information

CD Out Line OLCD991133 1992 GB
CD Werc Crew 22002 1991 USA
MC Werc Crew 22004 1991 USA

A comprehensive Spirit anthology featuring early demos, live recordings, and other rarities

Thanks to clemofnazareth for the addition
and to Guest for the last updates
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SPIRIT Chronicles (1967-1992) ratings distribution

(5 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (100%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPIRIT Chronicles (1967-1992) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Suffice it to say that this is a remarkable collection of rarities, b-sides, live cuts, and assorted demos. The production quality of a scrapbook collection like this is never going to be particularly good, and in this case there are some tracks that are quite muddy, and a couple that sound like artificially re-sequenced mono recordings. But still, this is one of those anthology type of collections that a hard-core fan just wants to own. Randy California collected this stuff through the five years with the original Spirit lineup, as well as on the road and in the studio over about twenty years with various hybrid versions of the band before releasing it on the band’s own label in the wake of yet another comeback attempt with the 1990 ‘Tent of Miracles’ album and subsequent Epic compilation ‘Time Circle’. ‘Time Circle’ is an outstanding two-and-a-half hour collection of the original band’s most notable work by the way, but this one is a much more fascinating collection of outtakes and obscure tracks, and since it was put together by Randy himself, it’s a more pleasurable experience to pop into the CD player and go looking for a park to kick back in then the somewhat more sterile KTel-like Spirit collections usually found in record store cutout bins.

There are a handful of the band’s original 1967 demo tracks recorded by the goofy American novelty disc-jockey Dr. Demento, including the earthy “If I Had a Woman” and the obligatory rendition of “Hey Joe”. “I Had a Woman” appears on the CD ressue of the band’s debut album, but this is the first place I ever heard it.

Some of tracks are obvious studio versions the band intended for the live stage, most notably the Chambers Brothers “I Can't Stand It”, a west-coast treatment on a Motown type of tune that would not have been out of place at a Dead concert; the languid and rather obscure Randy California ballad “Lake of Love”; and the blues- folk of “Mississippi” Fred McDowell on “Kokomo”, a song that is remarkably similar to the Robert Johnson standard “Sweet Home Chicago”.

Several versions of essential Spirit songs are here as well, including “Fresh Garbage”; “Darlin’ If”; “Nature’s Way” from ‘Farther Along’ as a charming duet; and the very Jim Carroll-like “Somebody Loves You”. Many of these are tunes that those of us who lived through the sixties and seventies will remember, but may not have realized they were Spirit songs unless you happen to have lived on the beaches of the west coast of American during those days. I didn’t, but this is a band that I always held in high esteem for their sincerity and musical accessibility.

The obvious missing standards include the biting anti-war anthem “Son of America”, the funky “Fish Fry Road”, and of course the band’s biggest commercial hit “I Got a Line on You”. But frankly there are plenty of other places to get these songs on other compilations, or even from their original studio releases.

This is an uneven collection in terms of the technical production quality, but it is an excellent rummage-box of tidbits from the band’s many years of existence, and overall this is a great introduction for neophytes, as well as a welcome collector’s item for long- time fans. I won’t say this is essential, but it sure is good. Three stars.


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