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Articles Home » 1975 Articles » Spirit - 1975 Son Of Spirit
Spirit - 1975 Son Of Spirit

ARTIST: Spirit
ALBUM: Son Of Spirit
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM-1-1053
YEAR: 1975
CD REISSUE: 2004, BGO Records (UK), 2 on 1 with 'Farther Along'


LINEUP: Randy California - guitar, bass, vocals * Ed Cassidy - drums, percussion * Barry Keane - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Holy Man * 02 Looking Into Darkness * 03 Maybe You'll Find * 04 Don't Go Away * 05 Family * 06 Magic Fairy Princess * 07 Circle * 08 The Other Song * 09 Yesterday * 10 It's Time Now


Anyone who doesn't have the first four Spirit albums 'Spirit', 'The Family That Plays Together', 'Clear' and their 1970 magnum-opus 'The Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus' in his or her collection is truly missing out on some of the best music to come out of the classic rock era. And yet Spirit remains a cult band, rarely mentioned in the history of American psychedelic music and unceremoniously passed over and constantly one-upped by The Doors, The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane. Honestly, if Jim Morrison hadn't checked out the way he did would The Doors be placed on the same pedestal they are now? Probably not, but the reasons Spirit never achieved the same success as their contemporaries are many, including poor decision making by both the band and their record labels. With star power in guitarist Randy California (a name given to him by none other than Jimi Hendrix) and Jay Ferguson; Spirit had the goods and never realized their full potential, but it was a very different band that released 'Son of Spirit' in 1975.

The Songs
With its high wattage cover, Spirit was down to a trio that included California, perennial drummer Ed Cassidy (California's stepfather) and bassist Barry Keane previously known for his session work with BTO. While 'Son Of Spirit' is not on par with their early classics, it's a mildly psychy album that still sounds like no one else but Spirit with the band's characteristic blending of pop progressive and jazz styles still intact. Cuts like opener 'Holy Man', the gorgeous soft jazz balladry of 'Maybe You'll Find' and the otherworldly purple hazy 'Don't Go Away' show a band still not afraid to experiment. In fact, nothing here is awful and if anything, there is this can't shake loose feeling the album is just a little too lysergic and that they should have heavied it up a little, especially in light of the rather murky production, the extended electric fest 'The Other Song' and sublime cover of The Beatles 'Yesterday' notwithstanding.

In Summary
Spirit spent a good portion of 1975 on the road with the likes of Bob Seger, Leslie West, Ten Years After and Iron Butterfly as both a headliner and support act but 'Son Of Spirit' received poor, at times unfair reviews and was summarily ignored by the record buying public. The band continued to perform and record with various line-ups well into the '90s releasing several good albums including the superb 1990 disc 'Tent Of Miracles' before Randy California's tragic drowning death in 1997.

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#1 | Nick C on February 17 2011 16:59:54
The cover of Yesterday is fantastic, this is another album I should rebuy, I like Spirit but not quite enough to go a nd grab everything...Spirit of 76 is probably my favourite but each album I've heard has it's own magic. For example I only ever borrowed Clear by the band and had it for a couple of days yet the song Ice has haunted me these last 30 years. I really should just buy it, but you know how things are haha!
#2 | gdazegod on February 17 2011 21:43:20
I heard a couple of tracks on the website listed above. I was quite impressed. I think I might be investigating their back catalogue.. headphone
#3 | Nick C on February 17 2011 23:15:04
Some of Randy California's solo albums are good especially Euroamerican....whyowhy did I get rid of all this stuff! I still have the free single that came with the album somewhere. Plus a flexi disc of Potatoland Theme (which isn't the same as the later release) and....I think a track called Midnight Train... that was given away with Dark Star magazine back in 1978....I bought UFO Doctor Doctor on red vinyl the same was raining...what a bloody fantastic memory I hear you say!
But I still have my vinyl of Spirit of 76 and a CD of Potatoland but I want the original version that's out too! Wantwantwant! Sad
#4 | Eric on February 18 2011 13:39:47
Dark Star magazine- forgot all about them! Thumbs Up

'Spirit of '76' was a peak effort and their follow-up to the album reviewed here 'Farther Along' which was a pseudo-reunion that included Mark Andes but without Ferguson had its moments too.

Still, those first 4 albums are the real deal...
#5 | Nick C on February 23 2011 20:41:27
Well I've remedied it somewhat - I bought the original album classics box set which features 1st, The Family that Plays Together, Clear, Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus and Feedback....5 albums for £13 bargain. So at last I'll actually have my own copy of Clear Smile
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