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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Spirit - Texas Pop '69

Sp69-coverThe original lineup of the group was Randy California (guitars, vocals), Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion), Mark Andes (bass), California's stepfather Ed Cassidy (drums), and keyboard player John Locke. The band was originally named the Spirits Rebellious (after a book by Khalil Gibran) but was soon shortened simply to Spirit. Randy California had also played with Jimi Hendrix (then known as Jimmy James) in Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in 1966.
The group's first album, Spirit, was released in 1968. "Mechanical World" was released as a single (it lists the playing time merely as "very long"), and it was a substantial underground hit, reaching #31 and staying on the charts for over eight months. They capitalized on the relative success of their first album with another single, "I Got A Line On You". Released slightly before their second album, The Family That Plays Together ( November of 1968), it became their biggest hit single, reaching #25 on the charts. The album matched its success, reaching #22. They also went on tour that year with Led Zeppelin, who were obviously listening to Spirit, as Zeppelin played an extended medley during their early 1969 shows that featured "Fresh Garbage" among other songs. Jimmy Page's use of a theremin could also be attributed to his seeing Randy California use one which he had mounted to his amplifier. Also, Page "borrowed" a section of Spirit's "Taurus" which became the first 5 trademark chords of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". After this success, the group was asked by French film director, Jacques Demy, to record the soundtrack to his film, Model Shop. They also made a brief appearance in the film. Their third album, Clear, released in 1969, rose to #55 on the charts. Spirit were offered the spot right before Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, but they turned it down and went on a promotional tour.


Spirit - Texas Pop Festival 1969


SourceAUDSound QualityA+Formatmp3Bitrate224Tracks7

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