Spirit

Original Album Classics, Vol. 1

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AllMusic Review by

Sony UK's Original Albums Classics series is a terrific idea: take five remastered albums from a certain period in an artist's catalog and pop them in a slipcase for budget price. That said, what usually happens is that they take two or three classic albums from that period, and assemble the box set with other, lesser-quality albums from roughly the same era. In other words, the recordings don't follow the chronology -- it's an inventory-clearing scheme. In the case of the legendary American band Spirit, however, the five albums collected here are not only presented in the sequence they were released, they are the group’s five best. Period. Spirit's genre-smashing music provided real -- and attributed -- inspiration for bands such as Traffic, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and even Led Zeppelin. (The introduction to the song "Taurus" from Spirit's self-titled debut is directly referenced in "Stairway to Heaven.") Spirit's early recordings (and revolving door membership) featured a seamless weave of psychedelic and hard rock, folk, jazz, blues, and classical musics. These recordings -- Spirit (1968), The Family That Plays Together (1969), Clear (1969), Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (1970), and Feedback (1972), produced hit singles and memorable album tracks including "Fresh Garbage,” “Uncle Jack,” “Mechanical World,” “Animal Zoo,” “Nature’s Way," "Dark Eyed Woman," and of course, "I've Got a Line on You." The five albums in this package are full of worthy surprises and forgotten treasures. In their early years, Spirit were deeply focused on creating albums. They weren't conceptual so much as very progressive in how they perceived the sequencing of tracks that flowed together to create unique and often startling listening experiences. For the price, this package is an absolute steal and is well worth investigating for anyone not already acquainted with Spirit's music.

Track Listing - Disc 5

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:29
2
3:37
3
2:01
4
3:53
5
4:47
6
3:54
7
2:22
8
2:47
9
2:37
10
5:20
blue highlight denotes track pick