Model Shop

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Sony Music and Sundazed Music certainly have gotten a lot of mileage out of Spirit's outtakes. Sundazed head Bob Irwin served as digital producer of Time Circle (1968-1972), a 1991 Spirit compilation issued by Sony's Legacy reissue division, and for that disc he dug up some previously unreleased recordings the band made for its score to the 1969 film Model Shop, which never produced a soundtrack album. (Some of the Model Shop material turned up on Spirit's 1969 album, Clear.) More of this music appeared on Legacy's Irwin-produced 1996 CD reissues of Clear and the 1968 Spirit album The Family That Plays Together, as well as on Sundazed's 2000 rarities LP Eventide. Now, writes annotator Mick Skidmore, "thanks to the discovery of a master that contained the actual mono-mixed soundtrack," this album has been compiled to reconstruct what a soundtrack album might have sounded like if one had been issued in 1969. Although all the material has been heard before, seven of the 12 tracks are previously unissued takes or demos, and the whole disc is in mono. Spirit fans, who in any case have had ample opportunity to encounter the music before, will recognize it as representing the jazzier, more contemplative side of the band. Much of the music sounds, if not completely improvised, at least loosely structured, and it is largely instrumental, although the songs "Now or Anywhere," an outtake from The Family That Plays Together, and "Aren't You Glad," that album's closing song, presented in a previously unreleased demo version, have vocals. For the most part, the music features only the band jamming, but "Model Shop II" has a string arrangement, presumably done by Marty Paich, the film's music director, who also did such arrangements for Spirit's albums of the period. Model Shop gathers together in one place Spirit material previously spread across several albums, but it is only a minor addition to their catalog and should mark the end of the exploitation of this portion of their music.

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