Now or Anywhere is an LP pressing of the outtakes from the Spirit albums Spirit and The Family That Plays Together originally heard on the 1996 CD reissues of those albums. ("Fog" and "Now or Anywhere" made their first appearances on the 1991 compilation Time Circle [1968-1972].) Compiler Bob Irwin, who runs the reissue label Sundazed Music, also works with Sony Music's Legacy reissue division, and he has been active in handling Legacy's Spirit reissues since he served as digital producer of Time Circle (1968-1972). He has licensed this material for vinyl-only release by Sundazed, creating an attractive LP package that includes extensive commentary by the surviving bandmembers, Mark Andes, Ed Cassidy, Jay Ferguson, and John Locke. (Fifth member Randy California died in a swimming accident in 1997.) The material for the most part leans toward Spirit's jazzier side, with keyboardist Locke, who had only a few cuts on Spirit and The Family That Plays Together, getting the lion's share of compositional credits, including an alternate take of the improvisational showcase "Elijah," which closed Spirit. But Ferguson, who was the band's main writer at the time, also contributes a couple of tracks, "So Little to Say" and "Now or Anywhere," that sound like they must have been short-listed for The Family That Plays Together, since they feature string and horn overdubs by Marty Paich, like much of the released work the band did in this period. Like its companion volume, Eventide, Now or Anywhere will be more of an artifact for Spirit fans than a necessary release, particularly since the material is also available digitally. But it will make a nice complement to those scratchy old LPs from 1968 for vinyl fans.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann