Randy California


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After the one-off reunion of the original Spirit lineup that produced the 1984 album Spirit of '84 (aka The Thirteenth Dream), singer/guitarist Randy California returned to his solo career, signing to Vertigo, a British subsidiary of PolyGram Records, to record his third proper solo album, Restless. By the time the LP was released in June 1985, the management of the record company had changed, and the album was given virtually no promotion. California, who retained the rights to the Spirit name, returned to the U.S. and went back to billing himself, drummer Ed Cassidy, and whatever bassist and keyboardist they could hire as Spirit for the rest of his life. Restless, meanwhile, was a fairly typical effort for him. Depending on your point of view, it sounded like Spirit, or like most of the Spirit albums released after the band's initial breakup, on which California was the main songwriter, lead singer, and lead guitarist. That is to say, it was melodic hard rock for the most part, dominated by California's ringing guitar work, which recalled that of his mentor, Jimi Hendrix, in places. The mix favored the guitar over the vocals, which was just as well since California was more accomplished as a guitar player than he was as a singer or songwriter.

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