This is one of our favorite albums here at Better Records, and a true ’60s Psych Pop Masterpiece! The sound can be amazing as well, although you’d never know that listening to the average pressing. This copy gives you wall to wall width and layered studio depth like you will not believe, the kind of space you hear on engineering classics like Dark Side of the Moon and A Space in Time.
Want a glimpse into the kind of energy the band was generating in the studio? Drop the needle on Fresh Garbage, the opening track, and you will hear this band come alive in a way you probably never imagined you’d ever hear them. It’s positively startling how immediate and lively the sound is here.
This is the band at their best, fired up and ready to show the world that The Doors are not the only SoCal rock band who have innovative ideas about rock music and the performing chops to pull them off, not to mention the studio wizards who managed to get it all down on tape with State-of-the-Art ’60s Rock sound quality.
The Doors Vs. Spirit
If I had to choose between The Doors’ first album and Spirit’s, say for a nice drive up the coast with the top down, no contest, Spirit would get the nod (not to take anything away from The Doors mind you). I had the album on 8 Track back in high school and played it to death. Doing this shootout, hearing the album sound so good after so many years, was nothing less than a THRILL. (I went right up to Amazon and bought a CD for the car. Might just take a drive up the coast.)
If you like Surrealistic Pillow and Revolver/Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles and early Doors albums, and you don’t know the album well, you are really in for a treat. This album is a classic of its day that still holds up forty-plus years later. I cannot recommend any current album on the site more highly.
Twenty Years’ Worth
We’ve been doing our best to acquire original Spirit albums for at least the last twenty years. We managed to find about ten pretty clean yellow label Ode copies for our shootout in that period, and two of those turned out to be too noisy to play. One amazing copy a year is the most we can expect to find at this late stage of the game; these ’60s pressings are becoming scarcer every day. People loved the record and they played it to death. Who can blame them?
Strings and Horns
The venerable jazz arranger Marty Paich was brought in to lend his talents to the project, something I never knew until I glanced at the liner notes during the shootout. No wonder the arrangements, especially the string arrangements, are so innovative and interesting. I can think of no Psych record outside of The Beatles’ with better strings.