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Spirit - 'It Shall Be: The Ode And Epic Recordings 1968-1972' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1e/e8/6b/spirit-it-shall-be-99-1541537193.jpg Hot

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This is an essential set for any self-respecting music fan.

Formed in LA in 1967, Spirit was put together by a friend of Jimi Hendrix, Randy California, and his stepfather Ed Cassidy. The band also featured future Heart bass player Mark Andes alongside Jay Ferguson on vocals and John Locke on keyboards.

This five disc box-set covers the band's most prolific years, tapping into Psychedelic Rock, Blues, Pop and Jazz. Spirit always seemed on a constant musical journey and here, the first disc covers the debut album 'Spirit'. Producer Lou Adler added a sense of epic to so many songs by using orchestral arrangements, with 'Mechanical World' and 'Taurus' being the best examples. 'Fresh Garbage' has a haunting melody, while the Pop Rock of 'Uncle Jack' and 'Topanga Windows' shows the musical diversity within the band. The nearest the group ever got to a hit single was 'I Got A Line On You' from 'The Family That Plays Together'. The album is a bizarre mixture of Jazz Rock on 'It Shall Be' and religious chants on 'Jewish' – it could all be termed experimental at best! 'Silky Sam' or 'Darling If' gives us slow, sweet Blues Rock that the Grateful Dead made a career out of.

'Model Shop' is essentially a soundtrack to a movie of the same name. The music is unobtrusive, in that it's there to play as background music only, and touches on smooth atmospheric instrumental pieces with the occasional vocal to give the song some identity.

'Clear' offered the wonderful 'Dark Eyed Woman', a hard-stabbing Rock song with an infectious chorus, while 'Apple Orchard' and 'I'm Trucking' is California displaying his talent as a Blues guitar player – Hendrix style. 'So Little Time To Fly' floats along on a simple Pop melody and chord structure, and the orchestral arrangements on 'Ice' and 'Clear' have the band taking their music in wonderful directions that, sadly, they would never return to.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'The Twelve Dreams Of Doctor Sardonicus' is the band's masterpiece, a Psychedelic Rock journey with each song crafted to perfection. 'Natures Way' was by far one of the band's most beautiful compositions, whereas 'Animal Zoo' and 'Mr. Skin' should have been monster hits for the band but sadly weren't. The guitar riffs of 'Nothing To Hide' and 'Morning Will Come' cement California's position as a guitar legend. Unfortunately, interpersonal problems tore the band apart when they should have been reaping the success they had worked so hard for.

The only dud on this set is the 'Feedback' album. Now minus California, the band attempted to continue but sounded like a second-rate Doobie Brothers and did the name little justice.

Disc four is the debut album mono mix which strangely gives the instrumentation a more individual quality and is, for me, the superior recording. There are a few other alternative takes from the 'Time Circle' mix such as 'I Got A Line On You' which adds little to the original. Finally, disc five is a mixture of B-sides and studio sessions from various albums. The 'Time Circle' mix of 'A Dream Within A Dream' has the vocals so up front you could be forgiven for thinking this was the Moody Blues!

With the exception of the incredible 'Potato Land' release, Spirit never really captured their early greatness again. This set captures the band's essential work with a colour booklet and all the discs nicely housed in card sleeves. This is an essential set for any self-respecting music fan.

Ray Paul

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  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
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  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
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  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
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  • Berny : @Siodmak: Pls. do not worry about the error message, we currently have to process orders manually because of a n issue with our payment system. I do not want to bore you with technical details, but the redirection from PayPal to our shop does not work as it should, that's why your purchase is not assigned automatically. We are working on it! Sorry for the troubles & thanks for your understanding. We hope you like the new issue of Fireworks! :)
  • Siodmak : Hello guys : - ) same problem as with previous number: just purchased Fireworks Mag. 87, and this is the message: "We are sorry, but it looks like your transaction failed". I've paid it with paypol. Thanks for your help!!
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  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #87 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks again Berny
  • Berny : Hi SeaDog57: Apologies!Password can be found in the forum, link was (again) added to the "Fireworks" menu.
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