Seattle 1971 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Washington, 1971.

Before Spirit, there were the Red Roosters in 1965 featuring Randy California (guitar, vocals), Jay Ferguson (vocals), Ed Cassidy (drums) and Mark Andes (bass). But music fans would likely remember Spirit because of the hit song, I Got A Line On You (from their second album, The Family That Plays Together, 1968), and the mid-tempo Nature’s Way (from 1971’s The Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus).

As Spirit fan Steve Robey wrote on the internet: “Spirit have been one of (Randy) California’s most loved and long-lived rock groups, from their debut in 1967 up until the present day. Mass success always eluded them: they wrote occasional (great) pop songs but were generally too ‘weird’ to be embraced by a large audience.

“Combining the diverse talents of blues musicians (Randy California on guitar and Mark Andes on bass), two jazz musicians (Ed Cassidy on drums and John Locke on electric piano), and a classical buff with a knack for songwriting (vocalist Jay Ferguson), Spirit had all the ingredients necessary to make truly eclectic, genre-defying music. Although this lineup was only together for four years, their recorded output remains astounding and way ahead of its time; few bands in history have ever pulled off such an accessible yet challenging fusion of song-oriented rock and jazz (Phish and Steely Dan come to mind).”

But in January 1997, California was reported missing after saving his son from drowning off the coast of Hawaii. He is presumed dead.

This Seattle show is considered one of the most intense concerts by Spirit – powerful and perfect in harmony. It’s a radio broadcast and the sound is near excellent. It’s also likely that with this show, the original Spirit reached the peak of their performances.

Disc 1
1. Something You Must Say
2. Nature’s Way
3. Just Care About Me
4. Hey Joe
5. Improvisation
6. Verushka

Disc 2
1. Going Away Somewhere
2. Tow The Line
3. It’s All The Same
4. I’ve Got A Line On You
5. Set Me Free

Click here to download the tracks.

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