Rolling Stone (9/14/68, p.20) - "...They steer a middle course between Art Rock pretentions and Hard Rock philistinism. If rock is to progress, and not fossilize, and still remain rock, it is going to have to make a lot of the choices that Spirit made..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/08/96, p.69) - "Seekers of esoteric musical thrills might do well to investigate these reissues of this all but forgotten West Coast band's late '60s/early '70s albums....unlike many latter-day chops flaunters, these guys mostly kept to the four-minute mark, so that even the unsuccessful experiments are mercifully brief." - Rating: B
Mojo (Publisher) (p.117) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]t's a heady brew of nascent hard rock, jazz-fusion and sun-kissed Cali-vibes."
Spirit: Randy California (vocals, guitar); Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion); Mark Andes (vocals, bass); John Locke (keyboards); Ed Cassidy (drums, percussion).
Producer: Lou Adler.
Reissue producer: Bob Irwin.
Recorded in 1967.
Includes liner notes by Randy California.
The 1968 debut album by Spirit was unlike anything else released at the time. While there are some elments of the music of the late '60s (Hendrix riffing, jazzy interludes, Who-like bombast, Southern California laidback mysticism), the band's sound changes from song to song in a way that is wholly unique.
Singer Jay Ferguson penned most of the songs on SPIRIT, but their character is formed as much by Randy California's guitar and the jazzy playing of keyboardist John Locke and drummer Ed Cassidy. It was Cassidy who became a focal point in the band's live shows, with an unusual drum kit that featured extra, up-turned bass drums. The hairless drummer was also twenty-five years older than the band's youngest member, his guitarist stepson California. This album and the band's fourth, TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS, remain the perfect entry points to Spirit.