Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Full title - Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Millenium digipak edition of 1970 album, remastered (Super Bit Mapping) with original sleeve. 16 tracks includes 4 bonus cuts 'Rougher Road' (previously unissued), 'Animal Zoo' (mono single version), 'Morning Will Come' (alternate mono mix-previously unissued) & Red Light Roll On'. 2002.
Rolling Stone (3/4/71, pp.52-54) - "...A blockbuster of a record..."
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+
Spirit: Randy California (guitar); John Locke (keyboards); Mark Andes (bass); Ed Cassidy (drums).
Includes liner notes by Marty Pekar.
After three albums with producer Lou Adler (who had also signed them on his label, Ode), the band brought in David Briggs, who'd previously worked with Neil Young. A real sense of camaraderie and experimentation runs through this entire work, which took longer to record than any previous Spirit effort. "Nature's Way" has remained popular since its first appearance, and the album also includes "Mr. Skin," "Morning Will Come," and "Animal Zoo."
The album is characterized by an audacious blend of catchy pop and experimental sounds, as on the folkish, daring "Why Can't I Be Free" and the musically ambitious "Love Has Found A Way." Unfortunately, this was the band's final album. Randy California and Ed Cassidy continued to resurrect the Spirit name over the decades, but the perfectly balanced tensions of this original lineup were gone. Here, though, the supremely focused yet adventurous playing and writing make TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS Spirit's finest hour.