Originally named after Khalil Gibran's book Spirits Rebellious, Spirit came together in Los Angeles in 1967. Randy California (guitar/vocals), Jay Ferguson (vocals/percussion) and Mark Andes (bass) had played together in a band named The Red Roosters and prior to that, California was a member of Jimmy James and the Blue Fames in 1966, led by future guitar deity Jimi Hendrix. After adding John Locke (keyboards) and California's stepfather, jazz veteran Ed Cassidy (drums), the band began writing the songs that would make up their debut album Spirit, released in 1968.
The LP's swirling psychedelic stew reflected a diverse collection of influences, notably The Beatles' recently released Sgt. Pepper and Syd Barrett's work on Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Taking these contemporary British influences and processing them through their West Coast sensibilities, the group created a unique sound that was instantly recognizable. No mere studio creation, Spirit was a dynamic live band that played to wildly enthusiastic audiences and held considerable sway over their contemporaries. One of their opening bands, the just-cleared-for-takeoff Led Zeppelin, took to covering the album's opening track, "Fresh Garbage," in concert and it is likely that Jimmy Page added the theremin to his audio arsenal after witnessing Randy California use one live. Continuing the Zep/Spirit connection, some say that "Stairway to Heaven" owes a large debt to this album's "Taurus," but you should listen and judge for yourselves.
The album was an instant hit, rising to #31 on the Billboard album charts and quickly became a staple on the "underground FM" stations springing up across the country. It provided an audacious introduction to the rock world and laid the groundwork for even bigger successes soon to come. Sundazed is thrilled to present this remastered edition, in the rare mono mix, allowing you to hear a band on the cusp of greatness. Sourced from the original analog tapes, pressed on high definition vinyl and packaged in an exact reproduction of the original cover art, this consummately creative collection belongs in discerning music libraries everywhere.