Although this album may not be seen as the definitive Spirit statement, it has several moments of brilliance that prove what a revolutionary band they were. Coming off of the success of The Family That Plays Together and "I Got a Line on You," the group entered the studio with Lou Adler once again in the producer's chair. Unfortunately, the group appeared to be beginning to fragment, and it shows on this uneven but ultimately fine album. "Dark Eyed Woman" opens the album with promise, and it is indeed one of Spirit's hardest-rocking studio performances. Randy California's inspired guitar solo is one of the finest performances of the period. The riff and general feel of the track (right down to the siren sound effects) were borrowed by Traffic on "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory." The record tends to go downhill from there (primarily due to some uninspired songwriting), but is not without its high points, like "Cold Wind" and the awesome closer "New Dope in Town."
- Release Date:
- Sbme Special Mkts.
Performance CreditsSpirit Primary Artist
Randy California Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Jay Ferguson Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Mark Andes Bass,Vocals
Ed Cassidy Percussion,Drums
John Locke Keyboards
Clear Spirit Track Performer
Technical CreditsRandy California Producer
Lou Adler Producer
John Locke Liner Notes
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I recently bought the 1996 Ode/Epic(Sony)/Legacy release of this album (EK 65002)...||...The name of the album is Clear. I mention this because the one-paragraph blurb on the CD's back cover refers to the album -- not just once, but twice -- as "Clear Spirit." I am not making this up (and over 10 years later, they still haven't bothered to correct it)...||...The album was originally released in 1969. I mention this because that information appears nowhere on the CD, or its back cover, or the companion booklet (although the booklet includes a recording date for each track)...||...Have I mentioned the stickers? My copy came with three of them on the front of the case, and only one is the kind that can be peeled off without leaving lots of paper/adhesive residue behind. And one of the other two is a big yellow sucker that takes up most of the bottom left quarter. I love it when I have to remove the album cover from the jewel case to really see it, and I'm sure most other CD buyers do, too!...||...As for the music: Although this is arguably the weakest of Spirit's first four albums (I'd say it's pretty much a tie with their 2nd album), I wouldn't want to be without Dark Eyed Woman and I'm Truckin', and I'm also pretty fond of Ice...||...But the question must be asked: Does this record company really deserve anybody's business?