Spirit of America

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The follow-up to 1974's incredibly popular Endless Summer -- which gave the Beach Boys their highest chart placement for an album at number one, no less in a dog's age -- Spirit of America was a similar attempt to mine the group's classic Capitol Records catalog, with odder and somewhat less satisfying results. But some of the less than wholly satisfying moments were more a reflection of the woeful state of Capitol's A&R department than they were any black mark against the Beach Boys' music. And the album did have its unexpected joys, as well as a few lessons to teach a lot of bands from the 1970s. Endless Summer had, indeed, mined the lion's share of big hits associated...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The follow-up to 1974's incredibly popular Endless Summer -- which gave the Beach Boys their highest chart placement for an album at number one, no less in a dog's age -- Spirit of America was a similar attempt to mine the group's classic Capitol Records catalog, with odder and somewhat less satisfying results. But some of the less than wholly satisfying moments were more a reflection of the woeful state of Capitol's A&R department than they were any black mark against the Beach Boys' music. And the album did have its unexpected joys, as well as a few lessons to teach a lot of bands from the 1970s. Endless Summer had, indeed, mined the lion's share of big hits associated with the band, but Spirit of America, which was more hooked around the band's car song repertory than its surf music output, had its familiar moments -- "409," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Little Honda," "Do You Wanna Dance," and "Barbara Ann" were great selections and perfect to reach out to a teenage/early-twenties listenership attuned to -- if not always fully enamored of -- oldies and early-'60s nostalgia, and most of what surrounded them was a good match. And there was a serious, unexpected twist in the range of the content going right into the second song on side one, the repertory making a sudden leap across five years to the end of the 1960s and the group's then all-but-forgotten late-era single "Break Away." The latter song, which probably came up too early on the album to generate its maximum impact, did fit with the rest of what's here and helped direct a few otherwise unsuspecting low-level fans toward the group's then-overlooked late-'60s psychedelic-era output. On the minus side, however, the overall sound was rather indifferent on the original double-LP edition, which contained only 23 songs. And as this wasn't intended as a serious retrospective, there were, of course, no notes whatsoever which no one minded at the time. There was also a highly instructive lesson to be gleaned from listening to this collection, however, and realizing that the four-sided double LP ran less than 50 minutes, without leaving anyone feeling cheated -- at a time when most bands this side of the Ramones and maybe the Flamin' Groovies seemed incapable of recording songs that ran less than five or six minutes, Spirit of America was downright refreshing in its succinct, bracing brevity, singles and album tracks alike. The 1975-vintage Beach Boys themselves could have taken a lesson from that aspect of this collection and its predecessor. On CD the sound was improved modestly by Capitol, but the 24 karat gold DCC edition, mastered by Steve Hoffman, took the sound to new levels of excellence. Still, this album is pretty much fun anyway you get to hear it, which is pretty much all the Beach Boys set out to do when they cut just about everything here, and that's a success in anyone's book.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/1998
  • Label: Import [generic]
  • EAN: 4988006754096
  • Catalog Number: 60089

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dance, Dance, Dance (2:02)
  2. 2 Break Away (2:57)
  3. 3 A Young Man Is Gone (2:18)
  4. 4 409 (2:05)
  5. 5 The Little Girl I Once Knew (2:39)
  6. 6 Spirit of America (2:26)
  7. 7 Little Honda (1:54)
  8. 8 Hushabye (2:43)
  9. 9 Hawaii (2:02)
  10. 10 Drive-In (1:53)
  11. 11 Good to My Baby (2:20)
  12. 12 Tell Me Why (1:41)
  13. 13 Do You Remember? (1:40)
  14. 14 This Car of Mine (1:38)
  15. 15 Please Let Me Wonder (2:48)
  16. 16 Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (2:01)
  17. 17 Custom Machine (1:41)
  18. 18 Barbara Ann (3:10)
  19. 19 Salt Lake City (2:03)
  20. 20 Don't Back Down (1:47)
  21. 21 When I Grow up (To Be a Man) (2:05)
  22. 22 Do You Wanna Dance (2:21)
  23. 23 Graduation Day (2:20)
  24. 24 Darlin' (2:15)
  25. 25 I Can Hear Music (2:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Beach Boys Primary Artist
Glen Campbell Guitar
Leon Russell Piano
Brian Wilson Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Frank Capp Percussion
Barney Kessel Guitar
Don Randi Piano
Jerry Cole Guitar
Lyle Ritz Bass
Julius Wechter Bass
Bruce Johnston Vocals
Mike Love Vocals
Carl Wilson Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Billy Strange Guitar
Jim Gordon Percussion
Hal Blaine Drums
Al DeLory Piano
Gene Estes Percussion
Al Jardine Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Carol Kaye Bass
David Marks Vocals
Bill Pitman Bass
Ray Pohlman Bass
Tommy Tedesco Guitar
Dennis Wilson Vocals
Technical Credits
The Beach Boys Producer
Brian Wilson Arranger, Composer, Producer
Frank Capp Executive Producer
Bruce Johnston Contributor
Mike Love Composer
Carl Wilson Composer, Producer
Murry Wilson Producer
Chuck Britz Engineer
Steve Desper Engineer
Jim Lockert Engineer
David Marks Contributor
Joe Sherman Composer
Keith McConnell Illustrations
Noel Sherman Composer
Steve Hoffman Mastering
Reggie Dunbar Composer
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