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Renaissance Records

Spirit - Alive In America

Spirit - Alive In America

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The original lineup of the group evolved from a Los Angeles band, the Red Roosters, which included Randy California (born Randy Craig Wolfe; guitars, vocals), Mark Andes (bass) and Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion). With the addition of California’s stepfather Ed Cassidy on drums, and keyboard player John Locke, the new band was originally named the Spirits Rebellious (after a book by Kahlil Gibran), but the name was soon shortened to Spirit. Before returning to his native state, California previously played with Jimi Hendrix as a member of Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1966. Hendrix gave Randy Wolfe the nickname “Randy California” to distinguish him from Randy Palmer, whom Hendrix named “Randy Texas”.

Cassidy was recognizable by his shaved head (hence his nickname “Mr. Skin”, later the title of a Spirit song) and his fondness for wearing black. Born in 1923, he was about twenty years older than the rest of the group. Although his earlier career was primarily in jazz (including stints with Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk, Thelonious Monk and Lee Konitz), he had served as the founding drummer of Rising Sons, an early blues rock vehicle for Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.

After the group undertook a promotional tour to support the album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, Ferguson and Andes left the group, forming Jo Jo Gunne.
California had accused them of plotting to take over the group. Their final gig with Spirit occurred on January 30, 1971, which almost ended with a fist-fight. In 1974,
Cassidy made it a point to find and re-establish contact with his stepson. He
eventually persuaded California to return to the mainland and give the band another shot. Andes worked with the duo for a while, but never intended to stay, as he was in the process of forming the group Firefall at the same time. This album was recorded in Denver on October 31, 1974.

Track Listing

1. Love Will Open Your Door (3:12)
2. Storm In The Night (4:18)
3. America The Beautiful (1:45)
4. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (3:31)
5. Happy Birthday/My Imagination (6:06)
6. Nature’s Way (3:28)
7. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (4:09)
8. Kristee (2:19)
9. My Road (4:21)
10. Same Old Thing (3:31)
11. Urantia (2:22)
12. Veruska (5:35)
13. Run Sinner Run (5:07)
14. Sunrise (2:56)
15. Guide Me (4:14)
16. So Little Time To Fly (3:33)
17. Goin’ Down (1:52)
18. It’s All The Same (6:17)
19. I Got A Line On You (3:58)

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