Album review: Spirit, Spirit of ’84 (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 28, 1984

By Steve Newton

With an all-star lineup that includes Howard Leese (Heart), Alan Gratzer and Neil Doughty (REO Speedwagon), Jeff Baxter and Keith Knudson (former Doobie Brothers), and Bob Welch, the ghost of Spirit has made a successful materialization in the 1980s.

The late-sixties L.A. band reunited last year to record three new compositions and seven from the old Spirit days. All the songs were recorded live in the studio, and the result is some very lively rock and roll. Vocalists/guitarists Jay Ferguson (remember “Thunder Island”?) and Randy California wrote most of the material on Spirit of ’84, and were joined in the regrouping by drummer Ed Cassidy, keyboardist John Locke, and bassist/vocalist Mark Andes (who spent several years with Firefall after the original Spirit died in 1970).

Pick hits are the opener “Black Satin Nights” and “1984” (not the Bowie version). A revision of the old Spirit tune “I Got a Line on You” is interesting too, but it gets a bit lengthy at just over 7 1/2 minutes. And it’s still not as cool as Blackfoot’s version on their debut LP Strikes.

 

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