Contains the first five albums, first album in mono and stereo. Also includes ‘Model Shop’ soundtrack and a whole bunch of bonus tracks - singles, alternate mixes and more. Esoteric.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1967 from the remnants of The Red Roosters, Spirit was one of the great bands to emerge on the US West Coast in the Psychedelic era. Featuring the talents of 16 year old guitarist Randy California (who had played guitar with Jimi Hendrix in New York the previous year), his step-father drummer Ed Cassidy along with Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion), John Locke (keyboards) and Mark Andes (bass), Spirit signed to producer Lou Adler’s newly established Ode Records label in late 1967.
Their self-titled debut album appeared some months later and demonstrated the breadth and diversity of the band covering psychedelic, rock and jazz influences and featuring such legendary cuts as “Fresh Garbage”, “Uncle Jack”, “Topanga Windows”, “Mechanical World”, “Elijah” and “Taurus” (the subject of a court case decades later when it was alleged Led Zeppelin had taken the musical structure of the piece as a basis for “Stairway to Heaven”).The band’s follow-up album, “The Family That Plays Together”, spawned the hit single “I’ve Got a Line on You” and was one of their finest works thanks to material such as “It Shall Be”, “Aren’t You Glad”, “Silky Sam” and “Darlin’ If”. Leading up to the recording of 1969’s ‘Clear’ album Spirit recorded the soundtrack to Jaques Demy’s film The Model Shop.
In 1970 Spirit recorded the classic ‘The Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus’ for Epic Records, from which the single “Animal Zoo” was taken and included excellent material such as “Nature’s Way”, “Mr Skin”, “Space Child”, “Morning Will Come” and “Soldier”. Sadly the original line- up of Spirit fell apart some months later leaving just Ed Cassidy and John Locke to assemble a new incarnation of Spirit for 1972’s ‘Feedback’, which saw brothers Al and John Staehely join the band on bass and drums respectively. Spirit went on hiatus soon after, although California and Cassidy would continue to tour and record as Spirit on and off until California’s untimely death in 1997.
Newly re-mastered, this anthology features all of Spirit’s recordings for the Ode and Epic labels between 1968 and 1972 and notably includes the entire mono mix of the band’s self-titled debut album (appearing on CD for the first time), the complete soundtrack to the film The Model Shop, along with original 1968 stereo mix of ‘The Family That Plays Together’, associated out-takes, singles and alternate mixes undertaken in 1991 for the ‘Time Circle’ compilation. ‘It Shall Be’ also includes an illustrated booklet with essay by Malcolm Dome featuring archive interviews with Randy California and Ed Cassidy.