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Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus - Spirit

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Spirit / Import / Audio CD released 1996-11-01 at Columbia

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      02.07.2010 23:50
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      A great record

      ------------Background---------------

      Spirit were a highly regarded rock outfit formed in 1967. Specialising in prog and psychedelic rock, they managed to fuse rock, folk, pop, blues and classical music into one musical entity. Singer and guitarist Randy California was the band's mainstay character and the band's music remained a huge influence on bands like Led Zeppelin.

      Produced by David Briggs, he of Neil Young fame, Sardonicus is widely considered to be Spirit's finest achievement. Released in the Winter of 1970, the album has survived the test of time by being so rounded and distinctive. Twelve Dreams remains Spirit's most famous piece of work, even though the album only reached number 63 in the charts. A recent remastered version is the best you can get and still sounds great after all these years.

      ------------Opinion------------

      When someone starts talking to you about a sci-fi prog rock album, more often than not you are probably likely to sop listening. If you are still with me then here goes, this album rocks!

      Nature's Way is the albums best song by far and has remained an FM classic in the US. It is also one of the album's slower acoustic numbers. Heartfelt and poignant, Nature's Way speaks a lot more about the way we lead our lives in the 21st century, as opposed to life in the early 70's - one of the main reasons the album has lasted so long.

      Animal Zoo is a brilliant combination of sound and lyrics, very reminiscent of The Lovin Spoonful's 'Summer in the City'. Spirit were a very good band lyrically, as well as sonically and this song shows that they could combine the two extremely well.

      'Love Has Found A Way' is the most proggy track on the album and was a little hard to get into during the first few listens to the album. I would say it is the album's weakest track, but it did start to grow on me by the fifth or sixth listen! 'Why Can't I Be Free' is also a very mellow, dreamlike track that is very reminiscent of the age it was written. It's a pretty breezy filler song, but pretty good nonetheless.

      'Mr Skin' is another classic track that is bouncy and funny at the same time. If there were four tracks from this album to listen to, this would be one of them. 'Space Child' is an excellent instrumental piece that is very ahead of its time. A little dated, yes, but is also fresh and interesting some forty years later.

      'When I Touch You' shows the Led Zeppelin connection through and through. In fact, if you listen to the Page and Plant song 'Most High' from around twelve years ago - you can hear this song. I'm amazed how extensive the lift actually is! Brilliant in every way, When I Touch You is Spirit at the heavy best.

      'Street Worm' is also a great song, full of humour and joviality. 'Morning Will Come' is Spirit blazing the trail for bands like T-Rex and Slade, bands that would become big because of glam rock. This must be one of the very first glam rock tracks.

      ------------In Conclusion------------

      The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is an amazing record. Probably one of the most accessible prog albums out there, each track has been carefully honed and recorded giving the listener a different experience for each track. Spirit are definitely ripe for a re-appraisal, so definitely go get it!

      ------------Tracklist------------

      1. "Prelude - Nothin' to Hide" 3:41
      2. "Nature's Way" 2:30
      3. "Animal Zoo" 3:20
      4. "Love Has Found a Way" 2:42
      5. "Why Can't I Be Free?" 1:03
      6. "Mr. Skin" 3:50
      7. "Space Child" Locke 3:26
      8. "When I Touch You" 5:35
      9. "Street Worm" 3:40
      10. "Life Has Just Begun" 3:22
      11. "Morning Will Come" 2:58
      12. "Soldier" 2:43
      13. "Rougher Road" +¹"

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Prelude/Nothin' To Hide
      2 Nature's Way
      3 Animal Zoo
      4 Love Has Found A Way
      5 Why Can't I Be Free
      6 Mr Skin
      7 Space Child
      8 When I Touch You
      9 Street Worm
      10 Life Has Just Begun
      11 Morning Will Come
      12 Soldier
      13 Rougher Road
      14 Animal Zoo (1)
      15 Morning Will Come (1)
      16 Red Light Roll On