Exposé Online banner

Spirit — At Ebbetts Field 1974
(Good Ship Funke GSF009, 1974/2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-03-19

At Ebbetts Field 1974 Cover art

Among the hardest working and most undeservedly underappreciated bands ever, the three-piece Spirit that forged onward following the demise of the original five-piece following the Ode / Epic years in 1970, through the 70s, 80s and right up to Randy California’s death in January 1997 was almost constantly touring, along with drummer Ed Cassidy, and a succession of bassists and keyboard players that varied depending on touring availability. This set, recorded at Ebbetts Field in Denver on October 30th, 1974 is nearly 82 minutes long and features 16 cuts, about half of which would turn up on their forthcoming Mercury label double album, Spirit of 76. The sleeve photos don’t accurately depict who actually played here – the bassist is Mark Andes from the original Spirit. Photos on the front and inside show bassist Barry Keene who did play on some of the Spirit of 76 sessions but not here. And the photo on the back shows Cass, Randy, and original keyboard player John Locke, who didn’t play here either. Initially I was a little hesitant to put out the cash for this live set, given that it’s on a label I had never heard of before, and also given that eight of the album’s 16 tracks had already been released on the three CD set Salvation…The Spirit of 74. After the first spin, my fears of poor sound quality were forgotten, as this in fact was taken from an FM radio broadcast of the show. There is a fair bit of audience noise heard here, in particular after an outstanding cover of “Satisfaction,” one loud audience member continues to heckel the band to play some Beatles at a point when they want to shift gears and play the quieter “Kristee / My Road.” Overall this is a well rehearsed set with many highlights including “America the Beautiful / The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Sunrise,” the gentle and jazzy “Guide Me,” and the all-out rocker “Veruska.” It’s great to hear this complete live set with most of the between song banter left intact. Of course one will hear the favorites “Nature’s Way,” “So Little Time (To Fly”), “All the Same,” and “I Got a Line on You,” which they never fail to play. Despite the packaging inaccuracies, this is a worthwhile addition to any Spirit fan’s collection.


Filed under: Archives, 2015 releases, 1974 recordings

Related artist(s): Spirit, Randy California

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sebkha Chott - Nagah Mahdi - Opuscrits en 48 Rouleaux – This is one truly off-the-wall release. Sebkha Chott is a collection of eight French musicians with strange pseudonyms. The digipack and liner notes are extremely difficult to decipher because of tiny...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues