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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Judy Dyble - Talking with Strangers – For those of you not old enough to remember, Judy Dyble was Fairport Convention’s original vocalist who left after their first album. She then hooked up with Ian McDonald and the original line...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues