Building on the momentum of their audacious debut, Spirit's The Family That Plays Together proved that they would not be victims of the sophomore slump. Stretching beyond the psychedelic environs of that first LP, the second disc found them flexing their musical muscles and expanding their palette. Led by the #25 hit, 'I Got a Line on You,' the album explores a wide range of styles, all within the framework of a tight-knit quintet. Guitarist Randy California dazzles throughout, often double tracking his lead lines and incorporating jazz idioms into his rock-based style. He also composed a large portion of the album's tracks, including the hit single. Vocalist Jay Ferguson wrote the balance of the album and sang with a palpable fervor on cuts like 'Silky Sam' and closing song, 'Aren't You Glad.'
Expanding on the band's musical prowess, arranger Marty Paich provided an extra dimension to the recordings, layering in tasteful strings that complimented but never overwhelmed the songs. Listen to 'The Drunkard' for a shining example of Paich's nouveau baroque style. The end result was a more fully-realized recording and one which opened up new sonic possibilities for Spirit. Their audience was obviously pleased with their new direction, rewarding the band with a #22 Billboard album chart position. The album was also very influential on Spirit's opening act at the time, Led Zeppelin, particularly band leader Jimmy Page, who incorporated many aspects of Spirit's sound and stage presentation into his fledgling group's direction.
The name of the album alludes to the fact that drummer Ed Cassidy was guitarist California's stepfather. Cassidy, who was 45 at the time, was an anomaly in the young '60s rock culture, for whom 'anyone over 30' was systematically suspect. Fortunately, Cassidy and the band ignored that trite convention and created a passionate brand of music that exists beyond chronological age considerations. It is, in a word, timeless. Sundazed brings this legendary album to you, pressed on stellar vinyl and packed in an authentic reproduction of the original album artwork. Get a line on this classic today!
Article properties: Spirit: Family That Plays Together (180g Edition)