Spirit – Randy California, Larry Knight and Ed Cassidy – played the Rainbow Theatre in 1978 and, spurred on by support bands including The Police, delivered an incendiary set. Problem was that the recordings of the show proved deficient and only a few songs could be rescued by California re-doing his guitar parts. Unfortunately, much of the excitement was lost in the process.
Spirit archivist Mick Skidmore, present at the show himself, has taken cassette recordings and amalgamated these with the doctored release to come up with something as close to the original sound and spectacle as possible. He’s ended up with 18 tracks, double the original release, but has appended the US version of Live Spirit to the second disc for anyone wanting to note the difference. The colours added to this Rainbow set are there for anyone to hear, with bassist Knight on particularly fine form as the McCartneyesque link between stepfather and son.
The whole psychedelic package, from Mr Skin to I Got A Line On You, has been lovingly put together and, if the result may lack 10 per cent sonically, it’s still listenable. Skidmore is to be commended for his latest work in keeping Spirit alive.