Audio Fidelity AFZ 267
Clear is the third Spirit album, written largely around the time of their work on the soundtrack to the 1968 film Model Shop. Clear has several moments of brilliance that prove what a revolutionary band they were. Coming off of the success of The Family That Plays Together and the hit single, "I Got a Line on You," the group entered the studio with Lou Adler once again in the producer's chair.
The album contains many high points, like "Cold Wind," "So Little Time To Fly" and the awesome original release closer "New Dope in Town." "Dark Eyed Woman" opens the album with promise, and it is indeed one of Spirit's hardest-rocking studio performances. Randy California's inspired guitar solo is one of the finest performances of the period. The riff and general feel of the track (right down to the siren sound effects) were borrowed by Traffic on "Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory." California is the rock equivalent of the cool, progressive jazzman of the '50s.
This freshly remastered Audio Fidelity version of Clear includes four Bonus Tracks: both sides of the 1984 single, the song "Fuller Brush Man" and a piece entitled "Coral," which was on the Model Shop original movie soundtrack and is present here in an elaborately produced version. "Coral" is a dedication to groupie Coral Shields, the 11-year-old sister of Sable Starr.
This is Spirit, at the height of their powers, with Jay Ferguson still in the fold. Their music is different from anyone else, at times a little Jazz, Rock and Roll, and a fusion of other styles. Hard to believe this was done in the '60s.