Spirit: Clear

Spirit: Clear

Audio Fidelity  AFZ 267

Stereo Hybrid



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.

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1 of 1 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

1. Dark Eyed Woman
2. Apple Orchard
3. So Little Time to Fly
4. Ground Hog
5. Cold Wind
6. Policeman's Ball
7. Ice
8. Give a Life, Take a Life
9. I'm Truckin'
10. Clear
11. Caught
12. New Dope in Town
Bonus tracks:
13. 1984
14. Sweet Stella Baby
15. Fuller Brush Man
16. Coral
Comments (5)

Comment by Bagstiv - February 28, 2019 (1 of 5)

Unfortunately, Audio Fidelity went under before they were able to put this out.

Comment by Downunderman - March 1, 2019 (2 of 5)

…..Judging from the recommendation there must be at least one copy released into the wild!

Comment by Tony Reif - March 2, 2019 (3 of 5)

I was in touch with Marshall Blonstein around the time this was supposed to come out and the impression I got is that it was never manufactured.

Comment by Scott A. - March 5, 2019 (4 of 5)

Yep, it's a real shame it was never pressed, though I don't know if the remastering for it got done before the plug was pulled. Maybe it will slip out on another label someday.

Also, I read somewhere that Audio Fidelity had already dropped plans for "The 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus" prior to canceling "Clear" because someone else beat them to the licensing, or something like that, so maybe we'll get that one on SACD, yet. It is certainly their masterpiece, and definitely deserves to be on SACD.

Comment by Tony Reif - March 5, 2019 (5 of 5)

I'm pretty sure the remastering was completed, but the chances of that master turning up on another label are probably nil, because with the demise of AF it would likely be in legal limbo, and anyway I assume AF's licensing agreement with Sony would not have allowed for AF to assign the rights to someone else. 12 Dreams is a question mark - MoFi told me they have no plans for any Spirit releases, so who does that leave - maybe Analogue Productions?