Spirit in the Sky

Performers Norman Greenbaum

Varese Sarabande | June 12, 2001 | Compact Disc

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Norman Greenbaum was much stranger than his big hit "Spirit in the Sky" would suggest. Then again, that tune -- a confident, fuzz-toned paean to God, that sprit in the sky -- is hardly the most conventional of '70s AM anthems, so perhaps it isn't surprising that the album bearing the same title is all over the map, with sub-War low-riding anthems ("Junior Cadillac"), singer/songwriter introspection, eerie post-psychedelic pop (the genuinely unsettling "Marcy"), and utter oddities ("Canned Ham"). That, of course, means that it's far more fascinating than many soft rock curiosities of the early '70s, and the near-schizophrenic cavalcade of material means that the record doesn't hold together, but that's part of what makes it worth hearing. And while Greenbaum wasn't exactly a consistent songwriter, he did hit the mark several times ("Skyline," "Canned Ham," "Jubilee," and "Junior Cadillac" are all strong), and even the misfires are interesting and well-crafted, at least in terms of its early-'70s peers. This doesn't mean that it's a lost gem, but for listeners who want to dig into early '70s AM pop and soft rock, it's certainly worth hearing. [Varese Sarabande's 2001 reissue contains several previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the non-LP demos "Save Me for a Rainy Day" and "Chocolate Milk," plus a folky "Spirit in the Sky" and a radio promo.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: June 12, 2001

Genre: Contemp. Christian

Style: Gospel

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Varese Sarabande

UPC: 030206622928

Found in: Contemporary - Christian

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– More About This Product –

Spirit in the Sky

Performers Norman Greenbaum

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: June 12, 2001

Genre: Contemp. Christian

Style: Gospel

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Varese Sarabande

UPC: 030206622928


Title Track Time
1.Junior Cadillac --
2.Spirit In The Sky --
3.Skyline --
4.Jubilee --
5.Alice Bodine --
6.Tars Of India --
7.Power, The --
8.Good Lookin' Woman --
9.Milk Cow --
10.Marcy --
11.School For Sweet Talk - (bonus track) --
12.Children Of Paradise - (bonus track) --
13.Canned Ham - (bonus track) --
14.Save Me For A Rainy Day - (bonus track, previously unreleased, demo) --
15.Chocolate Milk - (bonus track, previously unreleased, demo) --
16.Spirit In The Sky - (bonus track, previously unreleased, demo) --
17.Norman Radio Greenbaum Promo - (bonus track) --

Editorial Notes

Norman Greenbaum was much stranger than his big hit "Spirit in the Sky" would suggest. Then again, that tune -- a confident, fuzz-toned paean to God, that sprit in the sky -- is hardly the most conventional of '70s AM anthems, so perhaps it isn't surprising that the album bearing the same title is all over the map, with sub-War low-riding anthems ("Junior Cadillac"), singer/songwriter introspection, eerie post-psychedelic pop (the genuinely unsettling "Marcy"), and utter oddities ("Canned Ham"). That, of course, means that it's far more fascinating than many soft rock curiosities of the early '70s, and the near-schizophrenic cavalcade of material means that the record doesn't hold together, but that's part of what makes it worth hearing. And while Greenbaum wasn't exactly a consistent songwriter, he did hit the mark several times ("Skyline," "Canned Ham," "Jubilee," and "Junior Cadillac" are all strong), and even the misfires are interesting and well-crafted, at least in terms of its early-'70s peers. This doesn't mean that it's a lost gem, but for listeners who want to dig into early '70s AM pop and soft rock, it's certainly worth hearing. [Varese Sarabande's 2001 reissue contains several previously unreleased bonus tracks, including the non-LP demos "Save Me for a Rainy Day" and "Chocolate Milk," plus a folky "Spirit in the Sky" and a radio promo.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine