Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spirit - Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus (1970)

I apologize in advance if my return is short-lived. I'm fairly certain I've been writing to an empty auditorium recently and can only fondly remember the rather robust discussions this site used to have once upon a time. Now the site seems more of a running catalog of unrelated individualistic comments. R.I.P. Bob, Chuck, Cianan, Starr, and whoever I'm missing at the moment.

That said, Dan over at Layla's Classic Rock has unwittingly introduced me to Spirit recently. Three weeks after reading his post, I've now listened to their first four albums dozens of times with stupendous glee. And Sardonicus, friends, is a fucking doozy of an album, mostly attributable, dare I say it, to the drumming. Ed Cassidy is not a drumming god. I wouldn't know his bald head from any other bald head, but damn, he's got this jazzy looseness to him that I think acts as the thread of the album. He's got some nice fills on "Prelude - Nothing To Hide" and "Morning Will Come," to name a few. Randy California is no slouch, either -- if drumming is the thread, the guitar is the needle sewing up all the right spots, from the greasy fuzz slide on "Prelude," the explosive noodling in "Street Worm" or the artful stabbing notes in "Morning." Throw in some brass, piano and some really nice vocal harmonies ("Nature's Way") and you've got, if you're me, the best discovery of 2010, which is shaping up to be a shitter otherwise. Mad Hatter, over and out, pluterperfectly.



Dan said...

Thanks for the shout out. I agree Ed Cassidy's drums were definitely a major reason they were able to make the music they did. I think it was really the whole package though. As you said the guitars and the vocals were also impeccable. I am glad someone found a "new" band from something I wrote. I remember listening to them in 1976. Obviously the albums were already a few years old. I cant get over how creative a bunch of hippy kids were back in the day. I was listening to Zeppelin III today and was blown away at the talent in that band. Keep on rockin and writin cause I do enjoy your viewpoints. My grade for Spirit, Dr Sardonicus? A

Master Cianan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Master Cianan said...

Man, what happened to chuck, anyway? He hasn't posted on his blog in a year and no comments either. I miss you chuck!

The Mad Hatter said...


No problem at all. I'm just stoked because I really dig them.


I hope nothing is wrong. I know Bob still posts every once in awhile, but Chuck? Hope he's not sick or dead or anything.

Barbara said...

I apologize for not reading lately...but trust me its not JUST YOU! Its all my music blog friends. I finally feel like I am "back" because things have settled down with my son.

The Mad Hatter said...

I am glad things are going well for you and your son. I can't imagine, really, but I hope it works out for the long-term.