Potato Land

The first band I ever saw in concert was the American group Spirit, in Walthamstow sometime in 1973.

As a five piece band, Spirit had had some success, producing a number of albums including The Twelve Dreams of Dr Sardonicus. But when I saw them they were three piece, guitarist Randy Califonia, drummer Ed Cassidy and basist Larry “Fuzzy” Knight.

There is some controversy about whether California did or did not write the theme to Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin), but they were certainly responsible for one of the great lost cult albums of all time, The Adventures of Kaptain Kopter & Commander Cassidy in Potato Land.

Bits of it were played at the concert, and pieces were released in basic form over the years. And there were the inevitable bootlegs. It was a “Spirit” project, but really California’s work, a strange collection of songs interspersed with talking and a tenuous story. Much along the lines of Nilsson’s The Point, but weirder.

Now, finally, after nearly 50 years, the original music has been released: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Potatoland-Remastered-Expanded-SPIRIT/dp/B07T4RYNVT/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=spirit&qid=1568492399&s=music&sr=1-4

There are two versions on the box set, the original and complete plus a 1981 version, very different. There are also two live concerts, which are a bit rough and ordinary.

But Potato Land is great, and hugely enjoyable. Go for i!!

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