SPIRIT self titled and "The Family That Plays Together" coming on Audio Fidelity SACD, SH mastered

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 12, 2017.

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Four original albums by SPIRIT coming on Audio Fidelity SACD mastered by me & Stephen Marsh. We are working on the first two now.

    spirit two.jpg spirit.jpg

    I love SPIRIT, going back to the olden days when my friend convinced me to see them at the Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills after Dr. S. was released. They were amazing.

    I was quite surprised when I started working for Marshall Blonstein at DCC (and now Audio Fidelity) of his intimacy with the band. His cousin Lou Adler produced them and Marshall was there with them, a lot. In fact, he IS Silky Sam, you can hear him on the song, dealing cards. My boss!

    Marshall has some really funny stories about those guys which I can't really go into. They were a trip, that's for sure.

    So, I'm working right now with Stephen Marsh on the first two SPIRIT albums, from ODE Records back in 1968. The first thing to get "clear" (coming later) about is this:

    The Audio Fidelity SACDs of these two albums use the original stereo 1968 mixes for each and every song. We are not using any remixed songs for these two albums. Sony really helped us, found the ORIGINAL tapes and we are grateful for it.

    Mastering these two albums was fun and also a bit frustrating at the same time. The first album is straightforward for the most part but the second album, yikes, the songs that are segued together pose a problem. The issue is the azimuth is different for each song on the album so they really had to be dialed in just right for good mastering.

    Even though some songs sound like they were recorded at the back of a laundry, I think you'll appreciate the fact (at least I hope so) that we didn't add a bunch of treble to the songs or compress or limit any of the songs to make them pop or sound up to date. We kept the vintage charm intact. We trust that you will just turn up your system a bit to get the full impact of the songs.

    Stephen Marsh was impressed when he heard Marshall's voice on SILKY SAM. I don't think he half believed me when I told him.

    Now, moving on to an area of interest. Our versions will include bonus tracks. I'm not a fan of this usually, but this is SPIRIT and whatever we can get, we will take.

    So, the information on the Spirit bonus tracks. Here ya go:

    The bonus track were of course unearthed by our musical hero on the east coast BOB IRWIN. He is a big fan and he found all of these on the original multi-tracks and stereo reductions.

    The tracks that are 1996 mixes were never mixed in the 1960s. Credit for the 1996 mixes goes to our good buddy Vic Anesini at Sony Music Studios. The two bonus tracks for The Family That Plays Together that weren't done in 1996 ("Fog" and "Now Or Anywhere") were done at the time of the original album sessions. These are original 1968 mixes.

    Spirit- Spirit BONUS.

    12. Veruska- (1996 Mix)

    13. Free Spirit- (1996 Mix)

    14. If I Had A Woman- (1996 Mix)

    15. Eijah (Alternate Take)- 1996 Mix)

    Spirit- The Family That Plays Together BONUS.

    12. Fog (1968 mix)

    13. So Little To Say (1996 Mix)

    14. Mellow Fellow (1996 Mix)

    15. Now Or Anywhere (1968 mix)

    16. Space Chile (1996 Mix)

    And lastly, here are two wonderful photos of my Facebook Friend, the music maven Gary A. Schneider that were done at the Sunset Highland Motel, located at 6830 Sunset Boulevard, across from Hollywood High. I guess Gary was a big Spirit fan way back when as well! These photos were taken in Feb. '69, about 4 months after the Spirit photo shoot.

    Gary two.jpg Gary A. Schneider.jpg
  2. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Forum Resident

    Sounds great Steve. Not sure if you know or not, but are the Sony 1996 remasters remixed for the original album tracks?
  3. Reader

    Reader Forum Resident

    e.s.t. tenn.
    Great news! Can't wait to hear these. Spirit always seemed as if they were overlooked by most people. I don't have a clue how well their releases sold back in the day but I bet these will sell out soon after release. A good choice for release.
    DJMurphy and MYKE like this.
  4. Cool! One of my favorite bands. Those first four are seminal albums and classics. Thanks for sharing the information. This is on my pre-order list!!
  5. The Hud

    The Hud Just add water

    I am not all that familiar with Spirit except for the Taurus/Stairway to Heaven connection.

    I have preordered the first SACD, and look forward to hearing it.
    forthlin and Galley like this.
  6. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    baltimore maryland
    sometimes a band is so forward thinking their audience is limited right off the bat. Spirit is one of those bands. Competition was just crazy intense and it's great that they had as much success as they did, of course they deserved much more. I love 'em and enjoy pulling out these classics now and again, so a great mastering sounds oh so nice to my ears:)
    keyXVII likes this.
  7. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    I can actually promise I'll buy a copy of each of these !!! :agree:

    S/T for me is on Mono vinyl
    Family is the 1996 CD, which I'll sell ( no offense Vic ! )
    Jim in Houston likes this.
  8. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    Spirit! One of the greatest rock bands to come out of the LA area. I saw them originally at the Earl Warren Showgrounds with the Jefferson Airplane in October 1967. They soon became one of my favorite rock bands of all time. For me personally, I put them on equal footing with The Doors and Love and perhaps a notch above in some respects. One memorable show is when they opened up for "Pat Paulsen for President" at "The Kaleidoscope" theater across the street from the Hollywood Palladium on July 4, 1968. What a crazy show that was! Spirit was "on fire" musically. That is one event I will never forget. I saw Spirit several times after that and came to know Randy California when he was living in Ojai, CA. He was an interesting guy.

    As far as the sonic treatment of their catalog goes, anything would be appreciated by their true fans I am sure of that. I have all the Bob Irwin reissues.

    Note: I cracked up when I saw the pictures of the motel on Sunset. I think I have some similar pictures floating around with me and my buddies on the stairs of that motel. I use to live not that far from there off of Sunset and Gardner Avenue in West Hollywood. We use to pass that motel all the time. Those were the days to live in LA as far as I am concerned.
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You lived off of Sunset and Gardner? I had a girlfriend who lived right there in the 1980s. Post Punk Oki Dogs and guitar stores!
    Jim in Houston likes this.
  10. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    Three Rivers, CA
    You got it! That's where the old Vox Guitar showroom use to be on the northwest corner. I haven't a clue of what is there now.
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Still Guitar Land there!
    Jim in Houston likes this.
  12. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    Wow! Wonderful. I had NM and still sealed copies of the Ode originals, but I'll absolutely still spring for these. No way I wouldn't.
  13. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

  14. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    Thanks, Steve. Will these be vinyl releases as well, I hope?? When?? Can't wait.

    I am sure you know from your time at DCC with Rick Williams that Rick (mutual friend) was a dear friend of Randy's. I still grieve as a fan for music's sad loss when Randy drowned. His spirit will always be with us in his music.

    If these are anything like your Pet Sounds Steve Hoffman mastered DCC work, it will be amazing! Have loved Spirit since 1968 when I first bought their s/t LP -- still have it.

    Cheers! I'll let Rick know about this.

    Jim in Houston and MYKE like this.
  15. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    Thanks, MYKE. From my hometown, Brunswick Maine, Bull Moose Music?!!! Nice.
    MYKE likes this.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    As far as I know for now, SACD/CD only.
    Jim in Houston and MYKE like this.
  17. Audjack

    Audjack Forum Resident

    How about some free with paul rodgers?
    Haggis Wampovich likes this.
  18. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    I'll have to give this band a listen.
  19. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    Not to worry. Still a must have!!
  20. elborak

    elborak Forum Resident

    Great band, seemingly largely forgotten other than the couple of hits. Instant buy.
  21. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    Somehow seems only right that this should go full circle like this . Yes, a 10 year-old me bought the 45 of I Got A Line On You, back in 1968, but for me, that's where Spirit began, and ended for me.
    Until I joined this forum, in 2010, where their name kept being posted, over, and over, until I had to listen to more via samples, and liking what I heard, I went after the first four.
    So, this was meant to be, in my opinion.
    janschfan and jamesmaya like this.
  22. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Senior Member

    Mudwest, CA
    :thumbsup: Thanks, MYKE. NOW I can grab 'em (the first two, at least). :winkgrin:
    MYKE likes this.
  23. MYKE

    MYKE Analog Upstairs, Digital Downstairs

    First one, that's all he was set up for.
  24. Haggis Wampovich

    Haggis Wampovich Forum Haggis

    Three Rivers, USA
    It's wonderful to see Spirit get this kind of attention. Thanks for giving us the info regarding your approach in working with these and the bonus tracks details. Count me in for all four discs!
    MYKE likes this.
  25. PNeski@aol.com

    PNeski@aol.com Forum Resident

    New York
    I prefer them to Love ,and hope to get this
    GregM and MYKE like this.
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