The Family That Plays Together was originally released in December 1968.
On this, the second Spirit album, the group put all of the elements together that made them the legendary band that they were. More than it's predecessor, Spirit, their self-titled and surreal debut, The Family That Plays Together displays the band's ability to play beyond the genre of psychedelic rock. Jazz, rock & roll, and even classical elements combined to create one of the cleanest, most tasteful syntheses of it's day. The group had also improved measurably from their fine debut album, especially in the area of vocals. The album's hit single, "I Got a Line on You," boasts especially strong harmonies as well as one of the greatest rock riffs of the period.
The album's title was inspired by the stepson-stepfather relationship between guitarist Randy California and percussionist Ed Cassidy. The album cover was shot at the Sunset Highland Motel, located at 6830 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, just across from Hollywood High School. - Spirit's songs covered about every subject under the sun.
The first half of the recording is a wonderful and seamless suite, and taken in it's entirety, one of the greatest sides on Los Angeles rock. The SACD includes some excellent bonus tracks. "So Little to Say" is one of Jay Ferguson's finest compositions ever, and the jazz-inspired instrumentals such as "Fog" and "Space Chile" showcase pianist John Locke as one of the most inspired and lyrical players in the rock idiom. All in all, a classic album and a true landmark. - Tracks such as "It Shall Be" and "Silky Sam" demonstrate the ease with which the ensemble can incorporate jazz into their idiosyncratic form of rock, while "Jewish" and "Aren't You Glad" show the band's competence in exploiting both world music and jam rock.
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