A (re-)found cultural object from 1976 and my deep and distant past. The USA's Bi-Centenary should have been a celebration but was also a very confused time for America that was just post Vietnam, Nixon's impeachment, Gas crisis and rationing, Altamont, Hendrix. Jimmy Carter was the counterpoint but most of the USA hated him for that. The president of guilt, not catharsis.

The whole Spirit - Spirit of '76 album has this wistful, stoned, blissed out - smacked out feel to it with loads of echo, reverb and phaser guitar. It feels to me like a lament from the Hippy-Boomers for lost opportunities. A reflection of the times. This opening track combines and merges America's other national anthem with Dylan's iconic "Times They Are A'Changin". Except it's not an angry warning the way it was in 1964 so much as sad and dazed and confused.

Of course 1976 was also the height of Prog Rock, The Eagles, soft-Alt-country-rock and mere minutes before The Sex Pistols and all that BOLLOCKS. And it was only 2 years before Iran blew up, and the Russians invaded Afghanistan. So the times were decadent, ripe for a change and about to be a'changin in totally unexpected ways.

Oh America; what happened to you? In the words of the last stanza of Burroughs' thanksgiving prayer. "Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams."

ps. You gotta love a rock star with a name like "Randy California".

pps. Bonus track. Cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" from the same album and in the same style.

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[ 06-Jun-13 10:05am ] [ ]