May 12, 2017
West Coast Rock ~ San Francisco 1971
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Anyone living through the 1970s probably remembers hearing Norman Greenbaum's huge hit, 'Spirit In The Sky.' A top ten hit around the world in 1970, it was all over the radio in the early 70s and a song with one of the most famous fuzz-guitar riffs in rock.
A fantastic song, 'Spirit In The Sky' may have overshadowed a few other great songs he composed and recorded as well. Track to track, his LPs have a rock/folk, jug-band blues feel. I still like his 'Petaluma' LP from 1972, featuring a young Ry Cooder.
Defining musical genres can be a bit of a mixed bag with the passing of time. But one could argue that Norman wrote a few other great West Coast rock "hippy anthems."
'California Earthquake' will always be a favorite of mine. Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco, spring 1971, it never appeared on any of his LPs. Peaking at #93 in '71, it was played on the radio for a short time, but only stayed on the Billboard record chart for about six weeks.
The flip is: 'Rhode Island Red.'
Norman the goat farmer, on his farm ~ Penngrove, Northern California 1972.