Spur was an unknown Illinois band who gained some local notoriety in the late 60’s but never hit the big time (they opened for many of the era’s big bands: The Byrds, Cream, Bob Seger, Steve Miller and The Grateful Dead). For Spur of the Moments, Drag City compiled the best tracks from their sole album (1968-), along with several outtakes and rare 45 cuts. Tons of blogs and rock magazines/fanzines have reviewed this gem, so we figured we’d give our own spin on this exciting new reissue.
While Spur of the Moments is by no means a cohesive, album-like statement, each song is finely crafted 60’s rock n roll that’s well worth a spin. Spur started out life as a garage band who called themselves The Unknowns. The Unknowns would eventually change their name to Spur and touch on a variety of classic 60’s sounds: garage, folk-rock, heavy psych and country-rock. It must’ve been a challenge to assemble and piece together this anthology. Spur were certainly long-lived by 60’s standards (1965-1972) but they were also a group who frequently revamped their sound/style and spent very little time in the recording studio. That being said, Drag City does a great job putting all their highlights together in one convenient place.
The LP’s first five cuts are its most brilliant ones. We begin with “Mind Odyssey,” a classic slice of psychedelic country-rock that’s highlighted by fluid guitar work and mild studio experimentation. With “Tribal Gathering,” Spur turns a classic Byrds track into a 14 minute Grateful Dead-like acid guitar jam. “Time Is Now,” another great performance, is quality West Coast psychedelia with good harmonies (about mid way through), fuzz guitar and a strong Jefferson Airplane feel. These 3 cuts also suggest that Spur may have been listening to The Byrds’ Notorious Byrd Brothers album. “Modern Era,” a 1966 single which was originally backed by a cover of Gene Clark’s “Feel A Whole Lot Better” (not included), recalls 5D Byrds, with it’s punchy, jangley guitars and acid fried lyrics – definitely a keeper.
by Jason Nardelli
1. Mind Odyssey (Ed Kalotek) - 2:37
2. Mr. Creep (Ed Kalotek) - 2:10
3. Tribal Gathering/We Don't Want To Know (Chris Hillman, David Crosby, Ed Kalotek) - 14:10
4. Modern Era (Jimmy Fey, Rick Willard, Ron Lipe, Stan Bratzke, Stix Maxwell, Ed Kalotek) - 2:14
5. Time Is Now (Ed Kalotek) - 4:11
6. Be Tender, My Love (Ed Kalotek) - 2:41
7. You Could Help Me Ease The Pain (Ed Kalotek) - 2:14
8. All Over The World (Jerry Corbitt) - 3:03
9. Help Me I'm Falling (Stan Bratzke) - 4:26
10.Eight Days A Week (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:40
11.Yield Not (Deadric Malone) - 2:27
*Ed Kalotek - Keyboards, Twelve String, Six String Guitar
*Stix Maxwell - Percussion, Drums
*Stan Bratzke - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitar
*Rick Willard - Vocals, Bass
*Jimmy Fey - Vocals, Lead Guitar
the Free Text