Band members Related acts
- Randy California (aka Randy Wolfe) (RIP 1997) - vocals,
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Company: Beggars Banquet
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Comments: our copy does not have the sticker on cover shown above
GEMM catalog ID: 4487
Released a full decade after "Kaptain Kopter", 1982's "Euro-American" didn't even see an American release. Co-produced by California and Steven Sollars and divided into pop (Euro) and hard rock (American) sides, the album had a somewhat schizophrenic feel to it. In spite of uncredited support from most of the Spirit line-up (Mark Andes, Ed Cassidy, Jay Ferguson and John Locke), most of the album's rather flat and uninspired. California turns in a couple of decent efforts ('' and ''), but for the most part he simply doesn't sound particularly engaged or interested in his surroundings.
"Euro-American" track listing:
1.) Easy Lover
2.) Fearless Leader (Randy California) -
3.) Five In the Morning (Randy California) -
4.) Skull and Crossbones (Randy California) -
5.) Breakout (Randy California) -
1.) Toy Guns (Randy California) -
2.) This Is the End (Randy California) -
3.) Mon Ami (Randy California) -
4.) Rude Reaction (Randy California) -
5.) Calling You (Randy California) -
6.) Wild Thing (Randy California) -
Sadly California died in a tragic January 1997 accident. While swimming in Hawaii, he got caught in a riptide and drown (though he managed to save his 12 year old son).
Randy California turned in his second solo album ten years after his first, and it reflected his experiences in the interim. California had spent the decade leading various lineups of Spirit, including one full-fledged reunion of the original band, and the album featured all of them, albeit not all on the same track. Spirit had built up a considerable following in Europe (the album did not see a US release), and California's bi-continental focus was expressed on the LP's two sides: the "American" one was given over mostly to guitar-dominated hard rock, while the "European" side was more varied, some of it featuring light pop, along with a cover of "Wild Thing."
Randy California: The Solo Albums
In the meantime, California had been keeping his chops in shape with three solo albums he recorded during the 1980s. The first, Euro American (1982), departs from Spirit's usual approach through increased emphasis on hard-rock guitar stylings. California is joined by some familiar names, including Mark Andes (bass), John Locke (keyboards), Jay Ferguson (backing vocals), and Curly Smith (of Jo Jo Gunne) on drums. This album, along with Randy's other two solo efforts, Restless (1985) and Shattered Dreams (1986), are recommended primarily for die-hard California fans -- the songs are competent but lack the personality that graced the Spirit albums. Perhaps a true working band would have helped -- a problem partially solved by Randy's live set, Shattered Dreams, in which the performances benefit from increased intensity and tighter playing. The collection focuses on Randy's solo albums, but also contains charged versions of "Downer", "Hey Joe", and "All Along the Watchtower" (previously on Future Games). Incidentally, all three albums, as well as the six song EP All Along The Watchtower were only released overseas -- no US releases exist, further underlining Randys (and Spirits) greater popularity abroad than at home.
Spirit - The Comeback
Easy Love, Fearless Leader, Five In The Morning, Skulls And Crossbones, Breakout, Toy Guns, This Is The End, Mon Ami, Rude Reaction, Calling You, Wild Thing.
Produced by Randy California & Steve Sollars.
There's some great guitar playing from Randy on this album (listen to the end part of Skulls and crossbones!), but the songwriting is sometimes a bit laboured. There are a couple of great tracks on this album, though-particularly Skulls and Crossbones, Rude Reaction and Calling You. The musicians accompanying Randy on this album are Mark Andes, Curly Smith, Ed Cassidy, Tom Hall, Matt Andes, Larry Knight, Jay Ferguson, John Locke and George Valuck. This LP was 1982 released in Germany by Line Records # 6.25107., and it was packaged with a limited bonus 45 single with A side Grosser Herrscher and B side Magic Wand, Line Records # 6.13446. Grosser Herrscher is Fearless Leader in German language! The German translation is printed on the back of the single sleeve. Grosser Herrscher has a different mix and is sung in German by Randy:
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