Spirit - The Complete Potatoland - 4CD
Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a 4 CD clamshell boxed set that gathers together all the recordings made for the classic “Potatoland” album by SPIRIT. The album was born in 1973 following the release of guitarist Randy California’s “Kaptain Kopter and the Fabulous Twirlybirds” album (made shortly after his departure from Spirit). To promote his solo album California assembled a band to tour featuring original Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy and bass guitarist Larry “Fuzzy” Knight. Initially playing concerts in the Los Angeles area, the trio recorded two live performances at the studios of KPFK-FM in September 1972. Soon after the trio reverted to the name Spirit to undertake live work in Europe. Following these concerts Randy California and Ed Cassidy began work on the album “The Adventures of Kapt. Kopter and Commander Cody in Potatoland”.
The recordings were offered to Epic Records (who had released the Spirit albums) but they were rejected by the label. The recordings remained consigned to the vaults whilst a reactivated Spirit recorded a series of albums for Mercury Records between 1975 – 1978. Whilst in England on a subsequent solo tour, a fan presented Randy California with a petition of 5000 signatures requesting the release of “Potatoland”. Inspired by this, California revisited the original master tapes and overdubbed new parts to the music and the album saw a release in this form in 1981 on Rhino Records in the USA and Beggar’s Banquet in the UK, where it peaked at number 40 in the album charts.
This new edition of “Potatoland” gathers together both the original 1973 version of the album and the 1981 release, along with 2 CDs of the complete KPFK-FM radio concerts from 1972, all newly re-mastered. The set also features 21 bonus tracks comprising studio out-takes, demos and two songs recorded live on the BBC TV “Old Grey Whistle Test” show in 1973. The set also features an illustrated booklet with an essay by Spirit official archivist Mick Skidmore and a replica of the “Adventures in Potatoland” comic book included with the 1981 album release.