John Locke - Free Spirit fake LP (1967-72)

I wonder if I shouldn't write and send to any masochistic and non-greedy publisher a book about 15 unsung heroes of history of rock, mainly from the seventies, in which I would add John Locke of course. Five years after posting this self-made comilation of all the tracks he composed (all instrumentals) in Spirit, I re-up it after having said to my bro rough he was the missing link between Spirit and Todd Rundgren. Actually it's a stupidity but this is how I felt it at the moment. No John Locke was more precisely the missing link between early 60's jazz and early 90's Mo' Wax home-made music. Not a small achievement actually. So after Mike Montgomery and Alan Wilson, and before Danny Kirwan (soon to come) here the John Locke complete compilation. Catch it here.

John Locke is a dramatically underrated musician and composer. He was in charge of the keyboards in the band Spirit and was even the only one to stay with Ed Cassidy when the band disbanded in 1971 before a brief reincarnation without Randy California. It's easy to find which songs he composed since they were always instrumental and completely different from the music Spirit is known for. John Locke was inspired by jazz, the one that developped Miles Davies and more largely free jazz, but what he did with jazz was totally visionnary, much more in the vein of the sample-based music of the nineties than of the esoteric virtuosity of the seventies. There is something of Todd Rundgren in Locke's approach of music and to listen to all the tracks he composed for Spirit between 1967 and 1972 is to find that he should have tried a career of his own. Unfortunately it was not the case and he always stayed the ex-Spirit keyboardman. He died 4 years ago and I would have liked that he saw that he was not forgotten. This compilation (with a cover sleeve that suits well the mystical aura of the music and due to an artist you can find the work here) says it all.

In streaming, "Trancas Fog-Out", an instrumental from the Feedback Spirit album (the one with a totally new band). Below some videos from Spirit on which you can see John Locke plays (or simulating). And the first to hear the great "Space Child" from Dr Sardonicus.



Anonymous said...

Well I am late to your blog, drawn in by wanting to know more about Locke and you've reminded me of what utterly amazing sounds these guys made.

I Got A Line on You has to be one of the most under-rated fantastically exciting songs written and sung. It is timeless and these guys really didn't receive their fair share of notoriety and fame.

Always will associate them with some of the best times in my life. Thanks.

dk said...

Thx for your comment. I'm not so fond of Spirit than you are but John Locke really deserved this hommage I think.

Anonymous said...

Nice compilation/tribute.
Personally i'd have used the 'Model Shop' soundtrack album as well.
Of all the Spirit albums, that one & clear bear the strongest Locke hallmarks.
Gone but not forgotten,
R.I.P. John.

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