Scott Schinder
March 28, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Mercury Years

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Reissues

We gave it a B

When Spirit guitarist Randy California disappeared in a swimming accident last January, rock lost a severely underappreciated if wildly inconsistent talent. This scattershot two-CD set — drawn from a half-baked mid-’70s Spirit revival — is a mere footnote to the original band’s brilliance. But the bizarro mix of styles on The Mercury Years is a fine representation of California’s endearingly flaky eclecticism and of the innocence that lent a sweetness to even his silliest indulgences.

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