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Skip Spence – Oar (1969)

February 6, 2021

[Album 853/1001]

There’s nothing better than a group of musicians playing together live.

But when it comes to studio recordings, I quite admire when artists go for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach.

Like Dave Grohl with the debut Foo Fighters album, or Elliott Smith with Either/Or.

Or Alexander “Skip” Spence with Oar.

Now I understand the arguments in favour of hiring the best & brightest in the land to play on a record.

And it is possible that there were superior studio musicians that could have played the drum / bass / guitar parts here.

But I don’t see how any more technical proficiency would have made the record any stronger.

There are no “look at what I can do” solos; sonically, it’s not unlike Smith’s Either/Or, with its understated acoustic-driven arrangements.

Part of the charm with the DIY recordings is that it’s likely closest to the artist’s initial vision.

Spence only recorded 1 solo album but it’s safe to say he went 1 for 1.


Verbalize the Positive

I hadn’t realized he was born in Windsor, unexpected Can-Con!

From → 1960s

  1. This is one of those ‘cult’ albums that I’ve never quite managed to fall in love with. Like we’ve said with other albums, Geoff, maybe I just need to give it time.

    • Although the number of albums that one could listen to is seemingly infinite, it’s a shame the time to do so is rather finite!

  2. New one for me.

  3. New on me, sir. To the Tubes Of You! Man, Windsor, the halcyon (haha) university days for me… Glad to see you’re upholding CanCon rules anyway!

  4. Adding to the “listen to” list.

  5. jprobichaud permalink

    Hooray for Can Con!

  6. I like the fragile air to this one, very reflective of the guy.

    • With the Elliott Smith album I mentioned in this post, the frailty was part of what appealed to me there as well

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 1969 | 1001albumsin10years

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