Spirit in the Sky: The Definitive Anthology

by: Norman Greenbaum

This "definitive anthology" of the music of Norman Greenbaum, one of the most famous one-hit wonders in 20th century musical history -- because his hit, "Spirit in the Sky," still gets played a fair amount on television and in movies -- is an anthology, but the only thing it defines is the incredible substandard mediocrity of the rest of Greenbaum's oeuvre. There are 35 tracks spread over two CDs and the only thing this set reveals is that Greenbaum was completely intoxicated with the early blues, warm climes, and possibly, quite possibly, Harry Nilsson. His lyrics are precious and, worst of all, cute, and his arrangements and melodies are disposable pop pablum at best. If anyone ever deserved one-hit wonder status it's Greenbaum; "Spirit in the Sky" was a fluke, not because it was a hit, but because -- given the rest of the crap he's written -- it's not only a good song, but a great one. Who'd a thunk it? ~ Thom Jurek

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