Friday, July 19, 2013

Norman Greenbaum--Spirit In The Sky (1970)

     As the 60's hippie movement began to sour for many, the need to find something substantive on one's life led many back to more carnal pursuits (such as becoming yuppies in the 80's and attempting to make a pile of money), others continued to seek more spiritual things. This blossomed into what was known as the "Jesus Movement" on the west coast of the United States, many men and women became, "Jesus Freaks" and attempted to change the world through spiritual means.
     This manifested itself artistically into what was first known as "Jesus Music" and later morphed into what we now know as Contemporary Christian. In the world of pop and rock, other artists became more comfortable in using Christian imagery. Some were sincere in their reflections, others were just using it as another tool in the toolbag of lyrical creativity. Between a press which was pretty ignorant about all things spiritual, and a generation of Christian teens who praying for some merging between the church and the rock music they loved, any use of the word, "Jesus" or any inkling of Christianity brought a great deal of debate and discussion.
     For some reason, "Spirit In The Sky" was thought to be a Christian, and the use of the imagery WAS apparent, but Norman Greenbaum, who was and continues to be Jewish, pointed more towards his inspiration being television westerns...well that and a spiritual that he saw Porter Wagoner and 
Dolly Parton sing on TV. You can read more on him here:


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