Friday, November 5, 2010
"Spirit in the Sky" is a song written and originally recorded by Norman Greenbaum and released in 1969. The single sold two million copies in 1969 and 1970 and reached number three in the U.S. Billboard chart, as well as number one on the UK, Australian and Canadian charts in 1970. Rolling Stone ranked "Spirit in the Sky" #333 on their list of the 500 Greatest songs of all time. The song was featured on the 1969 album of the same name.
Greenbaum had previously been a member of psychedelic band Dr West's Medicine Show and Junk Band. When they split up he won a solo contract with producer Erik Jacobsen, who had previously worked successfully with The Lovin Spoonful. He was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner on TV singing a gospel song. Greenbaum later said : "I thought, 'Yeah, I could do that,' knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes."
"Spirit in the Sky" contains lyrics about the afterlife, making several references to Jesus. However, Greenbaum, who is Jewish, stated that he had no particular religious intentions with the song.
Posted by jinx at 3:15 PM