Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky: The Best of Norman Greenbaum [Varèse Sarabande, 1995]
Boston jughead, California dreamer, great lost hippie. He spun tales of harmless weirdness from Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band ("The Eggplant That Ate Chicago," No. 52 in '66, how quickly many forget) to his royalty-investing days as a chicken farmer and goat-milk entrepreneur, the latter recounted in homely tunes like "Petaluma" and "The Day the Well Went Dry" (although I miss the agrarian escape song "I'm Campin"). Nor was "Spirit in the Sky" anything like a one-shot, as he proves on the great lost album track "Marcy," a fond and respectful ode to a chick who takes her chances (although I miss the great lost dope synonym "Tars of India"). A-