When Randy California and Ed Cassidy found themselves in reduced circumstances after Spirit were dumped by EMI at the end of the 1980s, the psychedelic veterans pressed on with a self-released album, with producer and bassist Mike Nile joining the band in a surprisingly hands-on creative role.
The combination was revitalising. A leaner, bluesier sound re-emerged, and even if, 30 years later, Zandu and Love From Here still sometimes sound like solid but unremarkable pop-rock of the period, they’re still marked out by California’s ever-expressive guitar playing.
More enduring is braver material such as the six-minute title track, written by Nile, on which (according to this package’s illuminating sleeve notes) he tried to channel the classic Dr Sardonicus-era Spirit sound.
Elsewhere, group jams Imaginary Mask and Stuttgart Says Goodbye have an agreeably stoned, quirky quality, but ritzy funk-rocker Old Black Magic and hippie folk ditty Logical Answers haven’t aged so gracefully.
Amid plenty of previously unreleased extras, sub-bootleg sound quality doesn’t spoil some gutsy live cuts, and similarly lo-fi demos of the CSNY-style Covered Wagons and the Arthur Lee-esque acoustic demo All I Need Is Time are also worthwhile inclusions.