Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence’s ‘Oar’ Gets Deluxe Box Treatment
Alexander "Skip" Spence remains one of the most intriguing and puzzling figures in the history of rock 'n' roll. From his understated role as drummer in the first lineup of Jefferson Airplane, through his time as guitarist, singer and writer in Moby Grape, Spence always seemed plugged into some other current.
After splitting from Moby Grape in late 1968, Spence began a brief solo career, the sole result of which was 1969's unsettling masterpiece Oar. On Sept. 28, almost 50 years after Oar's release, comes the release of AndOarAgain, a sprawling three-disc box set detailing the album's sessions.
AndOarAgain includes the original album, bonus cuts from Oar's 1999 reissue and nearly two hours of unheard Oar music. It's all packaged in a hardbound book-style jacket with rare photos and extensive notes from rock writer David Fricke, who has called Oar one of "the most harrowing and compelling artifacts of rock 'n' roll's most euphoric era."
You can watch a trailer for the set below.
Often filed alongside the solo work of Syd Barrett and Roky Erickson, Spence's only solo album is an engaging and sometimes disjointed batch of songs, yet like the acid-damaged curve of Barrett and Erickson, the rewards found within these recordings possess a bare and stunning beauty.
Made in just six days, Oar was to be Spence’s only complete musical statement under his own name before he fell into a rapidly darkening and ultimately crippling state of mind.
In addition to the quintessential original album, AndOarAgain features nearly two hours of previously unheard music detailing the making of the album. The outtakes from the Oar sessions both clarify and muddy the enigma of how Spence determined the final state of his iconic psychedelic masterpiece.