Artist: Norman Greenbaum Track: "Spirit in the Sky" Album: Spirit in the Sky: The Definitive Collection Listen
My dad and I recently discussed the benefits of growing up in the 1960s. On one hand, he said, I'll never know what it was like to drive to a local hullabaloo and hear, say, The Rolling Stones' "Get Off My Cloud" on the radio. On the other, I argued, I can like Norman Greenbaum and without regret or guilt.
If you grew up hip in my dad's era, Greenbaum was categorically lame -- the result of rock's popularity and some weirdo hippie's attempt to cash in on it. Greenbaum once fronted a band called Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band; he later went on to front a California dairy farm. Now, removed from the weight of context, his one hit is just a great song about Jesus, who is depicted here are the fun, kind, easy-going dude I imagine he was.
Largely because of the monster, fuzzy riff at the beginning, this is one of the best Christian songs I've ever heard. It's first work I mention when people say Christian music is lame. And it's the song I want played at my funeral.
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