Oar by Alexander "Skip" Spence on Apple Music

22 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Alexander “Skip” Spence was a gifted, largely self-taught multi instrumentalist with an ear for unsettling dissonances and an uncanny knack for evoking the haunted atmosphere of pre-war blues and country with nothing more than a twist of his weathered vocal chords. A prime mover on San Francisco’s psychedelic scene, Spence lent his shambolic drumming to an early incarnation of Jefferson Airplane and gained fame as a member of Moby Grape. After being institutionalized in the wake of a violent mental breakdown, Spence cut out for Nashville, where he recorded the unnervingly skeletal tunes that make up Oar, his only solo release. Though Oar is infamous for being one of the lowest selling major label releases of all time, its influence on contemporary music far outweighs its sales numbers. Artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Cat Power, and Uncle Tupelo have picked up on the determinedly ramshackle instrumentation, ghostly aura, and hair-raising melancholy of tracks like the creaking murder ballad “Weighted Down” the flippant “Lawrence of Euphoria” and the formidable “Books of Moses”.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Alexander “Skip” Spence was a gifted, largely self-taught multi instrumentalist with an ear for unsettling dissonances and an uncanny knack for evoking the haunted atmosphere of pre-war blues and country with nothing more than a twist of his weathered vocal chords. A prime mover on San Francisco’s psychedelic scene, Spence lent his shambolic drumming to an early incarnation of Jefferson Airplane and gained fame as a member of Moby Grape. After being institutionalized in the wake of a violent mental breakdown, Spence cut out for Nashville, where he recorded the unnervingly skeletal tunes that make up Oar, his only solo release. Though Oar is infamous for being one of the lowest selling major label releases of all time, its influence on contemporary music far outweighs its sales numbers. Artists as diverse as Tom Waits, Cat Power, and Uncle Tupelo have picked up on the determinedly ramshackle instrumentation, ghostly aura, and hair-raising melancholy of tracks like the creaking murder ballad “Weighted Down” the flippant “Lawrence of Euphoria” and the formidable “Books of Moses”.

TITLE TIME
3:41
2:13
3:29
2:14
6:24
4:02
3:26
2:01
2:42
2:50
1:27
9:38
4:39
2:48
3:04
3:33
0:57
0:47
1:44
1:00
0:31
1:14

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