| For Immediate Release
Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In The Sky Still Popular In 2012
1/24/2012 - Santa Rosa, CA - After 40 years, one of music's greatest gospel-rock hits 'Spirit In The Sky', penned by Norman Greenbaum, remains as popular today in 2012 as it did in 1970 when it rocketed to number #1 in the US and UK. While being named song of the year by Cashbox magazine, the track would go on to sell two million copies in 1970 and through the next 4 decades would be featured in 47 movies and dozens of commerical ads and TV series. In addition, two British cover versions of “Spirit In The Sky” also made it to number one on the charts, making the song a three-time number one hit!
So the question remains, why does 'Spirit In The Sky' still resonate with the music listener today? Norman explains, “A few reasons: It's just a great song, with a terrific production that has stood the test of time, still sounding as vibrant today as 40 years ago. It also sounds great in the car, yep, car radio. When we mixed it, we made sure it sounded as great on car stereos as it did on home systems. It has an unforgettable opening musical riff, at times referred to as 'the heavy duty industrial fuzz tone'. It gives people chills listening to it. Plus, when it was included on Rock Band 2 it brought a new generation into the mix. Now that the song is aging in years, but not excellence, many fans have aged with it and now recognize it not only as a great song that reminds them of their life back then, such as taking their first date to my concert, 'Spirit' being the first album they ever bought, their parents screaming to turn the volume down, love making in the back seat to it and my favorite, naming their car 'the green-bomb', and as a song to take with them as we near the time to go up to the Spirit In The Sky. Because I answer my own e-mail, many people relate to me the circumstances of a loved one passing and how my song has brought them solace and each time they hear my song, either on the radio, in a movie or on TV, they are reminded that their loved ones are OK and looking down on them."
The story behind the song “Spirit In The Sky” is an interesting one. The original idea for the song came from Norman watching a performance on TV one night by country legend Porter Wagoner, who was singing about a preacher. This inspired Greenbaum to write a religious rock song. Although many have believed through the years that Norman, born of Jewish heritage, was a 'born again Christian', in truth, this is not the case. He made the decision to challenge himself to writing a gospel lyric, hoping he wouldn't flub it and meticulously crafted music that went on to surpass everyone's expectations. The guitar riff to 'Spirit In The Sky' undoubtedly is just as important to the song's success as the words and music. “My riff is a take on old blues riffs, common in the '20s and '30s,” Norman explains. “Although a few other songs have similar riffs, my riff really stands out, as I infused a few original notes and changes the others do not have. Plus, the fuzz just ripples your mind. It is a sound that has never been reproduced, another reason the song stands so well.”
Recently, Norman Greenbaum has redesigned his official website – www.spiritinthesky.com and has made available his much sought after CDs from the '60s and '70s, along with T-shirts, hats, mouse pads, signed photos and other memorabilia! Although Norman has not recorded anything in recent years, he is very active with his new website, posting messages to his fans and making available rare photos for viewing. “Since my website has been redesigned it is much more efficient and compact, with photo viewers and better links,” says Norman. “It also has an improved store, where I have introduced a new product, Going-Greenbaum tote bags; the small-sized bag is made of cotton and the large-sized bag is made of canvas. The new site also has music clips of all of my songs available on CD and 'The Best of Norman Greenbaum' import is available again. I also will be introducing some new shirt designs soon.”
Much to the excitement of his fans, Norman will be making a rare live appearance in February! “I'll be doing a guest performance of 3 songs with the band Time In A Bottle at The Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa, CA on February 18th,” says Norman. “My original back-up singers The Stovall Sisters will be joining me, the first time ever this has happened on stage! Time In A Bottle is a local rock/soul band. The Stovall Sisters will also be doing a few of their own songs with the band.”
Finally, Norman has this to impart to aspiring songwriters everywhere: “Keep at it until it all fits, you'll know when. One song will stand out. Put all your effort into that song. Of course, 'catchy' helps.”
For more information visit Norman Greenbaum's official website at www.spiritinthesky.com
Glass Onyon PR