The Spirit Of Rock & Roll has one of the most convoluted histories of any Brian Wilson track. Originally performed by the Beach Boys , including Brian at a 25th anniversary show in 1986, it was then recorded by Brian for his second solo album, Sweet Insanity, which remains unreleased. Brian’s solo recording of the song included a version featuring a certain Bob Dylan! The song remained an “unofficial” item until 2006, when it was released on the Hallmark Beach Boys collection Songs From Here & Back, ostensibly a Beach Boys recording, but actually done by Brian and his band!
So what of the song, which treads a nostalgic line of early rock and roll in the same vein as Do You Remember? and the unreleased Slightly American Music. It’s a fairly straightforward melodic rock song, but with the sort of soaring melody that does bear the hallmark of Brian Wilson. It’s certainly an obscure, fascinating and worthwhile beauty.