SPIRIT IN THE SKY
DOCTOR & THE MEDICS (1986)
By Mark Nobes
You'll probably either love or hate Doctor & The Medics' version of the Norman Greenbaum song "Spirit in the Sky". The original song was released in 1969 and sold two million copies. Since then, it has been covered by several artists including Gareth Gates - remember him?
This version by Doctor and the Medics borrows heavily from the 70's glam rock era. It reached #1 in the UK during 1986, but only managed #69 in the U.S. It featured on the album Laughing at the Pieces, which was fairly successful, peaking at #25 in the UK album charts in 1986.
The Doctor (and vocalist) is Clive Jackson and the first single from the band was entitled "The Druids are Here", which was released in 1982. Sadly, follow-up singles to "Spirit in the Sky" failed to capture the public's imagination; "Burn" reached #29 and "Waterloo" (a cover of the ABBA song and featuring Roy Wood) didn't even reach the top 40, stalling at #45.
Clive Jackson's towering hair style on the front of the 12" vinyl single sleeve
UK 7 Inch Vinyl - I.R.S. Records - IRM 113
A. Spirit in the Sky - 3:29
B. Laughing at the Pieces (Studio Version) - 3:20
UK 12 Inch Vinyl - I.R.S. Records - IRMBTB 113
A1. Spirit in the Sky - 3:29
A2. Laughing at the Pieces (Studio Version) - 3:20
B1. Love, Peace and Bananas (Live) - 3:54
B2. Happy But Twisted (Live) - 2:03
B3. Fried Egg, Bad Monday (live) - 4:03
B4. Good Golly Miss Molly (Live) - 4:56