Friday, December 11, 2009

One Hit Wonders - Two Many Spirits In The Sky?

L: Norman Greenbaum; R: Doctor & the Medics

I have had occasion post about some one-hit-wonders, but I thought I would share this little drop of interesting trivia in a fountain full of it. In 1969, singer/songwriter Norman Greenbaum had a hit with the self-penned song Spirit In The Sky, which many through the years have interpreted in many different ways. While some consider it a great Christian song (apparently discounting the man who wrote and performed it was of the Jewish faith), others have considered it anything from an homage to American Indians and their religious beliefs to a song talking about recreational drug use. According to interviews, Greenbaum himself said he was inspired to write it after having seen Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner singing a spiritual on television. That said, Spirit In The Sky went to #3 on the US Billboard charts, and was #1 in the UK, Australia and Canada. Here is Norman Greenbaum singing his hit, in all it's vinyl wonder.

Prior to 1986, a British psychedelic rock band, Doctor & the Medics, had some success in their native England, but their sales busted out world-wide when they released Spirit In The Sky as a single. They reached number 1 on the charts in 32 countries. It was their lone foray on the top end of the charts.

Interestingly enough, that means the song was a hit twice, something neither of the artists was able to emulate.


  1. Love that song. Take me up to the Spirit in the Sky! I can remember when it was on the radio. Ugggh!

  2. I love this song and shamelessly blast it thru itunes.... the kids and I act like we are in bad chick flick and dance around the house to this .... I also *heart* all things Pansy Division....

  3. I did not like the song, I was scared of it

  4. Stan, I love the song, too. I think I prefer Norman Greenbaum's version, though.

    Zombie, Yes, I hear you. Loud and clear, pun intended!

    Wonder Man,, it's OK, it's just a song.

  5. My sister actually got the Dr and the Medics 45 from the UK before it crossed to the US. I just loved the look of the band, and at that time I thought it was a rocking song bout Jesus! for the era - I thought that was unusual.

  6. SteveA, The band was fun, and I am surprised they didn't have a longer shelf-life.



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