Spirit of America is the 1975 follow-up to the Capitol Records compilation of music by The Beach Boys, Endless Summer, released the previous year. After the enormous success of its predecessor, Capitol rounded up the few remaining early hits that were not released on Endless Summer, as well as some worthy album tracks, in addition to two rare singles, "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and "Break Away". Although it features only a handful of genuine hits, Spirit of America proved to be another success for The Beach Boys' former label, reaching number 8 at home and going gold. The "Spirit of America" (and "Endless Summer") record album cover art illustrator is Keith McConnell.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
Spirit of America was more hooked around the band's car song repertory than its surf music output, had its familiar moments -- "409," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Little Honda," "Do You Wanna Dance," and "Barbara Ann" were great selections (and perfect to reach out to a teenage/early-twenties listenership attuned to -- if not always fully enamored of -- oldies and early-'60s nostalgia), and most of what surrounded them was a good match. And there was a serious, unexpected twist in the range of the content going right into the second song on side one, the repertory making a sudden leap across five years to the end of the 1960s and the group's then all-but-forgotten late-era single "Break Away." The latter song, which probably came up too early on the album to generate its maximum impact, did fit with the rest of what's here and helped direct a few otherwise unsuspecting low-level fans toward the group's then-overlooked late-'60s psychedelic-era output.