Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Spooky Tooth live and worth the wait!
Dennis Hawley | Asheville, NC | 05/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I consider myself among the most ardent fans of Spooky Tooth, elevating their superb second album (`Spooky Two') to the top of my list of favorite rock albums of all time. Since first hearing that album in 1969, I acquired all of their albums as well as the solo work of various constituent members. To this day, I frequently play those CDs and never tire of them.
Like many other fans, I thought the prospect of hearing and seeing the original group (or most of them, anyway) perform live was highly unlikely (I was lucky enough to catch them in '74 on the `Witness' tour, though). When Gary Wright first mentioned on his website that the band had reformed and videotaped their 2004 German performances for future commercial release, it was a source of great anticipation. Well, the wait is over and the results are in.
I confess that I was unsure how these guys, apart for over 30 years, would look or sound. I feared they would simply be a lifeless, sad shadow of their former selves. Well, they've all aged well, looking thin and fit, and I'm happy to report that their music sounds better than ever. Containing ten songs recorded at two different venues (one outside during the afternoon, one inside a club), the focus is decidedly on their album `Spooky Two'. Starting out with that often imitated drum riff (Mike Kellie is truly a great drummer), Waitin' for the Wind kicks it off in fine form. With all the power of the original, the song grabs immediately and sets the stage for one fine concert experience. Gary Wright, clad in a red jumpsuit, was energized and smiling throughout. Mike Harrison, looking a bit more subdued, spent much of the time behind a Yamaha keyboard. Mike Kellie, thin as a rail, looked intense yet relaxed. `Guest musicians' Joey Albrecht (guitar) and Michael (`Bexi') Becker (bass) both seemed to fit right in. Becker in particular filled the important role Greg Ridley's bass played, especially on `Spooky Two'. He nailed the bass parts down, yet was no clone.
Sunshine Help Me, from their first album `It's All About', was a real treat, as it was rarely ever performed live, and IMO was the best song on that album. Also featured from the first album was `Tobacco Road', a mainstay of the band's early live gigs. The funky sounding Wildfire (from `You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw') was included, with an animated Gary Wright commanding the stage with his portable Roland keyboard. Five more great tunes from `Spooky Two' are included; That Was Only Yesterday, Feelin' Bad (hearing Harrison and Wright trading lead vocals on this track nearly brought chills down my spine), Better By You, Better Than Me (with an incredible vocal performance by Harrison), Hangman Hang My Shell on a Tree and Evil Woman. Lastly was the Wright composition The Wrong Time. I wondered if it would sound like the slower, bluesy version done by Mike Harrison on `The Last Puff', or like Gary Wright's own more rocking version from `Extraction'. It turns out to be more a blend, with a funky, jazzy intro added, and Gary Wright handling lead vocals. The tempo was closer to Wright's original version, yet was a bit different. A great song made even more interesting.
This is a superb disc to own. It also includes some great bonus material, including Gary Wright performing `Love is Alive' and `Are You Weepin'' live in 1976 (with his drums and three keyboard band), and recent interviews with Harrison, Wright and Kellie (the rumour about Harrison and Wright not being on good terms is untrue, as the interviews prove). Of note is Gary Wright saying that the never-released album `Ring of Change' he did with his band Wonder Wheel will finally be released "in a few months." The interview was evidently from March.
Any negatives are far outweighed by finally having this band do these songs live, to be played whenever the mood hits. I do think that the guitar player, Joey Albrecht, while an excellent player, did not sound like Luther Grosvenor, especially on songs like Waitin' for the Wind and Evil Woman. That was due less to his guitar playing than the fact that he uses a Fender Stratocaster, whereas Luther Grosvenor used a Gibson, with its fuller, more rock-oriented sound. Other small complaints include the fact that many more songs were recorded during this tour; I would like to have had a double-disc set with more material. While the video is quite good, it is in 1.33:1 (full screen) aspect ratio, and I would prefer widescreen. Also, the sound is stereo, not surround. Still, these are inconsequential considering what a real treat this DVD provides. You can't go wrong."
Gary Wright and Friends make music and remember
Kenneth J. Williams | San Diego, Ca United States | 07/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although Gary Wright made his mark in the states with Dream Weaver, he was a member of a band called Spooky Tooth which was popular in Europe and the UK. A reunion was planned but didn't happen until it became a tribute to their late bass player. The spliced concert footage from two dates shows the three of them with two session players recreating their most popular and personal favorites, largely from the Spooky Two album. All of them show their age but perform admirably. Bonus features-Mike Kellie and Mike Harrison reminisce in the studio. Gary Wright's interview is from XM satellite interview where he doesn't reminisce about the band as much. Additionally he has concert footage from a July 1976 date with his keyboard band. Quality is lacking with the 1976 recording. The 2004 video is sharp. People who are looking for Spooky Tooth may find this lopsided in favor of Wright, while Wright fans may enjoy the opportunity to see and hear what influenced the Dream Weaver in the early years."
Spooky Tooth Lives On!!
J. L. Mankin | Oklahoma | 06/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any fan of Spooky Tooth will want to buy this DVD for a rare look at a past classic rock band, and one that lives on today, and hopefully tomorrow. I have been a big Spooky fan since the 70's. With the exception of Ceremony, Spooky Tooth has a lot of great songs that are showcased on this live concert from 2 nights in Germany. It was great fun to see Mike Harrison and Gary Wright singing their signiture songs, i.e. Evil Woman, Tobacco Road, Hangman, Hang a Shell on a Tree. Also, some insightful interviews with Mike, Gary, and Mike Kellie. Plus, there are 2 songs that Gary Wright did in concert as a solo performer.
If you like classic rock concerts, this one was really a treat to watch and hear. Jarrette M"