Posts Tagged ‘Spooky Tooth’

This new 3 CD Re-Mastered Box Set Celebrating The Musical sounds of the so called British “UNDERGROUND” Rock Music Of 1968. featuring tracks by Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Julie Driscoll, Brain Auger & The Trinity, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, The Move, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Van Der Graaf Generator, Procul Harum, Genesis, Caravan, Jeff Beck, Pretty Things, The Incredible String Band, Tomorrow.

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of “Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968”, a 3CD clamshell boxed set celebrating the so-called “underground” rock music 1968, a year that saw huge changes, both musical and social. 1968 was a pivotal year for creativity in British rock, beginning with some influences of psychedelia still present in work by ground-breaking artists such as Pretty Things, Tomorrow, Incredible String Band, Idle Race, Traffic and The Move, but gradually giving way to styles influenced by jazz, blues, folk and more that would eventually become termed as “progressive”, “folk-rock” and “hard” rock, all of which championed by “underground” figures of the day such as DJ John Peel on his BBC Radio One show Top Gear and by publications such as International Times and Oz.The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts.

Revolution Box

The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts that produced work of a wide breadth such as Eyes of Blue, Love Sculpture, The Action, Dantalian’s Chariot, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Gun, Second Hand, The Moles and Blonde on Blonde.

This collection celebrates a creative period when rock music was evolving into something altogether more serious, moving away from the single as medium to give way to the dominance of the album. Feed your head with Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968.

Revolution Box Set

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Spooky Tooth was formed in 1967. Among the players forming its heavy sound were organist Gary Wright, who in the mid-1970s had a massive hit, “Dream Weaver.” Spooky Tooth’s second album in 1969, “Spooky Two”, was their best album, full of deep cuts (i.e., “Lost In My Dream,” “Evil Woman,” “Better By You, Better By Me,” and “That Was Only Yesterday” among them) that still received FM radio in the early 1970s.

Spooky Two is the second studio album by the English rock band Spooky Tooth. It was originally released in March 1969, on the label Island Records in 1969 , “Spooky Two” is this British blues-rock band’s pièce de résistance. All eight of the tracks compound free-styled rock and loose-fitting guitar playing, resulting in some fantastic raw music … their smooth, relaxed tempos and riffs mirrored bands like Savoy Brown and, at times, even the Yardbirds … Although Spooky Tooth lasted about seven years, their other albums never really contained the same passion or talented collaborating by each individual musician as Spooky Two.

It was Spooky Tooth’s misfortune to be sandwiched between Led Zeppelin and Free’s turbo-charged, all-pervasive ascents. A couple of years later and the band’s thoughtful but solid style would have found room to grow. Keyboard player Gary Wright shares vocals with Mike Harrison, a strong, complementary pair of voices, and also writes most of the songs including the memorably catchy Better By You Better Than Me, later rescued from oblivion by Judas Priest. The tracks on their second album are an eclectic bunch, blending the blues with folk, country, gospel and even prog. And they sound better now than they did then.

Spooky Tooth’s lead vocalist, was Mike Harrison, was serviceable, although not in Rodgers’ league. His shortcomings were evident when he tried to hit high notes with a weak falsetto. Yet for most of the material, Harrison’s voice was just what their music needed. Subsequent to the release of the album, Greg Ridley left the group, to join Humble Pie

Everything goes back to Mott the Hoople. After Ralph’s departure, Hunter poached Luther Grosvenor (who left Spooky Tooth in 1970) from another fondly remembered British one-hit wonder Stealers Wheel (the hit was “Stuck in the Middle With You”), whose leader Gerry Rafferty quit and Grosvenor replaced him for a tour. Used to the fill-in role, Grosvenor adopted the “Ariel Bender” moniker for contractual reasons when Mott toured in 1973 and 1974 and recorded their seventh album The Hoople.

Mott the Hoople reformed in 2009 and 2013 for British tours with the original lineup. But in the summer of 2018, Hunter, now 79, brought back Ariel and Hoople keyboardist Morgan Fisher for a series of European dates.

  • Mike Harrison – keyboards, vocals
  • Luther Grosvenor – guitar
  • Gary Wright – keyboards, vocals
  • Greg Ridley – bass
  • Mike Kellie – drums

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“You Can All Join In” was a budget priced sampler album, released in the UK by Island Records in 1968. It was priced at 14 shillings and 6 pence (£0.72), and reached no. 18 on the UK Albums Chart that year

It was arguably instrumental in breaking world-class bands such as Free, Jethro Tull and Traffic to a wider audience. It represented one of the most unexpected marketing triumphs of the age — an (admittedly budget-priced) gathering of underground unknowns riding the label’s own reputation for keeping its finger on the pulse, and out-performing many of the era’s bona fide superstars. Wynder K. Frog, Art, Tramline, Clouds these were not names one normally expected to find hogging the number 18 slot on the chart.

Yet, place familiarity (or the lack thereof) aside, and You Can All Join In is one of those seamless compilations that simply cannot be improved upon. A dozen tracks highlight the best — and that is the best — of Island Record’s recent and forthcoming output, from much-anticipated debut albums by Jethro Tull, Free, and Spooky Tooth to the sophomore effort by Fairport Convention. There’s also a healthy taste of the label’s most-successful-so-far signing, Traffic, as a leaf from Steve Winwood’s back pages — the Spencer Davis Group’s “Somebody Helps Me” joins Tramline’s cover of “Pearly Queen” and Traffic’s own “You Can All Join In” (yes, indeed, this collection’s title track). one of those seamless compilations that simply cannot be improved upon. A dozen tracks highlight the best – and that is the best – of Island’s recent and forthcoming output, from much-anticipated debut albums .

The early ’70s were the golden age of British record-label samplers, with Island themselves following through with three, Vertigo weighing in with the legendary “Suck It and See”, and CBS’ redoubtable Fill Your Head With Rock ranking among a myriad others. None, however, echoed either the success or the resonance of You Can All Join In. 

The Cover Designed by Hipgnosis and although not as imaginative as some of their later work, the front cover photograph was taken in Hyde Park and is said to feature “every single one of the Island artistes … bleary eyed after a party. The rear cover consists merely of a track listing and monochrome images of the covers of eight of the sampled albums .

  1. Clive Bunker, 2 Neil Hubbard, 3 Gary Wright 4 Glenn Cornick 5 Bruce Rowland 6 Martin Barre 7 Mick Weaver 8 Ian Anderson 9 Patrick Campbell-Lyons 10 Ashley Hutchings  11 Alex Spyropoulos 12 Chris Wood 13 Richard Thompson 14 Ian Matthews 15 Steve Winwood 16 Ian A. Anderson 17 Jim Capaldi 18 Mike Harrison 19 Martin Lamble 20 Simon Nicol  21  Harry Hughes 22 Rebop Kwaku Baah 23 Chris Mercer 24 Simon Kirke 25 Paul Rodgers 26 Billy Ritchie  27 Andy Fraser 28 Ian Ellis 29 Sandy Denny

It was combined with the follow-up, Nice Enough To Eat for a CD Re-release in August 1992 entitled Nice Enough To Join In (Island Records IMCD 150).

Side One

  1. “A Song For Jeffrey”  Jethro Tull – (Alternative mix, original version from This Was) (ILPS 9085)
  2. “Sunshine Help Me”  Spooky Tooth – (from It’s All About Spooky Tooth) (ILPS 9080)
  3. “I’m a Mover” Free – (from Tons of Sobs) (ILPS 9089)
  4. “What’s That Sound” Art – (from Supernatural Fairy Tales) (ILP 967)
  5. “Pearly Queen” Tramline – (from Moves of Vegetable Centuries) (ILPS 9095)
  6. “You Can All Join In”  Traffic – (from Traffic) (ILPS 9081T)

Side Two

  1. “Meet on the Ledge”Fairport Convention – (from What We Did on Our Holidays) (ILPS 9092)
  2. “Rainbow Chaser”  Nirvana – (from All of Us) (ILPS 9087)
  3. “Dusty”  John Martyn – (from The Tumbler) (ILPS 9091)
  4. “I’ll Go Girl”  Clouds – (from Scrapbook) (ILPS 9100)
  5. “Somebody Help Me”  Spencer Davis Group – (from The Best of the Spencer Davis Group) (ILPS 9070)
  6. “Gasoline Alley”  Wynder K. Frog – (from Out of the Frying Pan) (ILPS 9082)
Spooky Tooth CD & Vinyl Sets Out Now

The CD and vinyl box sets collecting the Island Records works of Spooky Tooth, one of the key English experimental rock bands of the 1960s and ‘70s, are out now.  ‘The Island Years — An Anthology, 1967-1974’ is released worldwide by USM.

The band were originally known as Art, for a few months in 1967, when they released their sole album, ‘Supernatural Fairy Tales.’ They were then joined by American singer and songwriter Gary Wright, who went on to play with George Harrison on ‘All Things Must Pass’ and to great solo success, notably with songs such as ‘Dream Weaver’ and ‘Love Is Alive.’

By 1968, Art had transmuted into Spooky Tooth, who released the album ‘It’s All About’ in June that year, written largely by Wright and with a cover of Janis Ian’s ‘Society’s Child.’ That set was produced by Jimmy Miller, just as he was beginning his long association with the Rolling Stones. The original band also featured other notable players such as Greg Ridley, later a founder member of Humble Pie, and Luther Grosvenor, who went on to Mott The Hoople and Widowmaker.

spooky-tooth

After three further albums in 1968 and ’69 and the subsequent departure of Wright, Spooky Tooth released three more Island albums with frontman Mike Harrison, and one more without him, 1974’s ‘The Mirror.’ The band were a well-known and respected presence on the British rock scene without ever reaching the UK charts, but no fewer than eight of their albums made the American bestsellers, released first there on A&M and then Island. 1969’s sophomore release ‘Spooky Two’ was the highest-charting, at No. 44.

The 9-CD set features all of the Island albums, with a generous selection of rare and previously unreleased material added. This includes a full concert from April 1972, recorded in Germany, and a 48-page book.

An 8-LP vinyl box set comprises straight reissues of the Spooky Tooth and Art albums in replica original packaging. A full-size reproduction of the extremely rare ‘Art’ Island promotional poster, designed by the celebrated psychedelic artists Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, is included, along with a download card for all the material.

Buy the CD and vinyl editions of Spooky Tooth’s The Island Years — An Anthology, 1967-1974’