1967 – Spooky Connections & Psychedelia

UK Band, Art, with three members of what would become the fabled Spooky Tooth released an intriguing album in 1967 titled – Supernatural Fairy Tales. It was a year of lysergic urgency and experimentation.  Listen in.

Spooky Tooth subsequently came together after Gary Wright joined Art in late 1967.  The band changed its name from Art to Spooky Tooth.  Art only existed as a band between April to October 1967.  The band members at this stage were – Mike Harrison (vocals), Luke Grosvenor (guitar), Greg Ridley (bass), Mike Kellie (drums) and Gary Wright (keyboards).  The band’s first album as Spooky Tooth was released in 1968 titled – It’s all about – rates at #332 in the Best Ever Albums site for 1968.

Spooky Tooth would go on to fame and fortune, revered as one of Britain’s  all time weird favourites.  Lillian Roxon has an interesting entry in her Rock Encyclopedia – “One of the all-time kings of grunt-and-groan rock and roll, wailing, flailing Spooky Tooth was nearly non-existent by the time they came to the attention of Stateside audiences.  The bass and drum combinations were lethal, sounding like an avalanche.  Guitar soared into space while keyboards growled below and vocals screeched like aerial demons.  Yet the band had problems getting off the ground.” 

Spooky Two established them eventually in the US rated at #101 on the Best Ever Album charts.  In the UK they were loved.  The Last Puff was released in 1970 with a much changed lineup and with some commercial success; the opening track a faithfull and highly adrenalised rendition of the Beatles’ I am the Walrus.  Surprisingly this album was rated at #420 on the Best Ever Album charts.

Band members had been disappearing on the music merry-go-round since Spooky Two was released, but Mike Harrison and Gary Wright, the two main men returned for a further two albums, the spectral Witness and the laugh-out-loud blues-soaked You broke my heart….so I busted your jaw, both released in 1973.  Again the rating for each album fell into the lower ranks – Witness at #820 and Busted my jaw at #420.  It was a tough world out there and although the music might be considered main stream these albums were appreciated  by limited numbers of fans, perhaps moving on to Disco!!!

One further album was released but with a very different line up, the mainstay being Gary Wright, and new guitarist Mick Jones who would later go on to front Foreigner, and also vocalist the late Mike Patto.  For the first time Mike Harrison did not contribute to the album.  The Mirror was released in 1974 and was rated at #758.  Say no more.

A reunion album – Cross Purpose – was released in 1999 with four original members of the line up with the exception of Gary Wright, who has since performed live with Spooky Tooth.  These seven albums stand out from the scrum of pubrock and carry the psychedelic grooves that hit the airwaves of 1967 through to the wasted land of the mid 1970s.  History will not repeat itself and it is blissful to wallow in the magic that was Spooky Tooth.  Listen on.

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