Spooky Tooth

Hey, I didn't name `em
*special introductory paragraph!
*Tobacco Road
*Spooky Two
*Ceremony (with Pierre Henry)
*The Last Puff
*You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw
*The Mirror
*Cross Purpose

Spooky Tooth were a British blues-rock band from the late 60s/early 70s. They changed members and musical styles a lot during their young life, but the important things to know are (A) that "Dream Weaver" guy was in the band and (B) And this is VERY important, so I'm going to give it its own paragraph:

Without Spooky Tooth, there would have been no Foreigner.

So essentially without Spooky Tooth, rock and roll would have come to an end in 1977.

Tobacco Road - A&M 1968.
Rating = 3

Once when I was a child of the moon, roundabouts 1979 or so, I ventured to enjoy myself a glass of Nestle's Quik chocolate milk. These were back in the days when you couldn't buy the product pre-packaged; rather, you purchased a tin of chocolate powder, which you then stirred into your glass of whole milk. On this particular occasion, the milk gallon jug was completely full to bustin' and being but a young boy, I simply possessed not the physical strength nor determination to pour myself a glass of it without pouring the milk all over the place, including Indochina. I tried to get my mutha into the house to pour it for me, but she was engaged in a conversation with our next door neighbor, probably about wife-swapping or the upcoming key party, which were both big trends of the day. So, forced to rely upon my own lack of intelligence, I decided that it surely couldn't be that different if you simply stirred the chocolate powder into a glass of tap water. I did just this and discovered that chocolate water fuckin blows. So does this album.

I think they were trying to create some sort of heavy whiteboy SOUL music, judging from the "soulful" vocals of Gary Wright and Mike Harrison (one of them keeps doing this atrocious falsetto thing all over the record and both of them go out of their way to sound as emotional and gruff as they can), rested firmly atop Wright's bland, ridiculously loud, omnipresent Hammond organ, Mike Kelly's galloping smashing hard rock drum attack, Luther Grosvenor's stinging acid fuzz guitar (which you hardly EVER hear in the mix) and Greg Ridley's awesome, busy bass playing (which ensures that even when the songs are awful, there's always at least something good going on!). But the thing about soul music is that you can't just act like you have soul and wow you've got a great Temptations song on your hands. There also has to be a HOOK of some sort. Otherwise you end up with awful garbage like Joe Cocker, who somehow managed to REMOVE all the hooks from previously catchy songs when turning them into cover tunes. The same can definitely be said about the title track of this album. I don't know who originally did "Tobacco Road," but it's a fairly catchy, angry little garage rocker. In the hands of Spooky Tooth, it is an almost indescribably irritating, repetitive collection of painful stops, starts and falsettoed yells for an overall impression similar to that of slamming your fingers in a car door over and over and over again.

The same can be said of the band's originals on this record. So swept up are they in the concept of sounding as loud, bluesy and grass-smoking as they can, they didn't bother coming up with more than one or two passages that can be considered "melodic" without falling right on over into hippy-dippy full-beard shit like you hear on old Sesame Street episodes. The cover of Janis Ian's "Society's Child" is an excellent start, but the rest of the album doesn't even come CLOSE to that level of interesting listenability. Plus they cover that goddamned "Take A Load Off, Fanny" song and in all their British wisdom still don't manage to make it sound any less rednecky.

So no, I don't like this album.

Reader Comments

irontyrant@earthlink.net (Michael Grefski)
Yeah overall this first Spooky Tooth record wasn't so hot. At least it wasn't nearly as good as the record they made a year or so earlier under the moniker Art ("Supernatural Fairy Tale"). BUT....that version of "Society's Child is definatley a keeper. A better peice of heavy organ driven pop ensemble playing you'd be hard pressed to find. Wonder if Janis ever heard it?

Well I thought this album was great. The vocals are meant (intentionally) to sound like a British version of The Righteous Brothers, and I thought they pulled it off pretty good.

I can also hear a very strong Traffic & Stevie Winwood influence. At that time (late '67 early '68) Traffic were one of the top British bands, and had their own unique style. Several band members had previously played with would-be Traffic musicians in earlier years and had also toured with Traffic.

For me, the most memorable song is still 'Sunshine Help Me', but I love 'em all.

member@didly.wanadoo.co.uk (David Rodwell)
What can you say ?, this album was great !. One of the very first pioneers (ART) and best Heavy and meaningful psychedellic UK bands. From The Heavy "Tobacco Road" to the haunting beautiful (My favourite) "Here I Lived So Well". Landmark trippy/hippy tracks such as "Sunshine Help Me/Societys Child/Bubbles etc" to emotional ballad of "It Hurts You So". This album had it all. As correctly stated the Righteous Brothers feel, the power of Mike Harrison with the falsetto poetry of Gary Wright (US), magnificent percussion, a unique legend of a band. I could not get in at Lyceum London, and was out of my head back stage at Ally Pally, so I missed them twice in the sixties. My loss but the worlds gain. Thank you Spooky Tooth, I love you all.

In your Spooky Tooth review of Tobacco Road the album, you note that you are not sure who wrote "Tobacco Road." It was written by John D. Loudermilk.


In your review you said that with out Spooky tooth, there would have been no Foriegner. I for one could have done with out that meta morphosis. Foriegner is TERRIBLE also what's wrong with "REDNECKY"

take your point about the false starts and stops and the screaming falsetto..........BUT this was the first band I ever saw live in 68 and they did most of this album.Amazing musicians and Luther, to this day 38 years on is the most amazing guitarist I have ever seen perform. Just bought the album on cd having worn out the original vinyl. truly indispensable.Changed my life in one night.

Add your thoughts?

Spooky Two - A&M 1969.
Rating = 8

This is what I was TALKIN re! Same instrumentation and blues/rock/soul attitude but with a whole shardfilled boxcar of pop melody! The guitarist is playing actual notes and beautiful arpeggiations instead of just acid-drenched fuzz chords, the organs play riffs instead of just ringing loudly in the foreground (the first track, "Waitin' For The Wind" is based around an awesome, unpredictable keyboard line!) and the vocalists curb their falsetto tendencies the slightest bit to render the whole album much more enjoyable.

Sources say that the band and its fans generally consider this to be their crowning achievement (one greatest hits compilation I used to own featured SIX of these eight tracks, and umm... well, NOTHING from The Mirror or Witness!), and there's more to that than what you're knowing. I'm talkin bout the MELODIES! On that crappy last album, I could listen to it fifteen times and still not hear more than three or four moments worth singing to myself afterwards. But this one? Oh please! "That Was Only Yesterday"? "Evil Woman"? "Better By You, Better Than Me"? You've never even heard these songs and you've already got them stuck in your head! And diversity? Oh come now! One song is like a cathedral organ thing, then there's a 9-minute hard blues rocker, and there's some acoustic stuff and some blistering hard rock. And there's "I've Got Enough Heartaches," which sounds like something off of the first album and is foul!

I've heard Spooky Tooth described as a "heavy blues" band, but I don't hear any heaviness to it. To me, they're just like a straight-up 1970-era blues rock band, like a Traffic or a Free or a Cream or a Mountain.

Oh! To dream of one day dwelling on top of my own traffic-free cream mountain.

Reader Comments

I am looking for Evil Woman, haven't heard it in 27 years. You are correct in that it stays in your head even for 27 years. Enjoyed your honest assessment. Would you know who sells Spooky Tooth music in the Washington DC area? Every time I mention Evil Woman the sales clerk says "Oh that's ELO". When I mention Spooky Tooth they give that funny look. I'm searching for the Spooky Tooth song Evil Woman but may start listening to their other stuff. Enjoyed your web site. Thanks in advance.

web@timberland.lib.wa.us (TAD)
Yeah, SPOOKY 2's pretty good, but "Evil Woman" REALLY SUCKS! It's so OVERDONE! How can U take it seriously? I just start laffin.... They musta thot it was pretty funny 2, the way they drag it out so long: "Yooouuuuu eeevillllll woooomannnnnnnnn...."

My fave is "Feelin' Bad" -- love that ragged early-70's English group-sing-along sound. The others R at least intresting. "Hangman, Hang My Shell On a Tree" is pretty cool, 2, with a nice memorable chorus.

thewho1@optonline.net (Gregory Kurtz)
"Evil Woman" sucks??? Are you guys for real? This song rocks. The guitar work itself scares the hell out of me. It accomplishes what it sets out to and that is to describe getting trampled on by a woman. The rest of the album is near perfect. "Feelin Bad" is a tribute to gospel rock and done quite well with the background vocals, handclapping and piano. "I've got enough heartaches" couldn't be named more appropriately.

This album goes in my top 20 and I have a huge collection (2000 plus)

I'm not much up on the individual band members. But I have to say that "Better By You Better Than Me" has stuck with me for years. It was a long time ago when I first heard the song. Not sure if its the tune or the way he sings it.....gives me chills to this day!

For those who are ripping on the Spooky Two and Tobacco Road lp's....Please remember the timeframe when these albums were recorded....back in the late 60s and early 70s....and compare them to their peers of that day....younger listeners lack a grip on reality when they embark on a critique of older material ...they tend to compare it to later bands and technology of latter years..Just try to remember what musical era you are listening to and consider the technical sources of the day.

They were always an off color sounding group..favoring minor chords and having a dominant organ /lead guitar sound.
This album, we can safely say was their peak.
I remember when I bought it..i was nine.
I didn t know who or what spooky tooth meant but they looked like rockers so I got it..thier new lp!
evil woman was what everyone wanted to hear..but if you listen to the harmonies on hangman and feelin bad you can take what they had to offer and it will never die.

Thanks my good friends for making such a wonderfull sound on ALL your albums.

bert.mackenzie@ntlworld.com (The Bassett)
f****** brilliant album. Even to this day.

'nuff said...!

tbruneau@lpbatlanta.com (Tom Bruneau)
Long Time is as heavy as it got back then, and it got heavy back then. You don't even mention it. How old are you? You don't know this music.

p.schaik.52@wanadoo.nl (Paul)
As I am a music freak in nearly all fields of course there's always something to nagg about.Believe me, not this time. This album is about 40 years old and is still one of the best I ever heard. Absolutely brilliant. I always have it in my mind and will never lose it. Thank you, guys for this great contribution to the world of rock.

cordings@ihug.co.nz (Harry the Dead Poet)
Better By You, Better Than Me was covered by Judas Priest on their 1978 album Stained Class. Several years later two Priest fans in Utah - teenage misfits from fundamentalist Christian families - made a suicide pact, allegedly inspired by this song. One of them killed himself and the other blew up his face and died two years later. Some hungry lawyers talked the parents into suing the band and alleged this song contained a subliminal message that encouraged suicide. To which KK Downing replied, "It'll be ten years before I can even spell subliminal."

jpn@kallnet.fo (Johan P. Niclassen)
Spooky Tooth 2 - Is a grate album - I got a collection of 3000 + of lp s & cd . For a long time I listen to Spoky Two - But I like several other tunes, from their albums. "You broke my heart ..." has got some very good tunes. a.s.o..

IFIGLUS@aol.com (iko)
Thanks for the great Spooky Tooth site. Although I am not that familiar with the breadth of their efforts, Spooky Two is one of the gems in my music collection. Waitin' For The Wind and Feelin' Bad are power tunes as good as they come -- you can crank them up to the max! I will admit that Evil Woman gets a bit tedious, but not enough to offset the rest of the great songs which hold your attention much better than the average rock composition. When I got my collection out of overseas storage, this was one of the first albums I listened to.


martinb@cjpetrow.co.za (Martin Baker)
Please can someone tell me who played lead guitar on evil woman. I just love the guitar break in that number. What a band, wow would love to get my hands on some early video/dvd's

One of the most underrated groups / albums. **** 1/2

Add your thoughts?

Ceremony (with Pierre Henry) - Polydor 1970.
Rating = 5

The album that "destroyed" Spooky Tooth! They would undoubtedly have been the largest, most successful rock and roll band in the universe had not their career been cruelly cut short by an evil record company decision. I'm not sure whose idea it was, but somebody asked Spooky Tooth if they wanted to submit some music to be "treated electronically" by a French fellow named Pierre Henry. The Spookers were busy working on Spooky Two at the time, but said what the hell and threw together some half-written blues-rock songs, all relying heavily on the electric guitar. Next thing you know - FLAMMADIDDLYDINGDONG! - Pierre Henry has piled a bunch of ridiculous noise on top of all the songs. There's no context or point to the electronics - it sounds like he just made a bunch of goofy noises on his moog synthesizer without even listening to what Spooky Tooth were playing.

And when it hit the market, Spooky Tooth were FUMED! As were their fans, one would assume. It's just such an odd record. Subtitled "An Electronic Mass," the album has six songs with religious titles ("Have Mercy," "Jubilation," "Confession," "Prayer," "Offering" and "Hosanna"), but appears to be some sort of anti-religious piece, judging from the horrific cover drawing of somebody hammering a nail through his own hand and into the head of an unidentified male figure. Musically it's pretty weak - again, it doesn't sound like the Tooths put a whole lot of effort into it. Each song has a simple little rock riff, dramatic vocals and a jamfest to make sure the song goes on long enough for Pierre to do his schtick. The real entertainment lies in how ludicrously out of sorts every single song on the record sounds. With its bizarre mixture of basic rock songs and tuneless bloops, scrapes and gurgles having no correspondence to the songs themselves, it seriously sounds like somebody at the record pressing plant accidentally recorded the sounds of the record pressing machinery on top of the latest Steve Winwood album (did I mention that Mike Harrison sounds a lot like Steve Winwood? Same mushmouth delivery).

There are several moments where you will probably break out laughing at the stupidity of the whole project. And Gary Wright was so disillusioned that he left the band entirely (for a short period of time). But, as awkward and BAD as it all sounds, it sure is more intriguing and fun than Tobacco Road!

Speaking of Tobacco Road, my dog has some majorass butt diarrhea going on. At about 4 AM last night, he sprayed like fifteen gallons of the brown love juice all over the street outside. And if you didn't know any better, mister, you'd have walked by and thought you was lookin' at - that's right -- a Tobacco Road.

It was not a stretch. What do you know about record reviewing?

Reader Comments

l0k1@free.fr (Loki Harfagr)
Well, Hello :-)

I may interfere with your vision of this album though I won't criticize the deep facts and feelings that made it up this way in your concern.

Let me just comment a few off your phrasing about it ;-)

> The album that "destroyed" Spooky Tooth!

The album that made Spooky Tooth famous in France. OK, I reckon it was not your main concern about the band but it indeed was a shock in the classical little world of my parents and me, and most of the kin ...

>"treated electronically" by a French fellow named Pierre Henry.

Not that unknown guy, even at the time :D)

>relying heavily on the electric guitar. Next thing you know - FLAMMADIDDLYDINGDONG! - Pierre Henry has piled a bunch of ridiculous noise on top of all the songs.

Made an electronic cover of the heavy bluesy cover Spooky Tooth made off lithurgic anthems.

>There's no context or point to the electronics - it sounds like he just made a bunch of goofy noises on his moog synthesizer without even listening to what Spooky Tooth were playing.

Listen again and you'll feel there's a point indeed, though the electronic class of the synths and mostly tape fluttering work may have an "old touch" it is deeply entangled with the lyrics, drums and guitar drive.

> the album has six songs with religious titles ("Have Mercy," "Jubilation," "Confession," "Prayer," "Offering" and "Hosanna"),

That is the time I happened to get a better understanding in english, through the hearing of these lyrics, especially "Prayer" and I could at last connect the terms and the feelings from the "Our father ..." compared to the latin and french versions I had in Sunday Sk l !

> but appears to be some sort of anti-religious piece, judging from the horrific cover drawing of somebody hammering a nail through his own hand and into the head of an unidentified male figure.

Still I don't understand your point here, it doesn't seem a musical citic sentence, or was it you were shocked by the idea of Jesus giving his life and suffering for our salvation ? And this again is not a musical critic point ;-)

Anyway, you still have the rights to have this way of remembering the album but why not giving it a second try now you grew up a leaf or a tooth or maybe two ?


say I know of an odd song based on a spooky tooth song! the nudist and mr.pendelton gonna beat it on down the road! anyway frenchies do not know shit about rock music at all !

The CEREMONY album was a complete waste of budget....ST's time would have been better spent on vaca somewhere to recharge their creative batteries....The Electric Prunes (Mass in F Minor) tried this same religious musical endeavour and failed miserably....Some frontiers are best left unchartered.

The album ceremony as you say did devastate Spooky Tooth but on the sleeve notes of the cd I found that over the years they had looked at it in a different light. I'm not a christian or anything but I think they've recorded the best modern rendition of the "Our Father" in modern times. A strange feat for people who are atheists.

yes overall a pile of drivel thanks to monsieur henri but that guitar solo on Hosannah . . . still blows me away. thanks Luther

I have to qualify my appraisal of this album As I said earlier that the rendition of of the "Our Father" was the best in modern times. I meant of course the "Credo" as featured in the track "Jubilation". It's ferocity can only be matched to Leo Janacek's "Glagolitic Mass". I apologise for my mistake.

Spooky tooth ceremony, An LP Me and my friends have fully enjoyed since 1969.
So ahead of its time that it could be remixed and redistributed today under another name and it would be a great hit.
The best thing spooky Tooth ever did Period.............
And if you disagree then you obviosly are not an artist or a musician for that matter.
I am in process of producing a Multi cd on the concept Of the Book of Revelation and I am drawking great inspiration from this old work.
It's unfortunate that the Tooth never performed this live cause if they had it would have been a big success.
By the way Pierre Henry did the titile song for the 60's TV show Supernatural Theatre in the USA. from and LP, very hard to find. The song entitled, song of the midnight sun.
For me and My friends it seems almost impossible to think that this work of art has been critized as I see here.

May God help you and forgive them Father for they know not what they do!!!

When I listened first time "Ceremony" it just shocked me .At the time it was something far ahead of the rest of rock music.For me it was extremely psychedelic and I loved it but for my friends who were declared blues and only blues lovers it was unbearable betrayal .They were gone right after "Jubilation". Until now I believe the "Ceremony" was the best piece of art they ever did however they did it too early for most of their fans who were not able to comprehend this kind of music. So my friends stuck to blues and simple rock and for me it was good preparation for music created by Soft Machine,King Crimson,Pink Floyd,Yes and whole jazz-fusion music.

The songs on this album is incredable! They are Very good! But the biggest problem is Pierre Henry. He is the reason why this album is bad. Because he Fucked it all up by adding annoying and unnecessary electronic effects!

Here's a good example: The song "Confession" is the only song that is inpossible to get the lyrics! You can't find Lyrics in the internet and you can't hear them so well because of Pierre Henrys annoying effects!

I'm 100% Sure that this album would have been one of the best rock albums i have ever heard! Definitely Spooky Tooth's best album! ONLY IF PIERRE HENRY DIDN'T ADD THOSE GOD DAMN EFFECTS! I'd do anything to hear the whole album as it should have been. (Without the effects of course!)

If somebody, somehow could get the album without Pierre Henrys effects, PLEASE CONTACT ME!

Add your thoughts?

The Last Puff - Polydor 1971.
Rating = 6

This one is credited to "Spooky Tooth Featuring Mike Harrison," strangely enough, even though Luther Grosvenor and Mike Kellie are still backin' him up with the hi-fi jam. So Gary Wright isn't around - so what? He only wrote most of the songs! This becomes dorkingly evident pretty early on when you check the cold beat wax and see that only ONE (1) of these seven songs was actually written by a current member of Spooky Tooth!!!!! And that's the title track - a gospelly piano instrumental written by the gospelly piano guy that replaced Gary Wright!!!! AWWW MAN!

Gospel was also an influence on Spooky Tooth - I may not have mentioned that earlier. You can tell by the hosanna church style piano lines in a lot of places, as well as the occasional buttock-unattractive female choir backup vocals. But what's with the name Spooky Tooth? The band is neither spooky nor a tooth.

They do a slow bluesy cover of "I Am The Walrus" on here that you may very well have heard on your local FM radio station, it having been a semi-hit and all. Unfortunately, they also do songs by Joe Cocker and Elton John, and not terribly good ones either. You would think that with a catalog of 50-some-odd albums from which to choose, they could have picked a better Elton song than the corny "Son Of Your Father" - perhaps "I'm Still Standing" or "(Princess Di, Please Shove A) Candle In The Wind (That's Coming Out Of My Ass, Which Is Gay)." Or "Nikita," of course, but that's already been covered to death by pretty much every gangsta rap band in the country.

There's lots of piano on this album.

It's not a bad album. There's a leftover from Gary Wright (I guess that's who it's by - it just says "Wright" - I guess it could be by hilarious comedian Steven Wright, who is as popular today as he ever was) that's a really catchy poppity blues/rock tune deserving of every bit of success that it earned. But I'm still not quite sure what Mike Harrison was thinking. Why would he insist upon keeping the band name when neither he nor any of the other members had any new songs to offer to the world?

Reader Comments

This is one of the greatest rock, folk, guitar god albums of all time. Notice I say "one of the best". This is a high point for Spooky Tooth and for rock in general.

Luther saves the day here with his solo on I am the walrus. otherwise rubbish. Luther's last Spooky album so switched my attention to Mott the Hoople and Ariel Bender.He had a final stab with Widowmaker but sadly never played with the same fire again

I firmly believe Harrison reached his acme with Walrus cover in The Last Puff.

hi there, just my thoughts on "The Last Puff", I found your page as I sought opinions on other Tooth albums.

If you were expecting Spooky Two revisited, you would certainly be disappointed, it is stylistically so different. It is really more of a "Delanie and Bonnie", "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" keyboard/piano driven sound, but very well done. I got it in 1972, and I still play it. Way different from S2 though.


Add your thoughts?

You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw - A&M 1973.
Rating = 6

Gary Wright's back! And everybody else is GONE! Everyone except Mike Harrison, of course, What the heck else is he gonna do? So there's three new folks in the band, most notably a fellow the name o' Mick Jones. No NO! Not the future Clash member, NO! This would be the Mick Jones that would go on to form Foreigner of "Urgent" fame. And with him, he bringed a heapin' dose helping of HARD ROCK GUITAR! From the second the kickass riffs of "Cotton Growing Man" and "Old As I Was Born" smash you upside your Nazareth-loving head, you just be KNOWS there ain't no returning to the gospelly soul sound of Spooky Tooth Old!

Shortly thereafter, the album returns to the gospelly soul sound of Spooky Tooth Old. Sad really, since they really seemed like they had something good going - guitar-driven, totally HOOKY!, stripped down hard rock. But then "Holy Water" and "Times Have Changed" return us to the embarrassing sappy white man piano gospel best exemplified by that lousy Elton John song that says "Holy Moses" a bunch, whatever the hell it's called. Plus, the longer the album lasts, the weaker the guitar riffs get, to the point where they're just corny macho garbage. Ever heard a Foreigner album? Let's just say that Mick Jones learned everything he needed to know about "filler" during his Spooky stint! Luckily, "Moriah" ends the album on a really interesting, catchy, sardonic/spiritual note every bittage as strong as the awesome first two tracks. So it IS the start of a brand new, strippeder down, less overblowedy Spooky Tooth. But not enough of one, if you're asking me my opinion on the matter.

Oh I remember the name of the Elton John song - it's "(If Princess Di Were A Guy With A Huge Flesh) Rocket, Man (, I'd Totally Want It Shoving Against My Prostate, What With Me Being A Gayfer)".

Reader Comments

lunytune@vaxxine.com (Kevin Julie)
i bought this LP a few years back. my fave Spooky Tooth album. Great cover! curious to find anyone out there who recalls ST touring with Uriah Heep in the early 70s?

I just got the cd in today....haven't listened to this in 30 years. I think it is great especially "Cotton Growing Man" . This cd brought back many good memories for me. I am expecting Witness in any day and I also haven't heard that one also in about 30 years. I am looking forward to getting the cd.

rallyn_4@msn.com (Rob)
Any of you guys ever been in a band? Any of you ever written your own songs, or merely covered? This is 35 years ago, people. 35 yr old recording technology, 35 yr old ideas. I first fell in love with this album... no, 8-track, in my friend's parent's '69 Olds, waiting for him to get off work waiting tabless at the Pyrenees restaurant in Memphis in 1974. I loved it!... the whole thing, track changes and all. Except for the last song, recorded from who knows where, I'm in love again with this album! I bought it off Amazon a few weeks ago and have listened to it again, a dozen times. Best part is that it sounds even better (my being nearly 50 yrs old, pushed by McIntosh amps and Altec speakers) than it did on Radio-Shack player and speakers.

Lighten up folks. "You broke my heart..." turned my life around. It may not do that for you. It might be one of those "You had to be there things". Even if you were there, maybe it didn't trip your trigger.

I bought, and just received Spooky Two. About to listen. See you in a while.

One of my top twenty albums of all time. The music, the art, the lineup, all incredible. Bryson Graham was awesome. I am waiting for the first album now. This time around is probably one of the best songs ever written, almost haunting. I first heard this album in 1978 and I have been a hardcore fan ever since. I personally think this was the best lineup ever for Spooky Tooth. ...And the name.......priceless.

Add your thoughts?

* Witness - Island 1973. *
Rating = 10

From what I've read, the band members are disappointed with this one, calling it "too poppy" and not in sync with their original vision. Considering that most of the album is about as warm as a cold wind blowing and as energetic and cheery as a tired yawning old man, I have to wonder if their idea of "pop" is simply "that which possesses an actual melody," because these are much stronger songs than you're going to find on any of their other records.

Understated? Oh heck yes. There are maybe two moments of bombastic BLOOZE electric guitar and they quickly fade into the distance. The rest is low-key, minor-key, quietly moving piano- and guitar-driven music. And I'll just say "music" because although these are technically "rock" songs, they DON'T rock. And although they're melodic, they are mostly NOT poppy either. They're just very well written, and become more and more arresting the more you hear to them. On first listen, you'll wonder why there aren't any high points. On tenth listen, you'll realize that they're ALL high points: the somber "Ocean Of Power," the sweet-but-somber "Wings On My Heart," the darky blues rock "Don't Ever Stray Away," the bluesy dark rock "Sunlight Of My Mind," the cool running "Dream Me A Mountain," the somber "Things Change," the REALLY somber "Pyramids," the lightly semi-somber "As Long As The World Keeps Turning" and the ONE really poppy, upbeat, goodtime rock and roll song on an otherwise rainy chilly day LP "All Sewn Up." That's the nature of Witness's brilliance. It doesn't jump up at you and scream "genius." It quietly sits still and waits for you to discover how consistently creative, well performed and musically haunting it is. Or my name's not Lickity Shitsalot!


Reader Comments

Hi, just wanted to add, that "Witness" is my fav' Spooky album. From the first time I heard this album I was hooked on it. Sure, I like some songs from the other albums, but this is one of my all time favourite albums ever.

l0k1@free.fr (Loki Harfagr)
> From what I've read, the band members are disappointed with this one, calling it "too poppy" and not in sync with their original vision.

Well, the most I listen to this album the more I remember I only found the same sensations when listening to "Pretzel Logic" (Steely dan) the first time(s), oh, and "Fever" of course !

(Might have been then the ST thought they were poppies, uh, er, ugh)

> Understated? Oh heck yes.

Double heck YYEESS !

> That's the nature of Witness's brilliance. It doesn't jump up at you and scream "genius." It quietly sits still and waits for you to discover how consistently creative, well performed and musically haunting it is.

Exactly !-)

And *that's* the real genius signature.


And then, is it only for a frenchman that the names "Spooky tooth" and "Steely Dan" may seem related ?

(oh, I know, don't push again with the easy pr0n translation :-)

this was the last good ST album....Mick Jones ..Gary Wright and Mike Harrison split after this album. None of these tracks were included to the compilation set.....Guess you could say that ST as we knew it was gone for good....This was my favourite ST album...I consider it to be their "Let It Be"....

Saw the Tooth open for ZZ TOP in 1973 . ZZ was out supporting "Tres Hombres" .Spooky Tooth in support of "Witness" .We all drove 150 miles to see Spooky Tooth .The Tooth started thier set really tight . Made it thru maybe 2 songs and were booed off the stage by stupid ass ZZ fans .Mick Jones gave the crowd of several thousand "the bird" and walked off stage followed by the entire band . ZZ came out 2 & one half hours later and sucked shit . Within two years the same Bozo's were lining up for miles to see ............. you guessed it ........ both Gary Wright and Foreigner with Mick Jones

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The Mirror - Island 1974.
Rating = 8

Before we go any further with this shenanigan (I initially wrote the word "charade" there, but decided that this situation is more of a "shenanigan" - please let me know your thoughts), let me thank you for taking the time to read my Spooky Tooth reviews. I know that you can't rip your penis and/or vagina off and throw it across the room without hitting some critic's views on the legendary Spooky Tooth, so I really do appreciate you taking the time to let me express my opinions. Obviously, we've all read books like Stephen Davis's Hammer Of The Tooth (That Is Spooky): The Spooky Tooth Saga and Dave Marsh's Born To Spook (With Their Teeth): The Spooky Tooth Story and yes I'm aware that every eight-year-old knows about that if you play "Evil Woman" backwards, it sounds like he's saying "I Buried Mike Kellie, The Drummer Of Spooky Tooth," and it's no secret that if you start You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw right after the second lion roar, it syncs perfectly with Three Men And A Little Lady, but nevertheless I am of the opinion that there's always something new to say about this collective of geniuses, no matter how trite or banal it may be.

Okay, I'm done with that hilarious bit. Now let me review the fucking album.

The band not only doesn't like this one - they've practically DISOWNED it. And it's easy to see why, when you look at the huge discrepancy between their original blues/gospel/soul/rock image and the funky jiveass hard rock that appears on here. First of all, MIKE HARRISON IS GONE!!!!! The voice of Spooky Tooth - GONE!!! Replaced with? Why, Mike Patto of course! After all, you can't have vocals without a MIKE!!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!! AHA AH!! AHHHHAAHAHAEEE!! EHEHEEE!

Secondly, the new bass player is.... a black dude with a huge fuckin afro!!!! And is he funky? Hoo, he's funky! So is the damn drummer, who tears up a blueass kickfight slickity dick shoopidydoo in high-speed disco inferno Mother's Finest style tunes like "Woman And Gold" and "I'm Alive"! Not to mention the dark sleazy metallic groove boogie funk of "Fantasy Satisfier" and "Two Time Love". Dudeass, if Witness was their most introverted album, this was by FAR their most extroverted. They are IN YOUR FACE and makin' you shake your monkeyass! Are you familiar with Gary Wright's solo hit "Love Is Alive"? With those creepy cocaine keyboards tailor-made for `70s nighttime FM driving in a Trans Am? Well, he pulls the same shit on here with "Higher Circles," baby! Honestly, the only similarity between this album and even the one that came DIRECTLY before it is the piano ballad "Kyle". The rest of the LP is just way out in left field for these guys. But it's fun as shit and catchy as shit! Get out your disco shoes and slamdance!

Reader Comments

nothing really here worth hearing...unless you find it in a budget section somewhere...All the classic ST alumni were gone by now.

I first heard You broke my heart followed up by Mirror and they are still among the best Lp now Cds to break out once in awhile to listen to .Spooky was a great band and Ive been to over a thousand concerts and own a musical library thatd keep you reading titles for weeks 27/7 .Those thats cant enjoy Spooky need not own a stereo, stick with yer Ipod tinny sound and never know true kick ass sound when days rocked and bands were great.

Spooky Tooth did not have the popularity like Yes, Emerson, Lake &Palmer and Genesis here in Qu bec but ''the mirror'' is still a great ''classic rock'' anthem!

I just wanted to say that the reviews make you sound very young. This music was very instrumental in birthing other music, and was a bit stereotypical for the time. This particular album really had an eFfect on me, and I've listened to it a lot over the years. I had heard of ST from the only other song I had heard: Cotton Growin' Man, A HUGE hit in our community. The guitar work and style are very heavy, similar to any of the heavies of the time like the Heap, the Doobies, etc, but they just never got the PR and marketing. There are some crappy filler songs, I'd admit, but over 1/2 the songs KICK BUTT!

I was born in 70, so I was totally unaware of Spooky Tooth until my near my Uncle s death in 2005. He gave me a cd of Spooky Tooth a few short months prior to his death. I have Women and Gold and Fantasy Satisfier on my Ipod, and I have to say, it s a really great performance. There are not that many songs that effect me in a personal way. By that, I mean, songs that the Artist really stretched themselves to accomplish something, or I shared a fondness for a song that my Uncle or Dad loved. Either way, I love music, and so did my Uncle, and so does my dad, and there are so many songs that I remember from my childhood which remind me of them. Music lasts forever, Godbless.

Nigel Haffner
This Spooky Tooth album is special BECAUSE Mike Patto is here. One of the greatest vocalists in rock. Check out Bo Street Runners - Timebox - Patto and Boxer

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Cross Purpose - 1998.
Rating = 4

Following a brief 27-year hiatus, Spooky Tooth (Featuring Mike Harrison) have returned for the spiritual follow-up to The Last Puff. Not that it sounds anything like that album, but it features the main dudes from that record - Mike Harrison, Luther Grosvenor, Mike Kellie and Notable Absence Of Gary Wright. It's as flaccid as you'd expect, mostly made up of derivative, worthless melodies driven by acoustic guitars and overdubbed electric blues solo-by-numbers. But Mike is still in surprisingly good voice and there are honestly four really solid, GOOD songs on here. Granted, one is a cover and one is a re-recording of a Spooky Two song, but I'm not here to argue minor details with you.

One other thing: My fiancee wanted me to tell you that every time I kill a spider in the apartment, I find it necessary to exclaim, "I think it was a Brown Rectum!"

Reader Comments

I have been a Spooky fan since way back in the early 70's. While I've been able to find Last Puff, Spooky Two, Tobacco Road, and others on CD's, I have really treasured the first Mike Harrison album on CD, the one with his backup band, Junkyard Angels. Also, finding Luther Grosvenors Under Open Skies and Floodgates have been wonderful to add to my collection. Adding Gary Wrights later solo works, I feel that the Spooky Tooth sound lives on. Thanks to a great band for all its efforts and musical talents.

fieldholler3@hotmail.com (Oyvind L greid)
Why do you spend so much time writing about something (like S.T.) when it turns out you hardly love, or know them at all? It's a mystery to me. You ought to have some talent to do these things right, and you are in my opinion not talented. Stop pissing against the wind and go get yourself a life spiderman.

At least the guy has taken the trrouble to make a site about Spooky Tooth even if you or I don't agree with his thoughts or reviews of the albums. personally I lover most of the bands releases except for Ceremony which I find hard to listen to at all. I do really like Last Puff and of course the classic Spooky Two.
Each to their own I say. It's just good to have them back I say

I like your Spooky Tooth website...however..I dont agreee with the statement that without ST there'd be no Foreigner...it would have happened...maybe just a different avenue of hookup..Gary Wright was a fantastic keys/vocalist who did Dream Weaver...but I wouldn't consider that a milestone in rock history....his career wasn't what one would call monumental, after leaving ST..By the way, many people also felt that after THE BEATLES broke up...it would be the end of rock music....rock music is a living breathing entity...life goes on....many of the forefathers of rock have fallen for many different reasons thru the years....but rock still rolls onward......The great ones usually rise to the surface.

For those who'd like to sample the band and see if they fit your taste....try THAT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY...a very nice compilation that focuses on the early years....prior to WITNESS....filled with nearly 79 minutes of great remastered music....and culled from the first 5 albums....If you feel inclined to purchase more ST albums...grab YOU BROKE MY HEART (that was when Mick Jones made his debut) only 1 track from this album made the compilation set..... Thanx for letting me share my thoughts...

Spooky Tooth was one of the worlds greatest rock bands of all time. They almost never played cover songs + had a terrific sound. Mike Harrison said recently that they just wanted to play for folks. Mike Patto was a legend but he left us when he was only 26 and he left us when rock music was the greatest - in 1976. This website is a complicated one - I won't read it but I'll comment. A guy named Martin ( I don't know his last name ) from London who is a total Spooky Tooth fan and a Vanilla Fudge fan said his wife, then girlfriend, had a crush on all the dudes in the Tooth. The lead singer looks like Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac.

in your Spooky Tooth review i totally agree that without Spooky Tooth there would be no foreigner .

Spooky Tooth are the most amazing musicians. When i listen to songs like evil woman and all the songs you can hear how they are proud to be playing together-look at youtube-the fans are all smiling. after all these years they still play as great as back in the day.someone commented on youtube a couple a months ago comparing Spooky Tooth to Jethro,Uriah and the Fudge. I love Spooky Tooth-i remember all throughout the 1970's they were featured on every compilation album advertised on television commercials. the name Spooky Tooth seemed scary to me but i thought they must be cool and they are.whenever i say the names of the dudes in the band people always go " was'nt he in Spooky Tooth? "

Spooky Tooth rules !! out of all those bands they are by far #1 !! Tooth rules !!

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Other Spooky Tooth Sites

* Click here to purchase Spooky Tooth CDs. Or spooky CDs by Tooth. Do yourself a favor and click on the album covers to UNVEIL secret used CD prices.

* http://spookytooth.szm.sk/

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