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Spooky Two 1969 Album

Spooky Two Spooky Two
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Length
37m 42s
Country
United Kingdom
Release Dates
1969-03-01
Description
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 (licensed to A&M in the United States).
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Other Roles
Gary Wright
Gary Wright
Vocals, Keyboards
Mike Harrison
Mike Harrison
Vocals, Keyboards

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The band's defining album - a wide-ranging effort which blends the communal soul of the previous album with country-rock and heavy rock of the epic variety - and epic might be an understatement. Everything I said about the previous album, multiply that by ten-fold and apply it to this one. Two future genres directly affected by it were Goth and Metal - the overall dark mood applies to the former and Metal, well, there is the matter of a track which Judas Priest later covered called "Better By You, Better than Me". What is even more attractive is the overall group dynamic, which a hundred other writers could describe better than I can. It is simply astounding how each player in the band pushes the limit and beyond, yet never really blows outside of their role in the band. The first few songs are a Woodstock wet dream come to life, filled with gospel harmonies, aching vocals from Wright and Harrison, pastoral piano playing, echoing drum patterns, to the point where you expect the weed smoke to ooze out of your speakers at any moment. But then things take a dramatic left turn with "Evil Woman", one of the most stunning rock recordings ever cut, in terms of a) being able to pull off extreme histrionics without shriveling from complete embarrassment, and b) making it sound completely amazing instead. "Evil Woman" is what I remember Gary Wright for, not ridiculous sap like "Dream Weaver" and "My Love is Alive", although, he wouldn't have been able to pull it off without massive contributions from the rest of the band, either. The Grosvenor guitar solo, about half way through, is a work of insane majesty, which really sets the tone for Wright and Harrison to finish the thing off in major, hair-raising style, and they do just that. The drama really does not let up from there, although, the listener might look up with a suspicious eye now and then. "Lost In My Dream" really attempts to push the fantasy envelope, for example, and therefore, is harder to take at face value upon initial listens. But the musicianship and craft displayed on "That Was Only Yesterday" and "Better By You, Better Than Me" is hard to argue, especially on the latter tune, which had to be the most progressive thing the group had even put out to that point and time, chock full of studio tricks-a-plenty. Finally, "Hangman Hang my Shell on a Tree" brings us back full circle to the start of the album, to communal soul and gospel, but with a dirty, depressing, and suicidal-obsessed twist. I'm not sure if this happened during or right after the album was recorded, but Greg Ridley exited the band for Humble Pie which was a big loss, and then another big mistake was made which would compound it. For now, this is Spooky Tooth's unquestioned peak, bar none.
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