This was Gary Wright’s second solo album, the results were astonishing, it has more in common with Traffic and 70’s era Steve Miller Band.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Gary Wright
SERIAL: SP 4296
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, England
LINEUP: Gary Wright – lead vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar * George Harrison, Hugh McCracken – electric and acoustic guitars * Jerry Donahue – electric guitar, percussion * Mick Jones – guitar * Klaus Voorman, Tom Duffy – bass * Alan White – drums, percussion, harpsichord * Jim Keltner, Jim Gordo, Bryson Graham – drums * Colin Allen – drums, percussion * Bobby Keys – tenor sax * Jim Price – trumpet, trombone * King Curtis – sax * John Barnham – string arrangements * Doris Troy, Nanette Newman, Madeline Bell, Liza Strike, Barry St. John, Pat Arnold, Jimmy Thomas – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Give Me The Good Earth * 02 Two Faced Man * 03 Love To Survive * 04 Whether It’s Right Or Wrong * 05 Stand For Our Rights * 06 Fascinating Things * 07 Forgotten * 08 If You Treat Someone Right
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Gary Wright left the seminal Spooky Tooth in 1970 and released his first solo work ‘Extraction’ later that year. The album while containing a few peeks of quality was average at best but it did include some top session players including future Yes drummer Alan White and Beatles protege Klaus Voorman.
It was this relationship with the German bass player that found Wright playing a big role on George Harrison‘s ‘All Things Must Pass’ opus. Harrison returned the favor appearing on ‘Footprint’, Wright’s second solo album and the results were astonishing.
Wright feels that with this LP, his songwriting began to blossom and he’s not far off the mark. The difference between ‘Extraction’ and Footprint’ is clear as day and bares no resemblance to the Dream Weaver’s cosmic funk hit machine years later, instead having more in common with Traffic and the early 70’s Steve Miller Band output. The electric piano-driven opener ‘Give Me The Good Earth’ was smartly covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band a couple years later and is one of Wright’s better tunes.
But it’s ‘Two Faced Man’ that sends this reviewer over the top. George Harrison provides his always tasty slide guitar to a song that sounds like something either he or Badfinger wrote. Seriously, there is a YouTube video of the song pulled from the always classy ‘Dick Cavett Show’ that includes both Harrison and Mick Jones on guitar. Watch it, listen and tell me I’m wrong.
The orchestral ‘Love To Survive’ is an Elton John meets The Moody Blues styled ballad that is truly gorgeous and something he should have done more of in his career. ‘Stand For Our Rights’, the first single pick is uplifting but drips with hippy idealism that at the time had started to lose steam but was still, for better or worse influencing 1970’s culture. More to my liking is the darker ‘Fascinating Things’ with awesome organ work from Wright and the gospel blues rock of ‘If You Treat Someone Right’ which closes out the record in fine form.
During this period Wright formed the band Wonderwheel which included Mick Jones. They toured the UK with Yes and recorded an album called ‘Ring Of Changes’ which for some inexplicable reason was never released.
Wonderwheel ceased to exist and both Wright and Jones formed a second version of Spooky Tooth, recording the critically acclaimed ‘You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw’ which has to go down as one of the best album titles-ever.
At the time of this review UK prog label Esoteric are set to finally release the Wonderwheel album which again, features George Harrison on several cuts. This will be a must-have for The Beatles, Spooky Tooth and Wright fans alike and could be the archive release of the year.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)