By 1975, keyboardist Gary Wright was about to launch his career into the stratosphere. Quite appropriate really for the former Spooky Tooth turned cosmic warrior of the outer realms.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Gary Wright
ALBUM: The Dreamweaver
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Gary Wright – lead and vocals, keyboards, woodwinds, production * Ronnie Montrose – guitars (#5) * David Foster, Bobby Lyle – keyboards * Jim Keltner, Andy Newmark – drums * David Pomeranz, Lorna Wright, Betty Sweet – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Is Alive * 02 Let It Out * 03 Can’t Find The Judge * 04 Made To Love You * 05 Power Of Love * 06 Dream Weaver * 07 Blind Feeling * 08 Much Higher * 09 Feel For Me
WEBLINKS: Site Link
By 1975, keyboardist Gary Wright was about to launch his career into the stratosphere. Quite appropriate really for the former Spooky Tooth turned cosmic warrior of the outer realms. Personally, I wasn’t all too familiar with Gary’s prior work, only picking up on him from this album onward. Though his former band was mostly British and based in England, Gary himself is American, born in New Jersey.
His sister Lorna Wright is also an accomplished singer and is featured here on this site too. Musically, Gary has drifted into the same dimension as British luminaries the Manfred Mann Earth Band and the Alan Parsons Project, with progressive rock being a common denominator though perhaps with a bit more of the funk element included.
Much of the music here was written and arranged on keyboards, and as such is a most keyboard dominated affair. Warner Bros stablemate Ronnie Montrose plays on one track, while drummers Jim Keltner and Andy Newmark contribute on a couple as well. David Foster and Bobby Lyle also chime in using pretty much the same keyboard arsenal that Gary uses.
Of course it helped that two tracks spawned from this album went into the charts and were hits all over the world. These were the pair of ‘Dream Weaver’ and ‘Love Is Alive’. These two were played heavily on New Zealand radio back in the day. The electric piano is a prominent instrument throughout, ‘Let It Out’ is a good example with gorgeous synth strings used in a supporting role.
‘Can’t Find The Judge’ sounds like a slightly adjusted variation of ‘Love Is Alive’, many of the musical elements found on the track are found here too, though this one is funkier. ‘Made To Love You’ keeps to the slower end of the metronome but features a bright singalong chorus. ‘Power Of Love’ sees Ronnie Montrose added to the lineup of this song, but more for his rhythm guitar contribution than anything else. The solos are all synth based.
Blind Feeling’ is introduced with some plinky plonk keys but soon those gorgeous synth strings provide the mesmerizing overlay once more. ‘Much Higher’ takes the funky path with keyboards coming at you from everywhere. The album winds up with the excellent gentle groove of ‘Feel For Me’. Again there’s more electric piano in the mix but the song comes alive on the chorus and builds richness towards the end with harmony vocals and lush synth work added.
‘The Dream Weaver’ was released in the summer of 1975 but didn’t hit its straps until Spring the following year, reaching a Billboard high position of #7. However, the two aforementioned singles both made the #2 position in the Billboard top 40, ‘Dream Weaver’ released in December 1975 with ‘Love Is Alive’ following in April 1976. These two were the most successful of his songs in a longstanding career.
Gary would release some similar albums during the late 70’s and early 80’s, namely ‘The Light Of Smiles’ and ‘Touch And Go’ (both from 1977), ‘Headin’ Home’ (1979) and ‘The Right Place’ (1981). All contained some good moments but ultimately didn’t catch on as well as ‘The Dream Weaver’ did. There are other reviews of Gary Wright here on the site. Click on the tag below.
Love Is Alive