Part of the early-’70s British hard rock scene, Spooky Tooth had a towering sound, highlighted by swelling keyboards and – in founding members Gary Wright and Mike Harrison – two full-throated blue-eyed soul singers, each a match for Island head boy Steve Winwood.
The group built a following through countless gigs and recorded its debut album, It’s All About, in 1968. Spooky Two (1969) was their blues-rock gospel masterwork, notably the swampy, deceptively intricate Better By You and the histrionic proto-metal of Evil Woman.
Then came the noble effort of Ceremony: An Electronic Mass (1970), which teamed the band with French electronics pioneer Pierre Henry, but too often sounds like a self-indulgent mess.
Wright then left to form Wonderwheel, while Luther Grosvenor took the name Ariel Bender and joined Stealers Wheel and later Mott The Hoople. The addition of three members of Joe Cocker‘s Grease Band – Henry McCullough, Chris Stainton, and Alan Spenner – was not enough to keep the band afloat, and Spooky Tooth broke up after The Last Puff in 1970.
After a three year absence, the group re-formed in 1973 and released two albums –You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw and Witness before splitting up again in 1974.
It is simplistic to brand Spooky Tooth as a heavy rock band, but unlike serviceable label mates Free or Jethro Tull, they never quite gelled with record buyers. Regular personnel changes didn’t help either: Humble Pie‘s Greg Ridley, Only Ones drummer Mike Kellie, Foreigner‘s Mick Jones and Mike Patto had all served time by the band’s demise.
Wright went on to a reasonably successful solo career, scoring pop hits like Dream Weaver.
Keyboards, percussion, vocals