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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spooky Tooth - Lost in my Dream: An Anthology 1968-1974

While everyone pays tribute to the Heavy Prog Rock scene of the late ‘60s, there’s a lot to describe the masterminds with Spooky Tooth in which their music was ‘intelligent’. The fact is the band came out of the ashes of The Ramrods, The VIP’s and Art, it gave birth to this band after being signed to Island Records in 1966 with a little help from founder of Island, Chris Blackwell. Since splitting up in 1974, losing bassist Greg Ridley from pneumonia in 2003, and reforming with various line-ups, Spooky Tooth showed an eerie rock sound and would probably set music to a dramatic psychedelic film to seek the new land, but not come back from drugs and betrayal.
Spooky Tooth definitely had some apples and oranges, lyrics dealing with politics and Jesus Christ controversially with Pierre Henry. And brilliantly, they were on a roll rather than showing off and presenting as sex symbols playing shredded guitar licks and dooming organ solos. There were some brilliancy, haunting, and gloomy sounds coming from the band, as the proof is shown in this 2-CD set done by Esoteric Recordings.
Lost in my Dream An Anthology 1968-1974, is a retrospective set covering the Island years in which the band was signed to in their periodical time frame of Spooky Tooth’s career, a time when they were receiving praise from Pirate Stations including Radio London and Caroline as they were becoming the independent band of the UK Underground scene. And this is where if anyone who wants to get started hearing the history of the band’s career, this is definitely a starter’s set to hear it in all of its glory.
But it’s also very introductive to revisit the band’s history of their catalogue from starting in 1968 with their album It’s All About and the A and B-side singles they made (This would have made Christopher Lee jump for joy if he had heard this). Tobacco Road (from the first album) is a Chicago 12-bar blues with a Gothic Cathedral setting, while the 9-minute epic Evil Woman, is as strong, with Mike Harrison’s vocals soaring as Gary Wright’s keyboard sets the tone with a sense of Tooth’s magnitude. Also, who could forget the bonus tracks with the unreleased tracks of a Hosanna Demo called, When I Get Home and the first mix of Lost in my Dream sounds very nightmarish, but this is a early take as if they wanted to push the envelope and jump down the corridor. There are some amazing tracks including their cover of the Band’s The Weight with; The Last Puff, Son Of Your Father, Better By You Better Than Me, and Sunshine Help Me. Spanning the end of the band’s career in ’73-’74, just goes to show how fucking superb they were. They have a sense of explosion and power Spooky Tooth style.
Despite breaking-up and forming again with unheard gems on the first disc as the band brought the blues rock back on the second disc despite going avant-garde with the eerie, Hosanna. Yes the band had split and came back in the late ‘80s and in the noughties, but this CD set represent a band that were way ahead of their time, but they were one of the early pioneers of Heavy Progressive Rock of the late ‘60s.

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