Spooky Tooth – Spooky Two (1969)

SpookyTooth_SpookyTwo3.5 out of 5 Stars!

For several reasons, Spooky Tooth always reminded me of one of my favorite bands, Mott The Hoople (early MTH, as opposed to the “glam years” MTH). The line-up was identical, with guitar, bass, drums, organ, and piano, and the material was Blues-based with a hint of Country on several tracks. Plus, the band appeared on the scene about a year apart and in the same country and, thereby, inherited a similar (in my eyes) group of musical influences.

The only thing that truly differed between the bands (and it made all the difference in the world) is that Mott The Hoople possessed a singer (Ian Hunter) with so much damned personality and writing skills as to finally get that group recognized (and engraved into a prominent place in music history) by the public after years of struggle. On the other hand, Spooky Tooth did not. Indeed, the occasionally mundane vocals are the only problem I truly had with this band, along with some lackluster material on several albums.

Regardless, Spooky Two is perhaps the band’s best, in my estimation. Not only does it have a focus (a similar style of songs) and is consistent as far as songwriting, performance, and quality, but it also includes several tracks that were better than average, including “Waiting for the Wind,” “Lost in My Dream,” and “Evil Woman,” and several destined to be re-recorded/re-released by other, more popular, bands shortly thereafter. “I’ve Got Enough Heartaches” was released by Three Dog Night (and much improved, especially in the vocal department) on the mega-selling Naturally album, and “Better By You, Better Than Me” was included (and completely reworked and energized) on Judas Priest’s Stained Class album, to much eventual controversy regarding supposed “hidden messages” and other political bullshit.

I suppose it’s no shock that guitarist Luther Grosvenor (later renamed Ariel Bender) eventually joined Mott The Hoople, and bassist Greg Ridley soon joined Humble Pie, another one of my favorite bands from the era, and another with whom Spooky Tooth occasionally shared a similar style.

So, although the vocals were rather average, this collection of tracks really does have a certain undeniable appeal.

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