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jammun View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Spooky Tooth Spooky Two
    Posted: December 17 2008 at 21:05


Call me mad.  I just listened to my new Japanese CD of Spooky Tooth's Spooky Two.  This is a gatefold mini-LP, with the Island label imprint, so I assume it's the British as opposed to U.S. version, which was on A&M and had a fairly crappy standard sleeve.

I don't buy these imports on a whim -- I can't afford it. This has always been one of my favorite albums.  The sad thing is I can't read most of the accompanying liner notes, they being in Japanese.  The good news is that the sound is perfection, putting my by comparison sludgy LP to shame.  There are some diagrams on the liner notes which I presume purport to show why this sounds so good, but they are inscrutable to me.

The album has one of my all-time favorite songs:  Evil Woman.  The song is pure overblown proto-prog, with a positively growling Hammond, deep rumbling bass and in your face drums, and of course the Harrison/Wright vocal call and response of the lyrics.  Oh, and what I consider the second best guitar solo of the era (only bested by Blackmore on Child In Time).

Of course the album is not a one-trick pony.  There's a lot to enjoy here, particularly Waitin' for the Wind and Better By You, Better Than Me, which of course was covered by Judas Priest. 

The album has a couple of nice bonus tracks in The Band's The Weight, which is nice enough as it goes, and Oh! Pretty Woman, which again is nice enough as it goes.  However, neither really rises above the "pretty good cover" designation.

It's too bad the band was never able to really transcend Spooky Two.  Still this is one of the great albums of the era.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2008 at 21:23
Love The Mirror personally so not sure about the transcend issue, however most critics and fans believe Two to be the numero uno.
 
I was going to buy a Bonsai version of Gravy Train's Second Birth but the price put me off.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2008 at 22:11
Completely agree on the cost problem.  It took me nearly three months to actually push the purchase button.  As said, I don't buy these just 'cuz.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 11:08
Originally posted by jammun

The album has one of my all-time favorite songs:  Evil Woman.  Of course the album is not a one-trick pony.  There's a lot to enjoy here, particularly Waitin' for the Wind and Better By You, Better Than Me, which of course was covered by Judas Priest. 

 
I get confused with who did the original, who did the cover versions of this? Seem to remember Canned Heat and Doobie Bros recorded songs with Evil Woman as the title? Whilst Spooky Two is the best balanced of their album IMHO, ST's cover of I Am The Walrus, is superb and perhaps the best version of a Beatles tune. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 14:50
Evil Woman was written by Larry Weiss, who as far as I can tell never recorded it, or if so perhaps on an extremely obscure label.  Spooky Tooth apparently recorded the song after Canned Heat, who had recorded it for their Boogie With album, at least a year or two prior.  I would say Spooky's version is definitive, though I haven't heard the Canned Heat version for probably 40 years.  It was also apparently recorded by the Troggs, which would presumably pre-date the Canned Heat take again by a year or two.
 
Evil Woman is an extremely popular song title.  The Larry Wiegand song of the same name was originally recorded by Crow, a Minneapolis outfit I think.  This is the song that shows up on some releases of Black Sabbath, as a bonus track.
 
Of course neither of the above is to be confused with ELO's Evil Woman.
 
Edited to add more on Larry Weiss:  also wrote Rhinestone Cowboy, Bend Me Shape Me,  Jeff Beck's Hi Ho Silver Lining (!), and last but not to least, Eric Burdon's Help Me Girl.
 
 
 
 


Edited by jammun - December 19 2008 at 15:11
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 15:29

Fantastic album. Clap Two superb, and I repeat superb,  vocalists, great songs, wonderful sixties sound. lots of organ, strong guitar presence. The party's already beginning from the moment the drums set in at the beginning of the album. I love it when the singing starts: "Lonely Is The Night Now That Darkness Has Fallen".

I have an old cd version, probably just bought my cd just when it came out. It's always nice to have a version with bonus tracks, which are often a real bonus to the listening pleasure.

Amazing stuff!

Edited by Moogtron III - December 19 2008 at 15:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2008 at 19:02
For those who may casually stumble across this post, let me repeat you'll be hard-pressed to find a better guitar solo from the era than Luther Grosvenor's on Evil Woman.   
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