Wright, Gary

Band members               Related acts

- Colin Allan - drums (1971)

- Mick Abrahamas -- (1970)

- Trevor Burton -- (1970)

- Jerry Donahue -- guitar (1971)

- Jim Gordon -- drums (1971)

- Mike Kelly (aka Mike Kellie) -- (1970)

- Jim Keltner -- drums (1971)

- Hugh McCracken -- lead guitar (1970)

- George O'Hara (aka George Harrison) -- guitar (1971)

- Klaus Voorman -- bass (1970-71)

- Alan White -- drums (1970-71)

- Gary Wright -- vocals, keyboards, guitar (1970-71)





- Spooky Tooth

- Wright's Wonderwheel





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Extraction

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP 4277

Year: 1970

Country/State: Creskill, New Jersey

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5380

Price: $20.00


Today if you hear him at all he's largely relegated to classic rock radio, but during the mid-1970s Gary Wright was a major star both as a member of Spooky Tooth and as a solo act.  Clearly dating myself, but one of my first concert memories is of him opening up for Peter Frampton.  In spandex jump suit he put on quite a show ...  = ) 


Wright's initial brush with success came when he was still a child - he appeared on Broadway as a member of the cast of Fanny.  By the time he was in his teens Wright's interests had moved over to rock and roll.  While in high school he played in a number of bands.  In the mid-1960s he spent a couple of years in then-West Germany, getting a psychology degree from Berlin's Frei University.  Back in the States he became a member of The New York Times and after opening for Traffic, found a mentor in the form of Island Records president Chris Blackwell.   


Blackwell introduced Wright to the members of the English band Art which had in turn morphed out of the VIPs.  Relocating to London in 1967 he joined the group, recording an interesting and sought after LP "Supernatural Fairytales" with the group.  Art quickly morphed into Spooky Tooth debuting with 1969's "It's All About Spooky Tooth", followed by "Spooky Two" and a collaboration with French musician Pierre Henry on "Ceremony".  The third album was widely trashed by critics which led to internal clashes within the band.  Wright had apparently been the major proponent for the third album's more experimental approach and in the wake of internal criticism, tendered his resignation.  He started doing sessions work including playing on George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass".  



Signed by A&M Wright made his solo debut with 1970's "Extraction".  Self-produced and backed by an all star cast including Blodwyn Pig guitarist Mick Abrahams and bassist Trevor Burton, Spooky Tooth drummer Mike Kelly (aka Mike Kellie), Beatles sidekick/bassist Klaus Voorman, and Yes drummer Alan White, Wright's instantly recognizable voice naturally drew comparisons to his Spooky Tooth catalog.  Interestingly, with the exception of 'I Know a Place', once you got over those initial impressions Wright-penned material like 'Get On the Right Road', 'Get Hold Of Yourself' and '' displayed an album that was lighter and more varied than Spooky Tooth. It was certainly FM rock and this may sound kind of stupid, but to my ears the results had a much more American feel, including occasional gospel-flavored overtones (check out 'Sing a Song').  Wright certainly came off in good form, sounding far more relaxed and comfortable throughout the nine tracks.  Highlights included 'Too Late To Cry' (with a nice performance from guitarist Hugh McCracken), 'Get Hold Of Yourself' and 'The Wrong Time' which found Wright taking a direct swipe at his Spooky Tooth colleagues.  The Wright-less band had included a cover of his song on "The Last Puff".  The 1971 follow-on "Footprint" tends to get the nod from critics, but I'd actually go with this one. (Klaus Voorman designed the cover, though the inner sleeve would have made an even better cover.)



"Extraction" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Get On the Right Road   (Gary Wright) - 3:10

2.) Get Hold Of Yourself    (Gary Wright)- 3:10

3.) Sing a Song   (Gary Wright) - 3:10

4.) We Try Hard   (Gary Wright) - 2:30

5.) I Know a Place   (Gary Wright) - 4:55


(side 2)
1.) The Wrong Time   (Gary Wright -
Hugh McCracken) - 3:19

2.) Over You Now   (Gary Wright) - 3:33

3.) Too Late To Cry   (Gary Wright) - 3:50

4.) I've Got a Story   (Gary Wright - Hugh McCracken) - 5:25





Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Footprint

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP 4296

Year: 1971

Country/State: Creskill, New Jersey

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 2

GEMM catalog ID: 5381

Price: $20.00



Released in 1971 Wright's second solo album "Footprints" wasn't a major creative departure.  Self-produced and backed by a stunning collection of  friends and supporters including most of the crew from the debut, along with King Curtis, Fairport Convention's Jerry Donahue, and George Harrison (playing under the guise of George O'Hara), the album showcased Wright as a talented singer and writer with a undeniable knack for melding catchy melodies with a hard rock edge.  It's hard to understand how FM radio didn't pick up Wright-penned material like the ballad 'Love To Survive', the optimistic rocker 'Fascinating Things' (showcasing a stunning guitar solo from Donahue), and ''.  There were plenty of other highlights.  I'm not sure who played it, but 'featuring a killer wah-wah solo the mid-tempo rocker 'Whether It's Right or Wrong'  should have been a major hit  In fact there was only one track that didn't click with me - the over-produced ballad 'Forgotten'.  Curiously a couple of reviews hint that Wright intended this to be an ecological-themed concept piece.  I'll admit my skepticism, but who knows - 'Give Me the Good Earth' and 'Stand for Our Rights' (the latter one of the best protest songs of the period) certainly could be taken as ecological statements.  Perhaps a little more consistent that "Extraction", the set was also a little more diverse; 'Two Faced Man' sporting a country edge (along with Harrison's instantly recognizable slide guitar) and 'If You Treat Someone Right' had a Gospel feel.  Another great LP and probably the last classic rock album he recorded, well worth picking up (and still quite affordable).

"Footprint" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Give Me the Good Earth   (Gary Wight) - 3:17

2.) Two Faced Man   (Gary Wight) - 3:40

3.) Love To Survive   (Gary Wight) - 4:48

4.) Whether It's Right or Wrong   (Gary Wight) - 5:08


(side 2)
1.) Stand for Our Rights   (Gary Wight) - 3:52

2.) Fascinating Things   (Gary Wight) - 5:05

3.) Forgotten   (Gary Wight) - 4:02

4.) If You Treat Someone Right   (Gary Wight) - 4:50


Thanks to YouTube and can also see a live performance on the Dick Cavett Show with support from friend George Harrison:


"Two Faced Man"


In 1972 Wright decided to return to a band format, officially forming Wright's Wonderwheel.  With financial support from friend George Harrison and backed by drummer Bryson Graham, guitarist Jerry Donahue (quickly replaced by Mick Jones), and bassist Archie Leggett the band recorded an album's worth of material at Apple's London Studios.  Signed by A&M the album was tentatively entitled "Ring of Changes", but shelved when Wright rejoined Spooky Tooth reunited to record "You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw".  


For anyone interested the internet has a website that shows a testing pressing of the LP with the following track listing:


"Ring of Changes: track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Something for Us All   (Gary Wright) - 

2.) Lovetaker   (Gary Wright) - 

3.) Set On You   (Gary Wright) - 

4.) What Can We Do   (Gary Wright) - 

5.) Ring of Changes   (Gary Wright) - 


(side 2)

1.) Goodbye Sunday   (Gary Wright) - 

2.) For a Woman   (Gary Wright) - 

3.) Working On a River   (Gary Wright) - 

4.) Creation   (Gary Wright) - 


A&M did release a single in the form of 'I Know' b/w 'I Know' (A&M catalog AM-1344). 


In 2005 the Beat Goes On label reissued the two LPs in remastered CD format (catalog number B000BKJ5Q4).


Though there's virtually nothing on these albums, Wright has an entertaining website at:






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