Gary Wright - Reissues album review

Pioneering third and fourth albums from consummately talented Spooky Tooth man

Cover art for Gary Wright - Reissues album

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By the time he released the smash single and title track of his soulinjected and lovingly textured 1975 solo album Dream Weaver (710) Wright had a wealth of experience to draw on. A child actor who first recorded in the 1950s, he’d given up music for medicine and psychiatry before making a mark with Spooky Tooth at the end of the 60s.

Keyboards predominate in a soundscape where Wright’s own synthesisers and keyboard skills are complemented by the plush rich keyboards of future Michael Buble and Celine Dion producer David Foster.

Vocally one of the great blue-eyed soul men, it’s small wonder Wright’s luminous songwriting and arranging skills found favour with pal George Harrison.

The Quiet One shared Wright’s preoccupation with spiritual transcendence preeminent on 1977’s The Light Of Smiles (710) where the bold flourish of Silent Fury signposts the way to the next decade’s power ballad form. Accompaniment from drum aces Jim Keltner and Ronnie Wood’s brother Art, future Toto man Steve Porcaro and songs (including a co-writing credit for Paramahansa Yogananda on I Am The Sky) provide platform for Wright’s radiant musical skills and tender humanity rather than extra curricular proselytising. Works of a prodigious talent, open ears will be rewarded.

Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.