Did it have to be the Last Puff?
Clyde D. Hoops | Back where I started from in Oceanside California | 10/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 'Last Puff' is the greatest musical accomplihment "Spooky Tooth" has made in thier on again/off again career starting in 1968.
I am hard pressed to think of a better song, to play very loud, than Spooky Tooth's take on the "Beatles" classic, 'I am the Walrus'. The sheer volume that Luther Grosvenors guitar is played and recorded on this, the lead track of the album is inspiring.
'Nobody there at all' is one of the best examples of Spooky Tooths tradition of offering thier special flair of interpretating. I would have said that "Elton Johns 'Son of your father'" is but I'm more partial to Eltons version.
The Gary Wright penned tune 'The Wrong Time' suffers only in that the "Dream Weaver" had not sung on the song, having left the band earlier in the year(1970).
The saddest day in this bands career was when splintered once again after the release of 'The Last Puff' and Luther Grosvenor left the band for greater stardom in 'Mott the Hoople'. Some would argue that that was OK since within the next year or 18 months Gary Wright would have come back to the band. But, even though the band would recapture the interplay vocals of Gary and Mike Harrison, the band had also irreparably lost the instrumental interplay of melody and rhythm from Luther and Greg Ridley/bass which was just as important as the vocalization.
One area that seems to miss alot of reviewers response is the musical ability of the band, which didn't just happen to come to them in time to record 'Spooky Two'. Which is the other main reason to give this effort a listen. The recently demised "Grease Band" alumni of Henry McCulloch/guitar, Allen Spenner/bass, and the now deeply missed Chris Stainton/bass/piano/organ/guitar, who was so instrumental in the early rise of Joe Cocker in '68/69.
The 'Grease Band' addition for this album gives the overall sound of the Spooky Tooth band the muscle it had lost due to internal collapse following the release of the earlier 1970 album "Ceremony".
One only wonders what could have been, unfortunately the band had taken its Last Puff and ran out of gas. All later renditions of the the band were really just vehicles for some alterior motive and lacked the original quintets ability to create and interpret on a level of early "Traffic" if not better.
If you are going to buy only one album/CD of 'Spooky Tooth' the this is the one."
Literally A Last Gasp for Spooky Tooth
Christopher L. Dolmetsch | Hurricane, WV USA | 02/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1968 I was drawn into Spooky Tooth, a band that at the time was one of Island Record's "best kept secrets." Already familiar with many of Island's avant garde rock acts (Traffic, Fairport Convention, Free, Jethro Tull) I was eager to hear what these lads from Carlisle had to offer. I was floored by "It's All About" and even more impressed by "Spooky Two." from there the splintering of the band and the subsequent releases "Ceremony" and "The Last Puff" were clearly downhill endeavors. This re-issue of "The Last Puff" demonstrates that fact with the original tracks augmented by the somewhat earlier singles. A case in point is the album version of Elton John's "Son Of Your Father," which when compared to the earlier single release of the same tune (even using the same instrumental track), shows that Gary Wright's strong lead vocals intertwined with Mike Harrison's are absent from the album's rendition and the latter suffers somewhat from their omission. Truth is this album was a contractual obligation and not really a credible step forward. Still it does mark the final stage of an extraordinary band, and can be appreciated for what it is: a final hurrah or a last puff."
A great find
Paul S. Carver | New Hope PA | 06/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this LP album recently. Not knowing about the group, I took a chance. Boy am I impressed! Unexplicably, its become one of my favorite albums. Its got a loose, shambling quality that is endearing. I love the slow "heavy" groove of all the tracks. They somehow managed to "outweird" Joe Cocker on their cover of the Cocker tune. I especially like "Nobody There At All"; it has such great songwriting and soulful playing I surprised myself by getting a little verklempt. Buy this album for an example of an overlooked heavy late-60s rock 'n roll classic."