Bear Witness to an Awesome Re-Issue of Witness!!
Uncle Dave | New Jersey | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For over two decades now, since CD's came onto the scene, like many, I have been gradually replacing my vinyl collection with CD's. All this time, I have been waiting for Island Records to issue Spooky Tooth's 1973 album "Witness" on CD. It never happened!
A number of other Spooky Tooth albums have been available on CD practically from the get-go, yet "Witness", which is, arguably, the best album ever recorded by the band, had oddly been ignored. Spooky Tooth fans have been screaming for the release of this classic on CD, but Island Records, who initally issued the album, turned a deaf ear to them. A few years back, a German company, Repertoire, finally issued "Witness" on CD, however, in their haste to get it out, they issued a badly-mastered, inferior version.
Well, I'm happy to say that on 08/16/2005, Repertoire FINALLY re-issued "Witness", this time expertly re-mastered!! I bit the bullet and, with my fingers crossed, shelled out another 30 bucks for this brand-new reissue. Am I ever glad I did, as THIS one sounds AWESOME! My compliments to Repertoire for finally getting it right! (Eat your heart out, ISLAND!!) The CD also includes a booklet insert containing an historical retrospective of the band and it's various members, complete liner notes, pictures, and comments from Lead vocalist Mike Harrison.
For those of you who have never beared witness to "Witness," even on vinyl, I will give you a little background on this spectacular album. The second Spooky Tooth album to feature Mick Jones (of 'Foreigner' fame) on guitar, his presence is very obvious, as this album has a bit of a 'Foreigner-type' feel to it. Though Foreigner's debut album was still 4 years away when "Witness" was originally released, there is a definite foreshadowing here. There are 9 songs on "Witness", none of which would be considered 'filler', as each one develops its own distinct personality with repeated listens. Unlike other Spooky Tooth albums, most of which have a kind of 'raw' sound to them, "Witness" is well-crafted and much more 'polished'. Those who prefer the older 'raw' Spooky Tooth sound usually cite this as their primary reason for disliking "Witness". I, on the other hand, have always equated the evolving of a more polished sound, with the maturing of a band, musically. Ironically, this great album largely went un-noticed when released in 1973, due to a lack of radio promotion and airplay. Just a few listens to the power-ballad "Wings on My Heart", and you will understand the magnitude of the injustice that lack of airplay caused....not only to the band, but to the music loving public who never got to hear this amazing song. "Wings on My Heart" was one of those songs that could have, should have (and probably would have) been one of the MAJOR hits of the 1970's, had more people gotten a chance to hear it. Rather than try to review each song here, I'll let your ears make their own decision! Let it suffice to say that even though the cost of this import CD is twice what you normally pay for a domestic CD, it is worth every penny!"
Excellent forgotten Album!!!!!
J. R Sategna | Martinez, California United States | 08/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one great album--every song is well written and the band is great with Mick Jones. I agree with the other reviewer--it would have been more popular if it was advertised more. Every song has a catch phrase and is never tiresome. Get this while you can--Spooky Tooth fans adhere my suggestion please!"