Gary Wright, like Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, was a musical journeyman who just kept plugging away until he earned some well-deserved success in the mid-70's. But, his best work came well before "The Dreamweaver" was released, as you will hear when you listen to these two albums.
"Extraction" and "Footprint" are nearly cut from the same mold, they are so similar in structure and style, and they fit together seamlessly in this re-release. Wright was good at melding punchy uptempo rockers with reflective ballads. He featured a good deal of electric piano on these tunes, and partly as a result, the work is lighter and more buoyant than his work with Spooky Tooth.
Highlights include "Get On the Right Road", "I Know a Place", "The Wrong Time" and "Too Late to Cry" from "Extraction", and "Gimme The Good Earth", "Two-Faced Man", 'Whether It's Right or Wrong" and "Fascinating Things' from 'Footprint'. If you have some familiarity with the albums, you'll understand that I favor Wright's harder rocking tunes. 'I Know a Place" is a particularly special treat, showcasing Blodwyn Pig/Jethro Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams in a rare appearance as a sideman for another rocker.
"Footprint" is the more assured, mature record of the two. It features a really stellar cast of musicians, including George Harrison and Jim Gordon--check out the energy that Gordon adds to "Two-Faced Man", "Whether It's Right or Wrong" and "Fascinating Things". "Fascinating Things", an ominous track that blows in like a summer thunderstorm, also features Wright trading wicked licks (on organ) with the excellent guitarist Jerry Donahue (Fotheringay, Fairport Convention) who is still active and contributing to contemporary albums like Linda Thompson's 'Fashionably Late" .
"Two-Faced Man", featuring Harrison's slide guitar, deserved to be a hit . Wright and Harrison performed the song on the Dick Cavett show in 1972, and anyone wishing to view the footage should buy the Cavett 'Rock Stars' dvd which is now widely available. Yes, it's on Youtube as well.
Though Wright's "Extraction" and "Footprint' are dated somewhat in their themes of ecological and altruistic concerns, they still sound fresh musically, and this cd is remastered to bring out the best in the music.
Fans of Spooky Tooth, Wright's old band, should also check out bandmate Mike Harrison's albums, "Mike Harrison with Junkyard Angel", and "Smokestack Lightning'. Considering that the Spooky Tooth album, 'Last Puff' was largely a solo project for Harrison, a case can be made that he more than matched Wright's early efforts.(By Peter Baklava)
1971- Gary Wright's Extraction
01. Get On The Right Road
02. Get Hold Of Yourself
03. Singf A Song
04. We Try Hard
05. I Know A Place
06. Wrong Time
07. Over You Now
08. Woo Late To Cry
09. I've Got A Story
Gary Wright - Keyboards,Vocals
Mick Abrahams - Guitar
Hugh McCracken - Guitar
Mike Kellie - Drums
Klaus Voormann - Bass
Trevor Burton - Bass
Alan White - Drums
Madeline Bell - Nanette Newman - Doris Troy - Vocals
1972 - Footprint
10. Give Me The Good Earth
11. Two Faced Man
12. Love To Survive
13. Whether It's Right Or Wrong
14. Stand For Our Rights
15. Fascinating Things
17. If You Treat Someone Right
18. I Know (Bonus Track)
Gary Wright - Keyboards, Vocals
Klaus Voorman - Bass Guitar
Hugh McCracken, Jerry Donahue - Guitar
George Harrison - Guitar, Slide Guitar
Alan White, Colin Allan, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner - Drums, Percussion
Bobby Keys - Tenor Saxophone
Jim Price - Trumpet, Trombone
Barry St. John, Doris Troy, Jimmy Thomas, Liza Strike, Madeline Bell, Nanette Workman, Pat Arnold - Backing Vocals