Ring Of Changes Import
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Following his departure from Spooky Tooth after the Ceremony album, Gary Wright participated in sessions for his friend George Harrison's classic album All Things Must Pass and enjoyed a solo career that culminated in him forming the band Wonderwheel. Originally featuring Mick Jones (guitar), Bryson Graham (drums) and Archie Leggett (bass), Wonderwheel was formed to enable Wright to promote his album Extraction, and the group then participated on his second solo album Footprint. In 1972 the band recorded Ring of Changes (with Tom Duffey replacing Leggett on bass guitar). The album was a fine effort and arguably featured some of the finest material written and recorded by Wright to that date. The album would also feature the notable appearance of GEORGE HARRISON on several tracks including 'Goodbye Sunday'. Gary's label, A&M Records elected to release 'I Know' as a single in 1972, but for reasons unclear, the release of Ring of Changes was shelved, leading Wright to participate in the recording of George Harrison's Living in the Material World and to reform Spooky Tooth soon after. With full co-operation and involvement of Gary Wright, the original master tapes of Ring of Changes have been located and have been re-mastered in Hollywood by Gary himself. This first ever release of Ring of Changes sees the original album tracks restored in full, along with the addition of three bonus tracks. Forty four years on from its recording, one of Gary Wright's fine musical achievements can at last be experienced in full. This edition includes an illustrated booklet featuring an exclusive interview with Gary Wright.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
So the main question is: was it worth the wait? My answer is a qualified 'yes'. To fairly assess this work, it should be considered more musically akin to Gary Wright's first two solo albums, 'Extraction' and 'Footprint'. Some of the musicians he used to form Wonderwheel played on those albums, and the music is closer to those two albums than either the keyboard-dominated Spooky Tooth sound or his later hit albums, 'Dream Weaver' and 'The Light of Smiles', which were all keyboards (except for a drummer).
There are several very strong tunes on this album. While that is a subjective assessment, and others may disagree, having given the disc a few listens now, I would grade this album a solid 'B', whereas I would give 'A's to the first two solo albums noted. Why?
For me, the best material on this disc are those songs that are more upbeat and rocking.
'Lovemaker', the first track, is a pulsing rocker reminiscent of material on his earlier solo releases. Although sounding a bit dated, it holds up pretty well even today. 'Wild Bird' is a slower tune, pleasant enough but not particularly memorable. 'Something For Us All' is a mid-tempo work that swings, but again, it could have been on 'Footprint' and not been out-of-place. 'Set On You' has a slightly countrified feel, with some soulful vocals.
The title tune, 'Ring of Changes', which I had heard many years previously, is a kind of sing-along type of song with a melody that gets into your head. A nice song, 'Goodbye Sunday' features George Harrison joining the band on guitar. A decent enough song, with noticeable Harrison influences. 'For A Woman' falls into the same category as 'Wild Bird', pleasant and listenable, but hard to imagine as a chart-topper. It does have some nice guitar work. The tempo is up on 'Workin' on a River', with Gary giving a more gritty vocal performance and a grinding rhythm. A strong number. 'Creation' is next, and while okay, doesn't do much for me, although once again, hints of George Harrison's style is evident. This is the final cut of the original album; three bonus tracks follow.
The first bonus track, 'I Know', released as a single in 1972, is arguably among the best tunes ever penned and recorded by the artist. A real rocker, this song should have been a huge hit for Wright and the band. It is far better than many songs which did have chart success during that period. I play it frequently. And loudly. The second bonus track was recorded during the sessions, but never released until now. 'What Can We Do' is a more soulful, slower tempo song. Not bad, with some tasty guitar by Mick Jones. The final bonus track was the 'b' side of 'I Know'. 'Somebody' has a kind of rocking, sing-song' quality to it. Almost as strong as the 'a' side of the single.
Two of the three bonus tracks help make this a stronger album than it otherwise would have been. I only wish a few other rare and obscure Wright tunes would have been tacked on, such as 'Can't See the Reason' and some songs Gary wrote and performed (with Wonderwheel) for a 1972 German film called 'Benjamin', such as 'Desert Walk' and 'Aspen Trees'.
As noted, a bit of a mixed bag for me, but it's still head and shoulders above a lot of stuff that was put out then, and for fans, it's nice to finally have this welcome addition. I suspect that I would have liked it even better had I heard it 'back in the day', but tastes do change over time. Oh, and the remastering (with Gary Wright overseeing) was well done, with little or no noticeable compression. Recommended.
I would have given it 5 1/2 stars, except that a few songs from these sessions were not included ... "I Can't See The Reason", "Tonight It's Right", "Your Own Song", and the acoustic version of "Goodbye Sunday."
The legendary gary wright
And early mick jones (foreigner)
Brings the best out of Gary.
Also appearance by George Harrison
On goodbye sunday.