Throughout his career, Gary Wright has worked with half of The Beatles. In the early 1970s, Gary Wright began a friendship with George Harrison. The friendship led to Gary Wright working on the iconic George Harrison album All Things Must Pass. The friendship with George Harrison led to Harrison’s involvement in some of Gary Wright’s recordings. Many years later Gary Wright would hook up with another former Beatles. In the 2000’s Gary Wright performed with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. Throughout the years Gary Wright has played piano and keyboards on various artist recordings. One of Gary Wright’s most popular guest appearances was as the pianist performing on the famous Harry Nilsson song “Without You.”
Our top 10 Gary Wright songs list takes a look only at the Gary Wright solo albums. We have included no Spooky Tooth music on this list.
# 10 – Touch and Gone
We open our Top 10 Gary Wright songs list with a song from Gary Wright’s fifth solo album Touch and Go. The album was considered a commercial failure for Gary Wright. The record garnished no hit singles. Even Gary Wright was disappointed in his work on the album. However, in hindsight, the record was actually much better than everyone thought it was. It was only a year earlier that Gary Wright was on top of the world with the huge success of “Dream Weaver,” and “Love Is Alive,” Come on, give the guy a break. Listen to the soulfulness of this song, and you decide.
# 9 – Get On The Right Road
The song “Get On The Right Road,” was Gary Wright’s first solo single ever released. The song was issued on Gary Wright’s first solo album. The album entitled Extraction was released in 1971. While the production of this song is drastically different from what he would releases in the next five years, the soulfulness of Gary Wright’s vocals is clearly present.
# 8 – Take A Look
This great slow ballad was released on Gary Wright’s album titled Who Am I? The album was released in 1988.
# 7 – Really Want To Know You
The great Gary Wright song “Really Wanna Know You” was Gary Wright’s last top 20 hit. It was also his first top 20 hit since Love Is Alive. The song “Really Want To Know You,” was released in 1981. It was the first of three singles released from the album The Right Place.
# 6 – Fascinating Things
As we continue our Gary Wright songs list, we once again go back to his earlier years. The great song “Fascinating Things,” was released on his second solo album entitled Footprints. The album was released in 1971. The album featured George Harrison, on guitar. The album also featured Gary Wright’s Spooky Tooth bandmate Mick Jones who eventually form the great band Foreigner. The album also featured an all-star lineup of studio musicians such as Jim Keltner, Alan White and Hugh McCracken.
# 5 – Phantom Writer
With the phenomenal success of “Dream Weaver,” and “Love Is Alive,” Gary Wright faced the daunting task of recording a follow up album to repeat that commercial success. The follow up record entitled The Light of Smiles was a fantastic record filled with great songs. Unfortunately for Gary Wright, none of them became big hits “Phantom Writer,” was the first single released from the album. It should have been a big hit, we thought it was great.
# 4 – Water Sign
“Water Sign,” was the opening track from The Light Of Smiles album. This is a fantastic song with a jaw-dropping chorus. It was always our favorite song from this very underrated album. It was very surprising that “Water Sign,” was never released as a single.
# 3 – Two Faced Man
As we get close to the top of our top 10 Gary Wright Songs list was turn one final time to his 1971 album Footprints. “Two Face Man,” was the highlight of the record. It’s thrilling to listen to this great song and hear the guitar work of George Harrison on it. Incredibly, George Harrison joined Gary Wright and his band to perform the song on The Dick Cavett Show in the early 1970’s.
# 2 – Love Is Alive
“Love Is Alive,” was originally released as the first single from Gary Wrights’ solo album The Dream Weaver in 1976. The song did not do well and faded quickly. However, after the album’s second single Dream Weave went on to become a monster hit, “Love Is Alive.” was re-released as a single and became the hit it should have been when it was first released.
# 1 – Dream Weaver
If you were alive in the 1970s and listening to the radio in 1976, an hour would not go by without hearing Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver.” The song was one of the biggest singles of the year. It reached the number 2 spot on the United States Billboard charts in 1976. The entire song as well as most of the album only featured keyboards and drums. Nothing on the radio sounded like “Dream Weaver.” It was a song that was perfectly titled. There was a backlash against synthesizers being used on record in the mid-1970s. Queen used to label their albums with a no synthesizer stamp on the inner jackets. Many people felt using synths was cheating. Those people would have had a heart attack if they were able to peer into the future and see what was coming with rap, sampling, computers and hip hop.
In the end, “Dream Weaver,” and “Love is Alive,” became hit records because they were great songs that featured an incredible talent behind it in the form of the artist known as Gary Wright.
UPDATED Feb 18, 2021
Top 10 Gary Wright Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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