Dec 022018
 

from THE LIGHT OF SMILES
Written by Gary Wright

Gary Wright’s The Light Of Smiles was released in January 1977 as the follow-up to the mega-successful Dream Weaver. Like its predecessor, The Light Of Smiles had a catchy collection of pop-rock anthems written by Wright. The album delivered songs with Wright’s trademark sound based on state of the art keyboards and synthesizers. After their winning collaboration on Dream Weaver, Wright again enlisted the young keyboard wizard David Foster and drummer extraordinaire Jim Keltner to help him out on the new recording.

They were joined in the sessions by two talented members of Wright’s touring band, drummer Art Wood plus keyboardist and arranger Pete Reilich. The Light Of Smiles didn’t reach the mammoth sales of Dream Weaver, but still managed to perform nicely by peaking at #23 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The leadoff single from the album was the evocative tune, “Phantom Writer.” The song featured a remarkable performance by Foster on the acoustic piano that went from a soft, vocal-piano intro into a rocking refrain. “Phantom Writer” supports a great vocal take by Wright who additionally played the intricate synthesizers solos. Those innovative synth-lead atmospheres show how much Wright’s musical ideas influenced Foster’s subsequent playing and arrangement skills. “Phantom Writer” should have been huge on the charts, but, strangely enough, it was just a moderate hit reaching #43 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The single’s b-side was a rock ballad titled “Child Of Light” that also featured stellar work by Foster on the acoustic piano and various synthesizers.


Listen

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Lead & Background Vocals, Mini Moog Bass, Synthesizer Solos: Gary Wright
Grand Piano: David Foster
Synthesizer: Pete Reilich
Drums: Art Wood
Backing Vocals: Lorna Wright & Bettye Sweet

Strings Arrangement by Pete Reilich
Produced by Gary Wright


Lyrics

I opened my eyes this morning, looked through my window outside
Suddenly something took me away by surprise
Veil on the skyline, written in broad daylight
My own name was there, how it gave me a terrible fright

Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
My name’s in the sky
Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
Why? Why, oh, why?
Phantom writer
Tell me you’re real or are you alive?

Like a sunrise, eat my home bread sign
And all too soon, I can get to fade the lines
Coming hopes, as I felt my mood fading away
Now I’m somewhere, screaming out in the day

Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
My name’s in the sky
Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
Why? Why, oh, why?
Phantom writer
Know that you’re in, there’s love in your eyes

Yeah

Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
My name’s in the sky
Yeah, yeah, phantom writer
Why? Why, oh, why?