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Their new US hit of August 1979 was a song that had been very good to some of the group 11 years earlier.
Some songs are locked in their era, while others update themselves and reach another generation. On August 11, 1979, the Atlanta Rhythm Section were hitting the American chart with a number that had been very good to some of the group 11 years earlier, and even that was an adaptation of an instrumental original. The word for all of that is “Spooky.”
The song was co-written by Mike Shapiro, who as pop-jazz alto saxophonist Mike Sharpe, recorded the tune for the Liberty label and reached No.57 with it in the US in 1967. Later that year, Jacksonville, Florida soft rock outfit Classics IV heard its potential.
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Their guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics, and the song climbed to No.3 on the Hot 100 in early 1968. That vocal interpretation inspired covers by many of the easy listening and soul acts of the day, notably Andy Williams, Dusty Springfield , Percy Sledge, and Martha & the Vandellas .
Fast forward a decade, by which point Cobb, Buie and fellow Classics IV graduate Dean Daughtry were longtime members of the highly successful Atlanta Rhythm Section. The initial appeal of the Doraville, Georgia group, said Rolling Stone in 1978, “came from its break with the often predictable Southern-rock genre: the band combined the usual guitar-solo orientation with an attractive pop sensibility.”
Plundering the past
Already with several years of hit singles and albums under their belt – including Top 10 hits with 1977’s “So Into You” and 1978’s “Imaginary Lover” – the ARS decided to revisit their past. They recorded a new version of the atmospheric “Spooky” for their Underdog album, which was already certified gold in America by the time it was released as a single. The group had just had another Top 20 hit with the first single from the LP, the pretty “Do It Or Die.”
ARS’ new “Spooky” entered the US chart at No.90. It spent two months making slow but steady progress up the Hot 100 and came to rest for two weeks at No.17 in October. It was the group’s final Top 20 American hit. Buy or stream “Spooky” on The Best of Atlanta Rhythm Section.
August 13, 2015 at 4:26 am
One small correction is needed: The Classics IV were from Jacksonville, Florida. ( there is no city in Florida named “Jackson”).
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Spooky by Classics IV
- This song was originally an instrumental by the saxophone player Mike Shapiro, who recorded it as Mike Sharpe. J.R. Cobb, who was the band's lead guitarist, heard this song and added lyrics to it with their producer Buddy Buie. Cobb later formed the Atlanta Rhythm Section along with fellow band member Dean Daughtry and members of a band called The Candymen.
- There's been some controversy over who played the sax solo on this song, as different people have claimed to have played it. According to Classics IV's biographer Joe Glickman, it was Mike Shapiro, who wrote and recorded the original instrumental version of the song, who played the sax. Glickman wrote in the Forgotten Hits newsletter: The reason he didn't play on some of the other records (the ones Ray Jarrel played on) was because Mike was a bit hard to work with in the studio. He had a very good concept of how he wanted the solos, which differed from Buddy Buie's ideas of mainstream pop. There's a bit of a tone-break at the end of the solo that Mike insisted on re-recording, but Buddy wouldn't let him. English White was a sax player that was brought in later during the 'Traces' road tour to fill in for the sax. Mike did not tour at all and the band had been playing for a while with Auburn Burrell filling in the sax solos on lead guitar. That was hurting their reception since the sax had a lot to do with their sound."
- In 1979, the Atlanta Rhythm Section released a new version that hit #48 in the UK and #17 in the US. Their version doesn't differ greatly from the original, which makes sense as three of this group's members (Robert Nix, James Cobb and Dean Daughtry) played with Classics IV before joining this group. >> Suggestion credit : Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
- This was one of the first songs to get a lot of airplay on the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format. FM was relatively new, and AOR was a great format for people who wanted to hear songs on rock albums that weren't necessarily hits.
- Other artists to record this song include Dusty Springfield, The Velvet Monkeys and Daniel Ash. Imogen Heap also recorded it for the soundtrack of the movie Just Like Heaven .
- More songs from Classics IV
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- Lyrics to Spooky
- Mrs. Linda (dennis) Yost from Cincinnati,ohio After Dennis’ accident Tom Garrett was hired to work with Dennis to be a replacement or co lead vocal for some live performances due to health issues .They hired Garard Montague (Bart) until he had back issues and could not travel. Paul Wesleyan was hired and has been touring with Tom the last 3 years on successful The Happy Together Tour. And the entire band is now happily doing live shows after the pandemic!
- Funkifized from Lowell, Ma The interesting thing about this band is that all the hits had prominent saxophone solos on them, but there seems to have not been a sax player in the band. I disagree that there was little difference between the Atlanta Rhythm Section's version of "Spooky" and the Classics IV version. The rhythm pattern was the same, but it was much more rockin' guitars. I liked the updated version better for a short time and eventually found the Classics IV take to be much more listenable.
- Joanne from Ct I could transport myself in 1968 to an 8th grade grammar school dance like it was yesterday. This song is “ groovy”
- Barry from Sauquoit, Ny Buddy Buie died July 18th, 2015 after suffering a heart attack in Eufaula, Alabama. May he R.I.P.
- Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On December 17th 1967 "Spooky" by the Classics IV entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 4th, 1968 it peaked at #3 (for 3 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100... The quartet had a total of three Top 10 hits; and all three had 'one word' titles, the other two were "Stormy" (#5 in 1968) and "Traces" (#2 for 1 week in 1969)... Sadly, lead singer Dennis Yost passed away on December 7th, 2008 at the age of 65... May he R.I.P.
- Howard from Levittown, Pa "Just like a ghost you keep on haunting my dreams/so I'll propose on Halloween." One of the cleverest lines ever. Cobb's guitar style didn't change between Classics IV and ARS; the texture seemed different in the mix though. I wonder sometimes if Classics IV opened up a niche for sax in pop/rock("Year of the Cat," "The One You Love" "Fool If You Think It's Over" etc.).
- Edward from Henderson, Nv Another song about a girl with unpredictable mood swings: Billy Joel"s "She's Always a Woman."
- Leah from Brooklyn, Ny In concept, this song about a boyfriend/girlfriend who has creepy mood swings and personality changes is first cousin to Katy Perry's recent tune "Hot N Cold."
- Dave from Easton, Pa Wasn't the vocalist on theses Classics IV songs Dennis Yost? I have the single "Traces" and it's listed as "The Classics IV Featuring Dennis Yost." His smooth vocals go well with the Classics IV sound. I loved ARS, too.
- Vic from Knoxville, Tn I love those descending triplets in the 2nd guitar solo
- Bri from Orange, Ca A cover was don by dusty springfeld
- Mike from Santa Barbara, Ca I've wondered what or who this song was about. It sounds like it could be about Morticia Addams from The Addams Family.
- Ekristheh from Halath, United States Cute'n'clever, one of my all times.
- Rick from San Juan, United States In one of the early episodes of HBO's "Six Feet Under", Spooky was played in one eerie scene where Nate (Peter Crause) is having a conversation with his dead father. The scene became even funnier when he told his dad that he didn't know he was into the Classics IV.
- Jonnie from St. Louis, Mo The first recording of "Spooky" was an instrumental version by saxophonist Mike Sharp. It was a 1966 - 1967 release...forgotten by most, but always one of my personal favorites. There is also a recent Smooth Jazz version of "Spooky" by David Sanborn which is excellent...and faithful to the original version. (Mike Sharp (Shapiro) was part of the team that wrote "Spooky". J.R. Cobb, Buddy Buie & Harry Middlebrooks, Jr. were all listed as writers. They eventually became The Atlanta Rhythm Section. And the rest is history.) Jonnie King/WSSM, St. Louis
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November 1, 2011 12 Songs, 56 minutes ℗ 2011 Start Entertainments Limited
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Spooky by Atlanta Rhythm Section
Underdog Album May 29, 1979
Added by Denis
- Highlights 6
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First release by Mike Sharpe (1966)
First release by Classics IV (October 1967)
An adaptation is a musical work, which uses elements (music or lyrics) from another musical work.
- Hamppu-aave written by Chrisse Johansson Finnish 1970
- Outo tapa written by Edu Kettunen Finnish 1984
A partial adaptation is a musical work which integrates only a part of another musical work, and this part is only a fragment of the new musical work.
Spooky written by James Cobb , Buddy Buie
- Something Wicked This Way Comes written by Barry Adamson
- Curve written by George Astasio , Jason Pebworth , Jon Shave , Talay Riley , Kara Marni , Daniel Smith English
Spooky written by Harry Middlebrooks , Mike Sharpe instrumental
Spooky written by Buddy Buie , James Cobb English
Hamppu-aave written by Chrisse Johansson Finnish
Outo tapa written by Edu Kettunen Finnish
Spooky written by [Unknown] Italian (not verified yet)
Spooky written by François Bégin , Michel Pagliaro French (not verified yet)
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In the cool of the evening When everything is gettin' kind of groovy I call you up and ask you if you Would you like to go with me and see a movie First you say no, you've got some plans for the night And then you stop, and say, alright Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you You always keep me guessin' I never seem to know what you are thinkin' And if some fella looks at you It's for sure your little eye will be a-winkin' I get confused, 'cause I don't know where I stand And then you smile, and hold my hand Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you Spooky Spooky, yeah-yeah If you decide someday to stop this little game that you are playin' I'm gonna tell you all that my heart's been a-dyin to be sayin' Just like a ghost, you've been a-hauntin my dreams And I proposed on Halloween Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you Oh, spooky, yeah-yeah
SPOOKY CHORDS by Atlanta Rhythm Section
Disclaimer : This video is belong to the respective copyright owner on YouTube. This video is shared here solely for informational and educational purposes. For further details and to support the creator, please visit their official YouTube channel. If you’re a guitar enthusiast with a soft spot for classic rock, then you are in for a treat! The Atlanta Rhythm Section’s hit song “Spooky” has been a staple in the world of rock and roll for decades. And now, guitar fans can learn how to play this iconic tune with the help of an awesome guitar tab tutorial video.
The video, created by a talented guitar instructor, breaks down the song’s chords and riffs in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, this tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to add “Spooky” to their repertoire.
The instructor begins by introducing the song and giving a brief history of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, setting the stage for the lesson. He then goes on to explain the tuning and chords used in the song. As the tutorial progresses, the instructor provides clear and concise demonstrations of each chord and riff, making it easy for viewers to follow along.
One of the best aspects of this tutorial is the instructor’s attention to detail. He takes the time to explain the strumming patterns and picking techniques used in the song, ensuring that aspiring guitarists can truly capture the essence of “Spooky” when playing.
Additionally, the video includes on-screen guitar tabs, making it even easier for viewers to grasp the song’s structure. This feature is especially helpful for visual learners who prefer to see the music notated, rather than just watching someone play.
Overall, this guitar tab tutorial video for “Spooky” by the Atlanta Rhythm Section is an invaluable resource for guitar players of all levels. Not only does it provide a comprehensive breakdown of the song, but it also offers insights into the band’s signature sound and style.
Beyond learning the song itself, viewers can gain a deeper appreciation for the guitar work of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the classic rock genre as a whole. Whether you’re looking to jam with friends, perform at an open mic night, or simply expand your musical skills, this tutorial is a must-see for any guitarist with a love for timeless rock music.
So, if you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level and learn a true classic, be sure to check out this “Spooky” guitar tab tutorial video. You won’t be disappointed!
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