Kokomo were renowned as Britain's finest funk band of the mid-'70s, a genuine live experience, which makes their 1975 eponymous debut a bit of a shock: there's no live feel here, only slick studio gloss that brings the album closer to the sunbleached sounds of the American West Coast than the R&B-vamping working bands that populated the pub rock circuit Kokomo frequented. Kokomo yo-yos between percolating funk that flirts with disco – à la the Average White Band – and the smoothest of soft rock, everything sounding mellow and relaxed even when the tempo revs up, as it does on the opener "Kitty Sitting Pretty." Here, the group's female backing singers take center stage, but they're prominent throughout, even when they're fading into the background to support the band's other singers, who can evoke Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, or Frankie Miller, depending on the tune.
Four of the 13 tracks on Island's The Best of Spooky Tooth come from 1969's Spooky Two album, while the remaining tracks represent the band's less celebrated material. Spooky Tooth's mellow, easy blues-rock sound is experienced from the first track, a slick rendition of John D. Loudermilk's "Tobacco Road." Most of the band's peak material is included here, like "Better by You, Better by Me" and "Evil Woman." The dreamy, psychedelic-tinged "It's All About a Roundabout" is one of the album's best songs, proving the band could be adventurous at will. Much in the same manner is "As Long as the World Keeps Changing," with its hippie-like hallucinatory feel. Versions of the Beatles' "I Am the Walrus" and the Band's "The Weight" are covered peculiarly, but not terribly, chock full of Spooky Tooth's own laid-back formula. Missed is the greyish "Hangman Hang My Shell on a Tree" from Spooky Two, which would have made a nice addition to the set. Nevertheless, this best-of does present listeners with Spooky Tooth's most worthwhile songs. The band's unconventional sound and eased style is prevalent on each of the tracks offered here.