Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two For Tuesday: Roy Wood Day, Part 2

I'll need to get it all out of my system, so today we'll extend "Roy Wood Appreciation Day" with two tracks from 1979's grossly underrated "On The Road Again." This was the follow-up to one of the most bizarro records of Roy's career, "Super Active Wizzo," a collection of over-produced (even by Roy's standards) jazz-oriented, rock and roll that at times resembles a cacophony of playing two unrelated records at the very same time and still, I don't mind it. "On The Road Again" is back to basics (by Roy's standards) and features some of his sweetest melodies.

The track up top, "Jimmy Lad" well...it simply kills me.

The track below, "Keep Your Hands On The Wheel" was the single and for good reason. Infectious from the initial needle-drop, a melody to die for on the verses and drumming by none other than John "Bonzo" Bonham.

(h/t hpunch)

(Jeff McK--did you see my e-mail?)


peabody nobis said...

That's a catchy little tune there! Did it even chart here or in the UK?
And Bonzo certainly makes his presence felt. He has to have been the most distinctive drummer in rock history. Gone too soon...

FD13NYC said...

Love it!! Do Roy Wood Appreciation Week. Every music lover should know and learn the genius that is Ulysses Roy Wood.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Roy is one of the greats.

William Repsher said...

Curious as to where you stand on the Roy Wood vs Jeff Lynne debate amongst nerdy Move/ELO fans - in terms of overall talent/influence, etc. Tends to be a hot topic with these folks (of which I have to out myself as one).

Vintage Grooves said...

I know you don't suffer fools gladly (neither do I), but that chatbox throws me for a loop. So, forgive me for leaving this comment under this post (you can always not publish it.)

I was wondering if you notice more of a difference than I do between the hyped and newly-released (on iTunes) Mono Beatles and the original (early) UK LP tracks. Yes, I can hear a slight variance but I'm not sure it's enough for me to turn around and pay for them all over again.

Here's an example (Don't Bother Me) from the UK release 'With the Beatles':


I'd be really interested to know what you think. Thanks in advance.


Sal Nunziato said...


I think I am more of a Jeff Lynne fan simply due to consistency. I rank The Move's output very, very high and love those LPs, especially "Shazam" and "Message From The Country" more than any one ELO record. But there's more ELO to love. Roy's solo work is so hit or miss, it doesn't always make for great listening.

Overall talent? Well, Roy can play drums, bagpipes and sax, but I don't always want to hear a bagpipe solo in a Chuck Berry rocker.

Sal Nunziato said...


I'm not sure I understand the question. A difference in sound quality?

If you're talking about Mono remasters that came out in 2009 along with the stereo remasters, for me those are the end all be all. It'd be hard to compare the sound off the CD versus a compressed MP3 purchased on iTunes.

Vintage Grooves said...

Sorry, Sal. What I'm asking is if you were to compare the UK CD release of 'Don't Bother Me' on 'With the Beatles', for example, (which I attached) with the Mono Masters Box and/or today's release of the North American LPs on iTunes, can you hear much of a difference?


Shriner said...

Not to hijack the Roy Wood thread, but can anybody think of any mixes on the new Beatles "U.S. Albums" releases that wouldn't be on the 2009 remasters?

I can only think of the James-Bond-ish intro to "Help" and the false start of "I'm Looking Through You".

Short of those two -- is/was there anything besides the different track listings on the US albums? It's been so long since I ever considered playing any of the US albums...

Sal Nunziato said...

Shriner and Marie...

unless something especially fishy is going on with today's U.S. Albums boxed set release, every single one of the mixes are different than the U.K. counterparts. Songs are identical, of course. But the US albums were all mixed hot, with reverb, among other things, guitars louder, drums louder, bkg vocals mixed differently, etc. So yeah...aside from the two soundtracks and The Beatles Story, all the songs represented have been represented before. It's just whether you want the original US sequencing and mixing.

And Marie, I will stand by what I said. The 2009 remasters, both mono and stereo are far superior than any other previously released Beatles CDs. (at least to my ears.)

buzzbabyjesus said...

Both those songs would have been better if they were shorter. I was tired of both of them at the 3 minute mark. Roy is often guilty of that.
Bonzo's drumming sounds so much like Roy's(although I'm sure it's actually the other way round)that if I hadn't read the credits, I'd swear it was Roy. Must be a midlands thing.
Roy or Jeff? It's a tie. I wish The Move/ELO's one-two punch had lasted a little longer. Which is better "Down On The Bay", or "California Man"?
But Sal's right concerning Roy's inconsistency. "Eldorado" is a lot better than "Mustard".

William Repsher said...

I, too, veer towards Jeff Lynne, despite recognizing Wood had a huge jump on him creatively (Move vs Idle Race) and was far more adventurous after their union.

For me, it's production values. I've gathered from musician friends how difficult it is to record a choir and have it sound full. From Eldorado onward, Jeff Lynne had it down, along with that big drum sound, the orchestral arrangements, etc. People don't give him enough credit for the sound he got on those ELO records. I noticed you had No Answer on your listening list -- the record sounds almost primitive compared to what Lynne had going on with Eldorado, Face the Music and on. He developed a very sharp pop sense and knack for hit singles that Wood sort of let slip the more he experimented.

Then again ... did Wood ever record a disco single? That's the sort of trade-off it seemed like Wood never had to make, although I can imagine hearing his disco single, with bagpipes.

Sal Nunziato said...

Lynne's disco single, for what it's worth, nails it. Some of Roy's later singles, the ones that dabble in dance and swing, are cringe making. Love him! But still.,.

Vintage Grooves said...

Thanks for that, Sal. Guess I've got to save for that 2009 Mono Box.


Sal Nunziato said...


So I just A/B'd the just released Second Album with the 2009 RM of "With The Beatles." I'm confused. If these are supposed to be the US albums, why did they use the UK mixes? Seems all they did was reconfigure the tracklists to look like the US and slip them in the US covers. Smells of ripoff to me.