Friday, November 8, 2019
Deep Cut Six Pack Volume Eight: Happy Birthday Roy Wood
While Todd Rundgren was doing it all by himself in Philadelphia and New York, there was a madman doing the same thing plus bagpipes and cellos across the pond in Birmingham. His name is Roy Wood and he is responsible for at least three of my favorite albums of all time, and over two dozen more individual tracks that have remained in heavy rotation for over 40 years.
Today is Roy Wood's birthday, so in his honor, here is a Deep Cut Six Pack that represents a tiny fraction of what this man can do. Six songs is simply not enough, especially if you're a fan. If you are a casual listener of The Move or Wizzard, and these songs do anything at all for you, please say so, and I'll get right to work on Part Two.
For now, give this a spin:
All The Way Over The Hill is the opener from Roy's first solo album, "Boulders," and it is a prime example of what he does best. To sum it up in one word: more. With Roy Wood, there is always more. The perfect pop melody and arrangement just isn't enough for this track. In Roy's mind, it needed an Irish jig for a coda.
Don't Throw Stones At Me is an unreleased Roy original recorded for the BBC with The Move, and though there are countless others I could have included, this one is a recent discovery for me and I was excited about it.
Beautiful Daughter, from The Move's greatest achievement and one of my favorite records of all time, "Shazam," is quite simply, gorgeous.
Caroline is a 1969 UK hit from The Casuals, a British beat group whose most famous hit was "Jesamine." This track was written and produced by Roy Wood and might as well be Roy Wood through and through.
Keep Your Hands On The Wheel was the single from Roy's last solo record for Warner Brothers, "On The Road Again." It unmistakably features John Bonham on drums and Roy Wood on everything else. It's the Beach Boys meets Led Zeppelin, if you can believe it. This is the single edit because this time, it didn't need the Irish jig coda.
We close things out with the brillliant U.K. hit "Forever," Roy's nod to Brian Wilson and Neil Sedaka.
As I said, these six tracks barely scratch the surface of what this genius is capable of producing, and like my other musical hero, Todd Rundgren, not all of it works. But you can't blame the madmen for trying.
Enjoy, I hope. Feedback is welcome.
Happy Birthday Roy!
Posted by Sal Nunziato at 5:26 AM