Thursday, August 29, 2013

40 Year Itch: The Wizard of Wood

     Recorded in 1969, Roy Wood, who had already been one of the creators of The Move and Electric Light Orchestra,  had to wait until his band Wizzard had become one of the most popular acts in the UK before this delightfully inventive and whimsical album would see the light of day.

Boulders is all Roy Wood ( except for a harmonium on two tracks). That's Roy singing all the vocals and playing about two dozen instruments ( including the water splashes on "Wake Up"). Roy even did the self portrait on the album cover. Among home-made albums created by single artists, Boulders is right up there with Paul ( and Linda) McCartney's Ram and Emmit Rhodes's solo debut.

Roy with all the instruments he played on Boulders
 There's a sense of humor that pervades the whole album. Some of it's in your face like the single "When Gran'ma Plays the Banjo"and the sped up vocals of "Rock Down Low". There are snarky nods at The Beach Boys ("All the Way Over The Hill") the Everly Brothers ("She's Too Good For Me") and the Christian themes popping up in the songs of the Byrds and George Harrison ( "Songs of Praise", which The New Seekers would perform in the Eurovision contest). "Miss Clarke and the Computer" is a love song written from the point of view of a computer.

Packed full of hooks , Boulders is one of 1973's true gems.

Want to hear more? As of this writing Aquarium Drunkard still had an MP3 of "Wake Up" available for download.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read. A bit like Tubular Bells