Wizzard Brew 1973 Album
3 • 0
Wizzard was both Roy Wood's musicial outlet and eccentric answer to his departure from the project he started with Jeff Lynne, Electric Light Orchestra. An album and a couple of songs into that project, something was not working, because he walked out and formed a separate band with different musicians, many of whom he knew from ELO or The Move (like Rick Price). Wizzard was essentially a more radical take on the ELO concept, expanding on Wood's glam look, the number of band members, and the varying nature of sound, as the singles were artsy but more mainstream, while the album material was far more experimental. Which leads us to Wizzard Brew. Compared to Wood's solo effort Boulders, which was a whimsical delight, Wizzard Brew is the orchestral equivalent of industrial anvils clanging in a smoky factory for four months straight. Roy screams "you can dance YOUR rock and roll" with all the contempt of a scorned artist whose had enough of the audience (or colleagues) who will never fully get his art, over a destructive background of stumbling cowbell-tinged drums and a bank of horns, saxes, and strings wanting to squelch the life out of the listener's ears. It goes on from there in much the same fashion - 13-plus minutes or so, through a multitude of passages, on the epic "Meet Me at the Jailhouse" - which, depending on your point of view, could be seen as Roy's magnum opus...or his gigantic misfire. Throw in some traditional music-hall on a couple more tracks, a diving, twisting medley-style tour of the States ("Buffalo Station/Get on Down to Memphis"), and a thought-provoking ballad ("Wear a Fast Gun"), and this brew is boiling over in more ways than one. It may too much for some to bear, but fans and those with adventurous tastes will appreciate this effort.
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