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Monday, April 3, 2017

Wizzard - "Wizzard Brew" Vinyl LP, 1973 (Harvest)


Roy Wood's Wizzard is the very definition of eccentricity.   There are albums that when I first hear it, I shake my head.  Not in hatred or disgust, but more a huge question mark appears in my brain.  Then, for whatever reason, I can't leave it but neither do I love it.  Do I just 'like' it?   There are two albums that affect me in that manner.  One is Van Dyke Parks' "Song Cycle" and Wizzard's "Wizzard Brew."  I have sold both albums back to the store and consistently purchase them back again.  As of now, I have the vinyl copy of this album as well as the CD version, which comes with the Wizzard hits of that time.  Tonight I focused on the vinyl.

The eccentric aspect of Wood's music - especially with Wizzard is that he has an obsession with rock n' roll, but his rock n' roll is very different from someone else's rock.  It is obvious he has a love for the medium, and I'm guessing that he worships Phil Spector's recordings  - just due to the fact that he has so many instruments on each song, that the combination makes me feel dizzy.  There are at least two different tubas, various saxophones, and horns, and then, of course, there's the cello, bassoon, string bass as well as electric bass trombone, recorder (a Wood favorite), harpsichord, French horn trumpet, bugle, clarinet, two drummers, plus congas.   And that is for one song! 

"Wear A Fast Gun" is a beautiful Wood ballad, yet, the song goes into directions that you wouldn't think it would go to.  There are strong jazz riffs as well as retro fifties aesthetics mixed with Jimi Hendrix like grooves.  Like the title, it is truly a Wizzard brew.   It's loud, muffled, and brilliant.  Wizzard is eccentricity at work.