This one’s in my head today for whatever reason.
See what you think.
Above is a maddeningly catchy Roy Wood song by the Move from 1971. If you’re unfamiliar with the Move, they began in the mid 60’s as a moddish, quirky R&B /psych-pop band. Their writer and driving force was the insanely talented mult-instrumentalist, Roy Wood. By the early 70’s, their work ranged from smart pop to bloated prog, sometimes within the same song. By that time Wood had brought in fellow Birmingham native Jeff Lyne to take on some of the singing and songwriting load. Then, Wood (allegedly) came up with the idea of forming a new band to further incorporate their love of classical music. Thus the Move became Electric Light Orchestra. Wood wrote most of the material for ELO’s first album before abruptly departing. Over the next few years Lynne developed as a singer, writer, and producer, and the ELO hit machine took off. Meanwhile, Roy Wood made some brilliant, hook-laden, and ridiculously quirky solo albums on which he played all instruments. He indulged his prog instincts in a band called Wizzard that I find pretty unlistenable. Pretty much all of his work was too nerdishly clever or downright strange to be very successful. To my ears, his infuence can be heard in ELO far past his departure in the kitschy, oddball, and bombastic arrangements. In fact, I’d argue that ELO (along with Queen) most successfully used classical influences because they understood that what they were doing was kitsch, and played that to the hilt. In contrast, most prog bands just took themselves far too seriously.
Below is another great one from a few years earlier, 1968 I think. I’m pretty sure I hear the origins of ELO in the mock-siren background vocals.
The Nazz was Todd Rundgren’s band in the late 60’s. This psych-pop song was highly influential on 70’s power-pop bands as they formed. Interestingly, these guys, along with the Move, were pioneers in both power pop and progressive rock. Genres were fluid then, still formulating, so bands picking up on the experimental pop of the Beatles often found themselves pulled in both directions. By the mid 70’s the lines were clearer, and by the late 70’s prog-rockers and power-pop/punk guys barely spoke to each other.
Prime Cheap Trick, one of my great obsessions.
My posts are beginning to resemble a Dr. Demento playlist, but whatever. This take on Gloria never fails to crack me up.
You got the kind of body
That makes me come alive
But I’d rather have my hand around
A bottle of Colt 45.
Apparently a young Suzi Quatro was in this band, although I don’t know if she played on this.
And while I’m at it, below is the grandaddy of all pro-wrestler records. The Cramps did a good cover of it.
South Korean artist whose superpowers include an apparent photographic memory (which he denies) and the ability to draw in ink with no reference lines. And super-speed, of course.
8-year-old Japanese girl KILLS IT. Watch her footwork closely – those triplets are a motherfucker.
Favorite YouTube comment: No matter how good you are on your instrument of choice there’s always going to be an Asian child somewhere who’s better than you.