Mustard and crass but nice

Even if you don't particularly care for Roy Wood (and his music seems to arouse, negatively speaking, disinterest rather than hate), you have to give him his due. It takes a certain ingenuity to not only write a paean to mustard that sounds suspiciously like the next Colman's ad; but to actually work out the exact vocal pitches and tape speeds required to make it sound as though issuing from the Andrews Sisters.

Wood has created an enviable position for himself. If he wants to be the Beach Boys asking why Lynsey De Paul sings sad songs, or engineer an Albert Hall rumble between Art Garfunkel's backing tracks and Elgar, then who is there among us to chide him? For isn't he pop's loveable eccentric, answerable only to himself! A simple man who happens to know his way through a mixing desk blindfolded, going over the top because it sounds good, creating exactly the same noises and excesses as any other normal lad in the same situation.

Of course, this approach does have drawbacks: an atrociously tedious drum solo in 'Get On Down Home' could have been given over to Neil Sedaka or Move recreations, and 'You Sure Got It Now' is an ambitious contrasting of the Andrews Sisters and Helen Shapiro that fails to work.

But mostly this is undiluted good Roy Wood, which is to say humorous, full of memorable melodies and well over the top with neat noises and effects. Wish I had a mixing desk in my back room.

 


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