1973 Wizzard Tour Programme

The control room of a modern recording studio is dominated by a console capable of taking sixteen tracks of information and mixing and treating them in countless ways, to a point where the musician can literally play the studio. Phil Spector laid the groundwork in the early Sixties. The Beatles took the general madness of '66 and '67 and brought the form to a new peak. Countless lesser groups were soon following the trail, turning out Wagnerian opuses of little substance, not seeing that it takes real talent to realise a complex studio epic. Their efforts can nowadays be found in numerous second-hand bins and barrows.

One practitioner of the form who succeeded were The Move. While hits like "Blackberry Way" and "Fire Brigade" were racing up the charts, Roy Wood was dreaming about combining his two loves, rock and classical, in a fusion that began where "I Am The Walrus" left off. Nurturing his ideas through the dregs of the psychedelic wave and the acoustic backlash, it came to pass in late 1969 that the ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA was founded.

The nucleus of ELO was Roy, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, and while they continued to work as The Move, with Rick Price, much time was spent trying out musicians, experimenting with sounds, laying down tracks. It was a long process, but to mean anything the final results had to be good. They were.

The Harvest album "ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA" was released to mass acclaim in January 1972. In June a track from the album, "10538 Overture" was  released as a single and zoomed up the charts. At the same time, Roy Wood split from ELO to form WIZZARD, taking pianist Bill Hunt and cellist Hugh 'H' McDowell with him, as well as employing Rick Price. With diligent searching the new line-up was soon complete, and the band were devastating audiences with their musical thunder and armageddon stage antics.

On November 10, 1972, WIZZARD released their first single, "Ball Park Incident" which soon leapt up the charts, making Roy's thirteenth hit and first silver disc.

But more stunning success was yet to come! On April 6, 1973, "See My Baby Jive" was released to the public, whose appreciation was so great that within a few weeks it had earned Roy his second silver disc, and soon after came to rest at the coveted Number One. It was Roy's first arrival at the top since "Blackberry Way" six years before.

At the same time the LP "WIZZARD BREW" was released, showing off yet another facet of the band as they explored those uncharted post - "Walrus" roads Roy was so fond of wandering along. Meanwhile, "See My Baby Jive" continued to sell in unprecedented amounts, eventually topped 500,000 sales, and is still going like gangbusters! As a result, the British Phonograph Industry has awarded WIZZARD Britain's first gold disc. Their latest success is "Angel Fingers", written and produced by Roy Wood, which once again topped the charts and earned them their third silver disc.


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