Roy Wood – Exotic Mixture

Roy Wood - Exotic MixtureEven though Jeff Lynne is a bit of a recluse, his prominence during the rise of the Electric Light Orchestra in the 1970s often obscured the memory of the band’s other original co-founder, ex-Move multi-instrumentalist Roy Wood. But ask anyone for an example of Roy Wood’s work and you’ll likely draw a blank. Exotic Mixture redresses that imbalance nicely.

Spanning from Wood’s first solo album, 1973’s Boulders, on through various configurations of his bands – Wizzard, Wizzo, and the Helicopters – Exotic Mixture combines a selection of excellent (and occasionally weird) singles, along with much rarer (and occasionally even weirder) B-sides from those singles. I must admit to liking some of the B-sides better! The very catchy instrumentals “The Premium Bond Theme” and “Music To Commit Suicide By” (!) are still stuck in my head, in fact. Wood’s true skill is as a synthesist, gathering together the best elements of British pop into one style which can truly be called his own. There are plenty of unconventional chord progressions and instruments that draw comparisons to the 4 out of 4Beatles, but the voice and the songwriting are most certainly Roy Wood.

Many of Woody’s albums are out of print, so this 2-CD collection is a real treasure trove of music that most of us in the States have never heard. I strongly recommend trying to get your hands on a copy now before this set vanishes from Repertoire’s catalogue.

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    Disc one

  1. When Gran’ma Plays The Banjo (3:13)
  2. Wake Up (3:49)
  3. Nancy Sing Me A Song (3:28)
  4. Dear Elaine (4:09)
  5. Songs Of Praise (4:41)
  6. Going Down The Road (3:03)
  7. The Premium Bond Theme (4:26)
  8. Forever (4:19)
  9. Music To Commit Suicide By (2:48)
  10. Oh What A Shame (3:53)
  11. Bengal Jim (2:15)
  12. Look Through The Eyes Of A Fool (2:56)
  13. Strider (2:52)
  14. Mustard (1:28)
  15. Indiana Rainbow (3:02)
  16. The Thing Is This (5:43)
  17. Any Old Time Will Do (4:15)
  18. The Rain Came Down On Everything (5:22)
  19. The Stroll (5:22)
  20. Saxmaniacs (3:05)
    Disc two

  1. Jubilee (6:05)
  2. I Never Believed In Love (3:38)
  3. Inside My Life (4:49)
  4. Dancing At The Rainbow’s End (3:36)
  5. Waiting At The Door (4:24)
  6. (We’re) On The Road Again (3:47)
  7. Rock City (4:08)
  8. Givin’ Your Heart Away (3:51)
  9. Green Glass Windows (3:47)
  10. The Driving Song (3:34)
  11. It’s Not Easy (2:44)
  12. Moonriser (4:07)
  13. We Are The Boys (Who Make All The Noise) (6:42)
  14. Rockin’ On The Stage (3:43)
  15. Under Fire (4:23)
  16. On Top Of The World (3:27)
  17. Sing Out The Old – Bring In The New (3:44)
  18. Raining In The City (4:17)
  19. One-Two-Three (3:02)

Released by: Repertoire
Release date: 1999
Disc one total running time: 74:18
Disc two total running time: 77:57