The first single I ever bought was by Wizzard (the Christmas one) and I had no idea who Roy Wood was at the time. He was just the strange bloke with crazy hair and makeup on Top of The Pops. He looked like a wizard so the band name was appropriate.
Of course I know now that Roy had previously been the founder and main creative force behind The Move and the Electric Light Orchestra and was something of a pop genius. But you never forget your first love, so the honking, Spector-ish Glam Rock of those Wizzard singles is my favourite thing he’s done. This was their first single in 1972 and it still sounds bloody bonkers and marvelous.
Who cares that England never qualified for a World Cup in the 1970s when we had Indoor League on the telly to show off our world-beating skill at pub sports? I bet the Germans were rubbish at Skittles.
Televised Shove Ha’Penny sounds like a Monty Python sketch — and looks like one too — but this was real and actually on our televisions in the 1970s. If you’re desperate to see that exciting Shove Ha’Penny final it starts around 3:25.
I’m no expert on the oeuvre of Cheap Trick but I do remember their 1979 album Dream Police being poo-pooed by some critics because of its big production and strings which made them sound like a Power-Pop ELO. Now I don’t know about you, but the idea of a “Power-Pop ELO” sounds great to me, and I’ve always loved every bombastic second of this record.