Roy Wood

Roy Wood

Infobox Musical artist

Img_size = 150
Name = Roy Wood
Background = solo_singer

Img_capt =
Birth_name = Roy Adrian Wood
Born = Birth date and age|1946|11|8|df=y
Origin = Birmingham, England
Died =
Genre = Rock music Pop Progressive rock Glam rock
Occupation = Singer, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist
Years_active = 1964–present
Instrument = Guitar Vocals Piano Cello Synthesizer Bass Guitar drums Bagpipes woodwind
First_album =
Latest_album =
Notable_albums =
Notable songs =
Label = Harvest Records
Jet Records
Legacy Records
Associated_acts = The Move Electric Light Orchestra Wizzard Wizzo Band

Roy Wood (born Roy Adrian Wood, 8 November 1946, Kitts Green, Birmingham, West Midlands, England) is a songwriter, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. He was particularly successful in the 1960s and 1970s as member and co-founder of the bands The Move, Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard. As a songwriter, he contributed a number of hits to the repertoire of these musical groups.


Wood's first group in Birmingham in the early 1960s was The Falcons which he left in 1963 to join Gerry Levene and the Avengers; he moved to Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders (the band later to become The Idle Race, in which Jeff Lynne took his first steps); from this basis, and other Birmingham-based groups, the most talented musicians formed The Move, and Wood became their musical leader. The Move quickly entered the charts and became well-known for spectacular stage shows; their track "Flowers in the Rain" was the first track to be played on Radio 1 when it was launched in 1967. [According to [ this article] this is technically untrue. It appears to be true if tracks played as part of a program are considered as different from tracks played as opening themes.] After the departure of The Move's lead singer Carl Wayne, Wood became more prominent, developing an unconventional image for a 'pop group'. Since The Move's members could not agree on musical direction, the potential of the group was diluted. Wood therefore began to develop into other directions.

Wood was keen on musical experimentation and was in this respect one of the most progressive musicians of his time, taking the 'pop group' into new areas. He was an early proponent of combining rock'n'roll and pop music with other styles, such as classical music, or the big band sound, and introduced classically-styled string and brass sections into the pop record. When The Move was still on tour, he founded, together with his band colleagues Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), which was later to gain major commercial success by successfully fusing the basis of a rock band with a permanent string section, without losing rock 'n' roll roots.

ELO's early live performances were chaotic, and after increasing tensions, Wood left and formed a new group, Wizzard, which assembled cellists, brass players and a bigger rhythm section, with several drummers and percussionists. Wood emulated the wall of sound production style of Phil Spector whilst successfully, and affectionately, pastiching the rock n roll style of the early 1960s. Meanwhile, he released several solo albums, exploring further musical directions. His 1973 album, "Boulders", was an almost entirely solo effort, right down to the sleeve artwork, with Wood playing a wide variety of instruments. A second solo album "Mustard" (1975), including contributions by Phil Everly and Annie Haslam, was less successful.

The line-up of albums was always fascinating, because of the large number of instruments Wood, and his band members, were playing. Wood himself is mentioned as singer as well as player of guitars, bass guitar, sitar, cello, double bass, saxophones, clarinet, trombone, tuba, recorders, oboe, French horn, banjo, mandolin, bassoon, drums, percussion, vibraphone, bagpipes and keyboards.

Collectively, hit records by The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, Wizzard, and Wood's own solo singles demonstrate an impressive chart run for an individual, both as composer and performer.

In July 1972, Wood played bass guitar on all the tracks for Bo Diddley's Chess Records album "The London Bo Diddley Sessions".

By the late 1970s, Wood was appearing less in public; commercial success faded away, and his musical experiments did not always match popular taste, but he remained productive in the studio as musician, producer and songwriter. He was a big Elvis fan, but never succeeded in getting 'The King' to adopt one of his compositions. However, he was untiring as a producer for other acts, most successfully doo-wop revivalists Darts. In 1976, Wood recorded Beatles cover songs "Lovely Rita" and "Polythene Pam" for the ill-fated musical documentary All This and World War II.

In 1977 he formed the Wizzo Band, a jazz-rock ensemble, whose only live performance was a BBC simultaneous TV and radio broadcast in stereo, which split early the following year after cancelling a nationwide tour.

In the early 1980s Wood released a few singles under his own name and also as The Helicopters, and played some live dates under this name. The release of one of these singles, "Aerial Pictures", backed with "Airborne", was cancelled owing to the lack of chart success for its predecessors, but both sides appeared for the first time in 2006 on a compilation CD, "Roy Wood - The Wizzard!". "Aerial Pictures", using the original backing track, subsequently became a solo single for former Move vocalist Carl Wayne.

Wood also made a one-off rock'n'roll single with Phil Lynott, Chas Hodges and John Coghlan, credited to The Rockers, "We Are The Boys", which made the Top 100 in late 1983, and played a leading role in the Birmingham Heartbeat children's charity concert, on 15 March 1986. As well as designing the logo, Wood performed in a line-up which also included the Electric Light Orchestra and the Moody Blues.

After an extended period of hibernation, following the release of the album "Starting Up" (1987), a cover version of the Len Barry hit "1-2-3", and a guest vocal appearance on one track on Rick Wakeman's "Time Machine" album, he went on the road with 'Roy Wood's Army'. Rumours of a new live album, and an album of new studio work, provisionally called "Electric Age", did not materialise. He also recorded two tracks with Jeff Lynne around this time ("If You Can't Get What You Want" and "Me and You"), which likewise have never seen the light of day.

Altogether he had more than 20 singles in the UK Top 40 under various guises, including several number one hits. His most regularly performed and broadcast oldie is the seasonal Wizzard single "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". In 1995 he released a new live version as the 'Roy Wood Big Band', which charted at No. 59, and in 2000 he joined forces with Mike Batt and The Wombles, for a re-recording of the song and the Wombles' hit "Wombling Merry Christmas", which reached No. 22.

Most recently, he has formed 'Roy Wood's Rock and Roll Band' for occasional live dates and TV performances in the UK.

Over Christmas 2007, Wood appeared in a catalogue advert for Argos, where he played the part of a rowdy neighbour playing guitar along to Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday", and the song once again entered the UK Top 40 singles chart.

Wood was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to music by the University of Derby on the 18 January 2008.



*"Boulders" (1973) - No. 15
*"The London Bo Diddley Sessions" (1973) - with Roy Wood playing bass.
*"Mustard" (1975)
*"On The Road Again" (1979) - not released in the UK
*"Starting Up" (1987)
*"Super Active Wizzo" (2007) - Wounded Bird Records CD release.

olo Singles

* "When Gran'ma Plays the Banjo" (1972)
* "Dear Elaine" (1973) - No. 18
* "Forever" (1973) - No. 8
* "Goin' Down The Road" (1974) - No. 13
* "Oh What A Shame" (1975) - No. 13
* "Look Thru' The Eyes Of a Fool" (1975)
* "Any Old Time Will Do" (1976)
* "Keep Your Hands On The Wheel" (1978)
* "(We're) On The Road Again" (1979)
* "Rock City" - Helicopters (1980)
* "Sing Out The Old, Ring In The New" (1980)
* "Green Glass Windows" - Roy Wood Helicopters (1981)
* "Down To Zero" (1981)
* "It's Not Easy" (1982)
* "O.T.T." (1982)
* "We Are The Boys (Who Make All The Noise)" - The Rockers (1983)
* "Under Fire" (1985)
* "Sing Out The Old, Ring In The New" - new recording (1985)
* "Raining In The City" (1986)
* "1-2-3" (1987)

Collaboration singles

* "Dance Around the Maypole" - Acid Gallery (1969)
* "I Never Believed In Love" - Annie Haslam and Roy Wood (1977)
* "Hong Kong Swing" - Cruella de Ville (1984)
* "Waterloo" (1986) - Doctor & The Medics Featuring Roy Wood (1986) - No. 45
* "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" - Roy Wood Big Band (1995) - No. 59
* "I Wish It Could Be A Wombling Merry Christmas Everyday" - Wombles With Roy Wood (2000) - No. 22

ongs recorded and released by other artists

* "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" - The Blues Magoos, Status Quo
* " Farewell" - Ayshea Brough (1973)
* "Flowers In The Rain" - Nancy Sinatra, Carl Wayne and Magnum
* "Fire Brigade" - The Fortunes
* "(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree" - The Idle Race
* "Omnibus" - The Mail
* "Blackberry Way" - The New Seekers
* "Hello Susie" - Amen Corner, Buddy Curtess & the Grasshoppers
* "Dance Around The Maypole" - Acid Gallery
* "Caroline" - The Casuals
* "Brontosaurus" - Tim Curry
* "Ella James" - The Nashville Teens
* "Songs of Praise" - The New Seekers
* "California Man" - Cheap Trick, Jim Davidson
* "Hazel Eyes" - Neil Reid, Carl Wayne
* "See My Baby Jive" - Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids
* "You Got Me Runnin'" - Smiley & Co
* "Rock'n'Roll Tonight" - Cheap Trick
* "Aerial Pictures" - Carl Wayne
* "Colourful Lady" - Carl Wayne
* "Givin' Your Heart Away" - Carl Wayne
* "Hot Cars" - Carl Wayne

All the above titles recorded by Carl Wayne were as a solo artist, after he left The Move in 1969.

Chronological album discography

"For the complete Move discography see The Move Discography,Complete ELO discography see Electric Light Orchestra discography,and for Wizzard discography see Wizzard Discography."

* "The Move" (1968) - The Move
* "Shazam" (1970) - The Move
* "Looking On" (1970) - The Move
* "Message from the Country" (1971) - The Move
* "The Electric Light Orchestra" (1971) - ELO
* "ELO 2" (1973) (Although uncredited at the time Wood performed on two tracksFact|date=September 2008) - ELO
* "Wizzard Brew" (1973) - Wizzard
* "Boulders" (1973) - Solo
* "Introducing Eddy & The Falcons" (1974) - Wizzard
* "Mustard" (1975) - Solo
* "On The Road Again" (1979) - Solo
* "Starting Up" (1987) - Solo
* "Main Street" (2000) - Wizzard
* "Super Active Wizzo" (2007) - Solo
* "Boulders" (1973) - Solo Re-released cd


* Guinness Book of British Hit Singles - 16th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-190-X
* Guinness Book of British Hit Albums - 7th Edition - ISBN 0-85112-619-7

External links

* [ Roy Wood's website]
* [ The Move's website]
* [ Face The Music]
* [ Roy Wood biography page at the AMG web site]
* [ Cherry Blossom Clinic - Roy Wood Fan Site]
* [ The Move Information Station]
* [ Roy Wood honorary doctorate photographs (University of Derby)]

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