September 20, 1999
Pop/Rock, Glam Rock

Album Review

If there's anything wrong with Repertoire's Singles A's & B's, it's that Wizzard peaked early, albeit brilliantly, and their B-sides never capitalized on their dazzling, Spector/Beach Boys-tinted rock & roll. It's no coincidence that those B-sides were written by everybody else in the band but Wood, and that most of those were instrumentals. Some are amusing (the mild ELO send-up "Bend Over Beethoven"), some are interesting ("Rob Roy's Nightmare"), but they're all disposable, especially when compared to the A-sides, which are uniformly enchanting. True, they're a little similar -- the core is straight-ahead, old-fashioned rock & roll, sort of like Dave Edmunds, graced with wildly ornate arrangements and vocal harmonies -- but "Ball Park Incident," "See My Baby Jive," "Angel Fingers," "Rock & Roll Winter," "This Is the Story of My Love (Baby)," and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" are all giddy entertainments. The three remaining singles were recorded when Wizzard was trucking as the oldies outfit Eddy & the Falcons, a silly but enjoyable trek into nostalgia highlighted by the Grease-soundalike "You Got Me Running." Considering the quality of the nine A-sides, it's easy to wish that they had been combined with Wood's solo A-sides on a dynamite single disc, but that's not what happened -- and, perhaps that's appropriate, since with the preponderance of B-sides on both discs are accurate representations of how idiosyncratic Wood is. Even if it is a bit uneven, there's little argument that Singles A's & B's is much, much better and considerably more logical than most Wood/Wizzard compilations.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Ball Park Incident
  2. See My Baby Jive
  3. Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)
  4. Rock and Roll Winter
  5. This Is the Story of My Love (Baby)
  6. You Got Me Running
  7. Are You Ready to Rock
  8. Rattlesnake Roll
  9. The Carlsberg Special
  10. Bend Over Beethoven
  11. You Got the Jump on Me
  12. Dream of Unwin
  13. Nixture
  14. Marathon Man
  15. Can't Help Me Feelings
  16. I Wish It Could Be Christamas Everyday
  17. Rob Roy's Nightmare
  18. Can't Help Myself Feelings [German Single Edit]