UK pop soul songstress Leona Lewis recently covered Roy Wood’s glam rock holiday classic “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” (originally a huge 1973 hit for Wood’s own band Wizzard) on her excellent new Christmas, With Love album, a terrific modern-day homage to the sound of A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector. While covering Roy Wood was an altogether great move, for me the big money is on Wizzard’s other wintry single, “Rock’n’Roll Winter.” While not as obvious a holiday tune, there’s no denying the Phil Spector influence; the song is catchy like the flu, the sound is absolutely huge, and the lyrics are pure nostalgia for the innocence of youth:
“Oh we’re gonna make some rock n’ roll this winter
Now my teenage heart has said hello to you
Oh there’s gonna be some rock n’ roll this winter
It’s a wonderful rock n’ roll winter, baby”
Eccentric rock genius Roy Wood was a founding member of astounding art pop experimentalists The Move (which included Jeff Lynne in the lineup), and later morphed into Electric Light Orchestra. Wood and Lynne parted ways after just one album. Following the blueprint established by Wood, ELO continued on to superstardom, and Wood went full-on eccentric glam weirdo with the eight-piece Wizzard. Check out this 1974 ‘live’ appearance from Top of the Pops.