What IS IT with Roy Wood anyway?! One of the world's best pop/rock/jazz composers and performers, at least from 1966-1979, he wrote for, sang and played with groups like The Move, Electric Light Orchestra (on their first and best album), Wizzard, and also as a solo-artist. But as soon as he started to get exhausted after a nearly superhumaniac effort in music for so many years, his songs stopped making it into the charts, his popularity vanished fast - and he nearly disappeared into obscurity. The thing is that Roy Wood never got the full credit he deserved, even in his popular era.
This in not the right place to discuss the subject in details. I just want to say that Roy Wood has until now made at least 8 albums that still today deserve 4-5 stars: The Move, Shazam, Message from the Country, Boulders, ELO I, Wizzard's Brew, On the Road Again and Main Street.
In my opinion, On the Road again is the happiest album Roy ever made (at least so far)! He must have been enjoying great happiness in his private life at the time. From beginning to end the album's music runs freely and smoothly with joy, vitality and humor (like played by a prison band who has managed to escape - out on the road to freedom.) The instruments are many and the arrangements not simple, but the outcome is a very simple and pure ode to joy, freedom and the love of life - and love. Even "Jimmy Lad" is strikingly beautiful!
I'll sure take On the road again with me, when at last I start my trip to Kathmandu! A rockin' joy!