Wool – Wool (1969)
The group originally emerged out of the Finger Lakes area of New York. Lead guitarist Ed Wool had made one single three years earlier as Ed Wool & The Nomads (GAWD! How many “Nomads” were there in the ’60’s anyway?!), before signing Wool to Neil Diamond’s “Armada Productions” and ABC Records for this disc.
The group’s biggest asset was Wool’s smokey-voiced sister, Claudia. The band sags when she tries to belt it out on covers of The Band’s “To Kingdom Come”, and Big Brother’s “Combination Of The Two” (Joplin, she ain’t!), but she shines on softer numbers like Chip Taylor’s “Any Way That You Want Me”, and brother Ed’s atmospheric “If They Left Us Alone Now”.
They manage to lay down a funky bass line on the album’s best track, “Love, Love, Love, Love, Love”, but their other attempts at “soul” fall flat. “I Don’t Like You Anymore” sounds like it was cobbled together using pieces from “You’re All I Need To Get By” and “I’m Losing You”.
The interminable “Funky Walk” is a laughingly bad attempt to invoke the spirit of James Brown. If not for some inventive drumming on the last five minutes of the song, you’d swear the record was stuck. Try to imagine The Osmonds doing a version of Sly Stone’s “Don’t Call Me Nigger, Whitey”, and you’ll get the idea.
There’s just not enough of anything here (material, inspiration, musicianship) to warrant a major-label album deal. Couple this with the fact that the band thanks Ed & Claudia’s parents in the liner notes for their “rehearsal cottage” and the whole thing seems like a vanity project designed to keep the kids out of trouble.
The group would manage to wax two more singles for Columbia before folding. These days, The Ed Wool Band busies itself playing weddings and bar mitzvahs in New York State. Long Live Rock & Roll! (ochsfan RYM)
- Love, Love, Love, Love, Love
- Combination Of The Two
- If They Left Us Alone Now
- To Kingdom Come
- I Don’t Like You Anymore
- Anyway That You Want Me
- It Was Such A Lovely Night (Loving You Tonight)
- The Boy With The Green Eyes
- Funky Walk