Wiyos – Twist

January 01, 1970





A Twist indeed! In
offering up this wholly offbeat interpretation of the fabled Wizard of Oz, the Wiyos create a weirdly
wonderful soundtrack that bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the
original score, but still manages to capture its wide-eyed wonder regardless.
The references to the plot aren’t always clear – the opening lyric from “Yellow
Lines” (“Last night my house came down on the witch/Now Munchkinland round
here’s got one less bitch…”) provides one of the few direct correlations — but
the characters are namedropped throughout and there’s little doubt as to where
this cast is headed.


The Wiyos attempt to cast the tale in a contemporary
setting, bringing some personal connection to Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly
Lion, the Scarecrow et al,  but the music is curiously of the period, all
jaunty rhythms and old timey shuffles that shift continuously even within the
same song. The banjo-plucking “Farewell Weather Bird” and the country croon of
“Penny Arcade” fare best, but those looking for a sympathetic remake of “Over
the Rainbow” or a tune that captures the ever-present appeal of “Follow the
Yellow Brick Road” are bound to be disappointed. Likewise, while the
Technicolor treatment of the film may have seemed somewhat psychedelic at the
time, the Wiyos’ redo almost seems schizophrenic by comparison. Younger
listeners will find it tough to follow along, but given a new view, fans of the
original may find themselves clicking their heels with enjoyment.  

DOWNLOAD: “Penny Arcade,” “Farewell
Weather Bird,” “Yellow Lines” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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