The Wheels were led by Brian Rossi one of the main movers in the Belfast scene of the mid-60s.
There are strong links with Van Morrison's Them: not only they came from the same place and shared a stage together in the early days but they had a very similar repertoire and their first single was none other than "Gloria" backed by "Don't you know" written by Them's producer Tommy Scott and also recorded by Van & Co.
Fair enough The Wheels lacked in original material but they did great versions of numbers by John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and the likes, also the staple of many other great acts from England at the time such as the Animals for example.
And to England they went, moving to Blackpool in the Summer of 1964 and a year later signed with Columbia. After releasing the above mentioned 45 to little acclaim they went back to the studio to record five more songs including their crowning achievement and following single: "Bad Little Woman"/"Road Block".
That is one of the most powerful R&B single ever released and both tracks were composed by the band. It was released in February 1966 after which Brian Rossi left the band to be replaced by former Them member Erick Wrickson.
The new line-up issued what was going to be their last single, a version of "Kicks" backed by another Scott's number already recorded by Them.
Before their final split in 1967, Brian Rossi rejoined the band for a farewell tour in Belfast playing the venues that saw them starting.
There was also a single released in the US as The Wheel-A-Ways (to avoid confusion with Mitch Ryder's Wheels). It was the original demo of "Bad Little Woman" (backed by "Don't you know") that curiously was picked up by Chicago's The Shadows of Knight who already scored a hit with their cover of "Gloria", if you only know their version be ready for a treat...The Wheels original recording is amazing!
02 Don't You Know
04 Bad Little Woman
05 Road Block
06 I'm Leaving
07 Send Me Your Pillow
08 You Got My Dizzy
10 Call My Name
11 Tell Me (I'm Gonna Love Again)
12 Bad Little Woman [US Version]
all tracks recorded in 1966 except 1-3, 1965
tracks 3,6-8 & 11 previously unreleased.