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The Move - Shazam CD (album) cover

SHAZAM

The Move

 

Proto-Prog

3.68 | 52 ratings

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cohen34
4 stars Shazam is the album where The Move really learned how to rock! Fresh off a tour of the States, the band decided to make an album out of its highlights. The final product sees them playing heaver, longer and LOUDER than ever before. Quite a far cry from the Mod-pop these guys formerly indulged in, indeed you can hardly recognize this album from the debut that came before it. As basically a live album, it shouldent surprise that there's no original material here. The songs are extended, fleshed-out covers of other bands hits at the time or reworkings of songs that The Move had recorded earlier. Alot like what Yes was doing at the time. One of the big progressive elements here is the length of the tracks, hardly any are less than 5 min. Another is that for the first time the band was starting to incorporate different elements into their music like sitars and classical sensibilities.

The album opens with the proto heavy metal juggernaut Hello Suzie. From the ferocious clinging guitars that open this song to the harsh cockney vocals that follow, you know this song is gonna be one wild ride. Hello Suzie hardly takes time to breath, pummeling the listener near senseless and twisting the sweet original pop tune into a raging maelstrom! Surprisingly, the song never loses that 60's pop feel, a few well placed vocal harmonies remind us that these guys can sing above a growl. The Move was never known for their drumming prowess but on this track the drum fills actually work well, bashing away, filling in the gaps between guitar riffs. When the song finally ends you feel exhausted, exilerated and in awe of what you just heard. If you, as I do, like loud, progressive rock and roll, take my word for it, this song is nirvana! To help wind down, the lovely ballad Your Beautiful Daughter follows. This is the only short song on the album and is nothing to really write home about.

The next song, Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited, is probably the most progressive. It begins with a more up-beat treatment of The Move's earlier song of the same name. After the 3 min mark it launches into a long jam that sees them covering a couple classical pieces including Greensleeves complete with handbells. This is a great rollicking tune that's a pleasure to listen to each time you hear it. Fields Of People, which follows, is the longest track on the album at 11 min. Unfortunately, after starting off well with a folksy feel, the band just keeps repeating the mantra like chorus over and over, then for the last 5 min the song noodles around with some pointless sitar. This is one of the weaker tracks for sure. The next song is the heavy blues-rocker Dont Make My Baby Blue that features a crunching guitar riff and a long extended jam. This one could have fit in well on Free's debut album. Shazam closes with The Last Thing On My Mind, a more low-key rocker with a soaring lead vocal. The extended edition includes alot of previously unreleased material, again mostly covers, that continue in much the same vein. The cover of The Byrds, So You Wanna Be A Rock And Rock Star, is especially good.

An important motif running through the album is the collection of interviews with ordinary British citizens before and after the songs. The interviewer asks different members of the populace what they think of the emerging pop music scene and unfortunately doesnt often get a good response (hehe). An interesting snap-shot of what people thought of music at the time.

All in all Shazam's a great album, the one where these guys really show us what they can do given a stage and an amplifier. Unfortunately, they would never sound this loud and abrasive again, preferring to continue to experiment with new styles and genres. I cant give Shazam 5 stars considering that there's alot of pointless jamming in some of the songs like FoP. The Move seem to get carried away with themselves, a good thing in front of a live audience, but some of these tracks could have been edited down to produce a much tighter feel. But dont let that turn you off, sit down and buckle up!

cohen34 | 4/5 |

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