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THE MOVE

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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The Move picture
The Move biography
Founded in Birmingham, UK in 1965 - Disbanded in 1972 - Reformed between 2004-2014

Cut from the same cloth as an array of other bands that blossomed from the fertile English musical soil in the mid-to-late 60s, THE MOVE conquered the British airwaves with a score of top ten singles, one after another. Their trendy psychedelic pop approach allowed them to maintain a high level of success in their own country for almost half a decade. However, unlike groups such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks they were still relatively unknown to foreign audiences. It wasn't until their arresting and decidedly un-commercial LP entitled "Shazam!" (released in early 1970) that overseas reviewers took notice and enthusiastically raved about their eclectic, devil-may-care approach to making records. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Roy Wood had been the principal songwriter and sole creative genius behind the band from the beginning but when lead singer Carl Wayne quit soon after that album hit the racks the equally talented Jeff Lynne was brought into the fold, bringing not only an ideological upgrade but a new, progressive dimension to their sound.

While never overlooking the importance of strong melodies, they shunned accepted arrangement formulas and developed a unique style all their own that defies easy labeling to this day. In the process of building a solid, driving hard rock ambience featuring up-front, layered guitars they were also liable to throw in anything they could lay their hands on whether it was an oboe, a sitar or some strange hybrid instrument they invented themselves. There's a rare aura of unbridled, "anything goes" enthusiasm surrounding the studio efforts of the Wood/Lynne era in particular that challenged the status quo while surprising and delighting their fans worldwide. Perhaps that capricious attitude stems from THE MOVE having become a financial means-to-an-end as Roy and Jeff were in the process of developing their "serious" project, The Electric Light Orchestra. When that new endeavor was launched at the end of 1971 THE MOVE came to a quiet, unceremonious end but their incredibly quirky and always unpredictable mix of rock, jazz, pop, folk and classical influences will live on in prog history.

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Buy THE MOVE Music


Shazam: Remastered & Expanded Deluxe EditionShazam: Remastered & Expanded Deluxe Edition
Remastered
Cherry Red 2016
$11.56
$11.56 (used)
Move: Remastered & Expanded Deluxe EditionMove: Remastered & Expanded Deluxe Edition
Cherry Red 2016
$16.33
$15.99 (used)
Magnetic Waves of Sound: Best of the MoveMagnetic Waves of Sound: Best of the Move
Remastered
Esoteric 2017
$12.82
$11.60 (used)
Live at FillmoreLive at Fillmore
Right Recordings 2012
$12.49
$12.55 (used)
Message From the CountryMessage From the Country
Parlophone 2005
$108.98
$28.93 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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THE MOVE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE MOVE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.11 | 31 ratings
Move
1968
3.68 | 48 ratings
Shazam
1970
4.09 | 51 ratings
Looking On
1970
3.45 | 36 ratings
Message From The Country
1971

THE MOVE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 7 ratings
Live at the Fillmore 1969
2012

THE MOVE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE MOVE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Fire Brigade
1972
3.17 | 5 ratings
California Man
1974
2.14 | 3 ratings
The Best of The Move
1997
4.08 | 5 ratings
Movements, 30th Anniversary Anthology
1997
4.05 | 3 ratings
Looking Back, The Best of The Move
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Very Best Of The Move
2009

THE MOVE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 5 ratings
Something Else From The Move
1968

THE MOVE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Looking On by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.09 | 51 ratings

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Looking On
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The year 1970 was a busy one for THE MOVE who released not only one but two albums however in between their progressively tinged "Shazam" and their third album LOOKING ON, great changes had occurred that would take the band in completely new directions. Firstly, singer Carl Wayne departed (off to cabaret and soap opera glory) and in to take his place was none other than Jeff Lynne who contributed the much desired role as a second songwriter, a collaborative effort that Roy Wood had been seeking from THE MOVE's formation. Another major change was the band's move to Fly Records which found the band starting a new chapter of their existence. While THE MOVE had been one of Britain's prime hitmakers during the 60s, they never quite managed to strike it big outside their homeland's shores but with Jeff Lynne as co-pilot, the team was hoping to cast a wider net musically speaking and eventually expand their appeal. While cover songs had been a staple on the previous albums, because of Lynne's prolific songwriting nature, LOOKING ON is the first THE MOVE album of all originals.

Ironically as it turned out, Jeff Lynne was actually Wood's replacement in Nightriders after Wood jumped ship to form THE MOVE, so in a way Lynne already had a feel for Wood's style and fit into the band perfectly as the two shared many musical ambitions. Truth be known was the fact that Wood actually wanted to end THE MOVE and start a new band with Lynne right away that would expand the horizons of pop music and move it closer to orchestrated classical sophistication but due to record contract obligations, the two conjured up the material to keep THE MOVE floating along for another couple albums before they could finally be released from their contractual shackles and begin The Electric Light Orchestra. However, despite existing as THE MOVE, the arrival of Lynne showcases LOOKING ON as a sort of proto-ELO collection of tunes that exists in some strange limbo between the 60s move sound and snippets of ideas that would fully gestate into the later ELO projects. Much ELO material was actually written and held back during this period.

LOOKING ON is quite the diverse album and while not as epic as the prior "Shazam," still churned out seven cranking tunes that upped the hard rock aspects but also found nascent early ELO elements such as the medieval classical sounds of a cello, oboe and sax residing next to 60s psychedelic pop leftovers such as the sitar. Quite the eclectic album indeed. While the title track kicks off in heavy rock form which showcases the band's attunement with the new 70s trends, the track oddly morphs into a bizarre Indo-raga tune towards the end. Jeff Lynne's love of 50s rock and roll shines through like a beam of sunshine on tracks "When Alice Comes Back To The Farm" which has a rather Rolling Stones bluesy rock feel as well as their hit single "Brontosaurus" which utilized a clever mix of heavy rock'n'roll, slide guitar and honky tonk piano.

The peculiarly titled "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" which channeled their best Eric Clapton led Cream exhibited healthy doses of a strangely incongruous sitar and sultry sax solo whereas "What?" sounds a lot like the proto-makings of the following year's "Mr Radio" which would appear on the debut ELO album. Strewn all throughout LOOKING ON are tinklings of "Roll Over Beethoven" rock'n'roll riffs threaten to break in but never quite gestate completely. "Open Up Said The World At The Door" carries on where "Shazam" left off with an intricately designed mix of clever melodies, creative counterpoints and beautiful vocal harmonies that proved Lynne was the ultimate collaborator for Wood's similar musical visions and a veritable vocalist in his own right. Also on the work table, Lynne and Wood would create the much loved "10538 Overture" but held it back to be included on the future ELO project.

The ending track utilizes a rather Clapton-esque "I Shot The Sheriff" guitar riff but with a funky soul type of vocal style accompanied by a stomping groovy beat. After a few verses and choruses the track drifts off into a serious jam with guitar soloing with soulful Jackson Five type vocals and finally ends after eight minutes with a few breaks. One morphs into a Beach Boys styled barbershop choir that kinda sounds like "Barbara Ann" and then finally shifts into a piano roll with some British bloke blathering on about something or rather. While THE MOVE only released a mere four albums in their career, each one is completely different and LOOKING ON has its own distinct personality as well. Due to Lynne's contributions the album really sounds a million miles away from the "Shazam" album that was released only months prior. Somehow i acquired a taste for this band and each album stands up on its own merit. LOOKING ON is no exception to this for it is yet another strong batch of progressive pop tracks that provides also provides an interesting context to ELO's early history as well as just being a really creatively cool album in its own right.

 Shazam by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.68 | 48 ratings

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Shazam
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars It's hard to believe well into the 21st century that a band like THE MOVE which was hardly ever a household name outside of the UK, was in fact one of the top pop acts of the late 60s racking up an impressive number of hits, actually 20 in total in a short five year period but found little success outside of their British homeland. Taking a few cues from The Beatles and not just in the musical department, THE MOVE was one of those bands that released many singles that weren't included on the albums themselves and in the beginning the focus was more on the pop singles rather than on fully developed albums, therefore in this same five year period this band originally led by bassist / vocalist Chris Kefford only released two albums and much like the Beatles had transmogrified from a typical 60s beat garage rock sounding band with strong pop hooks into a veritable art rock band that wisely retained the pop sensibilities all the while increasing the complexity and weirdness into a heavy rock and proto-prog territory on their second album SHAZAM! (I reeeeally want to add a lightning bolt after that!)

Five years in, Kefford found his influence overpowered by guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Roy Wood and in 1968 exited stage right after a nervous breakdown resulting from a liberal fascination, and excessive love affair with LSD experimentation. As Wood took the reins, THE MOVE, well?. moved into new territories and with Kefford's departure Trevor Burton would switch from guitar to fill his bass duties only to depart midstream only to be replaced by Rick Price. Making it even more complicated was the fact that Tony Visconti played bass on "Beautiful Daughter" which resulted in that track being used from older sessions, so while SHAZAM! was recorded in a much shorter time than the long term recording sessions of the debut album, this track in a way connected the band to their Beatles pop influences in the fact that it sounds like a reworked making of "Eleanor Rigby" complete with a exuberant violin and chamber pop backing.

SHAZAM is a few steps up from the eponymous debut, which i really found to be an excellent pop rock album of 1968, however on this sophomore outing Wood and company fine-tuned their overall sound into a veritable art rock band that foresaw many trends that made the 70s so great. This album is a testament to its era. It equally catches the zeitgeist of the 60s hippie vibe that was slowly waning all the while jumping ahead into progressive pastures that were blossoming all around them. The result is electrifying like that lightning bolt from the sky that like Billy Batson uttering the word SHAZAM! becomes the powerful superhero Captain Marvel. While the original album only had six tracks, they are quite diverse and all but "Beautiful Daughter" clock in at the five minute mark or more and despite continuing to hit the charts even in 1970 with singles, none of the six tracks on this album were even released as singles making SHAZAM truly an art rock album oriented musical ride all the way.

"Hello Susie" starts things off with a blistering heavy guitar riff oriented sound for 1970 allowing singer Carl Wayne to wail his vocals in a snarling heavy rock shout-a-thon where he battles to be heard over the heavy guitar, bass and surprisingly sophisticated drum techniques implemented by Bev Bevan. At this point THE MOVE was known for their mixing it up with Roy Wood penned originals and covers of other artists. The first three tracks are Wood's creations whereas the second half of the album is all covers. "Beautiful Daughter" rescued from past sessions and a 2.0 version of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" unleashes a string savvy power ballad as well as the shortest track on the album at a less than three minute running time. Then we come to one of my favorite tracks of the album: "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited." As the name implies, this one is taken from the first album but perfected in every way. Firstly, the instrumentation is impeccable with guitars, bass, drums and vocals ramping up their respective roles. The stylistic changes suit the music perfectly and the medley type ventures toward the end that incorporate different variations on classical pieces by J.S. Bach and Tchaikovsky is stunningly brilliant and surprisingly amusing.

Side two begins with the other genius track of "Fields Of People," which although a cover of an Ars Nova hippie dippie track from a few years prior is crafted into a bona fide masterpiece of musical pleasure with a marriage of classical music sensibilities with the 60s beat pop rock that THE MOVE made their own. The verse / chorus infectious pop grooves evolve into a veritable Indo-raga finale which takes the entire track to close to the eleven minute mark yet not for one second does this one get boring. The remaining two tracks are sort of the more ordinary of the bunch. "Don't Make My Baby Blue" is a rather Janis Joplin sounding bluesy rocker with heavy guitar riffs and soul gusto while "The Last Thing On My Mind" dips back into the psychedelic pop 60s for a wild trippy guitar rock track that meanders on into the ethers and beyond for a seven and a half minute ride. The album is rather light-hearted as THE MOVE adopted the rather Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band approach of silly narrative between and even with tracks to add a personal touch of mood and situation to add some personal connections.

Wham bam i love SHAZAM! This was a grower and not one that immediately revealed its secrets to me. It was like a worm that embedded itself in my soul and only really unleashed its magic after probably the fifth listen or so. And then i was hooked! While highly accessible upon the first listen, it doesn't really differentiate itself from other contemporary pop music at first at least not for me despite the progressive nuances. This album was yet another crossroads in the band's history. After SHAZAM singer Carl Wayne would part ways and Jeff Lynne would join the band and effectively take control and make THE MOVE a proto-Electric Light Orchestra outfit. And it's no surprise that Lynne had his eye on this band since ELO's mission statement was based on the fact that they wanted to take the classical pop characteristics of The Beatles and take them even further. Well, that exactly what THE MOVE was doing on SHAZAM. Don't let the horrible album cover fool you. This is one of 1970's coolest pop rock albums to have been recorded. It's like something The Beatles should have recorded somewhere down the road had they not broken up and ventured even further toward progressive pastures after "Sgt. Peppers."

4.5 but not quite good enough to round up

 Message From The Country by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.45 | 36 ratings

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Message From The Country
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Nice Diverse Collection.

This is the album that the Move made for contractual reasons, and they added some filler they wrote quickly to it, to get this out the door. But there is also excellent music here. Indeed, they wrote so many songs during this time that there were six extra tunes that didn't initially get released, but which made it onto most re-releases of this album (my own vinyl copy contains not only the 10 original tracks, but all six additions, so that I what I will review here). The music here is very diverse, much more diverse than any previous Move album, with more different styles than any ELO album. There is blues, country (and faux country), jazz, hard (for the time) rock, progressive rock, and of course pop, here. The very best song here, one of the best Wood-related tunes, is "It Wasn't My Idea to Dance". This sounds like it could have been targetted at the first ELO album, as it has that heavier multi-instrument feel, like the 10538 overture, but perhaps they had too many good tracks for that (the first ELO album is SO good!), so perhaps this one had to be kept for this Move album (apparently, much of the first ELO album and many of the songs for this album were recorded at the same time). But I actually like all the songs on this album. The title track is great. I really like the fun songs too, like Wood doing his best Elvis impression on "Don't Mess Me Up", and Bev Bevan singing the faux country (but socially critical) "Ben Crawley Steel Company". Also, the six tracks that were left off this album are also quite good. This includes the Move single hit (and later ELO hit) "Do Ya". ELO recorded that one as a virtual carbon-copy of this Move version. "Tonight", "Chinatown" and another single, the rough rockin' "California Man", are also great ("California Man" could be thought of as the template for later ELO rockers like "Hold On Tight" and "Rock'n Roll is King"). While there are some greats here, and every song is listenable, with this amount of diversity I can see how those who prefer one particular style could be turned off. And I don't think this album is going to make it to the top of anyone's greatest list, But I think it is solid, and slightly better than Shazam. I give it 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which places in the (higher) 3 PA stars range.

 Looking On by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.09 | 51 ratings

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Looking On
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars The Best Move.

With their third album, The Move finally recorded a collection worthy of four stars. Building on the sound they introduced on Shazam, the Move take it even heavier and edgier here, and extend their songs with additional sections and well-developed solos. This album seems Jeff Lynne join the band, replacing the departed Carl Wayne who didn't like this shift away from pop (and of course, Lynne would later form ELO with Move members Roy Wood and Bev Bevan). The bass player is also new here, with Rick Price taking over from Trevor Burton. So, this is really quite a new Move, with only Wood and Bevan remaining from the previous lineup. The result is a great album that draws the listener to it for repeated listens. The title track "Looking On", Jeff Lynne's "Open Up Said the Door to the World", and the closing track "Feel Too Good" are among their best songs. "Brontosaurus" is trudging, but fun-trudging. By the time this album came out, Wood and Lynne had already decided to form a new band (ie ELO), and they made their last (fourth) album for contractual reasons. But this album was made before they got that far, when they were putting their bets on a revitalized Move co-led by Wood and Lynne. You can feel it in the vibe here too. Of all the move albums, this is the one most worth having. I give this 8.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

 Shazam by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.68 | 48 ratings

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Shazam
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars A Step Up from their debut.

With a more lively and harder edge, Shazam jolts the listener into realizing this is a new Move sound than all the radio-friendly singles represented on their debut. Roy Wood had begun growing his hair even longer and dressing in entertaining ways and Carl Wayne the lead vocalist and sometime-songwriter was none too happy (even looks a bit like this on the cover, no?). The tension adds to the music. This album mixes cover songs and originals. The covers are given a good do-over, with the re-interpretations sounding fresh. Among the originals, the excellent but eerie "Beautiful Daughter" and their remake of their great hit "Cherry Blosom Clinic" (but here the harder, "revisited" version) stand out. On this album they are playing better and more like they mean it. But it is not quite at the 4-star level. I give this album 7.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to higher 3 PA stars. Get the version with the bonus tracks - there are a number of them of varied quality, but they give a good idea of the music the band were recording at the time.

 Move by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.11 | 31 ratings

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Move
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Very Poppy.

The Move's first album is very much in the early-mid Beatles mode. Very poppy, meant for radio, but with some clever lyrics and enough charm that one will be tempted to put in on more than once. Roy Wood is the main songwriter for the Move, and his songs are generally the best of theirs, all the way through until they split. The best track on this first album is "Cherry Blossom Clinic", a great song that is among the best in their discography, although the heavier "revisited" version on Shazam is the much better version. But that song serves mostly to reinforce the feeling that the rest of the songs here, while often catchy and clever enough, are not at the same level. Indeed, this their weakest album, even apart from the fact it is the least progressive or musically diverse. I give this 6.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to mid 3 PA stars.

 Something Else From The Move by MOVE, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.02 | 5 ratings

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Something Else From The Move
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars THE MOVE had unexpected success with their debut eponymous album and although their fortune was limited to their native UK, the band had stacked up four top 10 hits and were eager to keep the fire burning. And that's exactly what they did by releasing this quick follow up in the form of a live EP titled SOMETHING ELSE FROM THE MOVE just a few months later. This was the perfect type of material to fill the slot between albums and showcased THE MOVE's energetic and electrifying live sets. The album was recorded live on February 27, 1968 at the famous London Marquee Club. The original release consisted of only five tracks and were mixed exclusively in mono however many more tracks were recorded and subsequently released as bonus tracks on future extended releases as well as being released in stereo. They are all also available as bonus tracks on the 1998 remastered reissue of the "Shazam" album.

While one would expect the performances to be material from the band's debut release, it actually contains nothing but covers of some of the band's favorite tracks beginning with The Byrd's "So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star." Immediately one is struck by how much more raw and rocking this is compared to the carefully crafted and perfectly polished psychedelic pop of the debut release. The beauty of these live performances is it shows THE MOVE in full on stage regalia delivering a rock 'n' roll energy level that isn't always present on the studio albums. The selection of tracks is quite pleasant as they all seem to morph perfectly into one another despite being mined from quite a diverse catalogue of artists. The folk rock intro suddenly leaps into the psychedelic garage rock Love song "Stephanie Knows Who" and then off to the world of rockabilly with Eddie Cochran's "Somethin' Else." Also on board is the Jerry Lee Lewis track "It'll Be Me" and even an excellent cover of Spooky Tooth's "Sunshine Help Me" complete with groovy blues guitar riffs and solos matching the splendor of the original.

The album was released in 1999 on CD and from then on includes the Erma Franklin / Janis Joplin classic "Piece Of My Heart" and three other tracks by Denny Lane, Jackie Wilson and an additional unedited version of "Sunshine Help Me." This EP while not exactly essential is quite a pleasant listening experience as it fully conveys what THE MOVE was all about in a live setting and how well they could adapt their own particular style of playing around a varying set list of songs. The album has been remastered and reissued in its own right with varying amounts of bonus tracks tacked onto the end. It is really a treat to hear the band in their early days before the more progressive elements were added on "Shazam" and how well they could master the vast array of influences on board. While not quite reaching the heights of essential releases, it is nonetheless a very enjoyable little tidbit that fills the cracks of the time between the first two albums.

3.5 rounded down

 Move by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.11 | 31 ratings

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Move
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars One of the things i always wonder is how do certain bands come up with such LAME band names? Well THE MOVE literally refers to the shifting positions of band members from one band to another. Yeah, lame, i know but luckily the music of THE MOVE on their debut album MOVE is far from lame. This is yet one of a gazillion bands to have emerged from Birmingham, England in the 60s. This is a band that had significant success in their native UK by scoring a total of 20 hit singles in a five year span but had absolutely no success in the US or other English speaking countries which meant their career was a fairly short seven year span but a sweet one nonetheless. While the band was known for its innovative and progressive leanings beginning on their second album "Shazam," on this debut album they are all about psychedelic pop and were one of the main shakers of the short lived genre called "freakbeat" which incorporated many aspects of the early British beat scene with psychedelic elements like studio effects and stereophonic embellishments as to give it a strange contemporary achronistic feel at the same time.

What can i say about THE MOVE's first album? Well, it is very catchy psychedelic pop music from 1968. The main influence seems to be The Beatles, who apparently left a vacuum in the 60s pop world when they jettisoned the predictability of the early and mid 60s and moved on to proto-progressive releases such as "Sgt Pepper's" and ushered in an entirely new "free expression" musical world. Well, not everyone was ready for the liberation of this sort and that's why bands like The Monkees were manufactured and other bands like THE MOVE hungrily moved into the formerly occupied musical territory. While the 60s were burgeoning with psychedelic pop bands from all corners of the globe, THE MOVE were actually quite talented in this niche and they nailed the psychedelic pop sound they were going for. Yes, this does sound like it should have been released 3 or 4 years prior before the advent of Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Zappa, however for 60s pop music that takes its antecedents and compiles them into a whole and fine tunes all of these elements, this is pretty good. There is not one bad track on here and it sounds like every track on this debut could have been a pop single of the era.

The Beatles seem to have the biggest influence on this one with extremely catchy hooks that mostly utilize guitars, bass and drums but have piano, harpsichord, brass and woodwind orchestral embellishments on many (especially ending) tracks. There is also an element of sunshine pop like the type of The Turtles but also the cover tracks by Eddie Cochran and The Coasters bring an element of good old fashioned 50s rock 'n' roll to the mix. This album also has a very strong sense of pacing. It begins quite innocently in the sunshine psychedelic pop arena but as ti progresses adds more complexity, most of the time bringing The Beatles to mind, but often meandering into the Baroque pop of The Beach Boys. While this is 60s pop through and through, the sophistication of it all is very much appreciated. Yes, the sound is a bit anachronistic but only by a few years. The fact is that every track on here is extremely catchy and well performed. I particularly love the energy delivered by bassist Ace Kefford who ups the energetic feel of the era a bit. While the ideas may be recycled for the most part, the delivery is very contemporary. This album was a grower. Nothing progressive at this point but if you like excellently performed 60s psychedelic music then you cannot forego such a wonderful experience as THE MOVE's very first album. I personally enjoy this one very much.

 Live at the Fillmore 1969 by MOVE, THE album cover Live, 2012
4.04 | 7 ratings

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Live at the Fillmore 1969
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars A combination of bad luck and bad timing kept The Move from becoming a household name in America in the late 1960s. Having lit up the British charts for much of 1967 with their incredible run of singles ("Night of Fear", "I Can Hear the Grass Grow", and "Flowers in the Rain", just to name three), The Move's long-awaited debut album (entitled Move) suffered some unfortunate delays and was not released until well into 1968, which unfortunately places them in the "followers" bin of history. This, combined with a volatile band lineup, greatly hurt the momentum The Move had achieved in 1967. Their follow-up album, Shazam, would not be released until 1970, and it seemed for a while as if their opportunity to take the world by storm had passed, as the pop music landscape had changed immeasurably since 1967, with psychedelic pop tossed aside in favor of the heavy sounds of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

The Move were never a band to stand still, though. One listen to even their debut album shows a band with an unusually high level of eclecticism. And by 1969, as they were planning their second album, they had evolved further into something approaching heavy prog-rock. And so our heroes set sail for America for the first (and last) time, to play a few select concerts, one of these at the legendary Fillmore West Auditorium in San Francisco. The event was recorded for posterity, and was finally cleaned up and seen fit for release in 2012.

Now on with the show: the material consists primarily of the songs which would soon appear on Shazam, plus a few well chosen covers. As is the case on Shazam, the material is performed loudly and loosely, stretching songs out beyond the six minute mark. Carl Wayne's performance on lead vocals was the biggest surprise. The Move has always been remembered as Roy Wood and (later) Jeff Lynne's pre-ELO band, but few remember Wayne, who really shines here and makes a strong case to be considered along with the strongest rock front-men of the era. As for Roy Wood, he delivers some serious thunder on the guitar, and frequently performs harmony vocals accompanying Wayne. Drummer Bev Bevan gives a hard-pounding performance on the drums, coming somewhere between Keith Moon and John Bonham. New member Rick Price, on bass, plays complex bass lines that essentially make up for the lack of a second guitarist (which they had had on their debut album).

"Open My Eyes", the now-classic Nazz song, opens the show with a total bang. This then dives into the slow heavy blues of Frankie Laine's "Don't Make My Baby Blue" and a re-thought version of their debut album track "Cherry Blossom Clinic (Revisited)", played slower and heavier and incorporating a very prog-like rock band adaptation of classical melodies in the coda. "The Last Thing on My Mind" (another cover!) continues the set with a mellow ballad played with an Eastern-drone sensibility. Then there's their second UK hit single "I Can Hear the Grass Grow", played with gusto and extended to 10 minutes incorporating a drum solo.

The set continues with "Fields of People", an obscure contemporary flower-power song by Ars Nova, again re-imagined as a powerful psychedelic rocker which is probably my favorite Move song. This version stretches out even more than the Shazam version, with Wood elongating the long instrumental section at the end that features a strange guitar fashioned out of a banjo and a Turkish saz. "Goin' Back" is yet another cover, a laid back soul rocker, and "Hello Suzie" is a Wood original that is probably the heaviest the Move ever got, with Wood taking the lead vocal and practically screaming the whole song. "Under the Ice" (I believe ANOTHER Nazz cover) finishes the set with 14 more minutes of rockin' soul. The second disc closes out with alternate live versions of three of the songs, plus a ten minute interview with Bev Bevan, recalling the 1969 US tour.

Bottom line: this is one of the few surviving documents of The Move in a concert setting, and although it's not a pristine recording, it's very listenable, with clear vocals throughout and reasonably clear stage sound. The difference between their debut album and this live performance is comparable to, say, hearing "The Who Sell Out" and then jumping to "Live at Leeds" - quite an eye opener. And for fans like me who love the Shazam album, this functions well as an alternate document of the band during that period - as good as Shazam is, it does feel a little stifled by the LP format, whereas this show feels no boundaries as the band just lets it fly for over 90 minutes. Excellent archival find.

 Message From The Country by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.45 | 36 ratings

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Message From The Country
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by mohaveman

3 stars As a longtime fan of early Electric Light Orchestra, I have decided to work my way through the catalog of their precurser band, The Move. The first disc I have chosen is MESSAGE FROM THE COUNTRY, which bears the most resemblance with NO ANSWER the first ELO release. There are 4 great tunes here. "Message From the Country", "It wasn't my idea to Dance", "The Words of Aaron" , and "No Time". All are Jeff Lynne numbers which I guess explains why I like them. The Roy Wood songs are more of a mixed bag with rock, pop, and even Johnny Cash ripoffs to boot. Nothing special among them. Lynne saves this album and shows the beginning of his songwriting talent. Any of his tunes here could have easily fit in on the first 2 ELO records. However, they only bring this to a good but not great release. 3 stars
Thanks to Chicapah and easy livin for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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