Tag Archives: The Move

The Move • Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move [CD+DVD]

move-magneticMagnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move gets its name from a line in the immortal song, “I Can Hear the Grass Grow.” A CD+DVD digipack from the UK’s Esoteric Recordings, it’s a right plethora of audio and video highlights of Birmingham, England’s THE MOVE. Each disc contains 21 tracks; the CD is a greatest hits compilation featuring a majority of their singles and some key B-sides and album cuts. Most Move fans will already have a serviceable compilation of one vintage or another that probably covers most of what you’d want, though, and for them the attraction here is the DVD. On the region-free, NTSC video disc you get a whole lotta seldom seen footage, including the band’s complete performance on the BBC’s Colour Me Pop program from 1969, appearances on German TV’s Beat Club, and the original promo film of the title song (“I Can Hear the Grass Grow”). Video quality is pretty amazing when compared to what little is available on YouTube and other video ports, though some of the songs aren’t complete (probably due to cutting out the announcer overlapping the beginning or end of a song) or appear two or three times. Still, it’s a DVD that compiles a great many interesting and historic TV appearances.

move_3some_333pxThis isn’t to say that you don’t need the CD, oh Move fan you. It’s rare to get a best-of that includes their later, Harvest Records singles like “China Town,” “California Man” and Jeff Lynne’s classic “Do Ya,” the original version recorded by The Move. By the time they recorded these last few tunes in ’71-’72, the band consisted of Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan (the latter two the only original members left in the band). At that point the three were creating the new Electric Light Orchestra on the side, and of course, that’s the group that more people are familiar with today. But it’s here that you hear a unique alloy of the beat group that The Move started out as and the much more expansive, cello-fied group they became. It is a little odd that they chose the LP version of “Cherry Blossom Clinic” instead of the snappier single version (the version here appeared on their Shazam album and was farther out than the original) – it breaks up the momentum established by the first half of the CD. Regardless, sound quality is pretty top notch considering the combination of mono and stereo mixes and the time span covered (1966-1972).

Magnetic Waves of Sound is an audio/video document that covers all the ground The Move did during their decade together and deserves a slot in every rock fan’s CD collection.

4/5 (Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 22554, 2017) – My review of the live album, Something Else from The Move, is here.


The Move • Something Else from The Move [CD]

somethingelse-themove-cd_400pxA quintessential ’60s band that seemed to run into more bad luck than good, The Move were one of the UK’s finest nascent “rock” groups. At turn after turn they lost band members, saw their singles get banned from airplay and had other calamities keep them from the success that in hindsight seems a foregone conclusion. The Birmingham, England group was originally fronted by vocalist Carl Wayne, with guitarist Roy Wood and drummer Bev Bevan among the heavy hitting roster. Eventually the group lost Wayne (and a couple of others) and gained Jeff Lynne before disbanding in 1972. However, in 1968…

Prior to the release of Move, their first album, The Move proceeded to record a February 1968 show at London’s famed Marquee for release as a live EP. The resulting Something Else from The Move was a crude-sounding 5-song 7″ featuring the band covering some of their current favorites. Besides the famous Eddie Cochran ’50s rocker title track, there were tunes by Love (“Stephanie Knows Who”), The Byrds (“So You Want to Be a Rock ’N’ Roll Star”), a souped-up “It’ll Be Me” (made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis) and Spooky Tooth’s “Sunshine Help Me.” Upon release in June, the EP became their first record to miss the charts completely. It had to be because it was just too raw for the British pop public to digest – if it were a man this record would’ve had bigger balls than anybody within miles. The Move, for three of the tracks, were a four-piece with two guitars, bass and drums (plus Wayne on vox) and really delivered what can only be heard now as proto punk rock. (Because there were issues with the live recording, a second show was scheduled in early May 1968 to gain the needed tracks to make up the eventual five-song release. By that time bassist Ace Kefford left the band so guitarist Trevor Burton switched to bass.) Seriously, this kick-ass record deserves to be in every garage rock aficionado’s collection.

move-band-1Earlier this year, UK record label Esoteric Recordings reissued the 7″ EP for Record Store Day in its original picture sleeve and mono configuration – as a “trailer” for the CD we’re talking about here (released in May). This baby is a 17-track extravaganza, with twelve stereo tracks comprising all of the songs recorded at those two 1968 Marquee dates, plus the original five mono tracks from the vinyl EP. A couple of the band’s current singles are included (“Fire Brigade” and “Flowers in the Rain”), plus more incendiary covers like “Higher and Higher” (The Supremes!), “Piece of My Heart” (made popular later that year by Janis Joplin in Big Brother & The Holding Company’s classic rendition), and Denny Laine’s now obscure “Too Much in Love.” Holy crap! Hearing this album is like discovering an amazing rock band you never heard of before, making you wonder how it could have possibly escaped your attention! And the primitive sound quality – not exactly of bootleg material but definitely at “soundboard recording” level – just adds to the primordial pandemonium of Something Else! Ever wondered what Love would sound like if they had cajones? Suck this and see!

Foreshadowing the band’s second album, early 1970’s Shazam!, and its heavier sound, this live EP/LP sounds much tougher and taut than I expected or hoped. It is the best thing I’ve heard all year! I’m finally reviewing it now because I just received it in the mail thanks to a few extra bucks I had when pre-ordering Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move, which comes out next month and will feature (besides 21 audio tracks) an entire DVD’s worth of rarer-than-rare video from these Brummie brutes. You don’t have to guess that I’ll be covering that one here, too!

5/5 (Esoteric Recordings)

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