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THE MOVE Salvo DCD207 (2007)

The Move

For once the self congratulatory blurb is justified as this deluxe version of The Move's debut album really does do the band proud. While The Beatles, Stones and The Who have over decades enjoyed enduring international adulation, The Move have too often been overlooked in the great book of rock & roll. As Mark Paytress outlines in his chronological liner notes the band was the sum of five talented individuals. And given the untimely passing of vocalist Carl Wayne, it is perhaps as good a moment as any to review Birmingham's main contribution to both Pop and Psychedelia. This Deluxe version of 'Move' is a superbly packaged two CD effort and includes re-mastered music, plenty of bonus tracks, B sides and previously unreleased songs.

Of course those of us who were fortunate to remember the original singles and B sides and the original albums might be a little confused by this avalanche of extra tracks. But in the context of such a well researched informed retrospective it all works superbly well.

Of course no appraisal of the Move would be complete without reference to either their early explosive on stage shows or the management led hype that saw them on the end of legal action by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson. But hey this was the pre corporate days of rock and roll when exploding TV's and the like were an integral part of the show. Then there was the sense of contradiction between the band's so called wild image and their mix of delicate post Beatles style songs tinged with dollops of psychedelic rock and cut glass vocal harmonies that confused many peripheral fans. In may ways on disc one you can hear a band who are honing their style, most notably on 'Yellow Rainbow' with its early echoes of 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' (included as one of the bonus tracks), and 'Kilroy Was Here' which references the single 'Night of Fear'. Indeed on 'Useless Information' there are elements of two future songs, as the vocal lines come close to both 'Curly' and the much later 'Tonight'.

The psychedelic side of the band bubbles up in songs like 'Walk Upon The Water' which includes innocent lines like 'didn't expect this trip to last' which is later qualified by the explanatory 'Please don't drink and drive, especially when you're driving friends, along the waterside'. On those occasions when everything comes together as on the magnificent 'Fire Brigade' and 'Flowers in the Rain' you are listening to a band at the top of their game, while on the near misses like the harpsichord and cello driven 'Mist On A Monday Morning', they sound like a Beatles in demo mode. On 'Hey Grandma' the harmonies sound not unlike The Hollies and Turtles, before the guitar line slips into the Beatles 'Revolver' era.

Either way 'Move' by The Move proved to be a great start for Roy Wood's prolific song writing career, and hinted at the all round strength of one of the greatest band of the era, who somehow trod a discerning line between commercial success (via singles and EP's) and artistic integrity through albums and great shows. This album come highly recommended as an excellently packaged account of a nascent band who although never quite happy with their niche went on to record some classic stuff.


Review by Pete Feenstra

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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