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THE MOVE Looking On Salvo (2008)

The Move

Their 'Flowers in The Rain' launching Britain's BBC Radio 1 back in '67, paisley popsters The Move tipped the toys out of the pram in 1970 when they made their most compelling and original album in 'Looking On'. Key changes at play were the swing to more serious 'progressive' sounds and the arrival in Jeff Lynne of a writing partner Roy Wood could really spar with.

Left to their own devices in the studio by new label Fly - distracted by ingenue signing Marc Bolan - the two got to work fusing hard rock with doo-wop, bar room boogie and chamber, crossing amplified sawing cello, piping oboes, sitar and squalls of lead guitar, the multi-textured melange driven solidly by the hod-carrying backline of bassist Rick Price and drummer, Bev Bevan while over it all piped the trademark megaphone vocal. The result: dense, melodic, melodramatic - contrived to be both raw and sophisticated.

The singles 'Brontosaurus' and 'When Alice Comes Back To The Farm' are respectively lumbering and manic, while the lengthier 'What?' and 'Open up Said The World At The Door' indicate the door marked 'Electric Light Orchestra', a vehicle Lynne would have fired up right away but for contractual obligations.

Cheaply-packaged, 'Looking On' limped out and was left. But this top notch reissue more than makes up for the injustice: beautifully re-mastered, lusterous gatefold digi-pack, plenty of period imagery, highly-informed and entertaining notes from Mark Paytress, expanded with studio out-takes and the 'Brontosaurus' B-side. Good-bye 'Blackberry Way' and Hallo 'Mr Blue Sky' by way of 'Paranoid', the Cinderella in The Move catalogue finally goes to the ball.


Review by Peter Muir

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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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