SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell. Reviews The Move Something Else and Looking On CD’s

MOVE-Something-Else_web MOVE-Looking-On_web

Having previously brought you the first two albums in this re-issue programme here is the third. Originally issued in 1968 as a 5 track E.P. (ive still got a copy!) this expanded edition adds another 12 tracks. The last release to feature the ‘classic’ line-up of Roy Wood, Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton and Ace Kefford, it captures perfectly the energy of the band live at the Marquee in Wardour Street. Taking on a diverse range of covers of contemporary acts ranging from The Byrds (So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star) Spooky Tooth (Sunshine Help Me) and Somethin Else (Eddie Cochran) to name but three, the band rock the clearly happy audience and you can feel the atmosphere of the legendary venue.
After years of the original master tapes being lost we can now also enjoy all the additional numbers including spirited renditions of ‘Fire Brigade’ ‘Flowers In The Rain’ and ‘It’ll Be Me’ just three highlights. Its great to have a reminder of what a great and dynamic live band they were and to bring back so many fond memories of the Marquee and indeed our own beloved Hastings Pier where I first met and saw them back in 1967. Thoroughly recommended, an excellent package all round.

And now for something er… Else…’Looking On’ was the third full album released in 1970. An album that divided opinion then (and now), Carl Wayne, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton had all departed for various solo and largely unsuccessful careers. The Move was now a trio of Wood, Bevan and newly arrived Jeff Lynne. This of course was a pivitol moment in time, Roy had the ELO concept in his head (for three years) and Jeff Lynne of course was the catalyst to make it happen. Without writing a huge essay on the complicated Move/ELO/Wizzard story which im sure most readers will know lets stick with the album. Depending on your point of view its either a heavy prog rock experimental masterpiece or a unholy unmitigated disaster. Dumping the psyche-pop that had established them the band turned ‘heavy’..really heavy and produced 6 minute songs like the title track. It was a huge departure from what people had come to expect and not a successful one. Two singles lifted from the album did gain some success notably ‘Brontosaurus’ but overall the experimental tone of ‘Turkish Tram Conductor Blues’ ‘What’ etc in truth killed The Move for many fans. Listening to the album now my own feeling is I can see what they were trying to achieve, particularly given the period in which it was released and the desire to get away from a ‘pop singles band’ and gain rock credibility, but in truth it is a bit of a mess. However the bonus CD is really interesting containing previously unreleased BBC sessions and interviews with the incomparable Brian Matthew. There’s a wonderful take on The Beatles ‘She’s A Woman’ which is a delight for example. indeed the bonus disc which contains versions of the main album is for me far more enjoyable. I suppose personally the early classic Move was the Move I loved. ‘Looking On’ remains an important crossroads of a piece and will no doubt continue to cause debate as it did back in the day.

For more information go to
Til Next Time…. colin-head-111x150-111x150


Leave a comment