MOVE (3CD Remastered/Expanded Deluxe Digipack Edition. The Move I was delighted to see this release. The Move were one of the first ‘name’ bands I worked with on Hastings Pier back in 1967, so a large dollop of nostalgia involved. This was the debut album released originally in April 1968. What a debut! Containing some of the best tracks, in my opinion, they ever released. ‘Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree’, ‘Walk Upon The Water’ ‘Cherry Blossom Clinic’ ‘Flowers in The Rain’ and the gorgeous ‘Mist On A Monday Morning’ to name but a few. Ive always put Roy Wood right up there with Lennon/McCartney and Ray Davies as one of the best songwriters we have ever produced. This is a lavish package, featuring the mono mix of the album plus 52 (yes you read that right!) 52 bonus tracks all beautifully remastered. Alternate takes, studio sessions, interviews its a huge affair. ‘Night of Fear’ and ‘I Can hear The Grass Grow’ have never sounded this good. There just isn’t enough space to list all the treasures here present. The Move always were and will always remain one of my favourite bands for their live performances, dynamic singles, and capturing an era in music when anything seemed possible and Britain was the centre of the musical world. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
SHAZAM (Remastered) The Move Two years on in February 1970 and the band were starting to gain a ‘heavier’ sound which would lead to tracks like ‘Brontasaurus’. Shazam captures them at that turning point. ‘Hello Suzie’ is a good example of this heavier approach, even though of course Amen Corner had a hit with their cover ‘poppier’ version. ‘Beautiful Daughter’ and ‘Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited’ are pure joy. The bonus tracks include the international number one ‘Blackberry Way’ the witty ‘Omnibus’ the irrestible ‘Curly’ and a personal favourite in ‘Wild Tiger Woman’ which, to be honest was a flop as a single by their standards, something I never understood its as well written, commercial and catchy as say ‘Fire Brigade’ but somehow didn’t capture the publics attention. Again the 14 tracks including the bonus ones are beautifully remastered and render previous releases redundant. There will be more releases to come in this series and I eagerly look forward to receiving them!
For more information go to http://www.cherryred.co.uk
SWEET ‘New York Groove Plus’
Are you ready Bruce? Pete? Andy? Tony? lets go!! OK, so that’s not quite the same as it once was but Andy Scott has kept the flame burning all these years and let me tell you he’s done a bloody good job. This is a thumpingly good album right from the kick off. Knowing in this market dominated by Cowell clones, airplay for a new Sweet album aint gonna happen he’s astutely ‘Sweetified’ some classics and come up with a gem. ‘New York Groove’, ‘Because The Night’ ‘Join Together’ are just some of the highlights. And yes all the ‘classic’ Sweet ingredients are there, the layered harmonies, sawing guitar riffs and driving drum beats that made them such a great band. In fact listening to the ‘new’ version of ‘New York Connection’ (the original b side of Wig Wam Bam) you are transported back to those heady days of the 70’s. But this is no retro album its Sweet in 2015 doing what they do best rocking hard. I hope this release brings them new fans who will discover what a seminal band they are. I can feel Brian and Mick looking down and nodding their heads and their feet in approval. Rock on Andy and Co, I wish we had a (happy) ballroom to blitz!! And now if this was a radio link I guess i’d be saying from one sweet to another (groan!)……….
BUTTERSCOTCH ‘Don’t You Know Its Butterscotch’
Is it really 45 years almost to the day I received a promo single of ‘Don’t You Know’? yes it is and I don’t know where the time has gone! Released in May 1970 this slice of sunshine pop hit the top twenty and once heard stuck in your head all day. Butterscotch was the brainchild of talented songwriters Arnold, Martin and Morrow (AMMO) who had written for everyone from Elvis to Edison Lighthouse. Much like Edison Lighthouse, White Plains etc Butterscotch were a studio concoction originally. Never released before this CD contains all their recorded material, they never bettered DYK and didn’t trouble the charts again but if you like ‘Sunshine pop, harmony ala Harmony Grass style there is much to enjoy ‘Surprise Surprise’ and ‘Sunday Wont be Sunday Any More’ being two highlights. And as aforementioned you’ll be humming DYK for the rest of the day!
ROBIN GEORGE ‘Dangerous Music ii’
Following on from the album Dangerous Music, comes the never released til now part 2. Robin had a worldwide hit from that first album in 1985 in the shape of ‘Heartline’, a track I have played many many times on my radio shows and a personal favourite. A fan of Little Feat (great band) Robin has a great pedigree playing with amongst others. Phil Lynott, Robert Plant, Roy Wood and Diamond Head. Dangerous Music 11 is clearly an Eighties production, I can imagine some of the tracks playing in scenes from Miami Vice, glossy synth pop overladen with Robins guitar work. Despite some high quality writing there sadly isn’t a track as immediate as ‘Heartline’. Overall its a good listen, best in a convertible heading down a freeway I suspect. And that side of the pond I think is his natural market. However good to see its release after 30 years!
All the above are Angel Air releases. For more information go to www.angelair.co.uk
Til next time bye for now and have a great Easter… Colin