Posts Tagged ‘The Move’

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There was a lot of great pop music in the 1960s, and Birmingham psychedelic rock band The Move are often overlooked among the rush. They never made an impression in the US where the band they morphed into, Electric Light Orchestra, were much more successful. A lot of British bands left their best material off studio albums, and only put it on singles. The Beatles had enough great material to get away with it, but The Move hurt their album legacy by never including gems like ‘Blackberry Way’ and ‘Night of Fear’ on their albums.

Perhaps due to this policy, The Move were a very successful singles band, especially early in their career. Five of the first six Move singles placed in the UK top 5, with ‘Blackberry Way’ reaching No#1.

We are proud to be kicking off our reissue program of classic titles by 60s rock band The Move. 

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“Move” Released March 1968

‘Move’: The classic 1968 debut album by The Move comes in 2 formats: a 3 Disc Remastered & Expanded Deluxe Edition and a Standard Edition. The 3 CD Deluxe edition focuses on the Mono mix of the album, but has also been expanded to include 52 bonus tracks encompassing stereo mixes of the album tracks, previously unreleased tracks from the band’s very first recording session in January 1966, unreleased tracks from an early appearance on regional radio and 19 tracks drawn from BBC radio sessions recorded between January 1967 and January 1968. It also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Mark Paytress and also includes a poster.

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“Shazam” Released February 1970

Shazam’: The classic 1970 album by The Move is available as a 2CD Remastered & Expanded Deluxe Edition and a Standard Edition. The 2CD Deluxe edition has been expanded to include 37 bonus tracks encompassing the singles ‘Wild Tiger Woman’, ‘Blackberry Way’ and ‘Curly’ and alternate mixes. Significantly, 23 tracks recorded for the BBC between May 1968 and November 1969 are also included; 12 of which appear on CD for the first time. It also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Mark Paytress and also includes a poster.

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“Looking On” released December 1970

‘Looking On’: a newly re-mastered and expanded 2CD edition of the classic 1970 album by The MoveLooking On. expanded to include 14 bonus tracks encompassing the single B-side ‘Lightnin’ Never Strikes Twice’, alternate mixes, and seven tracks and two interviews recorded for the BBC in 1970, all of which appear on CD for the first time. Also includes a lavishly illustrated booklet that fully restores the original album artwork and features a new essay by Mark Paytress and also includes a poster.

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‘Something Else From The Move’

‘Something Else From The Move’: This newly expanded and re-mastered edition of the classic 1968 live recordings made by The Move at the legendary Marquee Club in London is now available as a Remastered & Expanded Edition. In 2007 the original multi-track master tapes were re-mixed and pieced together to present as full a record of The Move’s Marquee performances as possible. Now these stereo tracks are gathered, along with the five mono mixes that formed the original 1968 EP on a CD version of “Something Else from the Move”. The release is newly presented in a single digi-pack with illustrated booklet and liner notes.

As a young teen fan watching “Top Of The Pops”, getting into The Move was natural, It was rewarded with an intense admiration of albums such as “Shazam” and then later Roy Wood’s “Message From The Country”. Back then, affordable compilations covering the career of The Move were few and far between save for the rather good “Greatest Hits Vol. 1” released on budget label Pickwick (SHM952), partly in “electronically created stereo”.
The advent of the CD and the release of several anthologies and expanded album reissues has kept admirers of The Move pretty content over the last decade but, for me, there hasn’t been a single disc compilation that ticked all the boxes in covering their career from “Night Of Fear” up to “California Man”. That is until now. “Magnetic Waves Of Sound: The Best Of The Move” (ECLEC22554) is a remarkable release in that the 21 tracks on the CD are twinned with another 21 audio-visual treats on the accompanying DVD including the bands full infamous “Colour Me Pop” performance and a pristine promotional film for “I Can Hear The Grass Grow”. The folks at Esoteric Recordings (an imprint of Cherry Red Records) have done an admirable job in not only including every single issued by The Move on the CD, but also in selecting wisely album track nuggets such as “Kilroy Was Here”, “What?” and the classic “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited”. An observation (but not a criticism) is that I’d have loved to see “Beautiful Daughter” included within the CD too,
All the hits are there and then some. The attractiveness and value of “Magnetic Waves Of Sound: The Best Of The Move” has been rewarded with impressive pre-orders and, at the time of writing, an entry into the Official Album Chart Update at a healthy #54, The Move and their role in the sparking creativity of The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a well known fact but this superb double disc collection gives both the avid fan and the casual music buyer a wonderful journey through the hit laden career of not only one of THE best bands of their time. This collection is also an appreciation of the stellar songwriting output of the one and only Roy Wood as well as those immovable contributions of Bev Bevan, Carl Wayne, Chris ‘Ace’ Kefford, Trevor Burton, Rick Price and, of course, Jeff Lynne.

Continuing its series of reissues dedicated to the Birmingham rockers The Move, Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint has just issued a CD/DVD collection that chronicles the band’s many facets and iterations between 1966 and 1972.  Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move, featuring 21 tracks on CD and a further 21 live performances and promotional films on DVD, is certainly not the group’s first anthology, but it’s doubtless among the finest.

Over the course of just four studio albums – all but one of which, 1971’s Message from the Country, has been reissued and expanded by Esoteric – the band made a dizzying number of transformations.  Pop-psychedelia, mod soul, hard riff-rock, country, cabaret, folk, and rockabilly were all part of The Move’s repertoire.  The band went through five line-ups, with singer/songwriter/guitarist Roy Wood and drummer/vocalist Bev Bevan the two constants; Wood and Bevan would, of course, go on to form the original Electric Light Orchestra with Jeff Lynne, the Idle Race leader who joined The Move in 1970.  Lead singer Carl Wayne’s 1966-1970 yielded the lion’s share of the group’s hits, while the seemingly rotating bass chair went from Chris “Ace” Kefford to Trevor Burton to Rick Price before the Wood/Lynne/Bevan triumvirate abandoned a permanent bass slot for The Move’s final incarnation.

All ten of the band’s U.K. charting singles are here, from 1966’s Tchaikovsky-quoting “Night of Fear” through 1972’s fifties retro-style “California Man,” as well as “Do Ya,” The Move’s only U.S. hit.  (It was famously re-recorded by Electric Light Orchestra for 1976’s A New World Record.)  A healthy selection of B-sides and album tracks are peppered throughout the set, as well.  All of the tracks showcase not only the band’s great stylistic diversity but the strength of Roy Wood’s melodic pop sensibility.  Though The Move could rock (the harsher sound of “Hello Susie” is still jarring in this chronological context), their singles were more often than not compact pop creations, including the controversial “Flowers in the Rain” (subject of a High Court lawsuit that forced Wood to forfeit all of his royalties, then and now, from the composition), the urgent “Fire Brigade,” shimmering “(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree” and baroque “Blackberry Way.”  Move records were reliably filled with lush harmonies and unusual, dramatic instrumentation, sometimes courtesy of then-assistant producer Tony Visconti. Indeed, The Move were progressive before the word had entered the rock lexicon.

The final tracks on the CD portion of Magnetic Waves of Sound, culled from the Message from the Country era, were recorded as Lynne, Wood, and Bevan created Electric Light Orchestra.  As such, they complement the debut of ELO (the band’s only album with Wood (though he played, uncredited, on a couple of tracks from ELO 2).  “Ella James” was selected as the first single from Message, though it was quickly withdrawn and replaced with the jauntier “Tonight,” which was more redolent of the “classic” Move sound. The brisk, breezy “China Town” has Wood and Lynne trading vocals, with the latter already bringing a Beatles influence into the band and Wood bringing his best George Harrison-esque slide lines.

The second disc of this set – The Move on the Air: TV Broadcasts 1967-1970 – is an essential part of this package but could easily stand on its own, with 21 clips on DVD.  Note that this disc is region-free/NTSC, playable everywhere.  Quality is variable, particularly because the original aspect ratios have been converted to widescreen, leading to some “stretching” of the image.   The images are otherwise sharp and detailed, and the audio equally fine.  The centerpiece is a ten-song set from The BBC’s Colour Me Pop (in color, naturally) recorded on January 4th, 1969 featuring not only hits like “I Can Hear the Grass Grow,” “Flowers in the Rain,” and “Blackberry Way” but also covers such as Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind,” Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Goin’ Back,” and the Louvin Brothers’ “Christian Life.”  Three songs from this set are lip-synched, while the remainder showcases the four-piece band after Chris “Ace” Kefford’s departure in its potent live prime.  Other strong, primal performances have been culled from broadcasts of Top of the Pops and Germany’s Beat Beat Beat and Beat Club.

Magnetic Waves of Sound is housed in a digipak containing both a fold-out poster and a 20-page booklet featuring a new essay by Mark Paytress as well as credits, a chart of the band line-ups, and discography.  Ben Wiseman has remastered, and sound quality is identical to the remasters, and comparable for the tracks new to this series.  The first eleven tracks on the CD are happily all presented in their original mono mixes.  This set is a fine addition to Esoteric’s stellar program dedicated to the underrated Brumbeat band.

CD

  1. Night of Fear (Deram DM 109-A, 1966) (*)
  2. I Can Hear the Grass Grow (Deram DM 117-A, 1967) (*)
  3. Wave the Flag and Stop the Train (Deram DM 117-B, 1967) (*)
  4. Kilroy Was Here (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  5. (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  6. Walk Upon the Water (from Move, Regal Zonophone LRZ 1002, 1968) (*)
  7. Flowers in the Rain (Regal Zonophone RZ 3001-A, 1967) (*)
  8. Fire Brigade (Regal Zonophone RZ 3005-A, 1968) (*)
  9. Wild Tiger Woman (Regal Zonophone RZ 3012-A, 1968) (*)
  10. Blackberry Way (Regal Zonophone RZ 3015-A, 1968) (*)
  11. Curly (Regal Zonophone RZ 3021-A, 1969) (*)
  12. Hello Susie (from Shazam, Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1012, 1970)
  13. Cherry Blossom Clinic (Revisited) (from Shazam, Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1012, 1970)
  14. Brontosaurus (Regal Zonophone RZ 3026-A, 1970)
  15. When Alice Comes Back to the Farm (Fly Records BUG 2, 1970)
  16. What? (from Looking On, Fly Records FLY 1, 1970)
  17. Ella James (Harvest HAR 5036-A, 1971)
  18. Tonight (Harvest HAR 5038-A, 1971)
  19. China Town (Harvest HAR 5043-A, 1971)
  20. California Man (Harvest HAR 5050-A, 1972)
  21. Do Ya? (Harvest HAR 5086-A, 1972)

DVD

  1. I Can Hear the Grass Grow (Promotional Film)

HR TV Germany Beat Beat Beat – June 26, 1967

  1. Walk Upon the Water
  2. I Can Hear the Grass Grow
  3. Night of Fear

BBC Top of the Pops – February 15, 1968

  1. Fire Brigade

BBC Colour Me Pop – January 4, 1969

  1. I Can Hear the Grass Grow
  2. Beautiful Daughter
  3. Christian Life
  4. Flowers in the Rain
  5. The Last Thing on My Mind
  6. Wild Tiger Woman
  7. Goin’ Back
  8. Fire Brigade
  9. Something
  10. Blackberry Way

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – February 1968

  1. Fire Brigade
  2. Wild Tiger Woman
  3. Blackberry Way

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – August 1969

  1. Curly

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – April 1970

  1. Brontosaurus

Radio Bremen TV Germany Beat Club – December 1970

  1. When Alice Comes Back to the Farm

The Move was probably the biggest British group of the late 60s/early 70s who utterly failed to make any sort of impression on the American market. Nearly every biography written about them begins that way as if it’s the most important thing about the Move. It’s not, although it does provide a bit of (perhaps necessary) context. In England the Move had nine top 20 hits and was arguably ranked just below the Who (and just above the Pretty Things) in terms of pop group popularity. In the US however the Move never really made a dent in the charts, and are recalledif they are recalled much at all more as the predecessor to the Electric Light Orchestra, or merely a footnote in that band’s story, than for their own merits. It’s rare to find a Move album when you are crate digging.

It’s true, in America still to this day the Move would be considered downright obscure, but on (very, very rare) occasion (as in almost never), one does meet a total Roy Wood fanatic.

 

The Move‘s original five-piece line-up formed in 1965 when teenaged guitarist Roy Wood (the band’s principle songwriter), drummer Bev Bevan, bassist Ace Kefford, vocalist Carl Wayne (older than the rest of them) and guitarist Trevor Burton “moved” from the ranks of several other semi-successful Birmingham-based bands to play together in a new Brummie “supergroup.” Like a heavier Hollies, four of the quintet were capable of handling vocals and although golden-throated Carl Wayne tended to take the lead, they also switched off that everyone got a turn in the spotlight. They were managed, first by Moody Blues manager Tony Secunda—who dressed the Move in Mod gangster suits, hired strippers for their stage act and got the band a residency at the Marquee club in London—and then later by a proper gangster, the notorious Don Arden, father of Sharon Osbourne, the former manager of Small Faces.

The original “Something Else” was a live EP, intended to catch the Move’s considerable live prowess on one of those heady Marquee nights of 1967. But it didn’t quote work out the way it was intended. “Live” would have to be in inverted commas here because when the record finally saw release, because of problems in the recording process with the vocals, it would have to be heavily doctored in the studio. The sleeve-notes here make it clear that two live dates were recorded for the EP and in between they managed to lose bass player Ace Kefford, with Trevor Burton switching over to guitar for the second session to cover.

The first part presented here are 12 tracks from these two gigs that were remastered in stereo about ten years ago and though obviously more studio creations than bona fide live recordings they certainly hit the spot. Bev Bevan’s drumming is so powerful throughout, whilst the flash bombs went off and singer Carl Wayne axed in TV sets the mighty back-beat he supplied went on no matter what. It is inevitable given the problems with the original recording that the live chatter appears a little incongruous sound-wise with the cleanness of the music on offer. But if you can suspend disbelief and imagine that this was all laid down on tape at the same time, what you have is a choice offering of the Move in their element playing a lot of spirited covers interspersed with two of the big hits (“Flowers In The Rain” and “Fire Brigade”) and this provides a decent facsimile of what their live show would have been like at the time (sonically at least). Their version of Eddie Cochran’s “Something Else” could have even been the template for Sid’s later effort, such is the spirit of abandon.

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During one of their Marquee dates the group caused a fire after they’d smashed some television sets onstage with an ax. Three fire engines showed up to fight the blaze, inspiring front page headlines and the subject matter for a future hit single. Then Secunda, without consulting with the group, devised a controversial marketing campaign for the “Flowers in the Rain” single—the first record to be played on BBC Radio 1 and their third consecutive top five hit of 1967—consisting of a postcard depicting Prime Minister Harold Wilson in bed with his secretary. Wilson brought litigation against the Move for Secunda’s actions, which he won costing them—specifically Roy Wood who wrote the number and had nothing to do with the publicity stunt—their royalties for the hit, which were donated to charity. This led to Secunda’s firing and Arden’s hiring. In fall of 1967, the group took part in a two-week-long concert package tour around the UK, playing twice a night with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd and the Nice.

 

One major reason the Move never broke the American market is that they never toured here. They tried to—opening two shows for the Stooges before things fell apart—but it was a demoralizing disaster. Another reason might be their overt “Englishness” which would have been a turn off to many American rock fans at the time.

And don’t try to tell me that KISS didn’t base their entire sound on the stomp-all-over-yer-face “Brontosaurus,” because they so obviously did. (And just where do you think Paul Stanley got his “starchild” look from?,

May be an image of 5 people and people standing

Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered CD & DVD collection by Birmingham band THE MOVE.“Magnetic Waves of Sound” which features a newly re-mastered 21 track CD featuring all of the Move’s UK hit singles, along with key album tracks from their four studio albums. The accompanying hour long DVD (NTSC / Region Free) in this collection is a true first, and features 21 appearances on BBC TV and German television and a promotional film, all shot between 1967 and 1970. These include a performance ofFire Brigade on Top of the Pops from February 1968 and the band’s entire Colour Me Pop performance for BBC 2 from January 1969. Also featured is a rare promotional film of ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow, a trio of songs performed live from the German TV show Beat, Beat, Beat (recorded in June 1967) and a fine selection of Move appearances on the German TV show Beat Club, all gathered together on DVD officially for the first time.

Esoteric Records have addressed all the aforementioned and this new package is just excellent.
With 2 discs, the first being audio with 21 tracks in chronological order from debut Deram single ‘Night of Fear’ right thru to ‘Do Ya’ (with Jeff Lynne and later reworked for ELO). ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow’ ‘Flowers in the Rain’ ‘Fire Brigade’ ‘ Blackberry Way’ (a No.1) the often overlooked ‘Wild Tiger Woman’, all classic pop/rock/psyche tracks. Moving on, no pun intended! to the heavier sounds of ‘Brontosaurus’ and ‘When Alice Comes Back To the Farm’ and wrapping up with lighter Wood whimsys ‘Tonight’ and Chinatown’. Roy Woods songwriting leaps out the speakers with new clarity. The remastering on ‘Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree’ and ‘Walk  Upon The Water’ revealing new subtle orchestration.

A first class result all round. And then disc 2 is a REAL bonus. For the first time on DVD 21 tracks of the band performing, some live, some lip synched on TV. There’s great clips from ‘Colour Me Pop’ ‘Top of the Pops’ and the German equivalents of ‘Beat Club’ and ‘Beat Beat Beat’. Bless the Germans for preserving (in great quality for the time) early live performances of the ‘classic’ line up of Roy, Carl, Bev, Trevor and Ace. Its a great wallow in nostalgia for those of us of a certain age! and a testament to one of the best bands of the Sixties. The fold out digipack is beautifully presented with extensive liner notes and even a fold out mini poster. So there you have it, if you’re after a Move hits and more compilation, look no further this is definitive.

Of all of the groups to emerge in Britain in the latter half of the 1960s, THE Move was arguably one of the finest. A powerful act on stage, the group were blessed with one of the most imaginative songwriters of his generation in Roy Wood.

Magnetic Waves of Sound is a fitting celebration of the legacy of The Move.

Magnetic Waves of Sound includes a lavishly illustrated booklet and features a new essay by Mark Paytress and also includes a poster.

Magnetic Waves Of Sound – The Best Of The Move: 2 Disc CD/DVD Deluxe Remastered Edition’

This new 3 CD Re-Mastered Box Set Celebrating The Musical sounds of the so called British “UNDERGROUND” Rock Music Of 1968. featuring tracks by Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Julie Driscoll, Brain Auger & The Trinity, Spooky Tooth, Traffic, The Move, Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Van Der Graaf Generator, Procul Harum, Genesis, Caravan, Jeff Beck, Pretty Things, The Incredible String Band, Tomorrow.

Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the release of “Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968”, a 3CD clamshell boxed set celebrating the so-called “underground” rock music 1968, a year that saw huge changes, both musical and social. 1968 was a pivotal year for creativity in British rock, beginning with some influences of psychedelia still present in work by ground-breaking artists such as Pretty Things, Tomorrow, Incredible String Band, Idle Race, Traffic and The Move, but gradually giving way to styles influenced by jazz, blues, folk and more that would eventually become termed as “progressive”, “folk-rock” and “hard” rock, all of which championed by “underground” figures of the day such as DJ John Peel on his BBC Radio One show Top Gear and by publications such as International Times and Oz.The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts.

Revolution Box

The common thread among all of these artists was an emphasis on experimentation and a desire to push the perceived boundaries of popular music. It was also a year that would see the very first record releases by bands that would go on to achieve success and influence in the 1970s such as Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Barclay James Harvest, Genesis, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator and Caravan. Aside from featuring better known acts such as Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Procol Harum and Pentangle, this compilation also features lesser known acts that produced work of a wide breadth such as Eyes of Blue, Love Sculpture, The Action, Dantalian’s Chariot, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Gun, Second Hand, The Moles and Blonde on Blonde.

This collection celebrates a creative period when rock music was evolving into something altogether more serious, moving away from the single as medium to give way to the dominance of the album. Feed your head with Revolution – Underground Sounds of 1968.

Revolution Box Set

MOVE Shazam low

The first 2 of our 4 The Move titles are released now “Move” and “Shazam” both deluxe versions come with tons of unreleased, BBC extras material etc and have lovely packaging courtesy of Phil Smee. (who is a massive fan too) . There are also vanilla remastered versions available too.

Esoteric Recordings have done an amazing job on these reissues of the first two albums of The Move – lovely looking and sounding packages with stacks of quality bonus material. Reissues of the year so far? The Move occupy a funny place in rock history. With a string of inventive and relentlessly tuneful singles to their credit (not to mention consistently entertaining albums) they’re the sort of band that should be mentioned in the same breath as the Kinks and the Who, but ask your average punter under forty to name one of their songs and you’re unlikely to get anywhere  Add to that the Jeff Lynne connection, and you’ve got an instant recipe for footnote status.

These two new reissues from Esoteric Recordings provide further proof of just how unjust this situation is. What we have here are packed, deluxe editions of the band’s first two albums.  There have been plenty reissues of this material already, often haphazardly and carelessly assembled. Likely this is another reason for the Move’s legacy being somewhat lesser than it should be, but these two releases are lovingly curated gems that treat the source material and the fans with the respect that they deserve.

Each is available in a single disc ‘vanilla’ edition, containing the original albums with contemporary a & b sides as bonus tracks, or densely packed, nugget-laden deluxe editions which are a true collector’s dreams.

The self titled debut and its surrounding singles (“Night of Fear” and “Flowers in the Rain” etc.) are concise psychedelic pop gems that marry Beatlesque melodies and arrangements with often unhinged source material ala Syd Barrett. Just the ticket for those who find the Beatles too straight and wish that Syd was a little more tuneful, although you’re speaking to the wrong person if you’re looking for an impartial critic of either of those acts here. Recorded over the space of 14 months it’s no wonder that it feels almost like a hits collection. Three cover versions (of tunes originally by Eddie Cochran, James F. Hanley and Moby Grape) illustrate the band’s diverse influences, but it’s Roy Wood’s own compositions that really take this to the next level. Hugely catchy, with clever, often baroque arrangements (which demonstrate just how important Wood’s contribution to ELO would be in the future), these are classic examples of the two and a half minute pop song, peppered with just the right amount of psychedelia and English whimsy. And that thunderous bass really sets them apart from the pack.

There’s also a brace of pre-psychedelic tracks from 1966 when the band were a straight beat act, which are fascinating listens in their own right, while also demonstrating just how much the band’s distinctive sound developed over the following year.

The Move were a very successful singles band, especially early in their career. Five of the first six Move singles placed in the UK top 5, with ‘Blackberry Way’ reaching #1.

The early Move single that failed to chart was ‘Wild Tiger Woman’. Released in August 1968 it was heavier than most of the band’s material, influenced by Jimi Hendrix. It was banned from BBC Radio One due to the line “tied to the bed, she’s waiting to be fed”. The group later stated that they should have released the single’s b-side, ‘Omnibus’, as the a-side.

‘Omnibus’ is enjoyably quirky, and distinctly English. Omnibus was originally the word for a large horse-drawn carriage, and the word bus is a contraction of omnibus. ‘Omnibus’ is sophisticated, with unexpected melodic twists, while the closing guitar solo hints at Bach’s ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’. Like most of The Move’s material, ‘Omnibus’ was written by Roy Wood – along with The Move’s hits, he’s perhaps best known for the Wizzard’s seasonal glam song ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’.

The combination of loud guitars, pop melody, and vocal harmonies are surprisingly similar to the records that Cheap Trick would make almost a decade later. Cheap Trick are clearly fans of The Move – they’ve released their own covers of ‘California Man’, ‘Brontosaurus’, and ‘Blackberry Way’.

“Shazam” is a totally different beast, but still obviously the work of the same band. And it’s every bit as good as its predecessor too.

Moving on from the short-form pop songs found on the Move (excepting the lovely “Beautiful Daughter”), this is the Move as a heavy proto-prog band, a shoe that fits surprisingly well. All of the things that made the first album so appealing are still evident here – the distinctive harmonies, the huge bass (now played by Trevor Burton) – but there’s less reliance on the studio, and more of a focus on band interplay, which is uniformly impressive. There are some pretty heavy moments here (the surprisingly bluesy “Don’t Make My Baby Blue”), but it never gets clumsy or heavy-handed, and there are reprieves peppered throughout in the form of exquisitely harmonised choruses, not to mention the classical middle section of “Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited”. Wood only has one new original to offer, but the covers are so well assimilated you’d swear he’d written them too if the source material wasn’t so familiar.

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The bonus tracks on the single disc edition show that Wood still had some classic single-worthy material in him too, including their sole UK number one, the Beatlesque “Blackberry Way” and the appealingly jaunty “Curly”. Also addended to the multi-disc version are a treasure trove of BBC recordings in very fine fidelity, which again demonstrate the Move’s mastery of a multitude of styles, as well as their ability to tackle some pretty intimidating source material and not lose their own sense of identity. Great things abound here, but the highlights for this listener are surprising stabs at popular murder ballad “Long Black Veil” and the Nazz’s “Open My Eyes”, as well as a great take on Dusty Springfield’s “Goin’ Back”, which flexes it’s muscles and makes the Byrds version sound like a bit of a pipsqueak .

It’s refreshing to see two such accomplished albums expanded so comprehensively, yet still in a fashion that accentuates their excellence, rather than diluting it down with unnecessary mixes and material best left on the cutting room floor. If these aren’t the best expanded editions released this year, I’ll be very surprised. I can’t wait to check out Esoteric’s treatment of the rest of the band’s catalogue now.

The second pair of Esoteric Recordings “The Move” reissues are released on 27th May, this will be “Looking on” and the full album version of Something Else from the Move . “Looking on” is a double and is only available as double deluxe version . Full track listings can be found on the Esoteric or Cherry Red Website . Hope you will be enjoying the new issues of Move and Shazam.