Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third and final Salvo installment of the Move, July 27, 2009
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This review is from: Looking On (Audio CD)
In following the 1997 string of Move releases by the German collector label, Repertoire Records, comes UK label, Salvo Records, third and final installment of original albums by British psych/progressive rockers, The Move. The band's fourth and final lp, "Message From The Country" is thankfully still in print and available in extended version on the EMI label. But to the task at hand. Once again I would argue that the Salvo disc be purchased as a compliment, not comparison, to the German release. The differences: First, again the Salvo disc is of somewhat shorter duration, with a run time of a quite respectable 67 minutes while the Repertoire version is jammed to the max at 75 plus minutes. Second, as with the first two installments, Salvo presents "Lookng On" from the original master tapes, a first. Third, there are rarities glaore here, rough mixes of all but one of the 7 bonus tracks contained within. Fourth, again sound quality seems a point of contention. While some argue that excessive noise reduction is used on this UK release, I once again come from the collector position as opposed to the audiophile stance. To my ear Salvo has done a wonderful job in lovingly presenting the band's first album produced by the pairing of the ever present, founding member guitar/sitar/songwriter par excellence Roy Wood in unison with former Idle Race guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Jeff Lynne. Sadly the Move would produce only two platters, "looking On" and the band's EMI swan song lp "Message From The Country" before disbanding with Wood, Lynne, and drummer Bev Bevan quickly resurfacing as the soon to be world famous Electric Light Orchestra. But I digress, as to "Looking On" the album itself, like its predecessors is both classic and unbalanced. Never a band to quite find their niche, the Move were depending upon one's personal tastes either "too good for their own good" or "too unpredictable and a bit too much a musician's band, not a commercial entity." Regardless of your stance on this matter, "Looking On" certainly has more than its share of interesting moments. In fact, with the possible exception of the seemingly out of place bit of heavy handed rock titled "Brontosaurus" (a hit in the UK), the albums other 6 tracks rock. Wood's guitar work is as always a highlight, same with his tasteful sitar work. Keyboards and strings adorn the album, doubtless confusing already skeptical critics and unquestionably dumbfounding even the band's most staunch followers. Wood, however, felt the addition of Lynne to be an asset, lifting some of the songwriting weight off said Wood's shoulders. As with all previous Move albums, "Looking On" was completely ignored by record buyers in the US, which no doubt disappointed the band's label and disheartened the band members themselves. Although the Move's final lp "Message From The Country" was released in unison with at least one last UK hit single "California Man" the complete lack of interest among American record buyers and the waning interest of Wood in futher Move releases, led to the birth of Wood's dream band, ELO, and the dismantling of one of Britain's best late 1960s/early 1970s units. "Looking On" is chock full of Wood's wonderful slide guitar work, tasteful sitar riffs, and as always a masterful mixture of musical styles. Alas, the band's strengths were also its undoing. With such a varied repertoire and seemingly unbalanced catalog, the Move were known as a "hitmaking" singles band in the UK and a totally unknown entitiy in the US. Thus, follwoing their fourth and final album, the aforementioned "Message From The Country" the Move disintegrated completely from the music scene. Wood and Lynne remained partners for ElO's debut album, after which Lynne went on to fame and fortune while the unbelievably talented yet quirky Wood slipped into musical obscurity. What a shame! Such a talent with seemingly no market value whatsoever. But, back to "Looking On" while admittedly unbalanced and confusing to Move fans, the music here is wonderful to the ear, noise reduction or not, and is an absolute must for fans of the progressive "movement" of psychedelic pop hitmakers known simple as The Move. Now, some 40 years later, Salvo has unearthed the master tapes and offered up their final installment of classic Move albums. Buy it, give it a listen. If the sound bothers you, bash my review and set me straight. But music fans, I see that as a long shot.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 24, 2009 8:56:04 PM PST
Mikkel McDow says:
I'm not sure I would characterize Roy Wood's subsequent career as obscure. Certainly not as high profile as Jeff Lynne's but not obscure. His band Wizzard scored several British top ten hits including Ball Park Incident, See My Baby Jive, Angel Fingers and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. Wizzard's second lp, Introducing Eddie & The Falcons, sold enough imported copies to justify an American release.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2010 12:55:35 PM PST
Jed Jacobs says:
Roy Wood Rocks! He is much better than Jeff Lynne!

Posted on Oct 26, 2012 1:56:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012 1:59:22 PM PDT
G. peach says:
love everything from the Move, EVERYTHING. Love about 50% of E L O

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 2:21:29 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 26, 2012 2:25:47 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 2:25:05 PM PDT
Oh, and I absolutely agree about The Move. Always incredible. The Live At The Fillmore 1969 proves how great they were live, despite the fact that they played nearly all cover tunes in concert. I wish there were more live recordings of them doing their own (Roy's) tunes. Jeff Lynne's contributions were the weakest recordings by The Move, but with Roy Wood around even Lynne's songs sound good. By contrast after Roy left ELO Lynne's lame pop pablum just plain sucks. Glad to hear from other fans of The Move and Roy Wood.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 2:26:48 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 26, 2012 2:27:48 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 2:29:49 PM PDT
Mikkel, I agree with you. But here in the United States no one knows who Wizzard or Wizzo are. That's why I described his career as "obscure." None of Wood's post Move material sold here in the US. Sadly neither did The Move. What a shame. Great comments.
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