The Move came out of Birmingham in the second half of the 1960s. Like
many other bands they started off playing rock & roll covers but then they
realised they had Roy Wood in the band. He turned out to be an extremely
talented songwriter who could turn out incredible hit singles as well as more
The debut album is a perfect showcase of the early years of the Move.
After this the band went through various personnel changes with only Wood and
drummer Bev Bevan remaining from the original line-up. They were joined by Jeff
Lynne from the Idle Race and the three of them eventually formed the
Electric Light Orchestra before Wood left to start Wizard. ELO
infused rock and classical music but, as this album shows, this had started with
Roy Wood in the Move. The debut single Night of Fear channels
Beethoven to mark a strong arrival on the singles chart. Classical influences
and the use of a string section can also be heard on Cherry Blossom Clinic.
The follow-up single, I Can Hear the Grass Grow, was a perfect Summer of
Love anthem with its inference to drugs.
One of the Move's best-known tracks is Flowers in the Rain
which was the first record played on Radio 1. However, this track also helped
the band to gain notoriety as manager Tony Secunda used a (fake) naked image of
Harold Wilson in a compromising position to promote the record. The band was
sued and, even now, all royalties are donated to charity. As a follow-up to I
Can Hear the Grass Grow, Flowers in the Rain placed the Move
firmly in the English psychedelic movement.
The other single on the original LP is the wonderful Fire Brigade.
This was the first track that featured Wood on lead vocals instead of Carl
Wayne. Did this contribute to Wayne's departure from the group? One of the
interesting bonus tracks is a version of Fire Brigade but with Wayne on
lead vocals. Which do you prefer? However, lead vocals are shared around across
the album and lead singer Carl Wayne only sings solo lead on a few. Wood handles
most of the vocals but some tracks are credited to Trevor Burton and Ace Kefford.
Even Bev Bevan duets with Kefford on Zing Went the Strings of My Heart.
The use of different vocalists can work very well. The Disturbance shows
this very well as does Night of Fear where bass player Kefford handles
the bridge section.
Wood was not afraid to be experimental or controversial. A scheduled single
Cherry Blossom Clinic dealt with mental health issues while its b-side
Vote For Me was about corrupt politicians. In view of the issue with Harold
Wilson this was also held back from release.
There are three covers on the original LP. Apart from Weekend, the
Move also used to cover Eddie Cochrane's Something Else. Hey
Grandma was originally performed by US band Moby Grape and it was
also part of the repertoire for Jeff Lynne's band The Idle Race.
The album is one of the best LPs of the 1960s and it showcases the Move
at their best. The inclusion of the first two singles and other bonus tracks
make it even better. This was the only Move LP that made the charts.
The cover is interesting as it was a design by Dutch artists the Fool who had
already painted the mural on the outside of the Beatles' Apple boutique
as well as designing the remarkable cover for the Incredible String Band's
5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion.
CD Release: Repertoire REP 4690-WY
Original release: April 1968
(Repertoire Extended Release 1998)
- The Disturbance
- Useless Information
- Fire Brigade