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The Move

Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of

Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a cool release. Even if all you got was the CD, it would be worth having, but that's sort of just the beginning. In addition to that there is a great booklet and a poster. If it stopped there, we'd still be in the territory of must have. However, they upped the ante with a cool DVD. So, here's the overall take on this. The Move essentially eventually became Electric Light Orchestra. Late in their tenure as The Move they started doing live shows with orchestral information and that's when they started using the ELO name. After  a while they dropped the Move styled line-up and the name altogether.

The CD here captures some great music from the band. It's a good place to start as it showcases music from their whole history. For those who have all the albums, there are a number of singles included here, too. For the sake of consistency, I've used the track reviews of songs I've already reviewed on their albums here. The DVD is quite nice, too. It includes promo videos and live performances and is really packed full of great Move material. I highly recommend this set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Night of Fear

This was originally released as a single. It's part psychedelia and part Beatles. Yet, the strings that show up at points here call to mind the kind of thing that the band would later do as ELO. This is rather dated, but it's also very cool.

I Can Hear the Grass Grow
Another that was originally released as a single, the psychedelia is strong with this number. It is a driving rocker that's very 1960s oriented for sure. It's also strong.
Wave the Flag and Stop the Train
This was the B-side of the previous tune. It's another cool 60s styled rocker. I like some of the guitar fills quite a bit. It's not anything Earth shattering, but it's fun.
Kilroy Was Here
There is a lot more folk music built into this one. Sure, it’s still a psychedelic rocker, but structure wise, this is more folk rock than anything else.
(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree
This makes me think of the Kinks and The Byrds. It has a really pop oriented chorus. It’s a good tune, but not one of my favorites. 
Walk Upon The Water
Another great psychedelic rocker, there is a dreamy, soaring element here. It’s definitely a strong tune.
Flowers In The Rain
This is another cool old school rock and roller. It’s nothing all that special, but it’s entertaining for sure.
Fire Brigade
This psychedelic rocker is better than the previous couple pieces. It’s not particularly special, but it has its charms.
Wild Tiger Woman
There is a lot of old time rock and roll built into this. I really like the guitar playing on it. It's a killer rocker. This was originally released as a single. The strings might not be here, but somehow this still makes me think of ELO a bit. This has some more of that psychedelic element at play, too.
Blackberry Way
Here's another that was originally released as a single. The psychedelic rock sounds here are so classy. This is actually one of my favorite tunes of the whole set. It's driving and fairly standard for the era. It's just packed full of magic.
Curly
Bouncy and fun, this is old school Beatles like 60s rock. It's a tune that was originally released as a single.
Hello Susie
I love the guitar sound on this. The cut is a bit raw. It’s hard edged. It’s psychedelic. It’s also very cool. It’s part glam rock for sure. It also shows signs of some the things that would later be common in the music of ELO.
Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited
The intro on this is in a balladic mode with someone talking about being committed to an institution. Then it fires out into a killer psychedelic rock section. This has some weird little excursions, but overall lands nicely in the vein of psychedelic rocker. Mid-track it even works to a classical kind of excursion. That really evolves in to a full on proto prog journey. It gets into some unique territory as it continues without vocals. As non-lyrical vocals join comparisons to Focus are not out of the question. The piece works back toward the song proper beyond that. It doesn’t get back to the sung section, but feels very similar in the end.
Brontosaurus
There is almost a crunch meets the Beatles kind of sound on this thing. It’s a hard rocking tune that’s pretty straightforward. There is some inspired guitar soloing on the closing jam here.
When Alice Comes Back to the Farm
More of a mainstream rocker, this has definite ELO trappings, too. It’s high energy and fun.
What?
Starting with a mellower movement and growing out to harder rocking stuff, this is definitely a prog rock thing. It’s also very definitely the kind of thing that would later be explored by ELO. It’s creative, complex and powerful. It has some spacey psychedelia built into it. This is definitely one of the most ELO like things here. It’s also one of my favorites.
Ella James
A bouncing, hard rocking approach leads this one off. It has a more awkward approach than the last piece, but also a lot of late era Beatles influences. This is a solid rocker, but nothing all that special. That said, there are definitely things here that show the sound that would later emerge as ELO.
Tonight
Mellower guitar starts this. The cut (another that first appeared as a single) is more of a bouncy kind of 1960s folk meets psychedelia cut.
China Town
A gong starts this. The cut works out from there to more of a cool 60s rocker. That said, there are definitely hints of the kind of sound that would later become the ELO concept. This is actually one of the strongest tunes here. It is another that was originally a single.
California Man
Cheap Trick did a version of this song and had a bit of a hit with it. The Move's original version of the track has more old school rock and roll. Still, it sounds reasonably similar to the version from the Rockford Illinois based Hall of Famers. This is another that was a single.
Do Ya
Another single, like the previous one from 1972, this is a tune that they later did under the ELO banner. I like this version. It's a bit on the raw side compared to the ELO take, but it's quite similar in a lot of ways.
 
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