Thursday, 18 October 2012
THE MOVE DVD REVIEW WITH A COMMENT BY JON
‘The Lost Broadcasts’ DVD is a short but enjoyable compilation of previously unavailable footage of The Move. The randomly interspersed footage captures the 60′s pop band before they transformed themselves into a heavier rock outfit and ultimately the ELO.
The Move was the natural musical successor to the Beatles and under the stewardship of Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, the band struck a delicate balance between a heavier sound and commercial possibilities. To that end ‘Brontosaurus’ was a proto-metal, classic single that fulfilled its chart potential.
And while Roy Wood continued to write very strong songs such as the gloriously dirgy ‘Ella James’, Lynne’s material had a broader sweep, with the yearning feel of ‘The Words of Aaron’ predating his finely honed style in the ELO. The partnership ultimately proved too combustible to last, but provided some of the band’s best music. The only shame is that there doesn’t appear to be any existing footage of other songs from the early 70′s period, such as ‘What?’
The DVD opens with a lip-sync of The Move’s only UK number one, ‘Blackberry Way’, but starts off with the camera aimed squarely at Carl Wayne, while it is clearly Roy’s lead vocal that dominates the track. ‘Brontosaurus’ marks Roy Wood’s succession to Carl Wayne as the band’s front man.
It’s a role he also successfully tackles on the wah-wah inflected, lap slide guitar of ‘When Alice Comes Back To The Farm’. The songs is misspelled on the cd booklet and filmed in its full psychedelic glory, before the DVD confusingly reverts to the Carl Wayne led line-up of ‘Curly’, with Roy filling in on recorders.
The catchy single was recorded in 1969 when the band stupidly headed for the cabaret circuit at the behest of their then manager. This mistake probably had far more to do with their lack of success in the States than their West Midlands origins, which never inhibited Black Sabbath, The Moody Blues, Zeppelin or Steve Gibbons.
Jeff Lynne gives us notice of his growing influence, songwriting prowess and intuitive phrasing on the yearning, twin piano led ‘The Words of Aaron’. It’s one of those songs on which the eclectic lyrics perfectly fit the flow of the music, as the flamboyantly attired Wood joins Lynn for a great duet before belatedly adding some recorder.
Jeff Lynn reverts to guitar on Roy’s heavier ‘Ella James’, as the second take finally leads to a successful conclusion. Two stabs at Lynne’s rock & roll ‘Down On The Bay’, also prove to be hard work with the second take being played out over a projected background of the ‘Message From The Country’ album. The track subsequently had to settle for bonus material status.
The magnificent ‘Fire Brigade’ takes us back to 1968 in the blink of an eye, with Roy and Carl swapping verses as the camera man stares at Ace Kefford’s bass, while we listen to a Duane Eddy style lead guitar line! The closing ‘Wild Tiger Woman’ finds Carl Wayne hamming it up in the context of The Move as a rebellious pop band in their pomp. Despite being a bit short of material, ‘The Lost Broadcasts’ features some great music, but surely a few talking heads wouldn’t have crippled the budget. (Again, the point of these DVDs is to release the Beat Club sessions, and this is all there was JD).
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