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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Move

Looking On – 2 CD Expanded Edition

Review by Gary Hill

The Move were the band that came before Electric Light Orchestra. Quite literally, they transitioned into ELO. Not everything here is prog rock, but there is enough to qualify, particularly with that ELO connection. This is a cool new reissue. It’s a double disc set with the first disc a re-master of the actual album and the second a lot of rarities. It comes with some great packaging, fold out booklet and another nice booklet, too. This is highly recommended as far as I’m concerned.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1

                     
Looking On: re-mastered
                  
Looking On

The guitar sound on this is heavy and crunchy. The vocals and other elements lend both a psychedelic and space rock texture. This is definitely proto-prog. It’s also very cool. The instrumental section is mellower. It’s also a bit trippy with a lot of psychedelia and prog rock in the mix.

Turkish Tram Conductor Blues
Much more of a straight ahead hard rocker, in a bit different arrangement it wouldn’t be hard to imagine ELO doing this tune. It’s hard edged and psychedelically tinged. It’s also classy stuff.
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.
When Alice Comes Back to the Farm
More of a mainstream rocker, this has definite ELO trappings, too. It’s high energy and fun.
Open Up Said the World at the Door
This is one of the most decidedly prog and complex pieces here. It’s got some definite psychedelia built into it, too. Yet, all that stuff taken into consideration, it still rocks like crazy. The vocal arrangement is tastefully strange and the whole thing is just a bit weird, but in a very cool way. The closing movement is quite classical in nature while still managing to be rock music.
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.
Feel Too Good
There seems to be a bit of Little Richard built into this rocker. It has a real soulful vibe, but a lot of late 60s rock and roll, too. It’s a pretty mainstream rocker, but still has some intriguing twists to it. I dig the piano solo. The instrumental section later takes it into more proggy territory and includes some more piano soloing. There is an odd bit of psychedelic weirdness (and some doo-wop) at the end.
Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice

The opening riff on this makes me think of The Stones a bit. The band work out from there into some cool psychedelic territory. This is a cool 60s styled tune. It even has a sitar section at the end.

Disc: 2
                   
Looking On: out-takes and rarities

                                      
The Duke of Edinburgh's Lettuce

Piano and finger-popping serve as the backdrop for doo-wop vocals. Piano controls the later parts of the song.

Looking On (Part One - Take 3 / Part Two - Take 12)
This rocker gets a little different take. It’s not really all that different, though. Well, to me the second part seems quite a bit different. It has some great expansive jamming. The weirdness at the end seems different, too.
Brontosaurus (Mono Us Radio Promo Edit)
This edited version somehow feels very much like a glam rock take on The Beatles.
Turkish Tram Conductor Blues (Take 5 - Rough Mix)
I think I might actually like this version better than the one that landed on the album proper. This is more of a mainstream blues rocker here. It works well that way. The ELO reference is definitely less pronounced here. Perhaps this feels more like Cheap Trick.
BBC Sessions: March-July 1970
                    
23rd March 1970
                    
She's a Woman

This is the Move covering The Beatles. There’s some rather annoying announcer stuff at the beginning. That includes the introduction of new singer Jeff Lynne, though. This is a cool performance that works well.

Bev Bevan Interview
Truth in advertising this is an interview.
Brontosaurus
Here we get a different take on the song from the main album. This is a bit on the raw side, but tastefully. It’s almost Cheap Trick meets The Beatles in a lot of ways.
Falling Forever
 Introduced by the announcer as a Jeff Lynne penned tune, this is a cool psychedelic rocker. It has some good changes to it. It’s definitely one that has a lot of that ELO kind of vibe.
Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice
With the announcer at the beginning again, this is a straight-ahead rocker as delivered here. It’s another strong tune. It’s very psychedelic in texture.
28th July 1970
                
Looking On

Again we get the announcer here. This rocking cut gets a solid rendition here.

When Alice Comes Back to the Farm
I dig the slide guitar on this. It’s more on the raw side than the version on the album. It’s packed with energy and style, though.
Bev Bevan & Roy Wood Interview
This interview talks about the transition from The Move to Electric Light Orchestra.
She's a Woman
The Move again hit the Beatles cover. This version isn’t drastically different from the other take on the cut.
 
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