The Move Anthology [4 CD Box set] - Salvo 2008 ( comp + unreleased 1966-73)
CD one is by far the strongest, containing all Roy Wood's original songs from their excellent 1968 debut album. Moreover it has all the early single-tracks, with the classics "Night of Fear", "Disturbance" and "I Can Har the Grass Grow". Among the outtakes "Move" and "Vote For Me" stand out - easily as strong as most of the album-tracks.
The CD opens with 4 previously unreleased tracks recorded in early 1966. The strongest of the four "You're the One I Need" shows a heavy influence from a band like the Yardbirds. Even more great recordings from around 1967-68 can be found on the highly recommended extended re-issue of their debut-album also released on Salvo Records. Vocally the band is on par with their contemporaries from America The Byrds and Beach Boys
CD two is only live-recordings at the Marquee Club in 1968. These recordings took place during two concerts; the earliest when they were still a 5 piece band. The sound is as could be expected pretty rough, but the recordings show the band as a really tight unit, musically and vocally very strong. From the early set especially "Stephanie Knows Who" stand out, and from the later performance "Piece of My Heart" with an impressive performance from Carl Wayne"
CD three is from their transitional period from being a psychedelic pop/rock band turning into a heavier rocking boogie act. The band continued to release great singles during this period, with "Omnibus", "Blackberry Way" and "Curly" as great examples - on these tracks they have maintained their great distictive sound. The album "Shazam" recorded during this period, shows the band experimenting with new sounds and styles, and the album has its great moments. The strongest track off the album is "Beautiful Daughter" which is also the earliest of the only 6 tracks. Unfortunaly this alternate mix, sound like only one half of a stereo mix, with the acoustic guitar almost inaudible. "The Last Thing on My Mind" is a fine interpretation of Tom Paxton's folk song. I never cared much for "Hello Susie" and would have preferred to see "Fields of People" included instead.
CD four logically covers their final period, which I regard as their weakest. The departure of three founding members begins to show, and the band's aim to follow the trends of the time by playing longer and heavier material doesn't really impress.
Their third album ( and weakest) "Looking On" is represented by 4 tracks - of which really none have aged with grace. Oddly enough their final album "Message From the Country" is only represented by "Ella James". The strongest material on this CD comes from their fine singles off this period. "Tonight", "Chinatown" and "Lightning Strikes Twice" revives the sound of their earlier recordings - a shame the band did not stick more to these roots.
Two live recordings from Filmore West 1969 show the band as a strong live-band and again their heavy influnce fom the Byrds.
The 70 pages book is a great read, and contains both detailed biographical notes and interesting facts on each track. A highly recommended release, though some might find it enough to just have the reissues of the band's first two albums.