Shazam - Regal Zonophone 1969
Although the group had had several large single-hits, there was also internal unrest in the band. Bassplayer Ace Kefford left in spring 1968, and Trevor Burton, who had taken over the bass, left the group in 1969 and is only sporadically involved in the "Shazam". His place was taken over by Rick Price. Thereafter the line-up was: songwriter and lead guitarist Roy Wood, drummer Bev Bevan, singer Carl Wayne and Rick Price.
Towards the end of the 1960s bands who wanted to be taken seriously had to look towards new and "progressive" musical directions, and the Move tried to do this. Already in 1968 the single "Wild Tiger Woman" had been a sign that the group sought a more hard-hitting expression - paradoxically the B-side of the single "Omnibus" was classical Move and a much more successful recording and the single was the band's first flop. The group then went briefly back to a more commercial style and got new hits with "Blackberry Way" and "Curly" - all these fine numbers are included here among the bonus tracks.
The album "Shazam" is characterized by long songs, leaving room for improvised solos. Only the album's strongest track, the beautiful half-acoustic ballad "Beautiful Daughter" lasts less than 3 minutes. This number also dates from much earlier sessions with Trevor Burton.
Only half of the album's 6 tracks were written by Roy Wood; in addition to "Beautiful Daughter" these are the heavy "Hello Susie" and the experimental "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited" - actually a very exciting composition with various quotes from classical music.
Among the three cover numbers "Last Thing on My Mind" clearly shows the band's big influence from the Byrds, and although the number is very long, it is reasonably successful. The same could be said about "Fields of People", which is a also good number, but unfortunately destroyed by a boring long instrumental outro. "Don't Make my Baby Blue" is a bluesy track and not very interesting. Overall, a decent album, which never reaches the heights of their debut. Fortunately the many fine bonus ( some among the band's very best) tracks saves the overall impression.