The Move were one of the leading British rock bands of the 1960s from Birmingham, England. Despite scoring nine Top 20 UK singles in five years, they were among the most popular British bands not to find any real success in the United States. Although bassist-vocalist Chris "Ace" Kefford was the original leader, for most of their career, the Move was led by guitarist, singer and songwriter Roy Wood. He wrote all the group's UK singles and, from 1968, also sang lead vocals on many songs, although Carl Wayne was the main lead singer up to 1970. The final line-up of 1972 was the trio of Wood, Bevan and Jeff Lynne; together, they rode the group's transition into the Electric Light Orchestra. (Read more at Wikipedia )
Links To Peel
When Peel was working for KMEN in San Bernardino, California in 1966-67, The Move was one of the exciting new bands gigging in London, and he reported on their stage act (which involved smashing up instruments, cars, etc.) in his "British Scene" column in the station newspaper, the Kmentertainer. In the issue dated January 7, 1967 he writes:
The Move have leaped manfully into the headlines again. This time the group chopped up an effigy of Adolph [sic] Hitler during a performance at the Slade School of Art in London and then were the recipents of naughty phone calls from admirers of Herr Hitler. The group announced that the effigicide (how's that for a word) would continue to be a part of their somewhat unconventional stage show.
In the issue of January 28, 1967, we read:
The Auto-destructive performances of the Who and the Move still causing considerable controversy with the former group being probably the most popular on the London scene at this time. Incidentally a week ago Carl Wayne, lead singer and demolition captain of the Move, had the arduous task of chopping up an entire car during the group's performance. In an other recent show they came up with a classic when, during a frenzy of electronic shrapnel, smoke bombs, rockets and splinters of wood, a midget ran across the stage in front of the group - just once - and by all accounts almost caused a riot.
At this time, the Move were playing at venues like UFO and the Marquee club, alongside Pink Floyd and other new, "underground" groups of the era, and record producer and UFO co-founder Joe Boyd was interested in signing them (as he relates in his book White Bicycles). Then, when Peel moved back from California to the UK and joined Radio London, the Move's "psychedelic" singles "Night Of Fear" and "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" featured in the station's charts and Peel played them on both daytime shows and the Perfumed Garden.
When he joined BBC Radio One, a session by them was featured in his first ever appearance on Top Gear on 01 October 1967, including some cover versions of the kind of "West Coast" material - songs by Love, the Byrds and Moby Grape - Peel was keen on at the time. As such, he retained some affection for them and kept playing the occasional track during the subsequent decades. However, the Move's later hit singles made them seem too commercial for many of the "underground" music fans who listened to Peel's shows in the late 1960s,.
Even though he didn't play much from The Move's later more experimental output, he did seem to have lot of respect for them. On the 22 April 1972 issue of Sounds he reviewed their final single "California Man", stating that even though the song didn't have the "tunefulness of some of (Roy Wood)'s work" it had "good lyrics", and also complemented the arrangment, praising Wood's "incredibly accurate imitation of Jerry Lee Lewis" and a "tasty piano break". He concluded the interview stating that both Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne were "good writers and good performers and it's a pity that things don't work out better for them", in response of the fact that the single was not a hit, and also lamented the fact that the first Electric Light Orchestra LP didn't sell "as well as it should have done" .
Peel did follow the first steps of The Move's evolution, Electric Light Orchestra, but when the band departed from its experimental roots, partly due to Roy Wood leaving the project, he lost interest in them.
- Two sessions. A selection of tracks officially appeared on: "The BBC Sessions " (Band of Joy, 1995) and "Move" (Deluxe Edition, Esoteric Recordings, 2016)
- Flowers in The Rain / So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star / Stephanie Knows Who / Cherry Blossom Clinic / Hey Grandma / Kilroy Was Here
- Cherry Blossom Clinic / Fire Brigade / Weekend / It'll Be Me / Walk On The Water
Other Shows Played
(Please add more information if known)
- 17 July 1967: I Can Hear The Grass Grow ("reviied 45") (single) Deram DM 117
- 18 July 1967: Walk Upon the Water (single) Deram DM
- 22 July 1967: Walk Upon the Water (single) Deram DM
- 21 January 1968: Fire Brigade (7") Regal Zonophone
- 08 September 1995: 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' (7 inch)' (Regal Zonophone)
- 16 September 1995 (BFBS): 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow (7")' (Deram) (JP: 'Carl Wayne out of the Move once threatened to punch me, you know. He never did it, I'm pleased to say.')
- 21 March 1996: I Can Hear The Grass Grow (v/a album - Psychedelic Years Revisited) Sequel NXTCD 2222
- 17 October 1996: Flowers In The Rain (album - Roy Wood - Singles) Connoisseur Collection VSOP CD 189
- 17 June 1999: Disturbance (7" b-side: Night Of Fear ) Deram
- 08 May 2003: 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' (LP - Acid Daze)
- 15 May 2003 (Radio Eins): 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' (LP - Acid Daze)
- 13 November 2003: 'Disturbance' (7") ' (Deram)
- 27 July 2004: 'I Can Hear The Grass Grow' (7") - (Deram)
- 16 December 2004: 'Flowers In The Rain'
- John Peel Remembers 1967: Flowers In The Rain (Peel stops the record after 25 seconds because he's fed up with the song)
- 01 October 1967: Idle Race - Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree (single) Liberty 55997
- 18 February 2003: Idle Race - Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree (single) Liberty 55997
- 12 August 2004: Fall - I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Peel session)
- 02 September 2004: Idle Race - 'Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree' (LP - Light At The End Of The Road) (See For Miles Records)
- 07 October 2004: Fall - I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Peel session) (rpt)
(List is incomplete - please add more if known)
- Reprinted in the 2005 remastered edition of The Move's "Message from the Country".