Tuesday, 3 May 2016

"Shazam" by THE MOVE (2016 Esoteric Recordings 'Expanded Edition' STEREO 1CD Remaster) - A Review For Mark Barry...

"…Strange New Ideas Fill The Air..." 

In 2007 and 2008 - Salvo of the UK reissued The Move’s first three albums - "The Move" (April 1968), "Shazam" (March 1970) and "Looking On" (October 1970) with great sound and half-decent extras. Now in 2016 it's the turn of Esoteric Recordings (part of England's Cherry Red) to have a go.

I've nabbed and reviewed the 1CD 'Standard Edition' of the debut album "The Move" newly remastered from original first generation tapes in MONO with five relevant bonus tracks (there's also a 3CD Deluxe Edition). Here comes the 'Standard Edition' of their smashing second platter – the STEREO "Shazam" from early 1970 – again in a 1CD and ‘Deluxe Edition’ set of reissues. Here are the super-hero details...

UK released Friday, 29 April 2016 (6 May 2016 in the USA) - "Shazam" by THE MOVE on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2539 (Barcode 5013929463943) is a 'Standard Edition' Single CD Remaster in STEREO with eight Bonus Tracks. It plays out as follows (68:08 minutes):

1. Hello Susie
2. Beautiful Daughter
3. Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited
4. Fields Of People [Side 2]
5. Don't Make My Baby Blue
6. The Last Thing on My Mind
Tracks 1 to 6 are their second album "Shazam" – released March 1970 on Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1012 (Stereo only).

7. Wild Tiger Woman
8. Omnibus
Tracks 7 and 8 are the Mono A&B-sides of a UK 7" single released August 1968 on Regal Zonophone RZ 3012

9. Blackberry Way
10. A Certain Something
Tracks 9 and 10 are the Mono A&B-sides of a UK 7" single released November 1968 on Regal Zonophone RZ 3015

11. Curly
12.This Time Tomorrow
Tracks 11 and 12 are the Mono A&B-sides of a UK 7" single released July 1969 on Regal Zonophone RZ 3021

13. Hello Susie (abridged US Single version

14. Second Class (She's Too Good For Me)
Recorded at Olympic Studios on 23 September 1968 – Stereo Mix prepared by Rob Keyloch in 2007

Tracks 1 to 6 and 11, 12 and 13 - THE MOVE was:
ROY WOOD – Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
RICK PRICE – Bass and Vocals
BEV BEVAN – Drums and Vocals

Tracks 7, 8, 9, 10 and 14 - THE MOVE was:
TREVOR BURTON – Bass, Guitars and Vocals – Drums on "Second Class (She's Too Good For Me)"
BEV BEVAN – Drums and Vocals

NOTE: there is also an April 2016 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' of "Shazam" on Esoteric ECLEC 22538 (Barcode 5013929463844)

Like the 'standard edition' single CD of "The Move" – the 16-page booklet has fab period photos and the usual reissue credits – but it feels lacking that there's no liner notes. These notes are massively extended on the 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' of course - as is the track list – but a few choice lines wouldn't have gone amiss on this 1CD 'standard edition'. MARK and VICKY POWELL of Esoteric have compiled and coordinated the reissues (press clippings, trade adverts for singles, the CD label looks like the old Regal Zonophone typeface) – nicely done. But it's about the audio here...

ROB KEYLOCH transferred the tapes and BEN WISEMAN did the 24-Bit Digital Remaster at Broadlake Studios - and a brill job has been done. I’d have to be blunt about this – the Salvo issue I've had all these years has fantastic sound on it. Yet it was to single out one thing with this new Esoteric transfer (the same for the first LP) – it’s the overall impact – the speaker punch. It hits you on every song. For instance I went straight to my crave – The Move's ubercool take on Tom Paxton's anthem to love’s cackhanded mistakes "The Last Thing On My Mind". As the Byrds-type groove works its way towards the seven-minute ending – Roy Wood starts soloing and harmonizing with Carl Wayne when he comes out of it. Wow is the only response I can give. There's huge power in this transfer while still retaining clarity (my cup of tea).

"Shazam" opens the full album version of "Hello Susie" and immediately it's a different band to the Pop singles of old. Almost Humble Pie or Robin Trower's version of Procol Harum circa 1970's "Home" – the sound is far more 'rawk' that Radio Luxembourg 'pop'. The band goes a little LOVE with the layered vocals and plucked strings of "Beautiful Daughter". The 'going off my mind' revisit to "Cherry Blossom Clinic..." (a track that ended Side 2 of "The Move" debut album in 1968) is now stretched to nearly eight minutes and comes complete with witty dialogue, nursery rhymes and hard rock. But that's as nothing to the one of the LP's centrepieces – the near 11-minute "Fields Of People" – a fantastic piece of recorded mayhem that fuses 60ts Harpsichords with Small Faces tomfoolery (lyrics from it title this review). By the time you get to the sitar-sounding guitar wig-out that finishes the song – you’re probably in need of fresh Joss sticks on the mantelpiece. Then just at the end you get mock 'Great Portland Street' comments recorded as a giggle - old ladies – taxi drivers – the put out city gent who comments "...catches one a bit off balance to be suddenly interrupted in the street..."

The pantomime ending of "Fields Of People" is immediately followed by an almost-Black Sabbath heaviness in the sledgehammer "Don't Make My Baby Blue" – a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song first sung by Frankie Laine on American Columbia 4-42767 in 1963 and The Shadows on Columbia DB 7650 in 1965 back in good old Blighty. Needless to say The Move take a two-minute bubblegum pop song and stretch it out into a 6:17 minute barrage of rock riffage – huge guitars and even bigger vocals. It’s possibly the heaviest the band’s ever sounded – like Cactus or Grand Funk Railroad given a day-pass to a speaker stack pilled up with too many orange buttons turned up to eleven. If you think that’s good – you’ll absolutely love their clever yet complimentary rearrangement of Tom Paxton's Folk song "The Last Time On My Mind" (1964 on Elektra Records) which The Move transmogrify into 7:38 minutes of Byrds-type guitar-jangle beauty. I love it when Carl Wayne harmonizes with Roy Wood on their nasal vocals (his best ever guitar work?) and the remaster is glorious too. I had the eight extras on other reissues – but they bolster up this 2016 CD newbee with the right kind of stuff.

Fans might ask what's the point? If you already own the Salvo issue – then why buy this or even release it? I suspect that Esoteric have sourced a better tape than Salvo used – although I could stand corrected on that. But if you're all about the best sound – then I think this singular CD remaster is going to have to be in your bank-holiday basket right away. Or if your wallet can take it - go for the 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' with a huge wad of extras including Previously Unreleased...

"...Lock me in and throw the key away..." – Carl Wayne advises on the brilliant "Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited" - the band running through the childhood nursery rhyme 'better not go down to the woods today' as he sings. Well I'd say you should listen to your inner nutter and purchase this fantastic sounding Remaster right away...

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