From crude r&b to pop transcendence, it's all here.
Chris Jones 2008
Anyone who ever wondered whether the flower punk sounds of Brum beat's finest exponents: The Move, are really worth investing in - other than the plentiful (and cheap) hits collections - has been spoiled for choice in recent years. With all of their albums remastered and reissued and the aforementioned collections allowing the dilettantish listener to experience the joys of their rough 'n' ready psych it now just remains for Anthology to really set the seal on their place in pop history.
This lovingly prepared box set gives the afficianado an alternate history of the band's progress from former mods-turned-commercial benefactors of the Summer of Love. It guides us through their jousts with power pop, metal, pastiche rock 'n' roll and onto proto-classical fusionism (when Jeff Lynne joined ship and steered Roy Wood and drummer Bev Bevan towards the grander designs of the Electric Light Orchestra).
The singles are all present and correct, albeit often in different guises, mixes or demo form. From crude r&b to pop transcendence, it's all here.
Notorious for their op-art, auto-destructive shows, for the first time we hear how explosive these shows were. One disc features an entire show from London's Marquee Club in 1968 which more than makes up for any sonic roughness with sheer untramelled exuberance as Jerry Lee Lewis' It'll Be Me sees them rip the club to shreds.
With further live cuts culled from their (failed) attempts to break a US market in the grip of its own psychedelic revolution, the set moves on to the years when, stripped of founder members, the band limped on (thanks to Jeff Lynne's influence) to morph into ELO. The material from the band's final album, Message From The Country is all uniformly splendid, showing just how much Roy wood had learned in a mere three years of stardom.
Anthology is a fan's dream, though the rest of you may just want to stick to hits.