Aspiring Beginnings

After shifting around London playing in various pick-up bands, Roy Wood (guitar) decided to settle down and ensure his lifelong dream of being a rock n roll star would be met. He got together with his friends Carl Wayne (vocals), Bev Bevan (drums), Ace Kefford (bass), and Trevor Burton (guitar) and formed The Move in early 1966. They quickly received a contract with Deram Records, who was signing any band that even remotely sounded like The Beatles at the time. Their first song "Night Of Fear" confirmed Deram's A&R prowess: it went to #3 on the U.K. singles charts, and The Move was a bona fide success.

Rise To The Top

In 1967, The Move released their second single "I Can Hear The Grass Grow." With its overt marijuana references, the song was banned by many British radio stations - which of course increased record sales significantly. With their third single "Flowers In The Rain," the band sent out a postcard of the then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson - naked. Although their earlier antics had won them scores of fans and promotional buzz, this particular stunt backfired: Wilson sued them in court for libel and won. The band was forced to donate all of the single's royalties to Wilson. Still, the band pressed on, producing a 4th hit single, "Fire Brigade," in 1967.

The Move Shakes Up

By this time, Ace Kefford had grown tired of the rock n roll game: newly married, he left the band. Soon after, Trevor Burton left, but not before recording The Move's only #1 single, "Blackberry Way," a cheeky tribute to The Beatles' "Penny Lane." Rick Price was brought in to replace Burton, and the band recorded Shazam, considered by many to be one of the finer acid rock releases of the era. However, lead singer Carl Wayne was displeased with the tour their manager had set up, and demanded a larger share of the money to do it. The band refused, and Wayne was out, leaving Wood in charge of the vocals. Still, The Move was in danger. Where would they get another guitarist?

A Stroke Of Genius

Looking to break out of the boring Dave Clark Five retread The Idle Race, Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood met after a particularly raucous The Move show one night. Lynne laid down a few riffs for Wood, and Wood immediately offered him a spot in The Move. Lynne accepted the spot, and a partnership as stormy as Lennon-McCartney was born.

Conquering The World

In 1971, The Move released Looking On, wherein the dichotomy between Lynne's upbeat pop leanings and Wood's moodier, bluesier numbers was clearly stated. 1972's Message From The Country showed both writers maturing into mellower, more pensive songcraft.

The Move Moves On

The band moved into the studio virtually full-time after Looking On, and both Wood and Lynne became increasingly fascinated with complex orchestration, intricate arrangements, and exotic instruments and sounds. In order to fully disassociate themselves from their beginnings, they dissolved The Move and emerged as Electric Light Orchestra.

Though The Move made virtually no impact on the U.S. charts, it held much sway with pop bands that emerged throughout the 70s and 80s, with Cheap Trick, The Raspberries, and Big Star all listing The Move as a major influence. The Move: a moderate success, but a lasting legacy of talent, inspiration, and great music.


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