Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: 'Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move'

Esoteric Recordings’ deluxe editions of The Move’s entire pre-Harvest catalogue comprised the grooviest reissue campaign of 2016. Early in 2017, the label is wrapping up that campaign with Magnetic Waves of Sound: The Best of The Move.

This kind of move is generally useful for less-committed fans but redundant for the more devoted who already picked up the deluxe discs of the proper albums. However, Esoteric is making this particular Best Of well worth your dollars and pounds for a couple of reasons. First of all, the CD includes several Harvest sides that were shut out of the deluxe editions: “Ella James”, “Tonight”, “China Town”, “California Man”, and “Do Ya”—Move essentials all. Secondly, there is the addition of a region-free DVD containing an hour of wild and beautifully presented Move movies that really clinches the deal.

The disc includes a promo film for “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” and extracts from the Beat Beat Beat (totally live; totally exciting), Top of the Pops (live vocals with enthusiastically mimed instruments), and Beat Club (aside from two live performances from 1970, completely canned but loaded with chroma-key fun) TV programs. Then theres the crop’s cream: The Move’s full and full-color ten-song set caught on the BBC’s Colour Me Pop in early 1969. I’ve had a bootleg of this appearance in my collection for many years, and I’m very happy to replace that smudgy old Rorschach test with Esoteric’s vibrant and crisp new images. Despite the lack of an audience to egg on the band, The Move manages to deliver their total energy across an almost completely live set (canned renditions of Beautiful Daughter, Wild Tiger Woman”, and Something are the odd  exceptions). There are some boffo covers too, a couple of which air out the band’s love of The Byrds.

I’m not sure if Esoteric considers this DVD to essentially be bonus material to that 21-track Best of set, but speaking as someone who acquired all those deluxe editions last year, I rate it as the main attraction of this colorful, crazed collection of patented-Move power pop and poppy prog.
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