Although their first two hits for Deram - 'Night of Fear' and 'I Can Hear the Grass Grow' (complete with obligatory coy drug references) - sounded quite avant-garde, it became obvious by the time of the ultra-commercial 'Flowers in the Rain' that it was hits rather than Artistic Respectability they were after. In consequence the band is hugely underrated (except in the States) - it's ironic that their 66-69 records sound better today than most of the English competition.
Their first album, with a cover by the Fool, contained a great version
of Moby Grape's 'Hey Grandma' as well as much Roy Wood whimsy. By 1968
and the 'Rock Revival', they forgot
flowers and released the Cochran sound-alike 'Fire Brigade' and a crunching live EP from the Marquee - 'Something Else' - with versions of Love's 'Stephanie Knows Who' and the Byrds' 'Rock'n' Roll Star'.
With the failure of 'Wild Tiger Woman', which didn't catch the rising interest in de blooze, Trevor Burton quit to leave the band to oscillate between Carl Wayne's penchant for cabaret and Wood's manic eccentricities.
The Move kept a commercial balance, co-opting Jeff Lynne in 1970 when Wayne left, and released a classic single, 'Do Ya', and album, 'Message From the Country', in 1971 before evolving into ELO and then Wizzard. Trevor Burton was involved with the short-lived Balls, the Pink Fairies and now the Steve Gibbons band.
(Must of the Move material is available. scattered over various compilations. 'The Roy Wood Story' (Harvest) has all the early singles, but suffers for our purposes through containing a good deal of later Wizzard/Roy Wood stuff. There's a couple of MFP releases ('Fire Brigade' which is recommended, and 'Roy Wood and the Move') which don't have the great Deram singles. 'Shazam/Move' (TOOFA 5) is a cheap re-release of albums 1/2, and 'California Man' (Harvest SHSP 4035) an intelligent selection from the last few singles and album. That just leaves the EP - and they've lost the tapes).