I believe it was Quentin Tarantino (or perhaps Chief Sitting Bull) who said, "You're either a Beatles man, or an Elvis man." Well, my dad is definitely a Beatles man. By the time I could walk I probably had heard their entire catalog. Fact - they should be called the fetals...(Sliding Doors, anyone? Noonan?)

So it came as no surprise when he pulled out The Move's final studio album, which smacks of the Fab Four from the opening title track:

[ mp3 ]: Move - Message From the Country

turn off your mind, relax and float downstream...I hear me some Tomorrow Never Knows up in this piece. Also a little I Want You (She's So Heavy), especially in the heavy bass lines.

However, this album is by no means a Beatles rip-off. Keep listening, and you can start to see why this band eventually expanded its instrumentation and became the Electric Light Orchestra.

(Complete sidenote - my Dad and I were just saying how we always thought of The Electric Light Orchestra's name describing an orchestra made up of electric lights. But then we read that 'light orchestras' were seen all over England in the sixties - they were simply small orchestras with a few violins and cellos. So it's really just a light orchestra made up of electric instruments. Or they could be using 'light' as a verb, in which case we can thank them for being the progeny of other imperative bands, like "Jimmy Eat World")

Anyhows, there are some surprising and strange tracks hidden on this record. One of my favorites is It Wasn't My Idea to Dance, which has one of the most bizarre  riffs I've ever heard. Is it violin and oboe, together? Or is that a klezmer? Who knows. I love it.

[ mp3 ]: Move - It Wasn't My Idea to Dance

Other highlights include "Don't Mess Me Up," a fifties Do-Wop tune that would have been perfect for Marty McFly, if he hadn't chosen Chuck Berry. And do yourself a favor and listen to "Ben Crawley Steel Company," which sounds like the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt doing bluegrass. I know. Weird.

Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comments. I'll confess that this record sent me on an Electric Light Orchestra binge. It's been quite a week.

10/27/2009 05:00:08 am

That's cool about light orchestras.

I can't say this is my favorite album. It has a dark tone to me. But I haven't listened to all the tracks yet so maybe something will surprise me.

Ethan Kaye
10/27/2009 05:27:55 am

"Do Ya" eventually got recycled by ELO, and it's one of my favorite ELO songs (might be my #1 favorite, actually).

10/27/2009 06:38:01 am

Thanks for doing this. About two weeks ago I came to this site after Paul F. Tompkins mentioned it on Twitter and I thought "Wow, that's a great idea". I read every entry and thought about my dad and how music played a big part in our relationship, it brought back a lot of great memories. Well, two days later, my father passed away* and after a week of taking care of family stuff I've come back to the site today and what seemed like a great idea two weeks ago seems like the best idea ever today. I look forward to reading more and comparing to experiences I had with my dad and his records.

*I am in no way implying that your blog played any part in my father's death.

10/27/2009 06:52:48 am

I'm so glad you like the site, and very sorry to hear about your dad. You're going through something we all eventually will have to go though, and I send you my deepest condolences. All the best, nelson.

10/27/2009 06:58:55 am

@Ethan - Do Ya is one of my favorite Move tracks too. It's on Split Ends though - that weird compilation/import thing that came out a year after MFTC. And ELO is amazing. probably my favorite acronym band. Although BTO ain't bad.


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