It would be inappropriate to characterize The Move as a British Invasion band; they never made a splash in America. They never saw the American charts, and they only briefly saw American soil on an ill-fated mini-tour in 1969 that saw them paying their own way back to England.
Despite their lack of stateside success, The Move managed to score seven top-ten hits in the UK, including a #1 hit with “Blackberry Way.” Their sound recalls and rivals that of their contemporaries The Who and The Kinks. Like both of those canonized groups, The Move had an ace songwriter and a driving rhythm section.
Listening to The Move, it’s difficult to fathom how they never achieved widespread success. Their one UK #1 hit, “Blackberry Way,” wouldn’t sound out of place alongside anything written by Lennon, McCartney, Davies, or Townshend in 1967.
The Best of The Move is worth finding because it collects their terrific self-titled debut along with the A and B-sides of their first 8 singles. It’s less a best of than a collection of all their early material. Tracks like “Yellow Rainbow,” “(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree,” “Cherry Blossom Clinic,” and “Omnibus” stand out as true English pop-rock gems.
Towards the end of their tenure together, The Move’s sound became more muscular and progressive, as evidenced by the final track on this collection, “Brontosaurus.” Around the time The Move began losing their pop sheen, Jeff Lynne joined the group. The Move’s final lineup of chief songwriter Roy Wood, Keith Moonesque drummer Bev Bevan, and Lynne would become Electric Light Orchestra.
Regardless of your feelings on ELO, if you like The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, or the psychedelic leanings of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, you should check out The Move or try to find The Best of The Move.