Looking On [Salvo Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Looking On has never enjoyed a strong reputation among Move fans, mostly because it's neither fish nor fowl -- too self-consciously heavy in texture to slot in with their pop
ock or trippy psychedelic past, but not deeply embedded enough in progressive rock to do more than hint at the band's reincarnation as the Electric Light Orchestra, it ended up not pleasing too many of their existing fans at the time of its release, and wasn't much more than a footnote to ELO's history. The title track is a case in point, a weighty, overamplified hard rock workout that works in some clever sitar-like effects and even an oboe break, it takes a lot of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Looking On has never enjoyed a strong reputation among Move fans, mostly because it's neither fish nor fowl -- too self-consciously heavy in texture to slot in with their pop
ock or trippy psychedelic past, but not deeply embedded enough in progressive rock to do more than hint at the band's reincarnation as the Electric Light Orchestra, it ended up not pleasing too many of their existing fans at the time of its release, and wasn't much more than a footnote to ELO's history. The title track is a case in point, a weighty, overamplified hard rock workout that works in some clever sitar-like effects and even an oboe break, it takes a lot of wading through the self-conscious heaviness to find those moments, though they're almost worth the trip when you do find them. "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" is, similarly, too strange a mix of heaviness for its own sake interspersed with moments of exoticism, buried deeply in the mix. Still, despite these miscalculations, this is the Move, after all, and with all the members that count present unlike, say, the post-Jeff Lynn Idle Race effort from around that same period, loyalty alone dictated that real fans own it. And beside, it does have some sections that work magnificently -- "What ?" could have made it onto either of the first two ELO albums without a lot of alteration and no one would have known the difference; and "When Alice Comes Back to the Farm" manages to straddle the sound of both bands with amazing dexterity; and "Brontosaurus" speaks for itself, a thunderous delight. For this release, the Salvo has expanded the original album by half again its original length, and to good purpose -- the first bonus cut, "Lightning Never Strikes Twice," was the last thing the band recorded before Lynn joined the lineup, and apart from being a great song with a killer beat and gorgeous choruses, it's also great fun, a piece of basic rock & roll that's not afraid to work in some acoustic textures, high harmonies, and a few choral and sitar digressions that stay reasonable and point forward toward ELO and backward to the group's late 60s trippy pop
ock sound. It's practically worth the price of admission by itself. Then there are a pair of "rough mixes" of "Looking On" that are more enjoyable than the finished track, less oppressive in their hard rock textures, and more interesting in their mix of timbres. The similar rough mix of "Turkish Tram Conductor's Blues" is, similarly, a better listen than the finished version -- this was never a serious track to start with, and the rough edges complete a picture that's a little too lean and smooth where it shouldn't be on the released version -- and to top it off, here it is possible to hear the foreshadowing of the ELO sound that are otherwise buried in the finished track. And so it goes, with harmony vocal parts and instruments that were lost on the finished mixes -- every one of the early mixes here is superior to what was issued on this album, as a listening experience and, arguably, as a piece of music. And for a finale, "The Duke of Edinburgh's Lettuce," an assembly of vocal and pianistic hijinks worthy of the Bonzo Dog Band at their best, they not only leave us with a smile, but wanting more. In short, this is one of those rare instances where the bonus tracks on a CD can rightfully eclipse a lot of the original release -- indeed, eclipse them and enhance them and the reputation of the people who did them; in perhaps the penultimate act of futility in the history of a group that was never supposed to disappear the game plan was for ELO and the Move to co-exist, sort of like Buster Poindexter and David Johansen, they had a great album on their hands and never knew it, and a little too much work made it add up to less. Here's what we missed, finally available to enjoy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/14/2008
  • Label: Salvo
  • UPC: 698458811424
  • Catalog Number: 5881142

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Move Primary Artist
Jeff Lynne Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals, Group Member
Doris Troy Background Vocals
Roy Wood Bass, Guitar, Cello, Oboe, Saxophone, Sitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Slide Guitar, Harmony, Group Member
P.P. Arnold Background Vocals
Bev Bevan Percussion, Drums, Group Member
Technical Credits
Jeff Lynne Composer, Producer
Roy Wood Composer, Producer
Bill Inglot Tape Research
Rob Keyloch Remastering
Tommy Martin Logo
Nick Robbins Remastering
Roger Wake Engineer
Mark Paytress Liner Notes
Rachel Gutek Artwork
Kevin Flaherty Tape Research
Michael Tyler Composer
Rob Caiger Tape Research
Jane Hitchin Tape Research
Cary Anning Tape Research
Ian Pickavance Tape Research
Tony Lunn Tape Research
Bill Levinson Tape Research
Simon Platz Executive Producer
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