"It's our best LP to date. It's basically rock 'n' roll but with occasional jazz and classical influences." Roy Wood, September 1970

Track-by-track commentary (expanded version)

Tracks 1-7: 'LOOKING ON '

01 Looking On (7:45) Vocal: Roy Wood
02 Turkish Tram Conductor Blues (4:46) Vocal: Roy Wood
03 What ? (6:40) Vocal: Jeff Lynne; vocal backing: Jeff Lynne & Roy Wood
04 When Alice Comes Back To The Farm (3:41) Vocal: Roy Wood
05 Open Up Said The World At The Door (7:10) Vocals: Jeff Lynne & Roy Wood
06 Brontosaurus (4:25) Vocal: Roy Wood
07 Feel Too Good (9:33) Vocal: Roy Wood; vocal backing P.P. Arnold, Doris Troy & Jeff Lynne

Fly Records' debut LP (FLY 1), released on 11 December 1970, arrived three months after The Move had left the company to sign to EMI's Harvest label. With Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne heavily involved in their new Electric Light Orchestra project, Roy himself working on debut solo album 'Boulders', Bev Bevan launching his 'Heavyhead' record stores in Birmingham and Rick Price recording an album with Mike Sheridan, promotion for 'Looking On' was virtually non-existent by both Fly and band. As a result, neither LP nor single 'When Alice Comes Back To The Farm' (released 9 October 1970) troubled the UK charts.

But at least Fly put the records out. A&M, who licensed The Move's recordings for America, had not released their debut LP or supported the band's sole US tour in 1969 and then missed an opportunity to promote The Move to a wider audience on the back of 'Shazam's overwhelming critical acclaim. With the group and their various projects set for release on EMI-Harvest Records throughout the world during 1971, Capitol-EMI's offer to buy the American rights to 'Looking On' was quickly accepted by A&M Records. The LP was finally released in the USA on the Capitol Records label during June 1971.

Only two original master tapes survive (found in Capitol-EMI's tape vault in New York) and it is from these that the definitive edition of 'Looking On' has been digitally remastered.




Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice: The B-side of 'Brontosaurus' (March 1970, UK No 7) was recorded by Roy Wood, Rick Price and Bev Bevan shortly before Jeff Lynne joined the group. This overlooked gem affords a second consecutive flipside vocal outing for bassist Price, who penned the song with Brummie legend Mike Sheridan (credited here under his real surname). Producer Roy Wood's increasing eclecticism is clearly apparent towards the end of the track, when the song's confident stride gives way to a one-minute sitar-and-tabla outro that evokes the band's earlier "Flower Power" days. Remastered from the only surviving copy of the master tape, found in Universal's A&M archive in America.

Looking On Part 1 (take 3; rough mix): The third piece of music put to tape in the immediate post-Shazam days, this opening half part of the set's epic title track finds The Move exploring further the hard, more angular rock riffery that characterised parts of the previous album. Recorded in May 1970, this rough mix of the third take has subtle differences to the finished version, and is topped and tailed with studio chatter.

Looking On Part 2 (take 12; rough mix): This delicious, instrumental half of the title track throws in electric sitar, horns and some of Roy Wood's most exquisite lead lines over a jazz rhythm. This is a rough mix of take 12 from May, which was eventually completed in a second session in September 1970.

Turkish Tram Conductor Blues (take 5; rough mix): This, said Bev Bevan back in 1970, was a "rock'n'roll Eddie Cochran type thing . . . the sort of thing The Wild Angels might like to play". An unashamed slice of revivalism, albeit performed through a more fashionable hard rock prism, the version here - the fifth take mixed from the original session multitrack tapes - captures perfectly the track's joyous abandon and reveals some humorous studio talkback between Lynne and Wood. Bev was originally credited as the writer to compensate him for the promotional duties he undertook on behalf of the group but we can now reveal that Roy Wood was the song's true author.

Open Up Said The World At The Door (take 4; rough mix): A vocal harmony plus piano demo of the first of two Jeff Lynne contributions to the album, this take 4 version of the song's intro clearly points the way forward to ELO and the sound of the smoother, more vocally sophisticated '70s.

Feel Too Good (take 11 extract; rough mix): Markedly different vocals make this extract worth a blast. Anyone who doubted P.P. Arnold and Doris Troy's presence on the track will be left in no doubt by the end of this.

The Duke Of Edinburgh's Lettuce (take 2; rough mix): More vocal high-jinx round the piano here, thanks to take 2 of the album's uncredited Roy Wood / Jeff Lynne Doo-Wop pastiche.


Oboe, sitar, slide guitar, 'cello, guitar, bass & all saxes.
Piano, guitar, percussion & drums (on 'Feel Too Good').
Drums & percussion.

Produced by Roy Wood & Jeff Lynne
except 'Brontosaurus' & 'Lightnin' Strikes Twice' produced by Roy Wood

Various percussive implements: (The famous) Upsy
Refreshments: Phil Copestake

Piano on 'Brontosaurus' by Matthew Fisher

Recorded at Philips Studios over various sessions during May and September 1970
except 'Brontosaurus' recorded at Advision Studios, February 1970
'Lightnin' Never Strikes Twice' recorded at Philips Studios, January 1970

Philips Studio Engineer: Roger Wake
Assistant engineers: Ralph Copeman / Geoff Goldberg / Keith Whiting


PHOTO CREDITS (from top):

HEAVYHEAD RECORDS LAUNCH, Sparkhill, Birmingham, February 1971 - l-r: Rick Price, Ozzy Osbourne, Raymond Froggatt, Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan, Tony Iommi, and John Bonham. Photo © Alan Johnson and courtesy The Move archive

THE MOVE IN PHILIPS STUDIOS, May 1970. Photo courtesy and © The Move archive

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