Having unleashed their debut LP only two years earlier, The Move were beginning to splinter by the start of 1970. Vocalist Carl Wayne quit after the release of second album, Shazam, while resident songwriting genius Roy Wood had one eye on a proposed new project with the band’s freshest recruit, Jeff Lynne. Indeed, sessions for the first Electric Light Orchestra album were already under way by the time The Move were making Looking On (8⁄10).
In many ways, the record feels like a dry run for ELO, with Wood tackling every instrument he can get his mitts on (including a banjo tarted up to sound like a Turkish lute) as Lynne gets busy with layered harmonies and expansive arrangements. For all its jarring and unwieldy nature, Looking On is nevertheless a triumph of vaulting ambition, from its proggy title track to the heavingly great Brontosaurus and on down to the skronkily bonkers Open Up Said The World At The Door.
Cut during a live set at the Marquee in 1968, Something Else From The Move (6⁄10) is altogether more dispensable. Wayne’s tough R&B lungs are to the fore as the band crash through a selection of tunes by The Byrds, Love, Spooky Tooth, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.