Über The Move
Before ELO, Jeff Lynne was in the Move, one of the first power-pop groups, with Bev Bevan and Roy Wood, both eventual members of ELO. Unknown in the U.S., the Move were one of the biggest bands of the '60s in Britain, from their first single, 1967's "Night of Fear," on into the early '70s. Today they are looked on by record geeks as one of the cooler, semi-obscure British bands of the '60s, and 1969's Shazam is one of those albums folks pay $30 for on eBay. Formed in Birmingham in 1965 by Wood and a collection of local stars, the Move took their cues from the Beach Boys, Moby Grape, the Beatles and soul music, packing slyly funny songs with startling guitar-work and vocal arrangements. The tactics used on ELO's "Roll Over Beethoven" were first employed by the Move, as "Night of Fear" was built on a motif lifted from Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." By the time of their 1971 album, Message from the Country (their last), the band (now with Lynne involved) was writing straight-up country songs and referencing Southern gospel. By then, legal issues and waning popularity ground their progress to a halt, and the sudden success of ELO put the final nail in the coffin.