|THE MOVE-Flowers In The Rain/(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree Portugal Stateside PSS 1001 1967|
I don't think any band other than The Move can go down in history for being sued by a Prime Minister for libel. In August 1967 the band's manager Tony Secunda (unbeknownst to any of The Move) printed up promo postcards for distribution to promote their new single "Flowers In the Rain" featuring a cartoon of then Prime Minister Harold Wilson in his bathtub with his personal secretary Marcia Williams (now herself a politician)taking dictation next to him, NOT Wilson in bed with Williams as Wikipedia and other sites are quick to mention (I saw the actual postcard or a clever knock off at a record show once, it was online for awhile too till , obviously, someone made them take it down). Wilson of course, was not amused. He sued The Move for libel and won. In October, 11, 1967 the High Court upheld the suit and designated that all royalties accrued from the song would go to charities of Wilson's choice. To this day song writer Roy Wood does not see a penny from the song, which has gone on to be used in TV commercials and ranks, allegedly, as one of the band's greatest selling singles of all time. It also holds the distinction of being the first pop song ever played on the BBC's Radio One's , by DJ Tony Blackburn (after of course George Martin's brilliant orchestrally lysergic "Theme One"). Radio One was the Beeb's new more rock n' roll friendly format created in response to the defeat of pirate radio. The incident led to a management rethink and the band parted ways with Secunda (briefly winding up under the evil Don Arden!). Today's 45 rpm specimen comes from Portugal.
"Flowers in The Rain" marks a departure for The Move from their harder edged five piece power pop/mod sound of their first two singles on Deram which you can read about here:
"Flower In The Rain" benefits from some brilliant pop psych orchestration scored by a young American named Tony Visconti who'd just come under the wing of the band's producer Denny Cordell, who took them along with him to the label Regal Zonophone (previously only the home to "Christian" rock n roll like The Joy Strings et al). It also marks their debut in the genre of carefully orchestrated, well crafted psychedelic pop that would lead to other famous tracks like "Blackberry Way". Like most good Move singles lead singer Carl Wayne shares the vocals, with lead guitarist Roy Wood taking the chorus. The flip side, "(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree" is in the same vein orchestration wise, a bit too twee for me I'm afraid, I prefer the version cut by their Brummie pals The Idle Race for a U.S. only release. You can read about that here:
Roy Wood takes the lead vocals on this track but the melody is just too saccharine for my ears. I was never a huge fan of this track and I'm afraid time has done little to change that!
|The band in Secunda's office at the time of the lawsuit, pic courtesy of Getty Images.|
Both sides can be found on a variety of Move CD's, we recommend the double CD deluxe edition of their untitled debut 1967 LP or the equally cool 4 CD box set "Anthology 1966-1972". There's an amazing BBC player segment on the track and it's political ramifications that you can hear here.
A few other issues of the 45:
|Rare South African 45 P.S.|
|German 45 P.S.|
|French 45 P.S.|
|Belgian 45 P.S.|
|Spanish 45 P.S.|