The Move - Brontosaurus [Original Single Version]Details

"Roy Wood, Bev Bevans [sic] and Rick Price have completed the next single title Do The Brontosaurus [sic] by Roy Wood c/w Lightnin' Never Strikes [sic]-- a Rick Price composition. it is set for release on March 6."
Unknown (February 21, 1970 - Record Mirror)

"A new single Brontosaurus backed with Lightening Never Strikes Twice [sic] is also on release on Regal Zonophone."
Unknown (March 14, 1970 - Record Mirror)

"Although Roy and Jeff have not really had time to concentrate on their songwriting, Jeff's lyrical powers added to the Move will obviously become a large influence upon them. The group's current single Brontosaurus is a Roy Wood composition, but we can well expect to see combined efforts in the future."
Valerie Mabbs (circa 1970 - Record Mirror)

"Not to put too fine a point on the situation, the move were, quote, 'dead worried' when their heavy single Brontosaurus began to look like an even heavier flop only a few weeks ago. Five weeks after released they were still waiting for a TV promotion spot... they reckoned the record had had no more than two plays on Radio 1... and the reaction from the retailer had been virtually nil. Then came the all-powerful Top Of The Pops-- and an immediate interest in Brontosaurus to the point where it's now No. 6 in the NME Chart and still climbing. Heartened by the apparent vote of confidence for the new Move, group member Rick Price was in candid mood the other day when he told me how radio and TV producers had virtually thrown the single out of the door when they heard it. Said Price: 'We heard that the producers of the Dave Cash show even said, Get that load of x!!x! out of my office! I think the trouble is that so many people want us to go on turning out singles like Flowers In The Rain. I'm not saying I was completely sold on this single myself at the beginning. I think I probably had more faith in it than anybody else in the group, but I still had doubts. It was a bit of a worry when it was released, because Charlie (Carl Wayne) had also left, and the gigs had also dropped off because let's face it, he was a big attraction.'"
Alan Smith (circa 1970 - New Musical Express)

"And who could ever forget Brontosaurus, the absurdly heavy speaker-shattering dance favorite of the barbituate generation?"
John Mendelsohn (October 14, 1971 Rolling Stone #93)

"Oh, just before [the recording of 10538 Overture] Charlie [Wayne] had left [The Move], and I had written Brontosaurus and we had to have some sort of front man. Everyone was pointing at me, but I didn't think I could do it because I'd always been the songwriter standing beside my amp. It wrote it because it was and easy song and eventually I designed the gear to go with it and I painted my face in triangles. But I didn't think I'd have the courage to go on stage and do it. We did Disco 2 and I got a few drinks down me and went on leaping about like a maniac. It was more surprising to me than the band that I did it, and I felt embarrassed. I persuaded myself to do it a couple more times and once I'd got over it I was okay."
Roy Wood (November 27, 1971 - New Musical Express)

"When Carl Wayne left the group, I had a lot of responsibility put on my shoulders that I'd never had before. I'd always been just the songwriter standing at the back of the stage somewhere, twanging away. Someone had to be a front man, everyone pointed at me and I was thrust out there. Everyone wanted to do heavier stuff and wrote Brontosaurus. We did all the trimmings that go with it on stage. It was a hit and we were dead chuffed. We thought, we're getting away with it, at last we can move on from the out-and-out commercial thing and get on with some heavier stuff."
Roy Wood (late 1971 - Unidentified UK newspaper)

"A&M isn't helping to promote this any with their ad showing a couple of brontosauri fucking. If you got off on Shazam, you'll love this song, heavy as its namesake, describing a dance ('She could really do the Brontosaurus') that must be fun to do. Much too long for AM radio, this oughta be one of those 'underground hits' you hear so much about."
Ed Ward (1971 Rolling Stone - The Rolling Stone Record Review (issue number unknown))

"There are the odd electric wah-wahs [on The Move's Tonight], but this is altogether more appealing than the horrible Brontosaurus."
Unknown (1971 - Source Unknown, Tonight single review in the liner notes for the Message From The Country remaster CD)

"If you want to be convinced [how good The Move is] by one song, this should convert you. Brontosaurus, a small-bit single, also gets the body moving, especially with the bass and slide guitar getting into a frenzy at the end."
Al Rudis (January 16, 1972 - The Lincoln Star)

"Wizzard's first single [Ball Park Incident] is another entry from that dictionary of rock 'n' roll Wood started with Brontosaurus and California Man. "
Phil Hardy (January 1973 - Let It Rock magazine)

"Brontosaurus definitely takes everything to extremes, and is an appropriate finale. The prominent bass, always a Move trademark, is overwhelming, along with Roy's slide guitar. This was Jeff Lynne's first session with us to the best of my memory... and it was very representative of our live sound with Roy and Jeff on guitars."
Bev Bevan (1974 liner notes for The Best Of The Move)

"Brontosaurus was released as the first Move single to feature Lynne, and it became a Top Ten hit after a few months on the fringes of the charts. It's a slow-building, ponderous song, which finally chugs along towards the end. Overly dense production was its main flaw."
Joel Bellman (December 1976 - Trouser Press #17)

"Hot on the heels of [the Move's] second LP Shazam, salvaged from their last studio sessions with Carl, came the first Move single on which Roy was undisputably front man, the heavy metal send-up Brontosaurus. A Top 10 hit in May 1970, it was followed by the even heavier When Alice Comes Back To The Farm, on which Roy played multi-tracked cello as well as lead and slide guitar."
John Van der Kiste & Gill (1987 - Face The Music fanzine #3)

"Brontosaurus (1970) was very heavy. I wrote that around an image I wanted to portray-- which ended up being the Wizzard iamge. I designed this jacket to look like scaly dinosaur skin. I wrote the song around that. We went on television to do Brontosaurus-- my first gig as lead singer-- and I wanted to do something else visually besides wear the coat. I looked in the dressing-room mirror, and thought maybe I'd paint my face to match. I added triangles around the eyes, and then back-combed my hair; when the rest of the group came back they couldn't believe we were going onstage like that. I went totally mad, rolling around the floor with my guitar. Rick actually stopped playing: he couldn't believe it. That was the new image from then on. I think our musical transition to heavier rock would have been more difficult without it. [...] Jeff Lynne was on the Brontosaurus session; he was in London with The Idle Race, came over, and I let him play on it. He'd already told The Idle Race he was leaving, but had to work out his notice. We did a couple of gigs in the meantime with Black Sabbath; they weren't very successful. Lynne's joining us made a big difference because we had two songwriters instead of just one, and obviously the musical influences were going to change a lot. I needed somebody in there who could write, and who I rated as a writer. [...] Brontosaurus was done during the making of Looking On."
Roy Wood (Early 1989 - Face The Music fanzine #5)

"The departure of singer Carl Wayne, to whom the M.O.R. leanings were attributable, enabled Roy to reroute the band via the heavy metal dance record Brontosaurus but insufficiently so to satisfy his desires for artistic fulfillment."
Paul Cox (1986 - liner notes for First Movement)

"In 1970, the Move's chronic personnel instability-- specifically Carl Wayne's departure-- gave Lynne a second opportunity to join. This time he said yes, making his first Move contribution to the earthshaking Brontosaurus single."
Ira Robbins (1990 liner notes for Afterglow)

"May 1970: the group return to the Top 10 singles chart with the hard-hitting Brontosaurus. "
Mark Paytress (July 1994 - Record Collector)

"Yeah, [Brontosaurus was] definitely [in the direction that I wanted the band to follow]. I can't remember much about the actual recording session, except it was the first song Jeff played on with us. We did a BBC TV thing which was the predecessor to The Old Grey Whistle Test (Colour Me Pop)- We had to do Brontosaurus and I was a bit nervous: it was the first time I'd ever been the lead singer on TV properly. I thought it was time for a new image. The guys went to the bar and I put this long coat on, made of black-and-white triangles of material, and it looked like there was still something missing. So I got my comb and combed my hair out so it looked really wild. Then I put on some black-and-white make-up around my eyes, making my face up to match the coat, and a star in the middle of my forehead. It was basically the creation of the Wizzard image. When we did the programme, I started rolling around the floor and biting the neck of my guitar, as you do. I had a few large vodkas before I went on, so I was all right. We had a great reaction from that, and that image stayed until the band broke up."
Roy Wood (July 1994 - Record Collector)

"Yeah, definitely [Brontosaurus was more in the direction that I wanted the band to follow]. I can't remember much about the actual recording session except it was the first song Jeff Lynne played on with us. I remember that."
Roy Wood (September 30, 1994 - Roy Wood: The Wizzard of Rock article in Goldmine)

"I thought [Roy Wood] looked really good when he had the D'Artagnan sort of look, then he got really hairy. He got really bizarre! I think what it was really, was after the cabaret thing, we went from doing Ave Maria to releasing Brontosaurus-- how different can you get? So the idea was to show everybody that The Move were a rock band again, heavy and bizarre."
Bev Bevan (December 1994 - Face The Music fanzine #19)

"The Move added heavy-metal guitars to their cracked choruses when Jeff Lynne joined the band in 1970 - if listeners didn't know what to make of this at the time, today the crunching grandeur and rockabilly bottom of Brontosaurus sound like a natural next step."
Mark Coleman (April 16, 1998 - Rolling Stone magazine)"Jeff plays guitar on the [Brontosaurus] session with Roy."
Rob Caiger (September 25, 2003 - Useless Information mailing list)

"Brontosaurus, Cheap Trick, originally by The Move. Cheap Trick always not-so-secretly wanted to be The Move. Here, they prove that they were up to the job."
Ed Bumgardner (January 8, 2008 - Relish)

"The Move embraced the era's hard rock and progressive inclinations and delivered the most overlooked album of their career. That was Looking On, flagged up by two hard-rocking 45s, Brontosaurus and When Alice Comes Back To The Farm."
Mark Paytress (2008 - Looking On remaster liner notes)

"Brontosaurus, driven by a granite version of The Beatles' Lady Madonna riff, slow-burned its way up the chart, eventually resting at Number 7 in April 1970. The single paved the way for a minor chart invasion of hard rock singles that year-- Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, Black Sabbath's Paranoid, [and] Deep Purple's Black Night. [...] Brontosaurus loudly proclaimed the arrival of what might be called the 'New Move.' [...] On Looking On, though, the two singles [Brontosaurus and When Alice Comes Back To The Farm]-- both woefully underrated-- sounded mildly out of place."
Mark Paytress (January 2008 - Looking On remaster liner notes)

"We're looking at a limited fan-only 7-inch release of Brontosaur in an exclusive picture sleeve plus t-shirt."
Rob Caiger (February 5, 2008 - Showdown mailing list)
Editor's Note: This proposed 7" single never was produced.

"In March 1970, The Move's first single of the new decade [Brontosaurus] introduced the heavy sound of the pop market in head-turning, genre-inventing style."
Mark Paytress (October 2008 - Anthology 1966 - 1972 liner notes)

"The first recording by the newly-reconstituted group [The Move], Brontosaurus, was released in March. A kind of heavy metal dance song with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, it was built around an engaging guitar riff and ended up as a frantic rock’n’roll duel between slide guitar and Jeff’s boogie piano. For some weeks it seemed destined to disappear quietly, especially after unenthusiastic reviews from journalists who preferred The Move’s more poppy sound. But an appearance on Top Of The Pops and plays on Radio 1’s contemporary show Sounds Of The 70s helped boost it to No. 7 in the charts. The B-side, ‘Lightnin’ Never Strikes Twice’, written by Rick Price and Mike Tyler (the real name of Mike Sheridan) and with Rick on lead vocal, had been recorded shortly before Jeff joined."
John Van der Kiste (August 2015 - Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra - Before and After)

"Lynne became The Move's second songwriter on December 1970's Looking On album, which yielded a hit with Brontosaurus."
Kris Needs (April 2016 - Prog magazine)

  • Running Time: 4:26
  • Record Date: 1970
  • Record Location: Advision Studios London, UK
  • Written By: Roy Wood
  • Produced By: Roy Wood
  • Engineered By: Roger Wake
  • Performed By: Roy Wood (vocals, guitar), Jeff Lynne (piano, guitar), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion), Rick Price (bass)

  • Released On:
    • Brontosaurus 7" single (1970 March — UK — Regal Zonophone RZ 3026)
    • Brontosaurus 7" single (1970 June — USA — A&M 1197)
    • Brontosaurus 7" promo single (1970 June — USA — A&M 1197)
    • Looking On LP album (1970 December — UK — Fly FLY 1)
    • Looking On LP album (1971 January — USA — Capitol ST-658)
    • Flyback - The Best Of The Move LP album (1971 March — UK — Fly TON 3)
    • Fire Brigade LP album (1972 July — UK — Music For Pleasure MFP 5276)
    • The Move LP album (1974 — UK — Music For Pleasure MFP 50158)
    • First Move - The Best Of The Move LP album (1974 April — USA — A&M SP-3625)
    • Superstars Of The 60's And 70's LP album (1975 — UK — Readers Digest RDS 9568)
    • The Roy Wood Story LP album (1976 March — UK — Harvest SHDW 408)
    • Greatest Hits Volume 1 LP album (1978 May — UK — Pickwick SHM 952)
    • Platinum Collection LP album (1981 October — UK — Cube PLAT 1001)
    • Blackberry Way 7" single (1982 July — UK — Old Gold OG 9227)
    • Flowers In The Rain 7" single (1982 August — UK — Dakota BAK 8)
    • Off The Record With The Move LP album (1984 — UK — Sierra FEDD1005)
    • The Collection LP album (1986 — UK — Castle CCSLP 135)
    • Night Riding LP album (1988 — UK — Knight Records KNLP 10011)
    • The Best Of The Move CD album (1991 — UK — Music Club MCCD 009)
    • Roy Wood Singles CD album (1993 August 23 — UK — Connoisseur 5015773913728)
    • Movements: 30th Anniversary Anthology CD album (1997 October 4 — UK — Westside WESX 302)
    • Looking Back... The Best Of CD album (1998 — UK — Music Club MCCD 345)
    • Omnibus: The 60s Singles As and Bs CD album (1999 August 24 — UK — Edsel EDCD 616)
    • Hits & Rarities: Singles A's & B's CD album (1999 — UK — Repertoire REP 4665-WR)
    • The Complete Singles Collection & More CD album (2001 November 20 — UK — Crimson 0654378023323)
    • Looking On Remaster CD album (2008 April 14 — UK — Salvo SALVOCD014)
    • The Very Best Of The Move CD album (2009 March 2 — UK — Salvo SALVOCD015)
    • Roy Wood: Music Book CD album (2011 November 14 — UK — EMI 50999 731221 2 8)
    • Roy Wood: Music Book digital album (2011 November 14 — UK — EMI 5099973122258)
    • Looking On CD album (2016 June 10 — Europe — Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 22547)
    • Magnetic Waves of Sound - The Best Of The Move CD/DVD album (2017 January 17 — Europe — Esoteric Recordings ECLEC22554)

  • Top UK Chart Position: 6
  • Top US Chart Position: - Did not chart
  • Cover Versions:
    • Wizzard on tour, combined with California Man (1974)
    • Tim Curry on his Read My Lips album (1978)
    • Cheap Trick on their Baby Talk single (1996)
    • Lee Harvey Oswald Band on their Blastronaut album (1996)
    • The Supernaturals on their The Day Before Yesterday's Man single (1997)
    • Bev Bevan's Move on tour (2005)
    • Blue Meanies on their Pop Sensibility album (2006)
    • The Orchestra Played Us Into a Darkness on their MySpace page (03/2007)