6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan

20th Oct 2009 | 11:30

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
Bev Bevan
English rock sticksman chooses his six best

Not many drummers can boast backing two successful bands, let alone being a founding a member of both! Bev Bevan, on the other had, can: The Move and ELO.

Here, Bevan shares the six records which have most defined his career, telling Rhythm Magazine why they mattered so much along the way.

Next page: Roy Wood, singalong psychedelia and David Bowie

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
The Move (1968)
The Move

The eponymous first album highlights the band’s trademark vocal harmonies, tight, strong arrangements and the first of Roy Wood’s clever rock’n’roll pastiche, singalong psychedelic hits.

Bev Bevan says:

“The Move really came about when David Jones’s (later, Bowie) Lower Third played Birmingham Cedar Club. Trevor Burton (guitar) and Ace Kefford (bass) got talking to him and he said they should find the best players in Brum, get together and come down to London.”

“The idea for the first album was to write new material but Woody was never that prolific. I Can Hear The Grass Grow was our second single, not actually on the original album, and the drums sounded so much ballsier than on our first, Night Of Fear.”

“Denny Cordell produced and Tony Visconti engineered. It’s almost three different things – military-like in the middle eight, fairly straight in the choruses and wild toms in the verses.”

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Buy The Move here: Amazon UK | Play.com | HMV

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
Something Else From The move (1968)
The Move

This live EP was recorded at London’s Marquee where The Move had taken over residency from The Who. Keith Moon’s influence is heard in Bev’s spirited drums.

Bev Bevan says:

“It’s all covers, but really tight. The old Jerry Lewis song It’ll Be Me had so much energy, I’m really pleased with the drumming. It’s also featured on the new boxed set as well.”

“The kit that I was using was a double bass drum Premier. That was the thing in Birmingham; we were all really loud bastards. Me, Johnny Bonham, Cozy Powell and Bill Ward.”

“Bonham used to watch me play and then steal my ideas. Then by the ’70s I was watching Led Zeppelin and trying to do what he was doing, because he was so good. But we were great mates. I’d go round to his house and he’d have two kits set up and a tiny kit for his son Jason and the three of us would all play together.”

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Buy Something Else From The Move here: Amazon UK

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
Shazam (1970)
The Move

The Move’s chaotic career was spiralling and fans’ favourite Ace Kefford had left: “We were just fading out to be honest,” says Bev. But Shazam still remains a crucial ’60s album and one of his favourites.

Bev Bevan says:

“My favourite Move album, I like everything on there, particularly for the drum sound. There’s some complicated stuff with tasty fills. On Fields Of People there are really fast rolls and listening to it again I think ‘wow, that’s good!’ [laughs] Don’t Make My Baby Blue was me playing hard and heavy, which I really love.”

“We did our only trip to America with the Move and I bought a Slingerland kit from Manny’s in New York. I was a big Buddy Rich fan and he played Slingerlands then. A couple of years later, when ELO made it, I got sponsored by Slingerland. The beautiful white pearl Slingerland kit I have now was made for ELO Part II.”

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Buy Shazam here: Amazon UK | Play.com | HMV

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
ELO 2 (1973)
ELO

With the original Move down to just Woody and Bev, fellow Brum star Jeff Lynne is enlisted for the grandiose ELO project which would see Bev’s career go ballistic.

Bev Bevan says:

“After Shazam me and Woody really enjoyed getting heavy again, but back in England the best money was in cabaret. We hated it but Carl Wayne loved it. Roy knew Jeff Lynne and so he joined. I thought they would write songs together but that never worked out.”

“Although not a big hit, Roll Over Beethoven got masses of air play on every American FM station and we went to America on the back of that song. Again, I’m proud of the drumming, it still sounds good.”

“We opened for Deep Purple, did all the stadiums in 1973 for the first time. That put us in great stead for when we headlined for them a couple of years later.”

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Buy ELO 2 here: Amazon UK | Play.com | HMV

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
Face The Music (1975)
ELO

As Roy Wood goes off to enjoy top 10 British acclaim with Wizzard, Jeff Lynne drives ELO to international success. Bev later finds out that playing with orchestras can be a double-edged sword…

Bev Bevan says:

“My favourite ELO albums were Face The Music and New World Record. Out Of The Blue is not too shabby either. There’s an instrumental on Face called Fire On High and the drumming is really good.

On Evil Woman we had girl backing singers, I’m playing an almost Ray Charles, soulful vibe. I had lots of freedom on Face and New World, but as the lush orchestrations got more complicated I had to keep it pretty simple.”

“With ELO Part II, through the ‘90s, we played with loads of orchestras - the Sydney and Moscow Symphonies. But it was so controlled, with 80 people relying on you. If you mess up everything collapses. Not very enjoyable from the drumming angle.”

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Buy Face The Music here: Amazon UK | Play.com | HMV

6 career defining records of ELO's Bev Bevan
Twang!: A Tribute To Hank Marvin And The Shadows (1996)
Various Artists

During a sabbatical from ELO, Bev is invited by Tony Iommi to tour with Black Sabbath. Later Bev cuts a track with Iommi on this homage to Hank Marvin.

Bev Bevan says:

“My drumming progressed all through The Move and ELO and then in the late ’70s when ELO stopped touring and started using drum machines it stagnated. I joined Black Sabbath in the early ’80s and started playing really loud and hard again. But unfortunately I never got to record an album with them.

“Tony Iommi is my best music business mate and I was with Tony, Gordon Giltrap on acoustic and Neil Murray on bass. There are some great guitarists on this album, like Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler. They each did one track. We did ‘Wonderful Land’, and it’s kind of a spooky arrangement, a bit like Black Sabbath doing the Shadows – weird and wonderful!”

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Buy Twang!: A Tribute To Hank Marvin And The Shadows here: Amazon UK

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