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The Move - Message From the Country CD (album) cover

MESSAGE FROM THE COUNTRY

The Move

 

Proto-Prog

3.44 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Walkscore
3 stars Nice Diverse Collection.

This is the album that the Move made for contractual reasons, and they added some filler they wrote quickly to it, to get this out the door. But there is also excellent music here. Indeed, they wrote so many songs during this time that there were six extra tunes that didn't initially get released, but which made it onto most re-releases of this album (my own vinyl copy contains not only the 10 original tracks, but all six additions, so that I what I will review here). The music here is very diverse, much more diverse than any previous Move album, with more different styles than any ELO album. There is blues, country (and faux country), jazz, hard (for the time) rock, progressive rock, and of course pop, here. The very best song here, one of the best Wood-related tunes, is "It Wasn't My Idea to Dance". This sounds like it could have been targetted at the first ELO album, as it has that heavier multi-instrument feel, like the 10538 overture, but perhaps they had too many good tracks for that (the first ELO album is SO good!), so perhaps this one had to be kept for this Move album (apparently, much of the first ELO album and many of the songs for this album were recorded at the same time). But I actually like all the songs on this album. The title track is great. I really like the fun songs too, like Wood doing his best Elvis impression on "Don't Mess Me Up", and Bev Bevan singing the faux country (but socially critical) "Ben Crawley Steel Company". Also, the six tracks that were left off this album are also quite good. This includes the Move single hit (and later ELO hit) "Do Ya". ELO recorded that one as a virtual carbon-copy of this Move version. "Tonight", "Chinatown" and another single, the rough rockin' "California Man", are also great ("California Man" could be thought of as the template for later ELO rockers like "Hold On Tight" and "Rock'n Roll is King"). While there are some greats here, and every song is listenable, with this amount of diversity I can see how those who prefer one particular style could be turned off. And I don't think this album is going to make it to the top of anyone's greatest list, But I think it is solid, and slightly better than Shazam. I give it 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which places in the (higher) 3 PA stars range.

Walkscore | 3/5 |

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