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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...And The Message From The Country Rises Higher..."
The 2000's have been good to The Move. Their first three albums "The Move" (April 1968), "Shazam" (March 1970) and "Looking On" (October 1970) have all received 2008 CD upgrades by Salvo of the UK (their debut is a 2CD set) with great sound and added extras. But "Message From The Country" - their 4th and last studio album reissued on an EMI CD remaster in 2005 - seems to...
Published on 25 Mar 2010 by Mark Barry

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the move- off beat rock'n' roll
the move's last lp before the e.l.o ,quirky,off beat rock 'n' roll,but good melodies,some brummie country thrown in for good measure.this cd has exta tracks which are unreleased and new to move, e.l.o. and wizzard fans. best track words of aaron. excellent fun. david w.
Published on 12 Sep 2001


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...And The Message From The Country Rises Higher...", 25 Mar 2010
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
The 2000's have been good to The Move. Their first three albums "The Move" (April 1968), "Shazam" (March 1970) and "Looking On" (October 1970) have all received 2008 CD upgrades by Salvo of the UK (their debut is a 2CD set) with great sound and added extras. But "Message From The Country" - their 4th and last studio album reissued on an EMI CD remaster in 2005 - seems to have become a bit of a forgotten gem.

EMI/Harvest 0946 3 30342 2 8 breaks down as follows (76:19 minutes):
1. Message From The Country [by Jeff Lynne]
2. Ella James [by Roy Wood]
3. No Time [by Jeff Lynne]
4. Don't Mess Me Up [by Bev Bevan]
5. Until Your Moma's Gone
[Tracks 1 to 5 made up Side 1 of the original LP]
6. It Wasn't My Idea To Dance [by Roy Wood]
7. The Minister [by Jeff Lynne]
8. Ben Crawley Steel Company [by Roy Wood]
9. The Words Of Aaron [by Jeff Lynne]
10. My Marge [by Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood]

Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Message From The Country" released October 1971 in the UK on Harvest Records SHSP 4013 (a gatefold sleeve) and in the USA with different artwork in a single sleeve on Capitol Records ST-811

Track 11 is "Tonight" [by Roy Wood], a non-album song released as a UK 7" single in June 1971 on Harvest HAR 5038 [it's B-side was the album track "Don't Mess Me Up"]

Track 12 is "Chinatown" [by Roy Wood]; a non-album song released as a UK 7" single in October 1971 on Harvest HAR 5043 [A]

Track 13 is "Down On The Bay" [by Jeff Lynne]; a non-album song, it's the B-side of "Chinatown"

Track 14 is "Do Ya" [by Jeff Lynne], a non-album song; it was the first of two B-sides to "California Man", a non-album track issued as a 7" single in May 1972 in the UK on Harvest HAR 5050. Its second B-side was the album track "Ella James". "Do Ya" was also re-issued in September 1974 in the UK as an A-side in its own right on Harvest HAR 5086 (it's B-side was the album track "No Time").

Track 15 is "California Man" (see 14)

Tracks 16 to 18 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED STUDIO SESSIONS - "Don't Mess Me Up" is a stripped down version newly found at Abbey Road Studios, "The Words Of Aaron" is an extended version with additional woodwind (also newly found at Abbey Road Studios) and last is "Do Ya" - a different mix prepared in Philips Studios in 1972 and originally intended for broadcast as a BBC session (see below about this one).

The first generation original master tapes were remastered by PETER MEW at Abbey Road for this release and the sound quality is glorious - really clean and muscular - another great job done by him (see my list in Listmania for 25 exceptional remasters by him). The 20-page booklet is superbly laid out - detailed liner notes by noted band expert JOHN VAN DER KISTE, rare worldwide 7" picture sleeves reproduced for the non-album single releases, NME reviews and adverts - even snaps of the tape boxes.

The album has been rated by fans as one of their best (the opening song "Message From The Country" still sounds amazingly fresh to this day - sort of like a follow up to Thunderclap Newman's "Something In The Air" (lyrics above)). But what gets me is the stunning quality of the 7" singles and their B-sides - equal to any of the better album tracks - "Down On The Day" and "Tonight" jump to mind. And then there's the three unreleased sessions which are unexpectedly cool - the first two are almost Acapella backing tracks which give fascinating insights into the quality of their great vocal harmonies, while the seven-minute "Do Ya" stops at about 4:51 minutes into the song and there's suddenly an unannounced version of "My Marge" [last track on the album and a B-side in the States] complete with studio chatter - great stuff!

To sum up - this is another blindingly good reissue from EMI. And from here it's onwards to the Electric Light Orchestra's first two albums - which are also superlative EMI remasters (again with Peter Mew's involvement).

Top stuff all round - recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving Towards the Orchestra, 16 April 2006
By 
This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
'Message from The Country', the fourth and final Move album from 1971, was recorded cheek-by-jowl with the first Electric Light Orchestra album, which is hardly surprising when you consider that,in each band, the core personnal consisted of exactly the same people : Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan.

After several personnel changes, The Move were still producing catchy hit singles written by eccentric genius Roy Wood, but as this album shows, they were also more than capable of being more experimental. This manifested itself in the wide variety of styles to be found on 'Message' and also in Roy Wood's brilliant ability to pick up new instruments and incorporate them into the group sound (clarinet, bassoon & saxes on this occasion alongside the guitars).

These tracks, for all their air of 'progressive rock', are actually pretty accessible, and certainly enjoyable. Jeff Lynne, now very much an equal partner in Roy Wood's eyes, contributes half the material, from the ethereal title track to the chunky and funky 'Words of Aaron'. Wood contributes tracks that seem to pre-empt not only ELO (a flourish of oboe here, double-tracked recorders there) but also Wizzard (thumping basses, honking saxes, wild vocals). There are also some plain silly moments ! (But I won't spoil that for you).

All The Move's non-album 45s from 1971 & 1972 have been added (great news as they're all gems !!). Sound quality throughout is 'the dog's nadgers', and all in all you've got an exemplary example of How To Reissue Classic Rock And Roll !

Oh, and as if that wasn't enough...Roy Wood even did the sleeve painting ! That man is so talented it's bloody outrageous !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Signs of Greatness to Come, 3 Sep 2006
This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
One could argue that this was really where ELO started. All the ingredients were in place, it just had to happen. On this CD is the original album, the singles and B sides from that era and three alternative versions of tracks already featured. Lynne wrote four tracks, Wood another four, with a joint venture (the 1920's sounding 'My Marge' as a finisher) with Bev Bevan writing the Elvis and the Jordanaires pastiche 'Don't Mess Me Up'.

Wood's tracks are the more accessable, and perhaps more 'down the line', but Jeff Lynne really shows how much he loves and has absorbed the Beatles, especially Lennon.

There is so much variety here, not sure this would happen today in this pigeon-hole obsessed world, only established artists like Madonna would get away with it. It's no hopeless mish-mash either. 'No Time', a Lennon style ballad featuring Roy Wood's wonderful woodwind, sits confortably with probably the best track (for me) 'Until Your Momma's Gone', a teriffic head banging boogie rock track. Bev Bevan even takes over the lead for 'Ben Crawley Steel Company', one the Man in Black would be proud of.

This album was not a hit, perhaps those concerned were more interested in getting ELO going. It deserved to be though, it's certainly the best album the Move did and shows not only Roy Wood's ear for a great tune but the creative and innovative potential of Jeff Lynne being realised, though it would take him a while to get ELO where he wanted it to be.

Some have critised the sound, finding it compressed. Well I'm not so sure about that but what is obvious is an album of consistent high quality with something for many, espeically if you have ever liked ELO, or the Beatles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic album long lost until now, 27 Mar 2006
By A Customer
If ever an album deserved repackaging and reissuing, it was this. The Move's fourth and last album (compilations excluded), first out in 1971, was a classic from start to finish. It laid down the template for the paths Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne would later follow with Wizzard ('Until Your Mama's Gone') and ELO ('The Minister') respectively, with great commercial rock songs like 'Ella James' (which was nearly a single A-side) and more experimental pieces like 'It Wasn't also contains the Harvest non-album A- and B-sides like 'California Man', 'Tonight' and 'Do Ya', and the notes, memorabilia et al in the booklet are clearly a labour of love. If you've ever been a fan of any of the associated groups and wondered what this album was like, you'll adore it. If you're merely curious, take a chance on this - you won't regret it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contractual obligation album, 28 Nov 2006
By 
A. Jackson "DVFM" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
"Message From The Country" is the Move's final album, recorded at the same time as the first Electric Light Orchestra offering. The personel are the same too - Roy Wood, Bev Bevan and Jeff Lynne.

Although both Wood and Lynne wrote an equal number of tracks for "Message From The Country", Roy's numbers take a relatively subdued back seat to his partner's. Moments of madness still prevail, "Until Your Momma's Gone" is a rock n roll riot and "Ben Crawley Steel Company" (complete with Bevan's Johnny Cash vocals) still proves Wood had his sense of humour. Bevan returns the favour on his "Don't Mess Me Up" which gives Wood the chance to give us spookily Elvis vocals!

Lynne's title track is a monster production. Featuring a Abbey Road-ish guitar riff very similar to what he would put down on "10538 Overture" for ELO, "Message From The Country" ooses gorgeous multi-tracked vocals and prominent percussion. These vocal effects are also heard on "No Time" probably the album's quietest moment. "The Minister" is has a "Paperback Writer" feel to it and the glorious "Words Of Aaron" harks back to Lennon White Album-era.

But whilst everything's well and good, this album could be a lot better. Because tracks recorded by The Move as The Electric Light Orchestra could have seemlessly fitted in here, or ELO tracks recorded by The Move. Wood and Lynne made no secret that their priority was ELO, not the parent band. Or maybe they weren't sure......the questions are endless.

Yet listen to the extra tracks here. The singles "Tonight", "Chinatown" and the sublime "California Man" prove that Wood hadn't lost his hit-single touch. Lynne's "Down On The Bay" and "Do Ya" give weight to his previously unheard Rock leanings.

Both "California Man" and "Down On The Bay" were picked up as key songs by American power-poppers Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick were the chief influence on Nirvana. Wood and Lynne - the grandfathers of grunge????
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gem, 2 Feb 2008
By 
This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
If I could pass laws. I'd pass a law that prohibits musicians from designing their own album covers unless they could produce compelling evidence to the contrary. But, that aside: lets look at the music. Some could argue that this album sits uncomfortably between the gravitas of prog-rock and the trivia of superficial pop . Bollocks. This album is a period classic, combining the urge to experiment, tempered by solid, and unashamedly, pop sensibilities.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Move From Idle to Orchestra, 4 July 2006
By 
K. A. Lay "Kim Lay" (Brightlingsea, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
This is, to my mind, the best of the Move's albums. Following the pseudo heavy metal of "Looking On", the band has put together a more mature selection of songs and performances.

Much of the reason for this is the addition of Jeff Lynne. Although he had been on Looking On, its on Message to the Country that he really makes his presence felt. Lynne had been reluctant to leave his previous band, the Idle Race, and had recorded two fine albums on Liberty with them. (A third album called Time Is came following his departure.)

Given the chance to see the Move evolve into the Electric Light Orchestra, you can see some of ELO's earliest songs in an embryonic state here. The title track has similarities with 10538 Overture but its easy to detect which are Lynne's songs and which are Roy Wood's.

Being avid Beatle's fans, both Wood and Lynne wrote songs that the fab four could happily have recorded themselves. Some tracks hark back to Jeff Lynne's days with the Idle Race but there is little trace of the early Move here. There is nothing to compare with Fire Brigade, Blackberry Way or I can Hear the Grass Grow. This is a more progressive Move as befits an act who were signed to EMI's Harvest Label.

There are a couple of gimmicky pieces that the album could do without, the Ben Crawley Steel Company features drummer Bev Bevan on vocals and comes across like a Johnny Cash C&W song. The original album's closing song, My Marge, is just plain silly.

However, everything else more than makes up for this. It wasn't my idea to dance, No Time, Don't Mess Me Up (a decent Elvis imitation here), Word of Aaron. These are all strong songs.

As this was the Move's swansong, it's good that their final singles complete with B sides have been included on the remastered version. Now you can have your listening pleasure rounded off the Tonight, Down on the Bay, Chinatown, California Man and the original Do Ya all included here.

The liner notes are good and informative making this a good package with which to remember a great band. Rock music was interesting back then and progressive was a good description. All fans of the Move, ELO and Wizzard whould have this in their collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Wizzard / ELO you'll LOVE this!, 27 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
This was the last "Move" album - but in many ways the first ELO album... Well worth a listen if you want to see the origins of both ELO and Wizard! recommended!
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4.0 out of 5 stars music, 24 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Message From The Country (Audio CD)
came very quick no problems with delivery , nice to have some cd of the move as we enjoy most of the songs
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bev sings Country, 10 Sep 2012
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As a Move singles fan I found this album has some good tracks.Message From The Country and The Words of Arron are my favorites.They have that distinct Move sound.The Ben Crawley Steel Company is a real hoot,a Country and Western with Bev Bevan on vocals.Yes I bought it to replace my LP,and I'm glad I did.
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