Album Cover Art Wednesday: Message From The Country

The Move is best remembered for the hit song Do Ya and for morphing into the Electric Light Orchestra who morphed into ELO. They had several hit songs…

The Move was a two-headed monster in 1971 when Message From The Country was released. I guess I should replace the word monster with leader: Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne. ELO was the former’s idea but his head was chopped off and ELO became Lynne’s livin’ thing as the song title goes.

Message From The Country was The Move’s fourth and final album. It had different covers in the UK and US. The UK cover art was by co-leader Roy Wood and is the cover that has appeared on subsequent reissues so let’s begin there.

The US cover makes it look as if the band is lost in a suburban corporate wasteland. I couldn’t find any reason as to why it was changed from the Roy Wood original. Perhaps it was a pro-Lynne plot. So it goes.

Let’s stop talking about the damn record and play it. This is the 2005 CD re-release with 8 additional tracks. It’s a terrific record with a couple of songs that sound like a proto-Traveling Wilburys, not a bad thing at all.

One thought on “Album Cover Art Wednesday: Message From The Country

  1. The first Electric Light Orchestra album was a true collaboration, made by the same three people at roughly the same time as Message from the Country. Roy Wood is on record as leaving ELO in Lynne’s capable hands because Jeff had much more that he wanted to do with the concept, whereas Wood was starting to think a lot more about the Fifties styles he was later to educe in Wizzard, so it seems to have been a truly amicable divorce, not just prettied up for the press.

    Happens I’ve been listening to a lot of earlier Move this past week. Basically they wanted to be the Beatles, but heavier. By this time they couldn’t get any heavier without losing their charm. (For my money ELO peaked with the second album, while Wood just got quirkier; his a;bum Mustard is wall to wall goofy.) Cheap Trick were also big Move fans, recognizing similar ambitions. And then, years later, XTC ramped up the styles of the Move, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, the Beach Boys, etc. into a post-punk flower power extravaganza.

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