Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Move: Message From the Country [Capitol, 2005]
The entire Electric Light Orchestra catalog is now in reissue, with Randy Newman doing the notes. But you know better. You know Jeff Lynne's greatest band was the Move because it included Roy Wood, who soon proved incompatible with ELO's grander ambitions. What you probably don't know is that this (admittedly, as it is said, "remastered") version of the Move's 1971 peak adds naught but four alternate-version "bonus cuts" to 1994's Great Move!: The Best of the Move. Both include the whomping "Message From the Country," the all shook up "Don't Mess Me Up," the Man-in-Black-on-ludes "Ben Crawley Steel Company," and that ultimate bonus cut, the radio-unready greatest-single-of-all-time nominee "Do Ya." Post-psychedelia, the Move were a loud bastion against singer-songwriter miasma. No other band better evokes a giant mechanical lizard. [Recyclables]