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MESSAGE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Germany


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Message biography
Founded in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1968 - Disbanded in 1981

Originally born as a German-British band, the music of MESSAGE oscillates between a substantial heavy rock and a nice folk rock articulated around a range of keyboards arrangements. Their first album was recorded under the direction of the famous musical engineer Dieter Dierks. The result sounds remarkably as British progressive rock of the moment. Very melodic, with a ravishing and an accomplished lyrical sense of composition. Their following album is as great as the previous one, delivering impressive, extended, mainly instrumental heavy/ space rock tracks which can be compared (in some parts) to NEKTAR's first effort. Their two last albums released in 1975/76 were directed to more mainstream, conventional and easy listening heavy rock music. Very accessible records, sometimes including jazzy ingredients, the band abandoned their complex, sophisticated and original progressive rock. In search of a commercial response, they finally failed to convince the public.

: : : Philippe Blache : : :

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MESSAGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MESSAGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 41 ratings
The Dawn Anew Is Coming
1972
3.64 | 52 ratings
From Books And Dreams
1973
3.99 | 25 ratings
Message
1975
3.96 | 14 ratings
Synapse
1976
2.27 | 7 ratings
Using The Head
1977
3.15 | 7 ratings
Astral Journeys
1978
2.20 | 6 ratings
Miles Of Smiles
1980

MESSAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MESSAGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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MESSAGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

MESSAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From Books And Dreams by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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From Books And Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Second album by the Scottish and German band (Allan Murdoch and Tam McGuigan were Scottish), From Books and Dreams sports an extremely creepy cover depicting a skull with a snake going through its eye sockets. Here the band takes on a heavier approach than on From Books and Dreams. Tam McGuigan, therefore takes on a heavier vocal approach, something like Don Brewer's vocal approach on Grand Funk's "We're an American Band" (not that Message sounded like Grand Funk, more like a heavier version of Nektar). "Sleep" largely consists of eerie spoken dialog, while "Dreams and Nightmares (Dreams)" is largely guitar-oriented jam with saxophone. "Turn Over" features a voice that repeats: "Turn Over". I believe the band intended that to be a lock-in groove that repeats until you remove the tonearm (given your turntable isn't automatic), but apparently the record company didn't understand that so it repeats "Turn Over" several times before it's over and your tonearm returns to its resting place (if its an automatic turntable). I own the original LP (with the unboxed "Bellaphon" logo on the label) so I should know this. There seems to be some confusion with the tracklistings, once again, seems like record company misunderstanding (no wonder they left the label after this album). "Sigh" (if that's the name of the song) features those really in your face hard rock vocals, with some amazing proggy hard rock passages. The last piece is the lengthiest piece and most proggy. The Mellotron makes an appearance with Allan "Taff" Freeman of Nektar providing it, as a guest. There are some spoken dialog as well.

It's obvious that, while Message appeared around the same time as Nektar, Nektar ended up as the much more commercially successful band. From Books and Dreams is truly worthy of your attention.

 The Dawn Anew Is Coming by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.80 | 41 ratings

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The Dawn Anew Is Coming
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Truly a great debut by this British/German band. Allan Murdoch seems to be the only constant member of the band. Of note here is future Birth Control bassist Horst Stachelhaus. I really dig the cover, which was enough for me to buy the album, but then I already owned From Books and Dreams so I know that if I enjoyed that one, I should enjoy The Dawn Anew is Comin'. This one is a bit calmer than From Books and Dreams, and perhaps a bit more psychedelic. I see comparisons to Nektar, and I can see that. Not only that, but Allan "Taff" Freeman providing some Mellotron as a guest, and they share the same label (Bacillus/Bellaphon). "Changes" and the title track remind me a bit of how Jethro Tull might sound like if there was no flute. "Evil Faith and Charity" is more in Deep Purple territory, but without organ. "Heaven Knows" is most like Nektar circa Journey to the Centre of the Eye, a nice calm atmospheric piece with some nice Mellotron from "Taff" Freeman. "When I'm Home" is a nice catchy piece, again the Nektar comparisons being valid.

It's not as heavy as From Books and Dreams, but it's still a wonderful and amazing album worth getting!

 Using The Head by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.27 | 7 ratings

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Using The Head
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I really enjoyed The Dawn Anew is Comin' and From Books and Dreams, they reminded me a bit of a heavier Nektar (helps that Allan "Taff" Freeman provided some Mellotron on those albums as a guest), but I really can't say the same of Using the Head. With such cheap bathroom humor for an album title, you'd think this band went all Frank Zappa on us, but that's hardly the case. Since the band released two more albums between From Books and Dreams and this one, it's clear that the only original member left was Allan Murdoch. Horst Stachelhaus was by now a member of Birth Control. To my ears, this is a pretty mediocre rock album without much of the great heaviness and progginess of their first two albums (I haven't heard any of their other albums except their first two and this one). I realize this is 1977 and not 1972/'73, but I've heard much better albums than this from 1977. The band was flirting with boogie and the occasional disco tendencies have themselves felt, but I can say I do enjoy "Walking on a Rainbow". Other than that this album really did little for me.

Whatever you do, don't make this your first purchase, try The Dawn Anew is Comin' and From Books and Dreams, you'll be glad you did. Get Using the Head if you need everything from the band or need everything on the Brain label.

 The Dawn Anew Is Coming by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.80 | 41 ratings

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The Dawn Anew Is Coming
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars A talented vintage progressive-related band with ties to Nektar, and well in need of fresh exposure and rediscovery, English/German band Message released a string of very solid albums starting from the early 70's with a focus on strong vocal melodies with lengthy clean instrumental passages. Their debut album from 1972 `The Dawn Anew Is Coming' is driven by the superior English language vocals of charismatic frontman Tom McGuigan and the epic electric guitar runs of Allan Murdoch. Heavy moments and light jazz/fusion flavours all feature, and like with the Moody Blues, often the lyrics (and the album title itself) seem to hint at a vague mind-expanding consciousness, giving the album a bit more weight and mystery.

Opener `Changes' is a punchy rocker almost in the manner of early Eloy, a chugging guitar urgency to the piece with two electric guitars playing separately on either side of the speakers. The atmospheric title-track moves back and forth through a wide range of emotions and moods. Slowly unfolding, thoughtful if slightly downbeat verses of low-key murmuring bass ruminations and a gloomy vocal shift in and out. Frantic up-tempo rapidly strummed acoustic/electric guitar passages chime with a manic urgency. Twisting and turning electric guitars snarl together with furious honking saxophone throughout `Evil Faith and Charity', a malevolent heavy rocker almost in the manner of Van der Graaf Generator. A spitting vocal howl, attacking drumming, wet cardboard box bass and dirty guitar grooves spiral ever downwards, lots of addictive bluster and noise to this one!

The melancholic `Heaven Knows' that opens the second side is the longest track at almost ten minutes. It's a mix of spacey, ambient moments interspersed with energetic and racing passages, the thoughtful lyrics a reflection on human and spiritual love. Building cymbal rises, eerie guitar chimes and sombre Mellotron veils compete with a pounding drumbeat and snaking electric guitar runs. `When I'm Home' is a paean to the contentment of being home, a confident and up-tempo eclectic pop/rocker full of bluesy guitar wailing and fluid bass slithering through the darkness. The highlight is when the piece slows down for an ambient passage in the middle with a stream-of- consciousness narrated recitation of a poem by Veronika Green "For The Darkness" over the most gentle and stirring of Mellotron wisps (like earlier in the album, supplied by Taff Freeman of Nektar).

Barely running a brisk 33 minutes doesn't ever allow time for filler or less interesting material to creep in, instead keeping the album direct and compact, with a perfect balance between catchy vocals with winning melodies and expertly executed instrumental sections. The follow-up album `From Books and Dreams' would prove to be their ambitious and darker masterpiece, but this debut still reveals itself to be a strong collection of melodic ambitious rock, and evidence of a band starting to stretch their progressive wings. Although the follow-up is superior, and the band also went on to record some decent (if more commercial) albums later on, there's still something charming about the naïve yet warm adventurous rock music found here, and it's my personal favourite from Message. Not a particularly important release, but a damn fine album and band all the same.

Three and a half stars, but I'll round it up to four.

 From Books And Dreams by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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From Books And Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A grim slice of proto-metallic krautrock, 'From Books & Dreams' is hailed in some quarters as German masterpiece, though in actual fact this is much more a cult affair that seems to genuinely divide opinion amongst fans of progressive music. The problem here stems from the albums rather monotonous style, which finds driving guitar riffs undercutting some rather feeble vocals throughout the album's central two-part suite, 'Dream & Nightmares'. Part one, 'Dreams', quickly runs out of steam; 'Nightmares', which is the second part, follows the same dreary path. In between, murky goings on ruminate within the ominous 'Turn Over', whilst proceedings brighten ever-so-slightly with the atmospheric 'Sigh'. However, this is, overall, a rather uninspiring listen, and an album which may well appeal to fans of metal and heavy rock. Krautrock fans are warned: this basically an arty rock album, lacking the invention found in the material of fellow teutonic rock acts 'Faust', 'Embryo' and 'Grobschnitt'. Strictly for completionists then, this Message hasn't much to say. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
 Synapse by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.96 | 14 ratings

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Synapse
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars Fourth album by British/German MESSAGE, it took me quite some time to get this one. It's a bit surprising since I think this was still in their best period, actually this one was supposed to be last album worth seeking out, didn't think it was gonna be so rare with reviews.

Just seeing the nice cover art itself raised my expectations, and hoping that music would reflect that surreal image. The opener "Fred The Head" opens with very spacey or etheral sounds on guitar (reminding of the intro of "And You And I" by YES) but soon saxes kick in to give it a more original atmosphere. This theme of sorts is so good it actually repeats itself in another song later on "To Live Again". The album is basically further exploration of jazzy influences on the previous album, but still retaining some commercial side to the whole thing. I'm not an expert on JFR genre but I think some of it, like the song "Triangle" might be close to fusion, and especially the 7 minute long "The Sailor And The Flyer". Of other tracks, "To Live Again" is a good vocal oriented song with the similar sax theme from "Fred The Head", and I think "Chessmen" and "Destruction" is loudest they get but nothing like hard rock of previous albums. Personally, the tracks I could do without is "Volcanoes Under The Sun" as well as the closing instrumental number "Pharaoh's Leg" which is a very dull and repetitive guitar and sax interplay stretched to 3 minutes. Pretty dark as well and not as upbeat as the rest of the album.

This is the album that distanced them the most from their beginnings as a NEKTAR sounding band, and it would have been great if they continued to explore this new direction, because I think as a transitional album it would lead to great things. Personally I don't think it's the best album they did , but excellent record nonetheless.

 Message by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.99 | 25 ratings

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Message
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars This self titled album MESSAGE really got me thinking. It wasn't the first album that I heard by them. First I stumbled upon the second album "From Books And Dreams" which blew my mind and only the last song "Dreams And Nightmares (Nighmares)" on that album kind of slowed things down for me, not making it the psychedelic/space/heavy/proto-metal masterpiece that it otherwise would be (strong 4 stars though).

After hearing such stuff I was prejudiced when I found this album which was a lot more commercial and less progressive or heavy (you kind of expect it when you see the cover); yet I couldn't find flaws honestly in it. This album really doesn't make me wanna nitpick it at all, it's really an enjoyable listen and from my side, replayed very often. The sound of the band has changed a lot since the debut and their subgenre here on PA barely applies. It's not completely without progressive roots, as for other music like this I was personally reminded of maybe something like heavy progsters BIRTH CONTROL but only after their most creative years, more around the "Increase" album era in 1977. This album by MESSAGE is pretty accessible like that, however, unlike BIRTH CONTROL, it's more jazzy, gives more space to saxophones than their previous efforts, and just frankly, they pull it of better. It's worthy to remind that MESSAGE is a British/German band where vocals belong to the British member. Now I'm not that picky about how strong an accent a singer has, but this may be a feature that gives pretty charming results which maybe wouldn't work if it was Germans who were singing a pop tune. For example "Is That The Way" is a very laid back jazzy ballad and even though it gets complicated in the middle, the rest of it really made me think of RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS for some reason; it's really one of those vintage gem songs that you wouldn't be surprised if it would turn up sampled in a hip hop song one of these days. There is also some humour in "Horrorscope" which also reminds me of BIRTH CONTROL.

Not their most progressive effort, but it is in competition for the best album. Unlike others, it's pretty even throughout and fun, and I have trouble separating highlights from the rest of the songs. Well, "Is That The Way" and "I Can See The World" with female backing vocals might be the lightweight ones, but it still isn't just background music. Weird how they failed to achieve mainstream success as this is pretty good. In any case, I recommend it. It's fun, healthy and good for you.

 From Books And Dreams by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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From Books And Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Skeletor's favourite album

An album named like this sporting a spooky art work with pirate skull and a slithering snake worming through it - should preferably inspire nightmares of werewolves and darkness. The themes within speak about the other side of reality, the one that peeps through in the middle of the night, disturbing you in your sleep with tales of ancient memories, forbidden fruit, poisonous creatures and man made taboos being crossed by yourself seen from a bird's eye's view.

First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to my good friend John(Mellotron Storm) for introducing me to this album. Just by reading his review, I knew that I was in for a treat with From Books and Dreams. The album is a sweet concoction of grungy gritty hard rock and psychedelic Krautrock themes. Even if this mix has been done a thousand times before, back then it was still an infant musical child slowly learning to stand on its own two feet. Whereas we now have a cornucopian factory hall production of bands trying to infuse Black Sabbathy grittiness with the psych tendencies of old - often ending up in the aptly named sludge genre, back then the psychedelia of the 60s had only just begun to branch out in all of these fascinating hybrids. For my money, it was Germany who spawned the most astonishing and breathtaking metamorphoses, and Message is certainly among those acts that modelled these two hardy ingredients into something unique, black and fiery.

Message wield a brawling dirty guitar-based sound that ploughs through the airwaves like a rusty scythe. The grim reaper of string instruments fuels this band's energy, and you can almost feel the dark and murky ambiance of this band creeping up on you like an out of breath shadow trying desperately to catch up. This is no Black Sabbath - even if I portray it as such, the emphasis on cosmic feathered hard rock is far too obvious for that to be true. Even so, the overall production of the thing still puts pictures in my head of ghastly tombstones, neon skeletor and a swampy atmosphere that occasionally gets split wide open by the sharp scythe-like guitars.

This is essentially riff based music, but spiced up with sparsely used saxophone, synthesizers and mellotron. On several occasions though, the band changes course within the basic song structures - heaves the anchor, and flies away on sprawling magnificent fusion sweeps led by a manic saxophone. These are beautiful sections, and when the guitars finally interrupt with their sweetened melodic flavours, the music suddenly develops a counterpointing shadow effect to the otherwise harsh murkiness of the heavy riffage.

The front singer is actually English, which does add a certain quality to the vocals. Let's just say that English sung albums coming out of Germany from around the same time were very often clouded in heavy Bavarian accents, which to me personally can spoil an otherwise exceptional record. Well not this one. The vocals fit the music, although they have a confrontational manner - they clash into the given structure - sounding almost cacophonous at times, though never out of place. They depict the dreamy images of the lyrics in a way that lifts the overall feel of the album, making the music and lyrical themes collide in a natural symbiosis. Especially the divided title track proves this rather peculiar meeting.

If you already enjoy the works of Nektar, Nosferatu, 2066 and Then and other such acts that flirted around with the sticky combo of hard rock n' psychedelia, then Message's second outing should please you like a hundred handshakes from Jimmy Page. I love this album - the way it keeps fresh and still sounds like a death defying creature coming out of fog-ridden bogs, - and to top it all off, it just so happens to rock like a regular mountain of riffs.

 From Books And Dreams by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.64 | 52 ratings

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From Books And Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by cannon

4 stars Great cover. I tend to associate it with another Krautrock album, 'Delusions' from McChurch Soundroom. Similar album cover, lyrical content, sound and style.

'The Day Anew Coming', the debut from Message in 1972 takes a progressive melodic fusion of psych, jazz-fusion and folk and shades it with an overcast of a heavy atmosphere. Early Tull, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash. Well done but nothing out of this world.

As with their first album, the band entered the studio with the great German producer, Deiter Dierks in 1973 and released, 'Of Books And Dreams'. Ominous and repressive, a conscious effort to uncover the unconscious thought that accompanies the effects of the sleep state through morbid fears and compulsions. A play on the pschye, lyrically and musically.

"Sleep" introduces the listener with spoken words over tumultous and tempestous psychedelic/space splattering. Terrifying though rather trivial.

Sliding into deeper unconsciousness, "Dreams And Nightmares (Dreams)" culminates the bass and the psychically induced guitar sequence from Allan Murdoch and expands and finally explodes into a ravishingly riff. The vocals of Tom McGuigan scream in, somewhat dischordal but deeply discerning. Fortunately it's then Murdoch guitar that sets the rhythm for the sax solo of McGuigan as his vocals are limited in only two limited parts of the track. At the ten minute mark, Murdoch slaps down a Iommi-esque solo that could been transported from Sabbath's self-titled debut. After the manic guitar solo the bass slowly pulses and winds down this trembling track. The apex of the album.

Track three, "Turn Over", is an instrumental with McGuigan's free-form sax slithering over an eerie ambient guitar and then an uptempo rhythmic riff kicks in as the sax strikes out and snakes through a shivering jazz/psych synapses. "Turn Over", "Turn Over",...

"Sigh" is the most melodic track from the album though McGuigan's vocals are somewhat annoying and overbearing, almost abrasive at times but once it again it's Murdoch's guitar that takes over at the three and half minute mark showcasing his shifting styles and then the intense interplay between guitar and sax. The last two minutes of the track ends as it began with the addition of a sinister scream sequence.

The second part of "Dreams And Nightmares (Nightmares)" is 13 minutes of Krautrock psychosis. "Introducing The Myth" starts with McGuigan's Mellotron as a shadowy background to his restrained vocals which are not so abrading as to his abandoning, piercing screams on previous tracks. Again it's the chilling interplay between sax and guitar that take over the first part of this nightmare. The sandman (McGuigan) enters the second stage and casts "The Unpleasent Spell" and speaks to you in a suffering, taunting and daunting tone. The "Nightmare" then trembles and traumatically tails off into silence.

If you're searching for a scary, spine-tingling sound experience, this is it. This album is on the heavy psych/progressive hard rock/proto-metal spectrum of Krautrock (though Message is half British). This is really Allan Murdoch's trip though Tom McGuigan's multi-intrumental talents are substantial, it is vocals that maybe disturbing to some. The production of Deiter Dierk has the same spooky atmosphere as some of the other "heavy" Krautrocker of the early '70's he produced, most notably Nektar and lesser obscure artists like Wind, Hairy Chapter, Gila amongst others.

Message then would make a significant shift on thier next album to a jazz-fusion/eclectic prog and then sadly meander into that menacing "mainstream" melodic AOR/hard rock style that so many did in the mid/late '70's.

 The Dawn Anew Is Coming by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.80 | 41 ratings

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The Dawn Anew Is Coming
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Legendary English-German band with some very strange roots.Message were originally formed in 1968 in Dusseldorf by bassist Horst Stachelhaus,but the main man Tom McGuigan and guitarist Allan Murdoch entered the scene later.Tom and Allan were members of the Scottish band The Waysiders in the 60's.After they disbanded Allan formed MI5 and moved to Germany,the band became close friends with Message,eventually MI5 became the prog monster Nektar,but Murdoch decided to join Message and bring along McGuigan along with guitarist Billy Tabbert.As a five-piece with also German drummer Gunther Klinger Message released the album ''The Dawn Anew Is Coming'' in 1972 on Bacillus.The album succeeded several vinyl and CD re-issues in the future.

With the powerful voice of Tom McGuigan on the front,Message played somekind of Psychedelic/Hard/Kraut-Rock mix with plenty of breaks between aggresive parts and smooth passages,with long tracks balanced between vocal performance and fiery instrumental playing.With only a touch of additional instruments,the band was heavily based on the classic guitar/bass/drums combination with heavy guitar playing and sometimes groovy sax parts delivered by McGuigan.Message incorporated elements found in the music of DEEP PURPLE, WIND, early ELOY (particularly in the guitar solos) and NEKTAR as well as hints of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.Very good work by McGuigan on vocals,the album lacks a bit in diversity,being a Psych/Hard Rock monster for its time,but it haven't grown really well through time.The adsence of additional instruments make the sound less rich compared to bands of the time like NEKTAR or ELOY,but Message definitely played well the specific style they had chosen.

A good and energetic album,''The Dawn Anew Is Coming'' will be propably a long-time favorite for fans of Hard/Kraut-Rock with psychedelic touches and should appeal also to lovers of the aforementioned historical groups.Generally recommended.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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