Side 2 (songs 4-6) alone earn this classic top honors.
Douglas Vencill | San Diego, CA USA | 07/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We got to talking about this fantastic album a few nights ago on the discussion thread "YOUR TRIPPIN' ALBUM IS ON ITS WAY--WHAT IS IT?" (Most of those threads are a lot of fun, by the way...and very addictive to us music junkies.) I just shared my thoughts with joeindover in response to his knee-slappingly funny review and feel compelled to give my 2-cents' worth to the masses here.
Everything you've read here is pretty much right on the money, although I can't (yet) attest to the supposed lower-sounding quality of the CD. Guess I'll find that all out in due time. What I want to share was how I was made aware of this album. During the sweet summer of 1970--back when underground FM radio still blissfully existed--I was in Long Beach, California on vacation with my mom, between my sophomore and junior year of high school, and VERY much into the burgeoning English rock and prog-rock scene. In those days, the Moody Blues and King Crimson were my new gods. One afternoon, I was sitting in my living room, listening to what was then for me the Radio Station From Heaven: KABC-FM 95.5. There was so much unspeakably cool music I got turned onto that summer that I could be sitting here for another hour just chronicling it....but I'll never forget this particular afternoon. Seated there on my couch, I had my little portable mono Channel Master cassette recorder, microphone attached, pointed at the speaker of an inconsequential little FM clock radio, and filling up several C-60 cassettes with random recordings of what I was hearing on this fantastic radio station. After one commercial break, here came disc jockey Tony Pigg with the announcement, "Here's one from The Move, a Tom Paxton song called 'The Last Thing On My Mind.'" Well, I remember hearing the Chad Mitchell Trio's original country/folkie version of the song, so I kept the recorder going...
...and cornball and over-the-top as this might sound to some, this was one of the defining moments in my musical development. As I sat there listening to this band of Brits I'd not yet even HEARD of taking this sad little breakup song and turning it into a psychedelic, acid-drenched, acoustic and electric 12-string wah-wah guitar sound painting, I was just stunned. I couldn't move (pardon the pun) for the next 7 1/2 minutes. For me, it was like hearing "Question," "The Court of the Crimson King," Procol Harum's "Repent Walpurgis" or Yes's "Yours Is No Disgrace" for the first time. I swear this to you: those were moments that brought me to states of consciousness that tapped me lovingly on the top of my head to remind me that humanity--even with all its flaws--were still capable of creating great masterpieces in the world of music. When the song reached its very UNpretentious conclusion--with the final chorus still ringing in my ears in near-perfect CSN-style vocal harmoney--I couldn't set about to finding the album fast enough.
Here's what I discovered upon hearing it for the first time: I wasn't nearly as knocked out by Side 1 as I was by Side 2....that's just my opinion for all it's worth. But those 3 tracks on Side 2..."Fields of People," "Don't Make My Baby Blue," and the one I just raved about like a lunatic...for me amounted to 3 of the greatest tracks in a row in British prog history, 23 minutes of near-bliss. The psychedelia and interspersed humor of "Fields," the near heavy-metal interpretations of "Baby" and the concluding masterpiece alone made this album worth having...I can listen to those 3 songs even today and still get the initial rush of hearing them for the first time. But when it comes to "Last Thing," as I shared with joeindover, I think Roy should be humbly proud for coming up with such an exquisite arrangement of a very cool song, and I can only wonder what Tom himself would have thought of it.
For all of you uninitiated ones--especially those of you who might be exploring the founding days of the British progressive rock onslaught of the 70's--you'd be well advised not to let this one slip through your fingers. Cheers....."
Deserve 5 stars for its musical quality
Akazgea | 01/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It definitely has a strong touch. The album is actually worth buying for maybe the Fields of People (my favorite song from this album, even though may not be the best one). A mix of many styles, classic, rock and roll, hard rock; beautiful arrangements; catchy melodies. And it sounds better when listened together with Message From a Country, because of the strong connections."