Message - From Books and Dreams. 1973 Germany

Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks this, but to me Message's second album, From Books and Dreams, absolutely obliterates anything else they've ever done, including the debut. This album is relentless in its intensity. It just pounds on your senses for 40 plus minutes, and yea, maybe you will want to get some sleep after this (careful with the dreams though...). Pure exhaustion. You'll see many references to Nektar regarding this album, and while I can see the superficial connection (among them a direct personal link between the two, and the whole expatriate in Germany from England thing), there are two elements that really distinguish Message: Little to no keyboards, and a strong saxophone presence. Message are definitely more hard rocking as well. I love early Nektar too, but Message are on a different plane here. There are really only three tracks here, the first side operates as a full suite, though they broke them into 3 separate titles. Not a weak moment can be found. Exemplary psychedelic guitar, amplified vocals, and a rhythm section that won't quit. I've owned this album on LP since the late 1980s and it continues to improve with each listen.

Personal collection
LP: 1973 Bacillus / Bellaphon
CD: 1993 Bacillus

Originals come in a very striking gatefold cover, and I was able to secure one from a catalog dealer in the late 1980s that I've maintained to this day. As for CD's, I supplemented the LP with the first version to come out in the early 90s. And 20+ years later, nothing has changed here regarding this album. It's a straight-up old school jewel box reissue with great sound from the master tapes. And nothing else.

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