Friday 14 June 2024

Message - It'll be a While [1981] samples


Unfortunately I can't post the whole thing but at least you can get an idea of it from a few samples. It's classic late 70s (very late, since it came out in 1981) hard rock with slight progressive touches, not quite as proggy as guys like Rush and definitely no inventive keyboards-work and synths like Styx managed so successfully, a little bit monotone in its straight up rock.

This oft-requested album, discogged here, opens with Treasures of Snow:

It was featured in the old Tom Hayes list, reviewed thusly:

* Message - It'll Be Awhile (USA) 1981 Black Gold. New Mexico based Message were an excellent example of the progressive hard rock style that had a small niche audience in the late 70s and early 80s. It's mainly hard rock at the core, but is slightly complex and has a few more ideas than the usual run of the mill bonehead albums of the era. The tracks are compact, so no elaborate themes or delusion of grandeur here. Think Side 2 of Rush's "2112". The Texas band False Prophet is another good reference (an archival CD that Shroom put out a few years ago). It kind of wheezes out on Side 2 for a couple of tracks, but otherwise a solid album. A perfect choice for Rockadrome.

Note the wonderful review on discogs too, a little bit more on the mark:

This was recorded while the three members were still in High School, and released their senior year. It is a pay to play record. The band did not attempt the easier pop music route, but preferred the more complex progressive elements, and this is a decent effort on their parts. Troy Richards is probably the best musician on the record, playing bass, some synths, some acoustic guitar, and vocals. The Bass is prominent, melodic, and trebby (a la Chris Squire, Geddy Lee). Next is Roger Burke, whom got his first drum set just four years prior and clearly had ambitions of the more technical aspects of drumming and taps on it well in portions of this record (think Neil Peart, Bill Bruford influence). One does not usually hear (or did not, at the time) this type of drumming from someone at this age. I am not too keen on the electric guitarist, Chris Dunn, and feel that he misses the mark in several areas of this record as well as some "out there" atonal (purposefully or not) segments. Most of the songs themselves are pretty good, and even catchy. Influences of Rush and Yes are clear. Overall, pretty decent Prog record, with just a few cringe worthy moments (usually the electric guitar).

For myself the best track is Prodigy, to give you another idea, the instrumental electric guitar opening (similar to Led Zep's Song Remains the Same track) also indicates what the above reviewer was thinking about with regards to the guitarist, Chris Dunn:

And Grey:

So I'm not entirely sure it's worth the price of admission, currently a copy is selling for 120 USD on discogs... you can go ahead and purchase it if you have a lot of extra cash on hand, unfortunately, there's just so many good vinyl records out there with the same promise and high price.


  1. Hi
    Congratulations on finding this rare gem ! Yes, of course the sound is less rich than Rush but the influence is clear. I also think of Mac Arthur. "Prodigy" is indeed the best piece, the most inventive including a nice introduction to the synths but I'm not a good enough musician to detect a possible lack of the guitarist! but the other pieces are still interesting. I was also able to get the song "levelee" (with lower quality regarding sound reproduction) which is a very pretty ballad. Thanks again !