The Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five album)

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The Message
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five-The Message (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1982
GenreHip hop, electro-funk
Length36:58
LabelSugar Hill
ProducerJigsaw Productions, Sylvia Robinson
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five chronology
The Message
(1982)
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
(1983)
Singles from The Message
  1. "It's Nasty"
    Released: 1981
  2. "Scorpio"
    Released: 1981
  3. "The Message"
    Released: 1982

The Message is the debut studio album of American hip hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, released in October 1982 by Sugar Hill Records. It features the influential eponymous track and hip-hop single "The Message".

Release and reception[edit]

The Message was released in October 1982 by Sugar Hill Records.[1] It was the only album released while the group's original line-up was together.[2] The album charted at number 53 in the United States and at number 77 in the United Kingdom.[1] It was ranked as the 21st best album of 1982 in Robert Christgau's list for the Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[3] In Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s (1990), he gave the album an A-minus and said, although "She's Fresh" is the "only instant killer", each song's attempt to experiment and "touch a lot of bases with a broad demographic ... justifies itself".[4]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Ron Wynn gave The Message four-and-a-half out of five stars and called it the group's "ultimate peak" whose highlight was the title track.[5] Miles Marshall Lewis, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), gave its 2002 British reissue four out of five stars and cited "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" as the album's "clincher" and "the only prime-period example of Flash's ability to set and shatter moods, with his turntables and faders running through a collage of at least 10 records that sound like hundreds."[2] Colin Larkin also gave it four stars in his Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006).[6] Mark Richardson from Pitchfork said The Message featured "two absolutely essential songs"—the title track and "Scorpio," which he dubbed "the greatest early electro track." However, he felt the rest of the songs were inferior and gave the album a score of 6.4 out of 10.[7] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[8]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleComposer(s)Length
1."She's Fresh"Milton Edwards, Bobbie Knight4:57
2."It's Nasty"Clifton Chase, Melvin Glover, Sylvia Robinson, Tom Tom Club4:19
3."Scorpio"Melvin Glover, Nathaniel Glover Jr, Eddie Morris, Keith Wiggins, Guy Williams4:55
4."It's a Shame (Mt. Airy Groove)"Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright, Lee Garrett, Curtis Harmon, James Lloyd, Cedric Napoleon4:57
5."Dreamin'"Melvin Glover, Nathaniel Glover Jr, Gary Henry, Eddie Morris, Keith Wiggins, Guy Williams5:47
6."You Are"Gary Henry4:51
7."The Message"Clifton Chase, Edward Fletcher, Melvin Glover, Sylvia Robinson7:12
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

  • Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) – turntables, drum programming, Flashformer transform DJ device
  • Keef Cowboy (Keith Wiggins) – Lead and background vocals, writer and arranger
  • Grandmaster Melle Mel (Melvin Glover) – Lead and background vocals, writer and arranger
  • The Kidd Creole (Nathaniel Glover jr) – Lead and background vocals, writer and arranger
  • Scorpio (Eddie Morris) – Lead and background vocals, writer and arranger
  • Rahiem (Guy Todd Williams) – Lead and background vocals, writer and arranger
  • Bass – Doug Wimbish
  • Guitar – Skip McDonald
  • Prophet Sequential – Reggie Griffin, Jiggs, Sylvia Robinson
  • Keyboards – Gary Henry, Dwain Mitchell
  • Drums – Keith Leblanc
  • Percussion – Ed Fletcher
  • Brass – Chops Horn Section

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
New Zealand Albums (RIANZ)[10] 14
UK Albums Chart[1] 77
U.S. Billboard 200[1] 53
U.S. Top Black Albums[11] 8

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
U.S. Hot 100
[12][13]
U.S. R&B
[12][13]
U.S. Club Play NZ
[10]
UK
[14][15]
1981 "It's Nasty (Genius of Love)" 22
"Scorpio" 30 77
[15]
1982 "The Message" 62 4 12 2 8

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Strong 2004, p. 619.
  2. ^ a b Lewis et al. 2004, p. 341.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 22, 1983). "Pazz & Jop 1982: Dean's List". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Christgau 1990, p. 270.
  5. ^ Wynn, Ron. "The Message - Furious Five, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five". Allmusic. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Larkin 2006, p. 308.
  7. ^ Richardson, Mark (July 14, 2005). "Grandmaster Flash / Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five: The Message / They Said it Couldn't Be Done". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  9. ^ Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message (Vinyl, LP, Album). Discogs. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Discography Grandmaster Flash". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  11. ^ "The Message - Furious Five, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five : Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five". Rolling Stone. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  13. ^ a b Billboard chartings. Accessed October 17, 2009.
  14. ^ "Chart Stats - Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Chart Stats – Grandmaster Flash". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]