Secret Messages is the tenth studio album by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), released in 1983 on Jet Records. It was the last ELO album with bass guitarist Kelly Groucutt, conductor Louis Clark and real stringed instruments, and the last ELO album to be released on the Jet label. It was also the final ELO studio album to become a worldwide top 40 hit upon release. Secret Messages, as its title suggests, is littered with hidden messages in the form of backmasking, some obvious and others less so.
Great grooves from Aurra – a group with a sound that's rooted in the late 70s funk of Slave, but which is given a whole new life at Salsoul by fearless leader Stephen Washington! The album's tight and right on the money at the very first note – heavy on bass, but not in a way that's ever overdone – and sparkling much more strongly from the vocal contributions of Curt Jones and Starleana Young – two singers who really know how to open up while holding a groove! The whole thing's great – polished and tight, but never slick or commercial – and a perfect summation of the 80s groove at its best. Titles include "Baby Love", "Such A Feeling", "Undercover Lover", "You Can't Keep On Walking", and "One More Time".
The 12 tracks that appear on The Best of the Alan Parsons Project include some of their greatest singles, like "I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You" from 1977's I Robot and the inducing "Games People Play" off of The Turn of a Friendly Card. Even though these songs are splendid all by themselves, they seem to lose their conceptual weight when taken away from their original albums. As singles, they do act as a fine representation of how The Alan Parsons Project's music sounds and conveys its mysterious air, but even with a dozen singles on this album there's just too much of their other worthy material that is sadly left off.