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The Moody Blues - In Search Of The Lost Chord CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 380 ratings

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4 stars While the full time orchestra of "Days of Future Passed" reaped full time financial rewards for the group and its record company, the powers that be wisely recognized that it was not sustainable, and the group needed to pursue its way without such encumbrances. Would the big sound be translatable to rock band format? Yes! And thanks mostly to Mike Pinder's Mellotron. While the Moodys, in 1968, may not have been the first group to use it, they were the first to deploy it successfully as a commercial instrument. From a versatility perspective, one can see why, as in capable hands such as Pinder's, it can achieve quite a range of symphonic effects, many of which are aired on this brilliant work.

The imagination of the Moodys is immediately apparent in the one-two of "Departure/Ride my See Saw". It's far less self-important than what we heard on "Days..", and "Ride.." is one of the band's freshest sounding songs even 40 years on. The mellotron and lead guitars help embellish what is already a melodic rocker of the highest quality. Another top drawer highlight is "House of Four Doors/Legend of a Mind combination, the latter being Ray Thomas' single best piece written for the group, with a psychedelic middle section starring his flute, the mellotron (again) and acoustic guitars. "House of For Doors" itself is highlighted by a different theme for each door, one of which is played on harpsichord and another simulates an orchestra on the 'tron. Hayward himself penned two lovely ballads, "Voices in the Sky" and "The Actor", and Pinder's "The Best Way to Travel" includes trippy side effects. While "Visions of Paradise" is a bit slow to unfold, it does demonstrate a more than palatable manner in which to incorporate the obligatory South Asian influences of the day. The same cannot be said of "Om", even if its chorus is a winner.

The Moody Blues were up there with the most innovative acts of their day when it came to exploring mysticism in a variety of forms, and this quality along with their uncanny sense of melody and arrangement struck a chord with many on this release.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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