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THE MOODY BLUES

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Moody Blues picture
The Moody Blues biography
Imitation. Innovation. Sensation. That pretty much sums up the first phase of THE MOODY BLUES. Their 1965 debut, "The Magnificent Moodies", was your standard British Invasion record; R&B covers and originals from Mike Pinder and Denny Laine that included an earlier #1 hit single, "Go Now". In 1967, Justin Hayward and John Lodge replaced Laine and Rod Clarke, and what followed was the stunningly original "Days of Future Passed".

Featuring orchestral arrangements and introducing to many ears the transcendent tones of the mellotron, that work almost single-handedly set the stage for the progressive rock movement. Subsequent albums confirmed the band's status as England's newest sensation: "On The Threshold of a Dream", "A Question of Balance", "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" and "Seventh Sojourn" all hit #1. Hibernation of a sort followed in the mid '70s, as each member of the band released solo albums (Hayward and Lodge had the most success with their 1975 effort, "BLUE JAYS")!

The band regrouped in the '80s and picked up where they left off (commercially anyway) with "Long Distance Voyager". Though the '90s found the Moodies less of a commercial force than a cult band, the group still tours and releases albums on occasion (including 1999's "Strange Times"). Their mix of sentimentalism and existentialism still resonates with listeners today, a point perhaps best made when the band was invited to play themselves on that most trendy of television shows, The Simpsons.

The Moody Blues official website

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THE MOODY BLUES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE MOODY BLUES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.27 | 79 ratings
The Magnificent Moodies [Aka: The Beginning]
1965
4.17 | 698 ratings
Days Of Future Passed
1967
3.84 | 356 ratings
In Search Of The Lost Chord
1968
3.74 | 309 ratings
On The Threshold Of A Dream
1969
4.09 | 332 ratings
To Our Children's Children's Children
1969
3.50 | 252 ratings
A Question Of Balance
1970
3.52 | 257 ratings
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971
3.68 | 246 ratings
Seventh Sojourn
1972
2.71 | 131 ratings
Octave
1978
3.30 | 180 ratings
Long Distance Voyager
1981
3.02 | 109 ratings
The Present
1983
2.25 | 91 ratings
The Other Side Of Life
1986
2.41 | 68 ratings
Sur La Mer
1988
2.78 | 66 ratings
Keys Of The Kingdom
1991
2.59 | 71 ratings
Strange Times
1999
2.52 | 54 ratings
December
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.10 | 51 ratings
Caught Live + 5
1977
3.25 | 30 ratings
A night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphonic Orchestra
1993
3.89 | 20 ratings
Hall of Fame - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000
2000
3.60 | 11 ratings
Lovely To See You Live
2005
2.75 | 15 ratings
Live At The BBC: 1967 - 1970
2007
3.28 | 17 ratings
Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2008

THE MOODY BLUES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.19 | 7 ratings
Legend of a Band
1990
3.28 | 21 ratings
A Night At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (DVD)
1993
4.07 | 9 ratings
Hall Of Fame
2000
2.14 | 16 ratings
The Lost Performance: Live in Paris '70
2004
3.31 | 14 ratings
Lovely To See You Live (DVD)
2005
2.55 | 8 ratings
Live at Montreux 1991
2005
4.00 | 7 ratings
Classic Artists: The Moody Blues
2006
3.47 | 15 ratings
Threshold of a Dream - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2009

THE MOODY BLUES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 6 ratings
Go Now - Moody Blues #1 [Aka: In The Beginning]
1965
4.34 | 48 ratings
This Is The Moody Blues
1974
2.31 | 7 ratings
Voices In The Sky - The best of The Moody Blues
1985
2.49 | 15 ratings
Prelude
1987
3.77 | 12 ratings
Greatest Hits
1989
4.26 | 21 ratings
Time Traveller (Box set)
1994
1.00 | 1 ratings
True Story
1996
3.05 | 8 ratings
The Best Of Moody Blues
1997
2.16 | 5 ratings
The Moody Blues Anthology
1998
2.72 | 5 ratings
The Best of Moody Blues - 20th Century Masters
2000
3.81 | 7 ratings
The Singles +
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ballads
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Say It With Love
2003
3.81 | 7 ratings
Gold
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Moody Blues Collected
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Playlist Plus
2008
4.75 | 4 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
3.67 | 3 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013

THE MOODY BLUES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
Steal Your Heart Away
1964
2.80 | 5 ratings
Go Now!
1964
2.00 | 3 ratings
I Don't Want to Go On Without You
1965
2.00 | 3 ratings
Everyday
1965
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Moody Blues E.P.
1965
2.87 | 4 ratings
From The Bottom Of My Heart
1965
2.00 | 3 ratings
Boulevard De La Madelaine
1966
4.58 | 19 ratings
Nights In White Satin
1967
2.67 | 3 ratings
Life's Not Life
1967
3.50 | 4 ratings
Fly Me High
1967
3.50 | 8 ratings
Voices in the Sky
1968
4.07 | 9 ratings
Tuesday Afternoon
1968
3.55 | 11 ratings
Ride My See-Saw
1968
3.86 | 7 ratings
Voices In The Sky
1968
4.20 | 5 ratings
Never Comes the Day
1969
4.11 | 9 ratings
Watching and Waiting
1969
4.20 | 10 ratings
Melancholy Man
1970
4.16 | 13 ratings
Question
1970
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Story In Your Eyes
1971
4.10 | 10 ratings
Isn't Life Strange
1972
3.50 | 4 ratings
I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
1973
2.71 | 7 ratings
Steppin' in a Slide Zone
1978
3.00 | 4 ratings
Had to Fall in Love
1978
3.00 | 4 ratings
Driftwood
1978
3.50 | 4 ratings
Gemini Dream
1981
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Voice
1981
3.00 | 6 ratings
Talking Out Of Turn
1981
3.57 | 7 ratings
Blue World
1983
2.20 | 6 ratings
Sitting at the Wheel
1983
3.20 | 5 ratings
Running Water
1984
3.78 | 9 ratings
Your Wildest Dreams
1986
3.80 | 5 ratings
I Know You're Out There Somewhere
1988
3.00 | 5 ratings
No More Lies
1988
1.23 | 7 ratings
Bless The Wings
1991
3.50 | 4 ratings
English Sunset
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
December Snow
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Days Of Future Passed by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.17 | 698 ratings

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Days Of Future Passed
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Tapfret
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The lore surrounding the genesis of this concept album and foundation piece for progressive music has several different versions. The version I always heard was the record company approached The Moody Blues to record a rock n roll side of an album while an orchestra would record the other as a demonstration of a fancy new recording system. There is also the more common, and now seemingly refuted version, that the record company intended the album to be an adaptation of a Dvorak symphony....as a demonstration of a fancy new recording system. Whichever it was, it wasn't. Except for the fancy new recording system. The quality of the recording is absurdly clean for 1967. And before anyone asks, yes, I am familiar with the original pressings that occurred prior to the 1978 restoration. The transitions between The Moody's and the London Festival Orchestra appear seamless.

The concept, lifetime in the stages of a day. Perhaps not original, even in 1967. But conveyed with undeniable sound and lyric allusory precision. Even the poetic intro and closing are strong elements to the story. I am not aware of the level of cooperation between the orchestra and band as far as the arrangements go, but the orchestral parts serve almost exclusively as transitional elements. The music is not flawless. In particular Peak Hour, the lunch time theme, which feels completely out of place. Capturing that frantic midday pace with something as groundbreaking as the remainder of the album is somewhat of a metaphor for the frantic pace at which music itself was changing in 1967. As the only real stinker of the album closes side A (for those of you following along on vinyl), the true beauty of the album unfolds on side B as the afternoon-night sections. Tuesday Afternoon, the second most popular single for the album, is permeated with Mike Pinder's mellotron. This fades to the haunting verses of the evening and Twilight Time. This section provides what is certainly the most fluid orchestral to rock transitions. The Sun Set in particular incorporates slow bongo and flute for a safari-like feel, conveying the daily vacation as the work day ends. Then we get to the most identifiable single in the Moody Blue's entire discography, Knights in White Satin. The beautiful lamentation that moves even the most stagnant soul. One could, and I'm guessing some have, write a philosophy dissertation on the meaning and gravity of the few short verses.

I've gone through different stages of finding more or less importance of this album personally, but its place in the history of progressive music is undeniable. It is not perfect, but it is amazing and borders on essential.

 To Our Children's Children's Children by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.09 | 332 ratings

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To Our Children's Children's Children
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'm delighted to see how many reviewers have given this album five stars. Don't know yet which way I'll round my 4½ stars... I won't speculate how progressive The Moody Blues were, and for the large number of reviews I'll try to be short. This album is, at least to some degree, a conceptual one inspired by space exploration and the technical evolution of mankind. On the sharply rocking opener 'Higher and Higher' the band made up their own sound effect for a rocket, unsatisfied with the real thing by NASA. The song was written by Graeme Edge and the narrator's voice belongs to Mike Pinder. John Lodge's 'Eyes of a Child' has a very beautiful melody and the vocal harmonies are lovely as usual. Ray Thomas looks at space age from a more naive perspective in his sympathetic 'Floating', foillowed by the brief and edgier Pt. 2 of 'Eyes of a Child'. The instrumental 'Beyoand' is IMHO the worst track, it sounds terribly outdated in its psychedelia.

The B side is notably more coherent; each song, with the exception of Mike Pinder's average 'Sun Is Still Shining', is marvelous, full of the best Moody Blues magic. 'Gypsy', 'Eternity Road', 'Candle of Life', 'Watching and Waiting'.... Wow! This is a lovely album indeed, and so I'll give the full rate, despite some little marks of imperfection.

 Long Distance Voyager by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.30 | 180 ratings

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Long Distance Voyager
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars The eightieth decade of the 20th century was a bittersweet one for progressive rock music. Bands started to morph into those that easily conformed to the general demand, basically going opposite of what their genre would suggest them to be. In the midst of this change bands fell left and right, abandoning the artful essence they once had. Of all of them, however, one band remained slightly static. This band of course was The Moody Blues. It seemed with Octave that the band would follow this direction and, with their slight cheese that was present on every single one of their albums to date, that they would fall the hardest. This was funnily enough not the case.

You see, the Moodies were always pop-oriented. Their most popular albums had very innocent, tawdry songs that always had a large dollop of sophistication. Thus when the 80's made it's offer of synth-laden echoes with a cheeseball attitude, the Moodies took it and flourished. Thus, 1981's Long Distance Voyager was born, replete with fully painted cover. Hayward's airy warble is turned up to ten, background vocals get louder, and the orchestral mannerisms get more pronounced with help from The New World Philharmonic Orchestra. The floatier tones (mainly from the keyboard) on this album all sort of complement the band's penchant with the ideas of time and space, seen very clearly on this album. Like many other Moodies albums, the album is rather varied, featuring the cheesy ballads like 'Nervous', but also the groovier songs like '22,000 Days' and 'Veteran Cosmic Rocker'. My tastes for this album are generally the same as they are for other MB albums- the rockier songs are usually more enjoyable, but every song's subtle sense of refinement gives them each a unique charm.

This is doubtless one of the best prog albums in the 80's done by classic bands. The Moodies show great promise, and my only hope is the other albums of the decade from them are just as good as this.

 Long Distance Voyager by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.30 | 180 ratings

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Long Distance Voyager
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars After the murky tentativeness of Octave, the band sounds much more positive and musically confident on this offering. Long Distance Voyager and its followup The Present represent a post-"Core 7" high water mark for me that the band was never able to quite match up to again going forward. At the very least, of the material they released after the "Core 7", these are the two studio albums that I continue to come back to the most.

"The Voice" was a huge hit and deservedly so. Is it prog? Not really. But it's a very melodic, energetic pop song with a few progressive overtones, and it's catchy as all get-out. Great guitar solo by Justin Hayward here too.

"Talking out of Turn" was a start to the ballads that John Lodge would start to compose more and more as time wore on. This particular ballad is quite well done. Orchestration adds a lush feel to the proceedings, and the song remains memorable even if it might be a shade too long (the guitar, again, is outstanding here).

A lot of people really dislike "Gemini Dream". I get it. If I started from Days of Future Passed I would probably hate it too. But this was actually the first MB song I ever heard, and being 8 or so at the time I kinda liked it. And I kinda still do. (Sorry to anyone who doesn't like reading this last paragraph - I'm not exactly proud of it either).

"In My World" has some countryish guitar and some beautiful backing vocals at its end (prominently featuring Ray Thomas). Thomas' vocals on tracks other than his own (unlike The Present, where other than his own songs he only gets a lead on "Going Nowhere" and no discernible backing vocals whatsoever) definitely drive up the quality of this album for me (although his decreasing instrumental contributions continue to be a disconcerting trend).

"Meanwhile", despite no Thomas contributions whatsoever, is probably my favorite song on here. It has moving lyrics of resignation and moving on, and some fantastic keyboard work (particularly the electric piano) from Patrick Moraz.

"22,000 days" is Graeme Edge's contribution to this album. All three of the vocalists are singing, though Thomas again seems to be higher in the mix. It's a bit of an oddball track in the midst of the more lush, melodic material mostly here (it's a grinding rocker with a heavy drumline), but it's weirdly catchy, and Thomas gets a nice harmonica solo in the middle.

"Nervous" is another Lodge tune enhanced by an orchestra. Thomas' flute provides a nice lead-in, and the song beautiful choruses and a great ending, although the verses, while pretty, don't exactly grab you. Still a nice song overall.

The album ends with three compositions from Thomas running together. "Painted Smile" is a weird offering apparently about a clown trying to appease his audience while being quite unhappy himself. Perhaps a reflection on how Thomas himself often felt at the time. It's musical tragicomedy, and while not particularly memorable it shows he still had his whimsy. "Reflective Smile" is a poem bridging its surrounding tracks together, which is hardly essential but not overly annoying either. "Veteran Cosmic Rocker" is an autobiographical piece, with Thomas often substituting "I" for "he" in numerous spots when performing the song live. It's a rather savage-sounding rocker, and the "he's afraid he's gonna die" lyrics (including a similar quote at the end of the song) add to a feel of unease. I'm not sure if I like it or not - but it's certainly memorable.

So, overall? A lot of fun. Not perfect and certainly not to the standard of most of their late-60's/early-70's work, but highly enjoyable nonetheless. The synthesizers are melodic and tastefully used; the guitars are heartfelt and clear, the drumming is well-done and the vocals are top-notch. Four stars.

 Seventh Sojourn by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 246 ratings

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Seventh Sojourn
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars The Moody Blues had steadily edged their way into the 70's, having formed eight years prior. Seventh Sojourn, ironically enough the band's eighth album, was the last before a short hiatus the 'Blues took before re-emerging in 1977. Touted in their early days as a skillful art-rock band, Seventh Sojourn is an album that encompasses the classical influence from their earlier days, as well as more of a Simon-Garfunkelian style. Many of the songs on the album are in the vein of dreary-orchestral rock songs, with Hayward singing his breathy vocals with echoing melodies accompanying him.

Seventh Sojourn is very heavy on boisterous, climactic pieces, and from start to finish is a ride for the senses. From 'Lost In A Lost World', the choral-rock piece with lovely violin work as well as the bass riffs by Ledge, to the fast paced break-neck closer 'I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)' that evens ends with clapping as if this album was just a giant spectacle with the world as it's audience. The only problem the album suffers is this level of symphonic power does sort of lose it's edge while going through a full listen. Don't get the wrong impression though, because such an experience is still highly recommended in the long-run. If you are a fan of the band or just that more loosely- interpreted side of prog, then this album is for you. One of the best albums I've heard in a while.

 On The Threshold Of A Dream by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.74 | 309 ratings

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On The Threshold Of A Dream
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Bungler

4 stars I am a huge Moody Blues fan . Days Of Future Passed is still one of my favorite albums of all time . Today I will review their fourth album

On The Threshold Of A Dream

We start the album with In The Beginning , which is a nice haunting beginning for an album like this .

The second track Lovely To See You , is a nice , fun , melodic Pop Rock song . There is nothing really Progressive about this song but its still really pleasant and enjoyable .

The third track Dear Diary , is probably one of my favorite songs on the album . With a nice catchy riff , that goes on through the whole song.

The fourth track Send Me No Wine , is a nice catchy number . For me this song sound like what would happen if Credence Clearwater Revival were English .

The fifth track To Share Our Love , is a another fun melodic song , which dose not heart to be on this album . I also could see this song being played in a movie , where the two main characters are running away from criminals who are trying to chase them down .

The sixth track Deep Within You , is a song that remind me of Jethro Tull . Even though this song is good , I personally believe this is one of the weaker tracks .

The Seventh track Never Comes The Day , is my least favorite song on the album . But that dose not mean its a bad song ,that's just my opinion .

The eighth track Lazy Day , is a one of the best songs on this album ( in my opinion ) . The lyrics are fun and quotable , the song is really melodic , and is just perfect . I could see this song being used as an intro to a Comedy film , with the main character for example waking up and doing his morning routine .

The ninth track Are You Sitting Comfortably ? Is a beautiful song , with a nice clean sound .

The tenth track The Dream , is an intro to the last remaining tracks Have You Heard ? ( part one ) , The Voyager , and Have You Heard ( part two ) .

The eleventh track Have You Heard ? ( part one ) , is a great ( but short ) song , which should be be listened together with the other two tracks .

The twelfth track The Voyager , is a fantastic piece of music .

The thirteenth track Have You Heard ? ( part two ) is a great closing song to this fantastic album .

So this is my review of On The Threshold Of A Dream by The Moody Blues .

Thanks for reading my review !

 To Our Children's Children's Children by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.09 | 332 ratings

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To Our Children's Children's Children
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Ghost_of_Prog

5 stars When discussing the best Moody Blues album, the common answer given is Days of Future Passed, which contain the classics "Night in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon", as well as being one of the first bands to incorporate a symphony into their music. Even from a progressive rock standpoint, if there were no Moodies, there would be no King Crimson, so DOFP would deserve the most respect. While I can't deny how much of an impact that album had, I believe To Our Children's Children's Children is the one deserving of the title of best Moody Blues album. It deserves to be placed alongside DOFP as being influential of the progressive rock genre. There's no doubting that psychedelic rock had a huge influence on the genre and this album is the missing link which showed that moment when it made that transition.

When discussing the material on this album, I feel it necessary to discuss it in regards to each individual musician's contribution rather than the songs individually. One of the strengths of this album is that all the band-mates actually step out of their comfort zone when it comes to sound. I've always considered that to be the sign of a good musician and the Magnificent Moodies, while not the most technical or profound, certainly fit that bill.

Justin Hayward (guitars) and John Lodge (bass) act as the band's two main songwriters. The former focuses on softer songs (like Nights in White Satin) and the latter tends to write "rock-n-roll" songs (i.e. Ride My See-Saw). While Justin contributes with his traditional sound with the album finale Watching and Waiting, he pulls a surprising curve ball with Gypsy, a song that is surprisingly dark and heavy for a Moody Blues song. The change pays off as it is one of the best songs in Justin's repertoire. On the other hand, Lodge doesn't write a single "rock" song on this album. His two main contributions are the two part Eyes of a Child and Candle of Life, the latter being one of my favorites by the Moodies with it's soft symphonic sounds tinged with psychedelic rock melodies. Even if I didn't like the songs, I would respect the two of them for trying something new, but it works very well for them and I'm a little sad that neither of them tried to do it again after this album.

I must confess that whenever a song by Graham Edge (drums) or Mike Pinder (keyboards) comes on, I always feel the temptation to hit the skip button. I don't really care for Graham's poetry overtaking the music and I find Pinder's songs boring; experimentalism with no adventure. However, both of them pull a pleasant surprise with their contributions to the album. In regards with Pinder's work,Out and In is mellow rock song drenched in psychedelica and Sun is Still Shining is best described as a playful funk/folk song. Graham finally writes a full song with the opening Higher and Higher which starts loud, calms, and then continues to slow build up until the instruments climax. Beyond took me completely by surprise. Written by Graham, it is an extremely catchy instrumental that connects the two sides of the album. Being used to him just writing poetry, I was honestly shocked that he wrote an instrumental of this caliber.

And last but not least, Ray Thomas (flute), the unsung hero of the band. Despite not writing the most popular songs, his work always tends to be a personal favorite of mine ("Twilight Time", "Legend of a Mind", "Dear Diary"). The two best songs on the album, which truly encapsulate the feeling of space, are written by him. Floating is very light and playful, reflecting the lyrics of a hotel resort on the moon, where people spend their time carelessly jumping 60 feet in the air. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever heard a song capture the open, mysterious, endless beauty of the cosmos as in Eternity Road, which is, bar none, the Moodies' most underrated work.

Actually, that can be applied to this entire album. Unlike the other classic seven albums, this one does not have a "hit" song on it. Yet for all the adventurous material, stepping out of comfort zones, and wonderful sounds and orchestrations, To Our Children's Children's Children easily deserves the five star rating and the title of "Best Moody Blues album."

 Days Of Future Passed by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.17 | 698 ratings

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Days Of Future Passed
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Imperial Zeppelin

5 stars Days of Future Passed is perhaps The Moody Blues' most important album in their discography as it was one of the first progressive albums and one of the first concept albums in its time. It's a simple concept about a typical day and the passing of time in which every track reflects a time of day. The songs fit their time quite well in terms of the energy and the atmosphere.

What was unique (and progressive) about this album when it came out is its clever use of the Mellotron along with the orchestration provided The London Festival Orchestra throughout the album. Although some people might argue that it's not really a progressive rock album and say that it is more of a psychedelic and baroque pop album. Nevertheless, it has been very influential for the Progressive Rock genre especially Symphonic Prog.

The lavish orchestration really adds a lot of colour and texture to each song on here. I think that without the orchestra, the album wouldn't have sounded as interesting and beautiful as it is. Not that I'm saying the songs fall short on their own, but it adds a whole new dimension to them. As it greatly helped the concept by giving the musical representation of each time of the day.

With the orchestral overture, the haunting "Dawn is a feeling", the bright-sounding "Another Morning", the energetic and fast paced "Peak Hour" the eastern-flavoured "The Sun Set / Twilight Time", and the magical hit "Nights in White Satin" the album offers a diverse selection of songs that all flow together perfectly into one beautiful conceptual album that was like a blueprint for Symphonic Progressive music and influence many bands to come.

Highlights: Dawn Is a Feeling ? Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) ? Nights in White Satin

 To Our Children's Children's Children by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.09 | 332 ratings

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To Our Children's Children's Children
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

5 stars I love this album. It's probably my favorite of the "Core 7". And part of the reason is that it truly feels like a concept album - not just lyrically, but musically.

If you check my review of Octave, you will note that I consider that album to the be the "anti-Children's". While some of the songs are actually quite good, the package as a whole does not hold up. With Children's, by contrast, the individual songs are also pretty good - but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A Gestalt smorgasbord, if you will.

I understand that the arrangements on here were largely impossible to replicate live. It's too bad in some ways that they couldn't have expanded their touring group with another guitarist and keyboardist (at least) to maybe better approximate the lush, languid sounds that permeated this album. But they didn't, and, as a result, only "Gypsy" ever got much exposure live (until they started touring with an orchestra, at least). Further, subsequent albums featured a much more "stripped-down" sound to accommodate the need to play songs live.

But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the studio craft that went into making this document - and it's significant. The loud crash that introduces "Higher and Higher" shows the sonic care that went into making this album. It's one of few very rocky moments on here - and it's a great song indicating the space travel celebration that is to follow.

"Eyes of a Child" - a slower number. Not my favorite on here, but it fits in nicely with the album as a whole and as a bit of a breather from the frenetic opener.

"Floating" is one of Ray Thomas's more "fluffy" numbers. Not as good as his later offerings here, but again - it works well with the document as a whole.

"Eyes of a Child Part 2" is the other really rocky moment on here. Nice vocals by the gang.

"Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Hundred" - a nice little acoustic piece from Justin Hayward. Its companion, "Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Million" is in a similar vein. Not essential, but again - works very well as part of the whole.

"Beyond" is Graeme Edge's second offering. Nice flute work here by Thomas. The song reminds me of the three stages of a Saturn 5 launch vehicle - three separate sections here. Don't know if that was the intention, but if it was - well done!

"Out and In" is the album's centerpiece for me. I either love or hate Mike Pinder's stuff - and I love this one. Lush mellotron, great flute and percussion, and Hayward's electric guitar underpinning the proceedings wonderfully. Just a fantastic song.

"Gypsy" is another winner. More great guitar and bass work, terrific mellotron and well-arranged vocals. Very nice.

"Eternity Road" may be my favorite Ray Thomas composition. Great guitar work in the bridge portion, and a fantastic melody with a slightly edgy feel. Another winner.

"Candle of Life" is John Lodge's best song on here. Great piano and mellotron work (again), great vocals, and a thoroughly warm feel throughout.

"Sun Is Still Shining" is my one tenuous spot on here. The melody isn't terrible (though it's not great either), but Pinder's lyrics leave me completely cold. It's really the only blemish here, though, so I can overlook it.

"Watching and Waiting" is another lush offering. The melody in the verses isn't terribly inspiring, but the chorus is very nice, as are the transitional bits. A nice way to end this long-player.

Now, are all these songs absolute classics? No. Probably only five or six of them would qualify. But that's a very high number. And most of the rest work very well in the context of the greater whole, to the point that I consider this to be my most essential Moody Blues album. Five stars. Make sure you listen to the whole thing at once.

 The Magnificent Moodies [Aka: The Beginning] by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
2.27 | 79 ratings

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The Magnificent Moodies [Aka: The Beginning]
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The classic (67-72) Moody Blues means a lot to me, but I can't say I was very excited to get the Eoteric Recordings' reissue of this sole album of the MB Mk. 1, served with each non-album track they recorded up to the end of 1966. As you probably know, this was a totally different band than the one featuring the new guy Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who had already been around in pre-Moody Blues phases.

This single-oriented band played basically r&b of the black American artists, doing mostly covers (such as their biggest hit 'Go Now'). The singer-guitarist Denny Laine was the keyboard player Mike Pinder's songwriting partner as they gradually shifted to their original repertoire on further singles. I won't deal with the songs very deeply, because they just don't interest me enough to listen to more than [barely] once, which is not to say they wouldn't be good within the genre in question, or as the popular music preceding the great watershed year 1967.

The Gershwin tune 'It Ain't Necessarily So' is among the nicest tracks on the main album, thanks for the recognizable Ray Thomas vocals. A 7" B-side song 'Time Is on My Side' (better known as the Rolling Stones version) is a good example of the vocal harmonies, the one feature that was continued and improved in the classic era. The Laine/Pinder compositions at the end of this phase are naturally more interesting to hear than the numerous covers. My favourite - and frankly the only one I knew besides 'Go Now' - is easily 'Boulevard de Madeleine', which I also know as a good Finnish cover by Pate Mustajärvi.

The ER reissue gets the biggest applauses for Mark Powell's very detailed and long liner notes that tell everything you ever want to know of the early history of the Moody Blues. (When it comes to the rating, I would prefer not to give any rating at all. Please note that my two stars are very subjective, completely ignoring the context of pre-1967 pop music that I don't care much about in the first place.)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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