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The Moody Blues - Classic Artists: The Moody Blues CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 7 ratings

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4 stars This is a DVD documentary chronicling the Moody's career, from their genesis in the late 50s Birmingham (UK) scene, through the various phases of the band's existence, pretty much up to the present time. The main documentary is contained on disc 1. While it is an interesting and entertaining presentation, don't expect too many revelations - inevitably, given the band members participation and co-operation, this is very much an 'official' sanitised biography, with many of the juicy bits left on the cutting room floor. For example, the split with Pinder and Clarke is discussed without letting too much out of the bag, but the 'Moraz issue' fails to get a mention.

Despite a lack of depth, perhaps inevitable in a 150 minute presentation which mixes narrative with interviews and live clips, the producers have done a fair job telling the band's story over five decades. The early period is particularly fascinating, showing film and photos of the guys in their pre-Moodies bands as they coalesce towards a common future. The story is linked by a narrator, but much of it is told by band members past and present. It's great to see Mike Pinder getting so much exposure during the primary part of the film (ie up to 1978), and even Denny Laine gets a fair hearing. Strangely, Ray Thomas does not seem to have been interviwed for the film [perhaps that's why they interviewed Ian Anderson instead!], so we only hear his views on a couple of short clips.

There isn't, to my knowledge, a good Moody's biography in written form, so this fills some of the gap. Probably nothing new for die-hard fans, but it's really nice to be reminded and to see and hear the guys tell it in their own words, while remembering that memory is fallible! Nothing too controversial, of course, though their connection with Timothy Leary is discussed openly, but I love one of Justin Hayward's little barbed comments near the end - "I'd love to meet a record executive who was as interested in our future as in our past" - I guess a lot of oldies would applaud that sentiment. Oh, and for the Mellotron enthusiasts, there is a little section showing some film of the insides at work and more.

The second disc is an 'extras' addition to the main feature. Apart from a photo gallery, it primarily consists of additional sequences from the interviews undertaken for the film [pompously titled 'Extended Interviews Of Special Importance' but really a few anecdotal extras, some quite amusing] and some nice promo videos. The third disc is a CD of material recorded by band members before joining the Moodies going back to 1959, including Justin Hayward's first single from 1965. Two unreleased Moodies tracks from 1964 are also included.

Overall, an entertaining package that should appeal to those who would like to know more about the band, as well as having a good deal to tempt existing fans. In the absence of a good book biography, this DVD can be highly recommended as a viable solution

Joolz | 4/5 |


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