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The Moody Blues - Caught Live + 5  CD (album) cover

CAUGHT LIVE + 5

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

3.12 | 55 ratings

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gero
4 stars These are quite different Moodies than in the studio. Although imaginative soloists they are not, and the live versions do not vary from the studio counterparts as far as the very ) in the backgroundcompositons are concerned (though "Peak Hour" is stretched a bit, for good, with Edge's drums more prominent and the middle-eight repeated) , they definitely gain on the intensity. This will be a nice surprise for everybody considering the studio album overproduced. "Dr. Livingstone", which used to be a lame poppish ditty, has become a powerful rock anthem, with the mellotron in the place of that horrible moog in the main theme, and some shouting (Edge) in the background adding to the overall groove. The opening "Gypsy" is another winner, very much more to the point than on "Children", where it was too much dipped in the sauce of acoustic guitars and backing vocals."The Sun Set", by contrast, is slowed down and sounds more mature and sombre without the studio gimmicks. So there is much to enjoy and the album shows that the band could actually really rock.

It is true that they were the masters of productions, so not all the strip-downs work here. The most disappointing tracks are "Nights in White Satin" and the " Have You Heard", marred by the use of electric guitar. The main flaw is weak vocals (Lodge, on his own there in the right stereo channel, is the weakest), the harmonies fully rise to the expectations actually only in "Never Comes the Day" (again better than in the studio version), mostly they are just decent, but sometimes they are laughable (like in "Ride My See Saw", the worst song on the album, a stupid stoney sing-along)

Essential for Moody Blues fans, especially "core-7" lovers, might be suprisingly pleasant for some prog ears (there's raw mellotron sound a-plenty, and no one could play the instrument the way Mike Pinder did).

gero | 4/5 |

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