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The Moody Blues - Timeless Flight CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.22 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Some 12 years ago I reviewed a 4-CD Moodies box set "Time Traveller" (1994; referred as TT from now on), and here's the first review for this more recent 4-CD box. For starters, the booklet is very good: it contains a 37-page illustrated band history written by Mark Powell.

The musical contents are roughly rather similar to TT; on both chronological boxes the 1st CD ends with the identical chain of tracks from the third album On a Threshold of a Dream (1969). Differences in representations lay especially on the era before Days of Future Passed, and on that album itself. TT contains also Hayward-songs 'Fly Me High' and 'Cities' sandwiching Mike Pinder's 'Love and Beauty' that marked the beginning of the band's new, Mellotron-centred era and which opens this box. TT picked just the two most famous DoFP songs whereas TF has four tracks of the original stereo mixes previously unreleased on CD. TT didn't have the excellent non-album tracks 'What Am I Doing Here?' and 'A Simple Game' found here.

On the 2nd disc TT has plenty of tracks from the next three albums whereras this box squeezes also songs from Seventh Sojourn (1972) to the same disc. Here's also 'Island', the gorgeous desolate song from the 1973 recording sessions (it was previously released as a bonus on Seventh Sojourn CD). TT had more songs from the Hayward & Lodge album Blue Jays (1975), finishing the 3rd CD with material from Octave (1978). The post-Octave years are in my opinion represented quite poorly here, not even trying to give any fresher looks at the studio albums. For example Long Distance Voyager (1981) is represented by the often circulated 'The Voice', 'Gemini Dream' and 'Veteran Cosmic Rocker'.

The albums after The Present (1983) are the poorest in the band's catalogue, but still it would have been more interesting to choose less familiar songs for change. The years between 1994 and 2013 frankly weren't very fruitful for The Moody Blues. This box has 'Eternity Road' and 'Question' from the 1997 concert with The World Symphony Orchestra which originally was only broadcast on radio. Three songs from Strange Times (1999) is enough, but the last studio album December (2003) is represented by only one song, 'December Snow'.

In comparison to TT, Timeless Flight has slightly more previously unreleased tracks/versions (although mostly of album songs songs), but all in all it follows a bit too identical path, and the recent decades haven't got much to add here. Concerning the post- classic era years altogether, this box is mostly a wasted opportunity to have material not already endlessly circulated on compilations. I don't know exactly to whom these multi-disc box sets are aimed at, but for a fan this is rather useless and for a newcomer wanting to concentrate on the classic era I'd rather recommend Time Traveller -- although for a more casual listener the 2LP/CD set This Is The Moody Blues (1974) is still very valid.

Matti | 3/5 |


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