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


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 379 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ambitious and na´ve, colorfully diverse yet fully structured, "In Search Of The Lost Chord" was the album that was a defining statement by The Moody Blues - the affirmation of their permanence in the artsy roads of orchestral-driven rock without the actual addition of a real symphony orchestra. But this is no facsimile of "Days Of Future Passed" but the germination of The Moodies' unique voice in the realms of the then emergent progressive rock scene. All musicians give themselves ampel room to display their versatility besides their own specialized instrument: sitar, autoharp, celli, soprano sax, sundry percussions,... As much as their presence can be noticeable as relevant providers of sonic color, three items are the nuclear ones when it comes to the band's logistic nucleus: the multiple mellotron inputs, the soaring lead guitar and the vibrating bass lines, either complementing eaqch other or al˝ternating their role within the basic architexture of a specific song or verse. The album kicks off with a funny (yet not lacking poetic solemnity) intro entitled 'Departure', which depicts the start of a search in a crescendo of jolly madness. 'Ride My See-saw' brings the old-fashioned twist to this madness and states a positive vibe in a straightforward way. The same positive aura is preserved in Thomas- penned 'Dr. Livingstone, I Presume', which shows his usual penchant for mixing children's song and Celtic dance. I wouldn't have minded it becoming a bit more extended for teh final choruses, since the song seems to reach a special climax while it fades out definitely. But again, at this time, I am feeling a bit impatient to hear the next compositions by Lodge and Thomas. Lodge's 'House Of Four Doors' is a lovely semi-ballad with epic expansions that include snappets of Medieval folk, Baroque chamber and Tchaikovsky-style symphony. It is divided in two parts, with the last one being really a coda. In between is Thomas' most epic composition ever, 'Legend Of A Mind' - a musical tribute to LSD guru Timothy Leary, it combines melodic Beatlesque pop and exotic nuances under a solid psychedelic guise, also including a beautiful extended flute solo. This is an absolute early prog classic, and the informed listener should be aware right from the start of how unfairly underrated this song is in the rock history books. The album's second half is dominated by Hayward and Pinder. Hayward's 'Voices In The Sky' and 'Visions of Paradise' are plethoric examples of his skill for delivering bucolic-oriented folk-rock, both providing subtle Asian moods as an extra touch. Meanwhile, 'The Actor' has a more bombastic orientation while keeping itself in a semi-slow ballad's framework. Pinder's 'The Best Way To Travel' is an acoustic guitar- centered pop song with spacey mellotron adornments gently intruding, and this is how this song earns some controlled sophistication. 'The Word' is a mystic poem by Edge, followed by Pinder-penned closer 'Om', a lovely track that heavily relies on India's patterns. Even if the musical scheme feels a bit shy when compared to 'Sun Is Still Shining' (from the "Children's Children" masterpiece), you can tell that the band is genuinely focused on their work. All in all, this album is only a partial exhibition of the sort of musical magic to be enhanced in later albums, yet it deserves to be regared as an excellent MB addition to any rock collection. ...And if it is a prog rock collection, even more excellent.

(I dedicate the review of thsi album to the memory of the recentlyh departed Tony Clarke, the producer who indeed was the "Sixth Moodie").

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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