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The Moody Blues - Octave CD (album) cover

OCTAVE

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

2.70 | 95 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Brendan
3 stars I feel a little sorry for the Moody Blues. They are from an age just before Prog actually came along, and probably pale in comparison to the bands that follow - Genesis, King Crimson, Yes - just to name a few, at least in terms of proggish-ness. By 1978 they were already a dinosaur artifact, but somehow kept themselves in the chart for another ten years, as the 80's proved quite kind to the Moodies and a lot of 60s/70s bands.

Of-course, their most ambitious albums will hold some interest for the prog fan, but will hardly impress as much as the lastest neo-prog band with another 20-minute suite. Anyway they do get their dues, for the most part. After all, their original keyboardist, Mike Pinder, helped develop the mellotron, one of the most important pieces of classic 70's progressive rock music, and everyone is thankful for that, and their albums 'Days of future passed', 'In search of the lost chord' and 'On the threshold of a dream' are pioneering prog, even if that wasn't the real objective, or even if these recordings seem greatly superceded by todays Prog standards.

But back to 'Octave', it's a psi-fi sounding album with a lot of rich keyboard sounds and even the opening cut, 'Stepping in a slide zone' has some interesting lyrics about a space-journey. There's a lot of backing vocals, and the production is very big-sounding, though a bit unfocused. There are also a lot of attempts as 'big-ballads' as there were on the Moodies solo albums in between. Although the result is usually 'sonically pleasing', it's a bit uneven and a bit underwhelming. This was no cutting-edge recording for 1978, rather it was a mildly-pleasing, tide-the-fans over album that suffered a lot of problems, including founding member 'Mike Pinder' walking out on the band mid-way, as well as their producer, Tony Clarke.

Even though you can cut them some slack for that, a lot of the songs just aren't up to par. But only a couple of songs are really bad. This is basically a psi-fi MOR affair with melodically pleasing ballads, nice sounds and the occasional change of pace. A decent effort, three stars.

Brendan | 3/5 |

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