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The Moody Blues - Hall Of Fame CD (album) cover

HALL OF FAME

The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog


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4 stars This dvd has its ups and downs.

Downs:

Sometimes the band seems a litle bit tired. But when everything you see in front of you is a (whole) lot of midle- age fat ladies and bald heads you can feel frustrated.

There's a lot of tracks from the current "new" album, what is a low point. Although this is artistically acceptable, these new tracks are just denying the deserved space to a lot of classics (Core 7 ones).

Ray Thomas: the Lodge-Hayward partnership finished to Thomas part as a creative member of the band and solo musician. He looks like a member of the support band in a lot of songs (but this is a result of the way things moved after Mike Pinder left the band and can be seen as early as in the Moraz albums and tours).

Mike Pinder: I missed his songs a lot.

Ups:

this is the best and most comprehensive Moodies live album (even with the addition of the new tracks), althugh it culd be far better.

The band is in good shape (considering their age and excluding Graham Edge).

The orchestra is better than the red Rocks one (and better mixed).

It's a very good way of presenting the band and its music to a new audience, if they aren't prejudiced by the musicians looks and ages.

Conclusion: a 3.5 stars dvd for me. I have the album and the video and recommend both to any Moodies fan, even if you are a newbie in this wonderful world.

PS: But pay attention: the heart and soul of the Moody Blues live cand be felt better in the recent-released Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. Sometimes the production of this album is awful, but hey, this is an historical document from the era between DoFP and AQoB. Unfortunatelly we don't have (yet, I hope) an album from their 1974 Japan tour. This could be their best live album easily.

Report this review (#216664)
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I first heard this album some years back on a PBS showing of the DVD and thought it was a good concert. Almost a decade later, I just acquired a copy of the CD and was pleasantly surprised to find that my first impression of the 2000 concert at the Royal Albert Hall was correct; this is one of the best live recordings by the Moody Blues. The song selections, from 1967's Days Of Future Passed through to 1999's Strange Times, are well chosen and well sequenced. The performance by the band is very good, and the contribution by the World Festival Orchestra is better recorded and arranged than many orchestral backings of rock bands. This album offers excellent renditions of some of my favourite Moody Blues songs, like Justin Hayward's The Story in Your Eyes and Ray Thomas' classic Legend of a Mind. This was Thomas' last tour with the band before his retirement, and he went out in good form, though he wasn't featured much. No offense to Hayward and John Lodge, but some of us miss the variety and storytelling provided by the other Moodies songwriters. (The record company, always after radio-friendly pop hits, actually pushed Thomas aside in the later 1980s. I saw the Moodies live in the mid 80s and Thomas was really messed up, then again in the early 90s and he was in good form and did a nice duet on flute with the keyboard player.) A Night At Red Rocks is a highly touted live album, but Hall Of Fame is a better performance and recording.
Report this review (#221226)
Posted Sunday, June 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Matti
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Three days ago I bought a cheap used copy of this DVD which turned out to be a fairly good addition to my music DVD collection. (I probably wouldn't have paid a full prize for it, so it was a lucky find in that sense too.) The concert was held in the 1st of May, 2000. The Moody Blues line-up of Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge is accompanied by two keyboardists, another drummer/percussionist, two female backing vocalists and The World Festival Orchestra conducted by Larry Baird.

I've always thought that the Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful venue, and visually this concert is indeed pleasant: the lights and the camera work are well done. Unlike another reviewer here, I didn't notice any tiredness of the band, nor was I feeling frustrated for their visible signs of ageing. And when the show started with the orchestral 'Overture' (featuring themes from Days of Future Passed) followed by 'Tuesday Afternoon', I was immediately fascinated by it. With these highly promising starting points, it comes down to the set list itself, how much will I enjoy the DVD as a whole. There are quite a lot of the later stuff (as opposed to the classic era of '67 - '72) that I'm not so fond of. The album Strange Times (1999) had been released a short while ago; threes tracks are featured here. 'English Sunset' is pretty good, while 'Words You Say' is a deeply emotional love ballad from John Lodge, but it functions well enough in this setting. The boring mid-tempo love song 'Haunted' is definitely the weakest link in this set. I also could have been without the 80's hits 'I Know You're Out There Somewhere' and 'Your Wildest Dreams'. But this amount of the soft-pop oriented late era is quite acceptable. Could have been worse.

The rest of the 81-minute set is not very far from being as good as it gets from the Moodies in this Millennium. Well, of course there would be dozens of fantastic classic era songs I'd love to hear on a Moody blues concert, but sadly they're not much heard on any of their DVD's. Fast songs 'Story in Your Eyes', 'I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)' and the encore number 'Ride My See-Saw' nicely add some energy. And since Ray Thomas (R.I.P.) was still in the band at this point, his classic 'Legend of a Mind' belongs to the set as much as 'Nights in White Satin' (which sounds gorgeous with the orchestral backing). The concert also features a lot of flute playing from Thomas. 'Isn't Life Strange' and 'Question' are other fine pieces from the classic era.

Admittedly the set list has its ups and downs, but I count this DVD among their better ones, thanks for the orchestral arrangements and the visual quality. (I recently purchased also Days of Future Passed Live 2017, which I haven't watched yet.)

Report this review (#2137376)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2019 | Review Permalink

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