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The Moody Blues - Time Traveller (Box set) CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog

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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars The Essential Moody Blues

"Time traveller" is an essential 4 CD plus bonus live CD collection.

After opening with some early singles and rarities, all the albums from "Day's of future passed" right through to "Keys to the kingdom" are well represented. Also covered is Hayward and Lodge's lost Moody Blues album "Bluejays".

For the six magnificent albums from "In Search of the Lost chord" to "Seventh Sojourn" , there is 25 to 30 minutes of music from each, representing up to 75% of the original albums. "Bluejays" is also afforded a similar amount of space, meaning that only a couple of tracks are missing. It is entirely right that greater focus is placed on these albums, since they represent the golden era of the band.

For the remaining albums, including "Days of future passed", the allocation is 12 to 15 minutes apiece. The track are presented in the order they appeared on the albums, thus retaining much of the continuity they contained.

While the selection of tracks for any compilation is necessarily a subjective process, the compliers here have generally dropped tracks which would widely be considered to be the (marginally) weaker ones on each album. The magnificent "Have you heard" suite is present in full, and even albums such as "On the threshold of a dream", which flow seamlessly from start to finish, do not appear to be significantly diluted by the omission of the odd track.

"Time traveller" thus serves to gather in pretty much all the Moody Blues best work into one perfect package. Yes there will be the odd track which people will question the absence of, but the CDs flow together seamlessly. Justin Hayward's solo outing "Forever Autumn" is also included, but it's the poorly edited single version. The "Blue guitar" single (sometimes credited to Justin Hayward, sometimes to Hayward and Lodge, and sometimes to "The Bluejays") is here too, along with a further couple of more recent non-album tracks.

The bonus CD contains some tracks from the band's "Red Rocks" concert which did not originally appear on the live album of that name (they are included on the recently released 2 CD "Deluxe" version, and the DVD of the concert).

If you're looking for an instant collection of virtually all the Moody Blues essential work (together with an excellent book insert), "Time traveller" will meet the need perfectly.

Report this review (#15784)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I am afraid this collection is a case of more not necessarily being better. I think anyone wanting a set of the Moodies more progressive offerings would be better off with 1974's outstanding 'best of' album This is the Moody Blues. That legendary compilation only contains tracks from their classic 1967- 1972 prog period and the quality never lets up.

This offering by contrast while good omits key tracks like Mike Pinder's outstanding ( Life is just a) Simple Game , a version of which incidentally was taken to no.3 in the U.K charts in 1971 by the Four Tops no less! It also includes tracks like the first 3 on disc 1 which while interesting for completionists are far from being essential. Some track selections from the classic 7 albums are strange such as the inclusion of The best way to travel (one of Pinders rare below par efforts) from Lost Chord and the irritating Minstrels Song from a Question of Balance which are both surely inferior to the omitted Ray Thomas track from the latter album the haunting 'And the Tide Rushes in'.

A bonus of this album however is the inclusion of the Blue Jays material and the wonderful Blue Guitar from 1975.

The selection from their later albums is mixed as although most of the better stuff is included there are some tracks that are pure mediocre filler such as Sitting at the Wheel. Their 1980's output was not particularly progressive despite Yes's Pat Moraz joining the band at that time.

Report this review (#52306)
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars You have four discs (plus one live bonus disc) into which to concentrate the discography of Moody Blues, up to Keys To Kingdom album. Probably any fan would want to dedicate three discs for the classic era. Well, here the third disc begins with tracks from Seventh Sojourn, and from that on it's downhill for this box. Except that of course it's a friendly move to include the Hayward & Lodge collaboration Blue Jays (1975), even if I can't give it an honour of being "the 8th Moodies album". One can't exactly say that those later albums would have been given very plenty of space, but frankly, the fourth disc offers no significant discoveries or surprises. Most of the chosen tracks are the radio-friendly hits already familiar.

As Easy Livin has measured, six albums are represented up to 75 % of their original contents (25-30 min). That's generous all right, but I agree with the other reviewer that there are totally bad choices too, and some good songs missing. The early line-up before arrivals of Hayward and Lodge is exluded, for good reason (they really were two completely different bands), but also the non-album songs from the classic era are very rare in this box. On that direction this would have had more value for collectors. On the other hand "Prelude" compilation does that very well, and if there weren't any forgotten gems to be included, can't help! Also live recordings have been decided to leave off (the bonus CD has live tracks excluded from the original Red Rocks live album), and that's fine by me.

If you already have the classic albums and you're not very much interested in their later pop hits, you have better things to do with the money, I presume. And to start here makes further collecting quite frustating because of that mentioned large percentage thing. But anyway, a fine package of great music.

Report this review (#137842)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Review Permalink

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