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The Moody Blues - Go Now - Moody Blues #1 [Aka: In The Beginning] CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog

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3 stars Like a lot of English R&B acts in the mid '60s, THE MOODY BLUES' first record featured different versions in the UK (where it was released as The Magnificent Moodies) and the US (re-named after their first big hit, Go Now). And like early records by THE KINKS and THE ROLLING STONES, this music featured plenty of covers interspersed with some original songs, all of which only hint at better things to come. Subsequent CD reissues have fleshed out the original tracklist with contemporaneous singles, so they're the better bet to own, but the sound quality is still limited by current standards. This also features a radically different lineup than most MOODIES fans are familiar with, notably guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine and bassist CLINT WARWICK. Although derivative of the English R&B movement, the original outfit did scratch at more ambitious pop arrangements on their original tracks (written by LAINE and MIKE PINDER); "From The Bottom Of My Heart," "Let Me Go" and "And My Baby's Gone" do stand out in the crowd. There are also some interesting guitar parts on here, such as the biting chords featured on "I Don't Mind" and the sustained sound used for "And My Baby's Gone" (which would be refined by PETER BANKS and STEVE HACKETT, among others). If the rest of the album is standard white R&B/skiffle, the band does hit upon some nice harmonies (e.g., "It's Easy Child) and renders some of the material warmly ("I've Got A Dream"). THE MOODY BLUES are no match for THE STONES, THE KINKS or The Who -- they mean well, and menacing they're not -- but attempts to "dirty up" their delivery on cuts like "Lose Your Money" and "I Don't Mind" give them more cachet than, say, HERMAN's Hermits. As for their big hit, "Go Now," the recording quality helps cast the song as a bygone curio; for all that, it's catchy, but I can't help thinking that a group like THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS could have done more with it.

Since the group embarked on a much different sound with "Days Of Future Passed", fans had best approach this record as an historical supplement to the band's subsequent work. It's better than the juvenilia found on "From Genesis To Revelation", and in line with the work found on THE KINKS' first album, so temper your expectations accordingly.

Report this review (#30312)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Not a prog album not even a proto-prog or a prog-related or whatever... only a disc from a British wannabe R&B band that should change their style completely some months after this work was released though with a different line-up.

Anyway the album is listenable with fair songs that amuse the listener. Band members show an average musicianship but production is weak what is surprising since other British invaders were receiving a VIP treatment at that time (1965).

Title-song (in fact a cover) is interesting and the tracks 'Let me go' and 'From the bottom of my heart' show some moments that remembers later MB's songs (a future passed?).

Since this album isn't progressive at all it serves only for collectors/fans. Total: 2 stars.

Report this review (#57633)
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Just as Pete Best preceded Ringo Starr in the Beatles early days, Denny Lane preceded Justin Hayward in the Moody Blues. As a snapshot of the early Moody Blues, the future member of Wings taking the reins of the group with a sound that is heavily rooted in American R&B & soul. Although there is little that hints at the band's progressive rock future, there are some truly worthwhile moments on this album thanks to Lane and pianist Mike Pinder.

"I Go Crazy" is an ambitious read of James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy". Denny is, of course, no James Brown, but by British Invasion standards, he does deliiver a very solid vocal performance. "And My Baby's Gone" features a nice piano riff from Mike Pinderthat compliments another great vocal from Denny. "It's Easy Child" sounds very reminiscent of Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops". Then there's the hit single "Go Now". Denny Lane truly delivers the vocal goods on this classic, and Mike Pinder's piano solo make it the dramatic highlight of the album. "Go Now" is such a good tune that Paul McCartney & Wings included it in their concert set list as a show piece for Denny. Other highlights include the jumpin' "Bye Bye Bird" and the lovely "From the Bottom of My Heart". Perhaps the closest the Moody Blues get to prog at this early stage of their career is their rather surprising cover of Gershwin's "Ain't Necessarily So" from Porgy and Bess.

Go Now is a very good album, but it would be an unlikely addition to the collection of the progressive rock purist. Passive fans of the Moody Blues might not like this album either. Therefore, it is recommended but mostly to serious Moody Blues fans.

Report this review (#136988)
Posted Friday, September 7, 2007 | Review Permalink

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