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The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog

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The Moody Blues Melancholy Man album cover
4.71 | 15 ratings | 1 reviews | 60% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Melancholy Man
2. Candle of Life

Line-up / Musicians

- Justin Hayward / guitars, vocals
- John Lodge / bass guitar, vocals
- Michael Pinder / keyboards, vocals
- Ray Thomas / harmonica, flute, vocals
- Graeme Edge / drums, percussion

Releases information

Threshold TH 6101 600, UK & France

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
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THE MOODY BLUES Melancholy Man ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(60%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE MOODY BLUES Melancholy Man reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
5 stars The Moody Blues were an amazing collective of wonderful songwriters (in their classic period 1967 - 1972, that is). To a certain degree the mellotron expert Mike Pinder was left in the shadow of Justin Hayward and John Lodge in that matter. At least his songs were relatively seldom seen as single releases, and in the concerts it probably was even more obvious. 'Melancholy Man' is among the best known songs he wrote and sang for the Moodies, and it truly deserved to be released as a single. The album A Question of Balance (1970) marked a shift towards slightly simpler, less psychedelic arrangements in order to be able to better perform the songs live. I think it was Pinder whose songwriting improved the most at this point. 'My Song' in 1971, 'Lost in a Lost World' and 'When You're a Free Man' in '72, all deeply emotional and meaningful songs. He had a pretty dark view on the world back then, which turned into gorgeous, melancholic songs. After he had moved to California, he made pretty dull and light music in his happiness.

'Melancholy Man' paints a heart-aching picture of deep loneliness. It's quite a vocal-oriented song, in the usual verse/chorus structure, with a little synth solo in the middle. In my opinion it would be totally pointless to miss any proggier edge to it. It sounds so good just the way it is. Especially the final section in which the other members (most audibly Hayward) sing the verse in the background while Pinder reaches the emotional peak in his vocal part -- it's goose bumps for sure.

'Candle of Life', then, is one of the finest songs John Lodge wrote for the band. It originally appeared on the album To Our Children's Children's Children (1969). Also this song is probably on my Top Five of the Moody Blues songs -- and there really are so many wonderful songs to choose from! Of course it would be more interesting if there was a good non-album song on the single's B side. Usually I save five stars to those singles containing at least one non-album track, but this time I'll make an exception. I'm glad to notice that the majority of ratings (without reviews) have done the same.

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