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THE MOODY BLUES

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Moody Blues picture
The Moody Blues biography
Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, UK - Suspended activity between 1974 and 1977 - Still active as of 2017

Imitation. Innovation. Sensation. That pretty much sums up the first phase of THE MOODY BLUES. Their 1965 debut, "The Magnificent Moodies", was your standard British Invasion record; R&B covers and originals from Mike Pinder and Denny Laine that included an earlier #1 hit single, "Go Now". In 1967, Justin Hayward and John Lodge replaced Laine and Rod Clarke, and what followed was the stunningly original "Days of Future Passed".

Featuring orchestral arrangements and introducing to many ears the transcendent tones of the mellotron, that work almost single-handedly set the stage for the progressive rock movement. Subsequent albums confirmed the band's status as England's newest sensation: "On The Threshold of a Dream", "A Question of Balance", "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" and "Seventh Sojourn" all hit #1. Hibernation of a sort followed in the mid '70s, as each member of the band released solo albums (Hayward and Lodge had the most success with their 1975 effort, "BLUE JAYS")!

The band regrouped in the '80s and picked up where they left off (commercially anyway) with "Long Distance Voyager". Though the '90s found the Moodies less of a commercial force than a cult band, the group still tours and releases albums on occasion (including 1999's "Strange Times"). Their mix of sentimentalism and existentialism still resonates with listeners today, a point perhaps best made when the band was invited to play themselves on that most trendy of television shows, The Simpsons.

See also: HAYWARD & LODGE

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THE MOODY BLUES discography


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THE MOODY BLUES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.31 | 106 ratings
The Magnificent Moodies [Aka: The Beginning]
1965
4.20 | 913 ratings
Days of Future Passed
1967
3.85 | 463 ratings
In Search of the Lost Chord
1968
3.77 | 391 ratings
On The Threshold Of A Dream
1969
4.08 | 439 ratings
To Our Children's Children's Children
1969
3.53 | 333 ratings
A Question of Balance
1970
3.56 | 332 ratings
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971
3.73 | 313 ratings
Seventh Sojourn
1972
2.74 | 164 ratings
Octave
1978
3.33 | 228 ratings
Long Distance Voyager
1981
3.03 | 142 ratings
The Present
1983
2.28 | 115 ratings
The Other Side Of Life
1986
2.44 | 94 ratings
Sur La Mer
1988
2.80 | 87 ratings
Keys of the Kingdom
1991
2.62 | 89 ratings
Strange Times
1999
2.56 | 71 ratings
December
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.13 | 64 ratings
Caught Live + 5
1977
3.50 | 44 ratings
A Night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphonic Orchestra
1993
3.83 | 32 ratings
Hall of Fame - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000
2000
3.69 | 18 ratings
Lovely To See You Live
2005
2.84 | 21 ratings
Live At The BBC: 1967 - 1970
2007
3.43 | 23 ratings
Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2008
4.29 | 8 ratings
The Days of Future Passed Live
2018

THE MOODY BLUES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.34 | 10 ratings
Legend of a Band
1990
3.34 | 26 ratings
A Night At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (DVD)
1993
4.12 | 15 ratings
Hall Of Fame
2000
2.20 | 19 ratings
The Lost Performance: Live in Paris '70
2004
3.38 | 17 ratings
Lovely To See You Live (DVD)
2005
2.68 | 12 ratings
Live at Montreux 1991
2005
4.04 | 11 ratings
Classic Artists: The Moody Blues
2006
3.59 | 21 ratings
Threshold of a Dream - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2009
4.16 | 6 ratings
Days of Future Passed Live
2018

THE MOODY BLUES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 6 ratings
Go Now - Moody Blues #1 [Aka: In The Beginning]
1965
4.31 | 65 ratings
This Is The Moody Blues
1974
2.50 | 9 ratings
Voices In The Sky - The best of The Moody Blues
1985
2.61 | 19 ratings
Prelude
1987
3.93 | 11 ratings
Greatest Hits
1989
4.26 | 25 ratings
Time Traveller (Box set)
1994
1.18 | 2 ratings
True Story
1996
3.14 | 11 ratings
The Best Of Moody Blues
1997
2.34 | 9 ratings
The Moody Blues Anthology
1998
2.86 | 8 ratings
The Best of Moody Blues - 20th Century Masters
2000
3.88 | 8 ratings
The Singles +
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Ballads
2003
4.67 | 3 ratings
Say It With Love
2003
3.95 | 10 ratings
Gold
2005
4.67 | 3 ratings
Moody Blues Collected
2007
4.67 | 3 ratings
Playlist Plus
2008
4.86 | 7 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
3.29 | 5 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
5.00 | 2 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013

THE MOODY BLUES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.75 | 4 ratings
Steal Your Heart Away
1964
3.17 | 6 ratings
Go Now!
1964
2.50 | 4 ratings
I Don't Want to Go On Without You
1965
2.96 | 6 ratings
Everyday
1965
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Moody Blues E.P.
1965
2.88 | 6 ratings
From The Bottom Of My Heart
1965
3.72 | 6 ratings
Boulevard De La Madelaine
1966
4.56 | 25 ratings
Nights In White Satin
1967
3.40 | 5 ratings
Life's Not Life
1967
2.32 | 6 ratings
Fly Me High
1967
3.30 | 11 ratings
Voices in the Sky
1968
4.03 | 13 ratings
Tuesday Afternoon
1968
3.88 | 15 ratings
Ride My See-Saw
1968
4.00 | 8 ratings
Voices In The Sky
1968
3.30 | 8 ratings
Never Comes the Day
1969
3.90 | 10 ratings
Watching and Waiting
1969
4.71 | 16 ratings
Melancholy Man
1970
4.16 | 18 ratings
Question
1970
4.11 | 9 ratings
The Story In Your Eyes
1971
4.23 | 13 ratings
Isn't Life Strange
1972
4.20 | 10 ratings
I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
1973
3.13 | 8 ratings
Steppin' in a Slide Zone
1978
3.71 | 7 ratings
Had to Fall in Love
1978
3.16 | 6 ratings
Driftwood
1978
3.80 | 5 ratings
Gemini Dream
1981
4.50 | 8 ratings
The Voice
1981
3.71 | 7 ratings
Talking Out Of Turn
1981
4.13 | 8 ratings
Blue World
1983
2.63 | 7 ratings
Sitting at the Wheel
1983
3.20 | 5 ratings
Running Water
1984
3.90 | 10 ratings
Your Wildest Dreams
1986
4.00 | 6 ratings
I Know You're Out There Somewhere
1988
3.80 | 5 ratings
No More Lies
1988
1.24 | 7 ratings
Bless The Wings
1991
3.57 | 7 ratings
English Sunset
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
December Snow
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seventh Sojourn by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.73 | 313 ratings

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Seventh Sojourn
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The title suggests that the Moodies didn't really regard their Merseybeat-era album The Magnificent Moodies as a "real" Moody Blues album, and who are we to doubt them? As it stands, their Seventh Sojourn would see them going on a hiatus for much of the rest of the 1970s (though they were actively touring as late as 1974), which was probably a savvy call - it meant they didn't outstay their welcome like some of the rest of their generation of bands did, and could reconvene and adapt to new musical times.

That said, some adaptation is already in evidence here. An issue both A Question of Balance and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour had is that they both felt a little dated - even as much of the rest of the prog/art rock scene were pushing forwards, the Moodies were still entranced with the sound of the 1960s. Here, on the other hand, they feel like they've moved into the 1970s fully - New Horizons sounds a little like a proto-Alan Parsons Project piece. (It would later, in fact, be quoted by Pendragon on The Last Man On Earth on The Window of Life, and now I know that connection I can sort of see the influence there.)

A little syrupy and saccharine? Perhaps, but that's the Moodies for you, and as far as drawing a line under an era of the band goes, this does a decent job.

 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.56 | 332 ratings

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Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Moodies got that "back to basics" impulse out of their system on A Question of Balance, and then steered right back to their more maximalist approach on the followup. If Question was all about turning out songs which the band could reproduce in a similar manner on stage, Favour is all about extensively using the possibilities of the recording studio to take the listener on a journey that a stage show would (especially at the time) struggle to reproduce.

We kick off with Procession, a tour of all of time and the entire world in under five minutes, before we get right into that particular Moody blend of prog-pop with the charming The Story In Your Eyes. From here on out you get the usual blend of psychedelic-influenced pop and the accessible end of symphonic prog which the Moodies made their stock in trade.

They might have been far away from the cutting edge of prog - this came out the same year as Nursery Cryme, Tarkus, and The Yes Album, and it feels like Every Good Boy Deserves Favour is looking back to the 1960s more than any of those albums do. Nonetheless, if you loved the run of albums from In Search of the Lost Chord or To Our Children's Children's Children - when they had hit on their classic sound and genuinely were at the forefront of the progressive movement - then this provides more of that.

 In Search of the Lost Chord by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.85 | 463 ratings

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In Search of the Lost Chord
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by DangHeck

4 stars Another album I had the privilege of introducing to my girlfriend, and actually an opportunity to not only listen to it with newer ears (it's been years since I've listened through) and review, but to really come to an appreciation of it. The Moody Blues' second Prog Rock album (their third LP), this is still very of the tone of what came before, Days of Future Passed (1967), and yet it is a continuation on their path to... paving the way for their own sound (to continue the metaphor), which I feel culminates to the excellent On the Threshold of a Dream (1969), In Search's follow-up. The album that came to mind for this as I listened was one that followed it some 5 month later, S.F. Sorrow, the Psych-Pop meets Freakbeat epic concept album by The Pretty Things, a true-blue favorite of mine. They share a similar conceptual song-cycle style. In a similar way as that album, this has poppy earworms galore juxtaposed to wild, spacy psychedelic sections. What else came out in this general Psych Rock vein, in this already-new era for the genre (especially with the advent of more progressive ideations)? Spirit and The Family That Plays Together (Spirit), Horizontal and the significantly better Idea (regardless, Bee Gees' 1st is even stronger), The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack (The Nice), The United States of America (The United States of America), Odessey and Oracle (The Zombies), A Saucerful of Secrets (Pink Floyd), Shades of Deep Purple (Deep Purple), and Head (The Monkees), just to name the ones I like the best.

All starts with the tense, wild, even hysterical monologue by the now recently passed Graeme Edge, "Departure", which is immediately replaced by the upbeat, Psych-Pop-Rock "Ride My See-Saw", I feel topically just so of the time (the Pink Floyd song "Bike" came to mind). Awesome melody and harmonies, all over a driving beat and sort of Townsend-esque guitar riffing. I said to my GF last night that I shouldn't take for granted just how good the guitar is in The Moody Blues. As exemplary a songwriter as Justin Hayward is, he is a force to be reckoned with on the guitar, too. This is followed immediately by the upbeat sort of fanfare, "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume". Awesome bass-playing from John Lodge here.

"House of Four Doors - Part 1" is melodically not super strong and even gives sway to a bit of hokeyness, but the harmonies are pretty wowing and the Ringo-draggin' rhythm section is something else. This is our first really progressive track. Very spacy stuff here. This is followed by "Legend of a Mind", this incredible, mind-expanding Psych-Prog epic about the hypothetical, I assume, mind-death of Timothy Leary, as "he flies the astral plane" and is brought "back the same day". I love this so much, seriously. Then it's the much shorter second part to "House of Four Doors". More conclusive than a sort of interlude, though... it's very nearly that too.

We enter the bucolic on "Voices in the Sky", a really really beautiful Hayward number to start off the second side. I'm glad I'm relistening to this one specifically, because I like it even better. I just don't get tired of his songwriting. Now, will this appeal to the average fan of early Prog Rock? Not so sure. I'm putting that into consideration. Then it's onto a very Mike Pinder track, the psychedelic classic "The Best Way to Travel" . Surprise, boys and girls! The best way to travel is "thinking"! How about that haha. I mean, as childlike- wonderful as this is, it's a nice, timeless sentiment and really the song is untarnished by any such element of hoke or simplicity. A Psychedelic must-hear in my opinion.

From here, they waste no time to get into the lovely "Visions of Paradise", a reeds-ready number co- penned by Hayward and reedsmaster Ray Thomas. Very psychedelic, this features, in addition to flute, a sitar (or probably an electric sitar) to great effect. Then it's a very memorable number, "The Actor". This has more layered reeds and some more tasty bass-playing. I would say, in terms of this album, this is Hayward's best song. There's something very timeless about this. Much to be mimicked, I'd think. We get our final track, another Raga-Psych number "Om" introduced by another Edge monologue, "The Word". "Om" is more beautiful and expansive and epic in sonics than it is some great, wild composition. Excellent closer to a Psych-Prog classic!

 In Search of the Lost Chord by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.85 | 463 ratings

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In Search of the Lost Chord
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Saimon

4 stars Review #9: In Search of the Last Chord

A conundrum that often haunts my mind when I hear the name "The Moody Blues" is; which is better: Days of Future Passed, or this album? Whether it is more or less progressive, Days of Future Passed, honestly, seems to me to be the best album by this band and one of the best of the 60's.

In Search of the Lost Chord, The Moody Blues' third album, released in 1968, is a very important album within what we could call "pioneers" in prog. In Search of the Lost. It reached number 5 on the UK album chart and number 23 on the Billboard 200.

In Search of the Lost Chord is a concept album that deals with several very significant themes in people's lives, themes such as; music and philosophy throughout history, imagination and the power it has, lost loves, the spiritual development of each one of us, among so many others.

In my opinion, a very underrated album by many people. Yes, I know it can't be the most progressive thing we can listen to, and I know it's not something as great as Foxtrot or Animals... But who cares, it's a beauty! I don't want you to take my opinion as wrong, everyone has their own tastes, and as we know, nothing is absolute and everything is relative. It's an album that accompanied me during many moments of my life, and maybe that's the reason for the significant affection I have for this album, and everyone should give a chance to its melodies so emblematic of the band and lyrics so beautiful and powerful.

All in all, a rather cosy and entertaining album to experience psychedelic atmospheres accompanied by soft and travelling melodies.

Departure/Ride My See-Saw: 4.5/5

Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?: 4/5

House of Four Doors: 4/5

Legend of a Mind: 5/5

House of Four Doors Pt. 2: 5/5

Voices in the Sky: 5/5

The Best Way to Travel: 4/5

Visions of Paradise: 5/5

The Actor: 4/5

The Word/Om: 4.5/5

8,5/10, 4 stars for this genuine adventure of reflections, love, rhythm and a mental place of peace.

 Driftwood by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
3.16 | 6 ratings

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Driftwood
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm writing this review in memory of Graeme Edge, the drummer of The Moody Blues, who passed away yesterday. In January 2018 we lost another member of the classic line-up, singer-songwriter and flautist Ray Thomas (who hadn't been fully involved in the band's later years, which is a pity in my opinion). I figured out from the words of Justin Hayward that Graeme Edge was an important member whose presence helped the band maintain their activity through the decades. Of course he wasn't a mere drummer; like each member, also he wrote some songs -- although fewer than others -- and served as a vocalist. But onto this single.

Octave (1978) was the first Moodies album in six years. The members had released several solo albums, and Justin Hayward & John Lodge also their collaborative work Blue Jays in 1975. In 1978 times were different, even the persons themselves had changed (most considerably Mike Pinder who had moved to California -- sadly this was the last time he was involved with the group), and it was obvious the band couldn't sound the same as on their halcyon days of 'the classic seven' albums. Let's be straight, Octave IS a weak and lame album with lots of uninteresting songs. I'd say this all-mellow single is slightly on the higher level than the whole album.

'Driftwood' is Justin Hayward's lush, light and romantic ballad in a slow tempo. Not bad at all in that particular song style. Funnily, according to Wikipedia "shortly after release, a promotional video was recorded for Driftwood. The video features Patrick Moraz on the keyboards, although Mike Pinder is playing the keyboards in the actual recording. The song also includes an alto saxophone which is played by session musician R.A. Martin, although Ray Thomas is depicted playing the alto saxophone in the video."

On the B-side is a Ray Thomas song 'I'm Your Man' which is almost equally peaceful and romantic. In one of the Octave reviews it's harshly referred to as "an orchestrated turkey". Well, I actually like it. It's very much in the same vein as Thomas' two solo albums had been. The arrangement works fairly well, and Ray's warm voice sounds as lovely as ever. Admittedly the lyrics are syrupy.

The single spent seven weeks on the U.S. Billboard charts and peaked at No. 59.

 This Is The Moody Blues  by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1974
4.31 | 65 ratings

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This Is The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars THE MOODY BLUES are a band who have created so many amazing songs but I've had trouble enjoying their albums as I find them all uneven, maybe because these guys were really into concept records which I'm not. So having a compilation like this is perfect for me despite this also having a few throwaways, still this is a very consistent double album. That core seven albums from 1967 to 1972 is the focus here. I still remember this radio show called the Rock Report out of Toronto and them going on about "In Search Of The Lost Chord" specifically but touching on these core seven records which moved me to check this band out for the first time back in the day. I'm not into narration but these guys do it so good, and it helps having that deep, calm voice I guess. My favourites are the opening two tracks on disc two "Ride My See-Saw" and "Tuesday Afternoon" but also "Question" to open disc one. Surprises are "The Actor" which just resonates with me. Such a feel good sound to this band with the mellotron and vocals. THE BEATLES- like "Legend Of A Mind" and "The Story In Your Eyes" are both great of course, the latter with that distorted guitar and vocals.

I've really enjoyed spinning this all last week, feel good music and while compilations aren't usually my thing, this one is. I also think it's cool that this was released in 1974 a mere two years after that seventh classic album.

 Keys of the Kingdom by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.80 | 87 ratings

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Keys of the Kingdom
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Musicolorista

3 stars The Moody Blues fire Moraz and become the Blue Jays on the sea of mediocrity

So sad to look back at the past and see what it all became of the best rock band ever (in my humble opinion) in music history. After firing Patrick Moraz, the (once) quintet will get reduced to a duo, with two swansongs by Ray Thomas, here and then in 8 years time, with the album 'Strange Times'. The Moraz issue being one big enough to lead to a litigation which turned to a TV highlight in the USA in 1992. So the album was recorded during tumultuous times, which shows in how disjointed and full of ups and downs the very album is.

Not that this is a bad album. No Moody Blues album is. But it's probably their weakest ever, perhaps along with 'December'. As some other reviewer appointed, there is no more room for innovation or risk here anymore. It is what I'd call "family rock". Songs charged with charm and sweetness, stepping carefully into the safe realm, and, if only, endulging themselves sparsely into weird realms like funk or synth pop, going even further than in the dreadful 'The Other Side of Life'.

Bless the Wings (That Take You Back) shines here like snow under sunlight when compared to the rest of the songs. This ballad is easily amongst the five best tracks of their last five albums, which isn't saying a lot, but I find the intro and the sublime feel of the whole song a very good reason for giving one more star to this album. Justin's voice sounds even more angelic than ever, and the synths and guitars sound clear and trendy in a song of devoted love and respect. An absolute masterpiece of a song.

Say It With Love is not a bad song or a bad intro to the album but, speaking about album openers it is definetely the blandest and less blissful since 1981, keeping in mind every album openers were all fantastic up 'till then. It has the trademark positive Moodies feeling but lacks something. Probably true excitement.

After Is This Heaven , a song that portrays a sense of charm and tenderness you can only find in a Moody Blues album, we get into the loophole which takes us down into the lowest minutes in the Moody Blues collection, along with a few tracks in 'The Other Side of Life'. Say What You Mean l & ll repeats senselessly the same phrase over and over along with a collection of tacky synth brass sounds that never worked in a single Moodies song - apart from Under My Feet from 'The Present'. Definetely if I would have been their producer in this album I would have locked access to those sounds and suggest them a greater use of acoustic guitars. That would have made a change. Anyway, the song is catchy and dynamic, specially on its first half.

Lean on Me (Tonight) is a beautiful, sentimental ballad by John Lodge, with a nice almost-reggae rythm to it, and salvages the quality ratio of first side of the album as a decent one.

After the turn of the L.P. (I bought it in 1991, thrilled in the shop but dissapointed at home when I gave it a few listens) appears the song which should legit be the opener of the album. Hope and Pray is a wonderful, eighties sounding, but mature and intelligent, fast song with all the heart I was missing on Say It With Love . Should it have had a bit of a developed intro and a bit more production, it would have been a serious competitor amongst the extraordinary openers of the otherwise low notched former albums. The song has "the voice", the wonderful guitar solo and other values that put it up in the album podium after Bless the Wings (That Take You Back) .

The low begins from now on. Shadows on the Wall sounds unconvincing and starts signalling the weakness of John Lodge's input on the subsequent Moodies album (four dull ballads on 'Strange Times') with a sense of apathy which comes in consonance with the lyrics. When John sings "if only I didn't lose you, if only we could be" I hear "I began to lose control, I began to lose control" from John Lennon's Jealous Guy . Not that it's bad. That sense of dramaticism in the singing is probably the best value in the song, not very remarkable otherwise. Once is Enough is one of those songs, three or four located in 'The Other Side of Life' whose title my mind refuses to even remember. Not much to say about a song that for me represents an utter void of inspiration and sense of direction.

And then appears the "missing boy", Ray Thomas, who, as he did in 'Long Distance Voyager' and 'The Present' makes us feel he deserves much more room for his compositions in this album. The lost direction after the last track finds the right position of the steering wheel again with the beautiful and sky-wide ballad Celtic Sonant . Bringing long gone echoes from past harbour canticles like For My Lady or Lazy Day , here he restraints the pace and brings us a gorgeous, spiritual chant that leaves the songs around it in the mud. What a shame in the last two decades of studio work from the Moodies his appearances are so intermittent and scarce. He would have brought a lot of light to a lot of void. Celtic music was treding at that time, but the very slow pace and profoundity of lyrics and melody leaves that as less than an anecdote. The third in the album podium.

Magic continues with a promising acoustic guitar intro, but then disappoints from the dismal opening drum fill (sounds like played by a fiddling unexperienced child) to the anticlimatic, predictable verse, the forced chorus and a bridge which is an unthinkable mashup of bebop, American brass blues band kind of thing and on the top of it a sax solo which says definite goodbye to any expectations of tasting any of those good old Moodies' atmospheric, heartfelt and tuneful wonderful suites which used to close the albums in such an epic way.

Never Blame the Rainbows For the Rain is a lovely ballad with a nostalgic and sad feeling that mends a lot for the end of the album, and almost seems to acknowledge the long gone days are behind, but in a nice and honest way. Not being a great song, the understated singing and beautiful lyrics make up a nice closing seal for this work.

A work which maybe would have benefitted from three (impossible) things:

1 more presence of Ray Thomas,

2 being fair to Patrick Moraz (who signed with the Moodies in the condition of being a member of the band, fact later denied by the other members in a very dodgy way) and letting him paint the songs with his wonderful keyboards in the fashion he did on 'Voyager' and 'Present'

3 and giving it a more folky, less synth-pop focus. This last move somehow they tried on their 1999 'Strange Times' with relative success, but sadly since the 80s reunion on, the spark of the band drained gradually, maybe caused by loss of inspiration, band politics and commercial demands never met.

But never blame the rainbows for the rain. Although in this case, it's the other way around. Sadly.

 Fly Me High by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1967
2.32 | 6 ratings

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Fly Me High
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The Moody Blues almost became a brand new band when Justin Hayward and John Lodge replaced the original vocalist Denny Laine (who later joined Paul McCartney's Wings) and bassist Clint Warwick in 1966. Neither of the latter were notable songwriters whereas both Hayward and Lodge were to become the most prolific songwriters in the group, surpassing the original members Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas -- not to speak of drummer Graeme Edge -- in that matter. Before this new classic line-up debuted with the legendary and orchestrated concept album Days of Future Passed (1967), they recorded a bunch of single songs that were two decades later collected in a compilation titled Prelude (1987).

The songs on this single are closer in style to the beat / r&b era of the former line-up. 'Fly Me High' was one of the first songs Justin Hayward wrote and sung in The Moody Blues. It's a simple, straight forward, fast tempo rocker that I would rather place in the early/mid sixties instead of the watershed year 1967 when the whole rock genre started developing and maturing at full speed. Also Hayward's songwriting was to improve enormously in a short time, but this song is no more than a humble start.

The keyboard player Mike Pinder composed the B side song '(Really Haven't) Got the Time'. He plays piano very fast, almost like Jerry Lee Lewis, and sings the main vocals. The most of his serious-toned and deeply thoughtful songs during the classic Moody Blues era up to Seventh Sojourn (1972) are among my dearest favourites. Some of his songs on the Moodies albums are admittedly less impressive, but this fast and hilariously rollicking tune is completely different from anything Pinder was to compose and sing in the following years. The sound quality is also rather poor. In fact this song seems to date from the earlier line-up.

Since I'm not fond of either song here, I have to rate this single low. However, if you're a Moodies fan, the mentioned Prelude compilation gives an interesting selection of non-album songs and definitely broadens your picture of the classic line-up's stylistic development.

 Days of Future Passed by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.20 | 913 ratings

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Days of Future Passed
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by ssmarcus

5 stars I make no claims to be an expert historian of progressive rock. I also fully recognize that whatever I do know about the formative years of the movement are essentially processed narratives I've learned from experts, like some reviewers on prog archives, that contextualize what was supposedly important and relevant. And yet, for the life of me, I can't understand how In the Court of the Crimson King is considered 'ground-zero' for progressive rock and not this record. Often considered an ambitious psychedelic rock record in the vein of Sgt. Peppers or Pet Sounds, its hard not to see in Days of Future Past a statement that pushes rock into formally 'progressive' territory.

A simple anecdote will suffice in highlighting just how fully realized this record's progressiveness is. Mellotrons were initially intended to provide a stage or studio act access to orchestral sounds that would otherwise be unwieldy to capture in those settings. Of course, as any prog fan will attest, the Mellotron indeed had its own distinct shimmer and timbre. This sound became a staple of progressive rock and is still in demand to this day despite modern synthesizers being able to perfectly replicate orchestral sounds. And yet, The Moody Blues, even with having a full-fledged orchestra on hand for recording in Days of Future Past, itself a super progressive move, still opted to incorporate the Mellotron extensively during the recording process thus giving this record the same prog feel of later groups like Genesis, Yes, and of course, King Crimson.

Along with the orchestra and Mellotron use, Days of Future Past embraces longer form multi-movement songwriting, develops musical ideas across different songs, and is arranged as a concept record. I may be a novice or dilettante music historian but, for what it's worth, Days of Future Past is my choice for first ever progressive rock album... Oh, and it also happens to be stunningly beautiful and captivating.

 Boulevard De La Madelaine by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1966
3.72 | 6 ratings

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Boulevard De La Madelaine
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through, pt. Four: 1966.

I don't remember which one I have heard first, the Moody Blues original of 'Boulevard de la Madeleine' or Finnish rock artist Pate Mustajärvi's strong, translated cover version from the 80's. Anyway, having never been very interested in pre-'67 Moody Blues in general, I have "always" liked this song. It has an intriguing sense of drama, about love, and the arrangement is sophisticated. Definitely among the best pop songs of 1966, together with several Simon & Garfunkel songs.

On the B side, 'This Is My Hose (But Nobody Calls)' keeps rolling in a sharp tempo. By and large I don't quite like the thumping performance, but the composition -- by Michael Pinder, I presume -- in itself has a lot of potential. Interesting enough not to drag down my rating for this single.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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