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The Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.85 | 448 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This, along with Days of Future Passed, is probably all you need to hear of the MOODY BLUES if you are a casual fan only. I cannot justify 5 stars for it because as with all MOODY BLUES records, there is a relationship with the pop of its era that's a little too close for comfort, for me...I have very little love for the pop of the 60s. However, as a representative of both prog and pop psychedelia, I would much sooner offer this one as an example than PINK FLOYD's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Here, while there definitely are places where the technological limitations of the time show, I think the production and songwriting are certainly much more coherent than anything SYD BARRETT had to offer.

"Departure"/"Ride My See-Saw" is entertaining and funny...but there's no question that the latter part was intended to be a radio hit. The Mellotron works well in the background of this and all other songs on In Search of the Lost Chord; unlike later efforts Threshold of a Dream and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, MICHAEL PINDER would not attempt to bring the Mellotron to the foreground where it simply couldn't pull its weight. "Dr. Livingston, I Presume?" is a funny RAY THOMAS piece that serves well to introduce the album's concept, which seems to be a search for purpose and meaning in life. The two "House of Four Doors" pieces are more interstitial tracks than anything, but they are experimental and enjoyable.

One of the real highlights of the album--despite the unfortunate jumping on the bandwagon and glorifying LSD as was common in that era--was RAY THOMAS' other piece "Legend of a Mind" about the acid propagandist Timothy Leary. This is perhaps one of the longest, most developed musical compositions I've had the pleasure of hearing from THOMAS, and I also think PINDER shines with both his organ and Mellotron work (the pitch-bends are superbly done). This is then followed by the soft, sappy "Voices in the Sky"...typical fare from JUSTIN HAYWARD, although not quite as treacly as some of his later work would wind up being.

"The Best Way to Travel" contains one of the most memorable lyric lines from the album, "Thinking is the best way to travel," and I can't help noticing the vocal harmonies. One sound even begins to remind me a bit of the Sputnik satellite traveling around...could that be what they intended there? "Visions of Paradise" is where the album begins to lean more heavily upon Indian music and I have to commend the sitar work, especially the downward scale used at one point to change keys. Unfortunately, philosophy then turned into a love song with "The Actor", a rather mediocre HAYWARD ballad that actually seems to rip off "Unchained Melody" at one point.

The closing duo, however, really seals the bargain as far as this album is concerned: some wonderful, well-read GRAEME EDGE poetry in "The Word" that sets up the other true star of the album, "Om". This one does extremely well to capture the flavor of Indian music, and the tradeoff between vocalists gives it an excellent effect. The harmonies are rich, and the middle section with the sitar is absolutely superb. Ending with an a capella version of the chorus leaves one with a good feeling about this album despite its weak points which can mainly be traced to one man: JUSTIN HAYWARD. Once you get this and Days of Future Passed, you should be all set as far as the MOODY BLUES are concerned.

FloydWright | 4/5 |


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