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The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 410 ratings

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5 stars To Our Children's Children's Children - The Moody Blues (3.92/5 stars) Original Release: November 21, 1969


Higher and Higher (4 stars) This song starts with a rocket blast and continues on with that theme with a driving rhythm and energy that evoke a sense of a powerful rockets engines. Poetry describes the blast- off as well. This song sits as a dependent piece of the whole album and its meaning is derived therefrom.

Eyes of a Child Part 1 (4 stars) The harp, keyboard and lyrics paint a scene in outer space where, perhaps, stillness. quietude and mystery prevail over the noisy Earth (audible rocket engines of the first song). The lyrics evoke the sense of a new world and a child-like perspective one has in it.

Floating (4 stars) The next song lightens the mood and lyrics speak merrily of the freedoms of the moon walk. Joy is found in this new world The bass guitar provides a pleasantly pulsing rhythm that seems appropriate. Eyes of a Child Part 2 (3 stars) Higher energy reprise; lyrics speak of looking back at the earth. The view of the Earth from space is a classic image of our technological age and is, nonetheless, a mythic image for our modern times.

I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred (4 stars) Short, quiet guitar-vocal interlude. The lyrics are suggestive, but I am not clear on an interpretation.

Beyond (3 stars) Instrumental that comes in and out of volume with various sound effects and a variety of musical themes. Suggests the passage of time as is, perhaps, a musical analogy to the next song's title. Maybe we are moving every outward past the various planets.

Out and In (4 stars) Dreamy, calmly upbeat song about the new perspective beyond the planets, the wider universe that is there that we, perhaps, ignore in the heat and glare of our earthy lives. A journey is often needed to lend one perspective although to others it can seem like aimless wandering.

Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time) (5 stars) The album picks up new energy with this great song. Keyboards come in on high and low notes. There is a complex mix of musical phrasing. We, the space travellers, have crossed some threshold into timelessness. Having moved this far away from earth we are:

"Left without a hope of coming home..."

Eternity Road (4 stars) This song has the rhythm of a travelling song. The lyrics suggest that this outward journey has become an inward one.

Candle of Life (4 stars) Against the vastness of space where you can only see distant stars whose light comes from the distant past you are truly alone. I imagine the rocket ship to be in shape similar to a candle. Maybe there are times in life when one has to have infinite patience with no promise of reward.

Sun is Still Shining (4 stars) This song carries a more joyful, mystical tone with vaguely Indian sounding instrumentation. The Indian sounding instrumentation compliments the lyric's description of reincarnation of the spirit in the body as a choice.

I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Million (4 stars) Musical interlude whose lyrics indicate that now instead of being 100 years old you are now 1,000,000 years old! You've come a long way!

Watching and Waiting (4 stars) The mystic turns lonely, a sad one has forever drifted off into space and away from humanity. The acoustic guitar brings us back and forth between despair and hope. On a website I saw an image of the single cover art for this song showing the band playing in a cave with what I took to be some deserted alien world in the background...evocative of the band wanting to bring us on a journey far out into loneliness of being.

Album: The Moody Blues were becoming experts on the concept album before any of the other well known prog groups (that I am familiar with) were releasing their first prog albums. Each song of any length has one or more catchy melodies that you can appreciate. Overall the album is existentially cathartic which reflects well the band's name. In the summer of '69 we had our first landing on the moon. This album was released about five months after that historic event. At this point in my reviews and within the scope of my knowledge I see The Moody Blues as the first serious developers of art rock beyond the early efforts of The Beatles with "Sgt. Pepper..."

Because of the composition of this album as a whole the individual songs do not shine so much on their own. I have rated the whole album as if it were a single song with 4 stars and I have given the songs this rating by default. It was the only way I felt I could fairly rate the album which is as has been said by others "greater than the sum of its parts".

MP3 recommendation:

Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time) (5 stars) 1. Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time) (5 stars)

The only way I see to reasonably carve up this album is to try out this song individually which, for me, stands alone better than the any of the other songs because of its dense musical richness. Otherwise this album is best enjoyed as a whole.

sealchan | 5/5 |


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