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


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

4.08 | 464 ratings

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Mr. Gone
5 stars I love this album. It's probably my favorite of the "Core 7". And part of the reason is that it truly feels like a concept album - not just lyrically, but musically.

If you check my review of Octave, you will note that I consider that album to the be the "anti-Children's". While some of the songs are actually quite good, the package as a whole does not hold up. With Children's, by contrast, the individual songs are also pretty good - but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A Gestalt smorgasbord, if you will.

I understand that the arrangements on here were largely impossible to replicate live. It's too bad in some ways that they couldn't have expanded their touring group with another guitarist and keyboardist (at least) to maybe better approximate the lush, languid sounds that permeated this album. But they didn't, and, as a result, only "Gypsy" ever got much exposure live (until they started touring with an orchestra, at least). Further, subsequent albums featured a much more "stripped-down" sound to accommodate the need to play songs live.

But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the studio craft that went into making this document - and it's significant. The loud crash that introduces "Higher and Higher" shows the sonic care that went into making this album. It's one of few very rocky moments on here - and it's a great song indicating the space travel celebration that is to follow.

"Eyes of a Child" - a slower number. Not my favorite on here, but it fits in nicely with the album as a whole and as a bit of a breather from the frenetic opener.

"Floating" is one of Ray Thomas's more "fluffy" numbers. Not as good as his later offerings here, but again - it works well with the document as a whole.

"Eyes of a Child Part 2" is the other really rocky moment on here. Nice vocals by the gang.

"Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Hundred" - a nice little acoustic piece from Justin Hayward. Its companion, "Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Million" is in a similar vein. Not essential, but again - works very well as part of the whole.

"Beyond" is Graeme Edge's second offering. Nice flute work here by Thomas. The song reminds me of the three stages of a Saturn 5 launch vehicle - three separate sections here. Don't know if that was the intention, but if it was - well done!

"Out and In" is the album's centerpiece for me. I either love or hate Mike Pinder's stuff - and I love this one. Lush mellotron, great flute and percussion, and Hayward's electric guitar underpinning the proceedings wonderfully. Just a fantastic song.

"Gypsy" is another winner. More great guitar and bass work, terrific mellotron and well-arranged vocals. Very nice.

"Eternity Road" may be my favorite Ray Thomas composition. Great guitar work in the bridge portion, and a fantastic melody with a slightly edgy feel. Another winner.

"Candle of Life" is John Lodge's best song on here. Great piano and mellotron work (again), great vocals, and a thoroughly warm feel throughout.

"Sun Is Still Shining" is my one tenuous spot on here. The melody isn't terrible (though it's not great either), but Pinder's lyrics leave me completely cold. It's really the only blemish here, though, so I can overlook it.

"Watching and Waiting" is another lush offering. The melody in the verses isn't terribly inspiring, but the chorus is very nice, as are the transitional bits. A nice way to end this long-player.

Now, are all these songs absolute classics? No. Probably only five or six of them would qualify. But that's a very high number. And most of the rest work very well in the context of the greater whole, to the point that I consider this to be my most essential Moody Blues album. Five stars. Make sure you listen to the whole thing at once.

Mr. Gone | 5/5 |


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