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The Moody Blues - Long Distance Voyager CD (album) cover

LONG DISTANCE VOYAGER

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

3.32 | 204 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars I read many terrible reviews of this album, but what does people expect? We're talking about Moody Blues, an excellent band but semi prog' or Art Rock at the most.

Of course they have some poppy tunes but guys, please also remember, Long Distance Voyager was released in 1981 and we all know that the 80's was the worst decade for Prog' music.

In that year Genesis had released the infamous ABACAB, Yes had disbanded, rejoining after 2 years for the release of the mediocre 90125 and UK was dead and buried. In this context Long Distance Voyager is a breeze of fresh air in the middle of the desert.

The band had recently recruited Patrick Moraz, one of the most talented keyboardists ever, he was the same guy that in QPR made the audience forget Rick Wakeman was ever a Yes member, more classical and with better style, Moraz is a living legend.

If you add the compositional talent of Justin Hayward, and John Thomas powerful tracks, you get a very good album, maybe average in the 70's but absolutely outstanding in the 80's.

The Voice is a great opener, strong and atmospheric with perfect vocal combination, very good chorus and of course excellent keyboard, "Talking Out of the Turn" is more in the symphonic vein or more correctly in the Neo Prog style because it's softer and derivative of the golden era, but still correct song and good to listen.

"Gemini Dream" is weaker but still very good, the orchestral arrangements are perfect, much better that what they did in "Days of Future Passed" even if this sounds as an heresy.

"In My World" is a pretty average song, except for the chorus that keeps the interest of the listener. "Meanwhile" is a better song also poppy but with a few changes that makes it more interesting, somehow similar to Pendragon music.

"22.000 Days" is a very good track, more aggressive than all the previous, with some changes and a good bass and guitar work, the chorals are excellent. "Nervous" is just a filler that could have been easily mistaken with a Chicago song.

The next track is "Painted Smile", very reminiscent of Queen's softer stuff in "A Day at the Races", slightly ove the average.

The album ends with two tracks that are really one, because "Reflective Smile" works as an introduction for "Veteran Cosmic Rocker", a high point, strong rock song with correct keyboards and Arabic influences, very good closer.

"Long Distance Voyager" is IMO an album that offers mostly great vocals and keyboards, a bit uneven with various influences, but still we can find very good things.

If this album was from the 70's I would rate it with two, maybe three stars at the most, but being from the terrible 80's deserves 4 stars, among the best of the decade.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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