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The Moody Blues - Octave CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

2.72 | 145 ratings

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3 stars After a 6 year layoff that included various mediocre solo/duo offerings, the Moody Blues reunited, and while the results are not particularly inspired, "Octave" is still proof that the band was greater than any individual member or members. Or perhaps the members saved up the songs that they felt would be better in group format until the inevitable reunion. The result is Moody Blues album on autopilot, which is still better than most of the dross out there at any given time.

Most of the highlights occur in the first half, with Lodge, Edge and Hayward playing on their strengths. For Lodge it is the rollicking rocker ("Steppin in a Slide Zone"), for Hayward, the ballad form ("Had to Fall in Love" and "Driftwood", and for Edge, the Moodys Mach 1 flashback ("I'll be Level with you"). Things deteriorate after this, with Hayward's honky tonk "Top Rank Suite" and Thomas going two for two in the dud department. The last few tracks are all decent throwbacks but none of them seems as good as it would have been in the hands of the younger Moodys. The finale "The Day we Meet Again" is somewhat over dramatic even by the group's own standards.

I remember enjoying this more in 1978 than I do now, perhaps being happy just to hear the group playing again. I also saw the band live on the "Octave" tour and it is one of my least favourite shows ever. The group didn't seem to be really enjoying themselves, but they had become an industry unto themselves, with a whole entourage of co-dependent entities. It translates to their output to this day...nothing from Octave on matched the golden era. A weak three stars.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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