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


The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars This is the last Moody album to get three stars as the following ones will have less and less savor IMO. Plenty of worthwhile moments but also cut by bothersome passages. By now the formula is well established but still relatively fresh, but with the next concept, they will go more commercial and miss the mark. The first Genesis album (Revelation) makes me thgink a lot of this one , but this is Genesis getting inspired of the Moodies and not the other way around.
Report this review (#15664)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Musically describing a theme of space travel and in celebration of the late 60's efforts of putting the first man on the moon, "To Our Children's Chrildren's Children" is another wonderful early album from the MOOD'sters. This album delivers their patented singles-oriented concept album approach with some wonderful full orchestration and thought provoking symphonic music throughout. I also believe it was at this time when The MOODY BLUES moved away from Decca's progressive label Deram and replaced it with their newly launched label called Threshold Music. Having said that I still find the album full of brilliant and exploratory characteristics very much deserving of the Progressive Rock label IMHO. This album opens up with the roar of a rocket as it lifts off on route into space and really set up the concept and working of the album. Album revolves around the soft vocals of Justin Hayward and the symphonic landscapes associated with the early MOODY BLUES... even some soft background sitar.

Report this review (#15665)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album actually works on a conceptual level, where a tear in space and time is opened to reveal the mysteries of the universe. That's a loose interpretation, mind you, and listeners in a "medicated" mood may discover their own variation on that theme, but the signposts are there. A foreboding orchestral swarm (perhaps symbolic of the Big Bang) is dispelled, and THE MOODIES draw their audience into a suitable plane of consciousness on "Higher and Higher." Admonished to see with the "Eyes of a Child," we're treated to a peter pan-orama of the magical world below on "Floating." After a short acoustic interlude, "I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Hundred," the instrumental "Beyond" serves as an interstellar train ride past various stops, arriving at "Out And In" where we unlock the key to the universal "Oz" within us all. We are the "Gypsy," travelling down "Eternity Road" in search of life's answers, drawn to the "Candle of Life" where all is revealed. Reminded that the "Sun Is Still Shining" back on earth, we return to our individual KANSAS. "Watching and Waiting" (which served as the single), sums up the lessons learned: this world was made for us, its magic and perfection waiting to be discovered. The songs on "To Our Children's Children's Children" are soft and dreamlike, the mellotron and acoustic guitars wafting along like strands of incense smoke. Believing that the individual sections are part of a bigger whole helps this amorphous-sounding album take shape.

This is a record that seeks to develop a one-on-one relationship with the listener, a presumption that pegs it as prog rock. It is greater than the sum of its parts; a very good picture painted with merely good strokes ("Gypsy," "Candle of Life," "Floating"). You won't find any "classic" tracks on "To Our Children's Children's Children", but don't be fooled: this is still classic MOODIES.

Report this review (#15666)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is my all-time fav MB album: in 'To Our Children's Children's Children' The Moody Blues allow themselves to become louder than ever before, pushing the guitar and mellotron sounds to its respective dges, while retaining their acoustic sensibility intact - the contrast that came out of this strategy is what captivates me so much of this album. Conceptually focused on the advance of science and techonolgy (in a time when the human race had just placed its first steps on the Moon), the lyrics celebrate the power of man's creativity while demanding a more conscious awareness and responsible treatment of the world around us. 'Higher and Higher' starts with a massive explosion seasoned with distant choruses (both human and "mellotronical"), and then the hard rocking tour de force emerges with genuine enthusiasm: Edge's parsimonious speech and the exultating chorus lines deliver a sense of total optimism about the progress of mankind. While the track's fade-aout is reaching its conclusion, the contrasting wind chime and autoharp passage that serves as an intro to 'Eyes of a Child' (one of Lodge's finest compositions ever) must be considered as top artistic idea in the Moodies' history: after the initial enthusiasm, comes a moment of bucolic, acoustic driven meditation about the way that man is supposed to observe and assimilate his own progress. Other highlights include the eerie instrumental 'Beyond' (effective alternation between the rocky parts and the somber mellotron layers), the catchy 'Gypsy', which features the usual Hayward's lyrical singing and the wall-of-sound backing vocals of Lodge, Thomas and Pinder; 'Eternity Road', a wonderful Thomas' tune (maybe his best ever) where his flute and Hayward's guitar shine during the fade-out - I wish this number had been a bit longer, so the soloing would have expanded futher. The ellegant melancholy of the following number, 'Candle of Life', offers a majestic interplay between piano and mellotron, while Lodge and Hayward complement fluidly their lead singins duties. The intense exotic colours of 'Sun is Still Shining' display an attractive sonic landscape for Pinder's lyrics, which remind us of the importance of looking inside oneself while exploring the world outside (a topic that had already been handled by Pinder in 'Out and In'). And... last, but definitely not least, comes the magnificent closure 'Watching and Waiting', whose overwhelming candour and effective simple orchestral harmonies on mellotron are simply irresistible: Hayward's lyrics complete accurately Pinder's previous idea in an awesome manner, concluding that the world is ours to explore and understand. Almost three years after their 'Days of Future passed' album, The Moody Blues gradually struggled to become a five-piece rock orchestra, something they achieved on record with 'To Our Children's...': as I stated before, I consider it their undisputed masterpiece.
Report this review (#15667)
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The melodies and transitions are exceptional, A true masterpiece for any record collection of pop culture. You can listen over and over and pick up little hints of colour in the rhythms.No record ever recorded has this kind of mystique.One for the time capsule indeed. Listening with headphones is the ultimate experience.In the same vein as Pink Floyd's Umma Gumma.
Report this review (#15668)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars More consistent than "Threshold", more mature and individual than "Lost Chord", this is the best MOODY BLUES album yet (well, "Days" is hard to beat, but it wasn't completely a band project). While the democratic nature of the band means that every member gets a couple of song credits, everything here holds together in style and theme. What is the theme? It's really up to the listener to decide; lyrics of birth, death, eternity, loneliness, the cosmos, and the earth are suspended by soundscapes based on Pinder's Mellotron and the band's trademark vocals. The 60s pop rock influence is still present, but the production thickly blends all the elements into a textural soup- and unlike the orchestral soundtrack feel of "Day of Future Passed" and the brittle desperation that would link all of "Seventh Sojourn", this dense sound for once truly compliments the band.

The journey begins in the crashing and chanting of the first few minutes of "Higher and Higher", which transforms into surprisingly energetic acid rock and the requistite spoken poetry. The percussion work on this song, and the album as a whole, is some of the most impressive I've heard from Graeme Edge. The chaos fades into the more folk- sounding "Eyes of a Child", which in turn leads to the bouncy, childlike "Floating"- a Ray Thomas song if there ever was one. "Eyes of a Child pt.2" takes the song in a much different direction, a harder rocking WHO meets JEFFERSON AIRPLANE feel. "I Never Thought I'd Live to be A Hundred" is a classic Hayward acoustic snippet, and "Beyond" is that rarest of MOODY BLUES songs, an instrumental with rhythm. Sometimes. It seems to have a hard time deciding where to go, but it does interesting things along the way. "Out and In" and "Gypsy" are two different cosmic rockers; the first is smooth and tender, the second more driving in tone but with mournful interstellar lyrics. Ray Thomas is the next to tackle the trippy trend on "Eternity Road", a mysterious vision perfectly illustrated by the updated psychedelia of the music. "Candle of Life" is more emotive, a plea for universal amity amidst dramatic piano and symphonic mellotron surges. On this song especially, it doesn't sound like they miss the London Festival Orchestra at all; the sound is as deep and full, and more interesting. On "Sun Is Shining", it's Pinder's turn for a psychedelic jam, so he enlists a sitar and some "Strawberry Fields" mellotron swoops and discusses reincarnation from an astral perspective. Justin jumps back in with the reprise "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Million" in order to set the stage for the album's closing statement,"Watching and Waiting". Co-authored by the bands' most distinctive writers, Hayward and Thomas produce a gentle ballad of friendship and peace that lets the album drift away into the distance.

Fans of the Jon Anderson school of abstract mysticism should love this album- the band has matured but retained the hippie sprituality trinity: Universal Love, The Cosmos, and Mother Earth. The music has matured as well; though "Days" remains a masterpiece, the band is no longer that same 60s pop band with psychedelic pretensions. There is a distinctive tone which saturates this album, and I do mean 'saturates'- this is one long misty river of sound where separating individual songs is difficult, and individual instruments even more so. As with Alan Parson's similar approach during his time producing PINK FLOYD, you may find yourself wishing for more clarity; luckily, the MOODY BLUES sound is inherently simpler and lighter, but no less effective in transporting the listener's consciousness.

Report this review (#15671)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Dim the lights and put the children to bed

The Moody Blues revert to a generally mellower style for this album, in fact at times they seem so laid back their heads must be touching the ground!

"Higher and higher" which opens the album briefly belies this, with its (strangely enough) ascending, upbeat melody, but the following "Eyes of a child", establishes the dominant pace for the album.

There is though, much to enjoy here. "Candle of life" has a Bee Gees feel to it, with swirling orchestration, and a lovely piano backing (it made an excellent B side for "Question" when released as a single). "Watching and Waiting", which the band had apparently expected to be a huge hit single, is a wonderfully melodic number, which washes over the listener in gentle waves of breathing keyboards.

And that pretty much goes for the rest of the album. It's hardly challenging and not really very progressive, but it is highly melodic and hugely relaxing, one for low lights and good company.

Report this review (#15672)
Posted Monday, July 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I would have to disagree with alot of people here and give this album 5 stars. This album marks a second highpoint in their career. They have taken the experiments in Threshold of a Dream and have crafted them to a science in this record. There is not a bad track on this album. The only mildly boring track would be "I never thought I'd live to be a hundred/million" (Million is the reprive of hundred done later in the album). However it can't be marked down because it is designed as a segue and it is cut short at exactly the right time in both instances. This album flows smoothly as a concept from one song to another and as different time periods flash before us they are properly segued as to notate a change in musical climate. This is the last highpoint in their career they will hit in my opinion. They start a downslide from here and while certain albums do pick up here and there, they do not retain the glory that this album and "Days of Future Passed" attained for them. All of the classic seven are worth getting, but this is the second and last highlight among them.
Report this review (#15674)
Posted Thursday, September 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to agree with a couple of reviewers here, and give the album FIVE STARS!! To me, it represents The Moody Blues' sound like no other. Plenty of 'tron for 'tron lovers, dreamy atmosphere, without a single bad track. I don't use the word masterpiece lightly, but there are some works which I believe heartily deserve such praise ("Close to the Edge", "The Lamb..."), and while this album isn't exactly one of the reigning Kings of the Prog circle, I believe it holds the honour of being one of the few nearby courtiers. Highly recommended to fans of the Moody Blues, the almighty 'tron, or just plain peaceful and fantastic music! Buy it! Enjoy it!
Report this review (#15677)
Posted Friday, December 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the relative disappointment of the previous album, this was much better work. The songs are all very atmospheric, and showcase all band members. The album has an "otherwordly" feel to it, and a "grittiness" that the previous albums lacked (there is no equivalent to "Gypsy", in any of the earlier works).

I have a personal preference for "Out and In", since it introduced me to the min7sus4 chord!

Arguably, the multiple tracking on this album count against it-there were five in the group, rather than ten, or twelve.

However, the individual songs within this album give it four stars, rather than three. The songs are mostly worthwhile-although why were Justin's little bits thrown in?

Four stars.

Report this review (#15678)
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have been listening to and collecting music for 42 years. If I was only allowed to retain one recording from my collection, this album would unquestionably be the one I kept. Each time I hear it I am amazed that a recorded work so innovative, beautiful and profound as this one was ever created. During the 1970's, I probably bought more than 20 copies of this work on vinyl, only to give them away to friends. In my admittedly feeble and naive way, I was attempting to change the future. The record's title is appropriate. My parents enjoyed it. My sons love this record. Most likely, my grandchildren will, too. Calling it a masterpiece falls short. In the world within this music, indeed, art is love, is science.
Report this review (#15679)
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Possibly the greatest concept album. This was the album that brought together the collective talents of all the band members. Each song is masterfully crafted. To pick a favorite, Candle Of Life, gives you something to think about. Needless to say the Moodies were rumored to have experimented with mind altering substances !!!! Well the end result will be regarded as the album that made you think. What moer can you say ?
Report this review (#35877)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The one thing the Moodies had over many of their contemporaries of the time is the fact they could produce consistent albums. To Our Children's Children's Children is a tight and cohesive set of songs played to a concept that never veers too far of the mark, though this can be seen as a failing, and there are moments where the band indulge in over trite examples of tweeness in their songwriting. The originators, arguably, of the concept album, the Moody Blues also dabbled with a bit of the psychedelic experience. But rather than a full on emersion into the horrific world of LSD the boys in the Moodies merely had a taste, a taste that was sufficient and safe enough to allow them to explore the realms while still in control of their surroundings and creativity, to allow them some control and continue to have a pretty much mainstream appeal and write crap cringe making poetry. To Our Children's Children's Children is a decent album, enjoyable, with the concept which deals with the evolution of the human species right through to the understanding and controlling of fire until the ultimate use of its force and the propulsion of man toward the cosmos, exploring its potential yet still retaining a human condition and emotion. The mood of the album is at once exciting and melancholic, toward the end reaching out in metaphor and wonder. A good effort if still a little too safe and restrained.
Report this review (#39076)
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars To my view this album isn't as purposeful and inventive for its period as their first three albums and indeed is marred by song writing not quite up to the Moodies best standard. An example ' Sun is Still shining' which is a drag.

This album also seems to have a more spacey dated feel than the others in the classic 7 probably because of the subject matter and because of this I have rated it at 3 stars. Having said that this is the Moodies and there are some great moments on here Eyes of a Child (pt 1) is a truly beautiful song, Gypsy rocks well and Watching and Waiting is classic Hayward. Pinder also redeems himself with the ethereal Out and In.

Report this review (#49985)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Years ago (1974) I went to live for a couple of years in the USA, (from Britain), as a then 19 year old. Obviously I was aware of the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and even some Roxy Music (albums), but was not really an album person, rather I was 'singles' oriented. Went out to Colorado from Chicago (my base), spent a night on a waterbed at a friend of a friends, listened to this album... pot probably helped, but... this was something special. I REALLY got into this big time, and like 'Dark Side of the Moon', this was rarely not played some day of the next 12 months. I ended up getting into all their classic 7 albums (Days of Future to Seventh Sojourn), and loved them all. However, this one for me is the essential one.

The album cover and title set the mood/intrigue. The whole is a journey, that takes you to another place. 'Blasting, billowing forth with the power of 10 billion butterfly sneeezes', (the God like beginning), then the beautiful harp strokes that signal "Eyes of a Child', and it's lovely harmonies, then the God like aah's segue into "Floating', you're weightless and bouncing around like an astronaut. Then a lot of instrumental mellotron which is tinged with urgency/angst takes you into the highly atmospheric opening to the very thought provoking/stoned/haunting 'Out and In". Mike Pinder was a genius of Mellotron riffs, and in this song and 'My Song' (on Every Good Boy Deserves Favour) he crafts beginnings and endings to the songs that have you playing that track over and over again as soon as it ends ... 'a song that never ends'..., I used to crank that right up, because the fade out was so addictive...the song so beautiful.

Then, you're into Gypsy, with it's ominous urgency/pyrotechnics ... Justin Hayward, apart from his plaintive wonderful voice, was no slouch with the guitar/memorable hooks. Again, a highly atmospheric song. Next you're into Ray Thomas singing 'Travelling Eternity Road', a fantastic song, that somehow tugs at your mortality... and the flute is just one part of what sets it off. One thing I loved about this album, all 5 guys contributed a song at least, and there wasn't a dud here. The transition from song to song is remarkable ... it just flows so smoothly from one highly memorable tune to another. Next we're into 'The Candle of Life' (please! please!, burn slowly! Doesn't time fly, now I'm 51! .... in some ways this album is very depressing/sad, and yet highly personal/illuminating. "So love, everybody, and make them your friends'.. if only it were that easy, lovely sentiments, and this is a highly ornamented song, with a lot of nobility, sense of our ultimate isolation from one another about it. Yes, this is another gem.

Then we're into more astral journeys with 'Sun is still shining', courtesy of the essential Mike Pinder (they were never quite the same after he left, even though 'Long Distance Voyager' was very good). The last track, 'Watching and Waiting', is a choker ... don't listen to this if you're feeling sad/depressed ... you might want to end it all ... it really tugs at your heartstrings, you can end up feeling very sorry for yourself.

Overall, Pinder's use of mellotron links the songs brilliantly. I have over 200 cds in my collection, but have probably never played any album half as much as this one, although I find it hard to listen to now, because it takes me back to a time that is gone forever, which now I find hard to bear. But this is one clever album. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Report this review (#52037)
Posted Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Fourth of the "MB's core 7" album released less than one year from previous 'On a Treshold of a Dream' it's amazing to be more balanced than the last one but with weaker songs in general.

The opening track 'Higher and higher' is excellent, mixing pure rock with some space and psychedelic effects.

Other highest points are the folk-influenced 'Gypsy', the soft 'Candle of life' and the ending track 'Watching and waiting', a typical MB proto-prog song.

Again arrangements, musicianship and singing are great and the album itself is fair to be heard for everyone being or not a prog-fan.

Obligatory addition for any collection. Total: 4.

Report this review (#58466)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album represents, for me, the Moodies at their creative peak. The songs are arresting, the vocals sublime and - like Kraftwerk's "RadioActivity" - it is one of the few concept albums that really works, rather than simply being a collection of vaguely thematically linked songs with a hit single and some below par filler thrown in for good measure. ( I'm looking at you, Pepper! ) In "Candle of Life" and "Watching & Waiting" the Moodies present their most accomplished and moving songs and while detractors often argue that the Moodies lyrics have a propensity to be toe-curling ( and it's usually lines like "Blasting, billowing, bursting forth with the power of 10 billion butterfly sneezes" they allude to ) it's hard to find such faults in a lyric of such simple existential honesty as "Something there outside says we're only / In the hands of time, falling slowly..." especially when delivered by THAT voice. The Mellotron playing is, of course, magnificent but it's also worth noting what an expressive guitarist Justin Hayward was and how he delivers such beautiful guitar phrases and solos ( particularly on "Eternity Road"and "Higher & Higher". I was born into a house full of Moody Blues fans and have, in turn, played them to my kids, who love them also. The cover art, particularly the inner sleeve, really fired my chidhood imagination and made a great soundtrack to gazing through a telescope, travelling eternity road with the Moodies.
Report this review (#67782)
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh my, does it ever end? Another perfect album??? Wow, with Threshold I thought perhaps the Moody Blues will faulter a little more and then just go to crap after that... but NO, they release another huge album for my mind to go nuts over. This album, being my second favorite of the bunch, is undeniably amazing. The most moving of them all, drenched in mellotron, Pinder and Hayward go crazy here with some VERY sentimental and moving melodies. I never thought I'd live... are both simply miracles of music. Watching and Waiting, one of the best ending ever to an album, will make you cry your eyes out and will stcik with you FOREVER. Every song on here is perfect, a step above Threshold. If you are enjoying anything by the early moodies, you MUST have this, and if you like symphonis prog or proto prog bands, buy this NOWWWW!! By the way, the transition from Eyes of a Child Pt 2 to Floating is AMAZING and stuns me every time, I love this album.
Report this review (#71456)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.4

Very close to giving this 5, as I greatly enjoy every track. It generally has a very relaxing tone and colour in every track. Although the music is not very progressive, it is certainly very enjoyable with a strange mystique absent from 'Days of Future Passed'. The mellow vocals and acoustic guitars are present nearly throughout, many tracks with a soothing piano backing.

When listening from beginning to end, the journey is substantial in events, possibly two 32-picture films in your camera. There are so many changes in mood and activity yet it still maintains a mellow feel, even in the faster moments. In my opinion, every track is a highlight, but nanometers from achieving the superlative status of a masterpiece.

A absolutely superb addition any prog music collection, and for comparison, slightly similar to Barclay James Harvest's 'Once Again', despite the genre conflict.

Report this review (#75886)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This was one of the last Moody Blues albums I bought back in the 70s, mostly because it was one of the least-heralded (in the States at least), and because since it came sandwiched so closely between the much better On the Threshold of a Dream and the U.S. smash Question of Balance that it went largely unnoticed by some of us less- fanatical fans until later in the decade.

None of the songs here seem to be fully developed on this album in my opinion, and that’s really my main issue and only significant observation about it. “Higher and Higher” takes a while to get going, but when it finally does the percussion and guitar work border on psychedelic and represent some of the most energetic music the Moodies put out during this early period. But just when I start to get into the sound, the song fades out and is replaced by the more traditionally melodic and sanguine “Eyes of a Child”, which is itself just a brief sliver of a song. Great vocals and a very appealing bass line, but incomplete as it peters out into “Floating”. This is a truly spacey song as it describes the feeling of floating in space and reflecting on the cosmos. I was too young to imbibe in mind-altering substances when I first heard this album, but I have no doubt many listeners were doing just that as they grooved on the melody and other-worldly keyboards and delicate guitar.

After the brief and slightly up-tempo reprise of “Eyes of a Child” we’re off on another abrupt mood shift and “I Never Thought I’d Live to be a Hundred”, an almost morbid lament on aging and life passing by. I can imagine this as an extended piece at the end of the album with long, elegant keyboard passages and a reflective look back at the landscape of time and humanity, but instead it is simply a fragmented concept in the middle of the album.

“Beyond” is a keyboard-heavy instrumental that just doesn’t go anywhere at all, followed by “Out and In”, which is probably the most recognizable song on the album, but again an undeveloped bit of a concept about exploring the universe both external and internal to ourselves.

The second half of the album picks up a bit of steam with “Gypsy” and its excellent Moodies’ vocals and mystical lyrics, followed by another heavily psychedelic number with “Eternity Road” and then finally “Candle of Life”. These are all pretty much standard fare for the Moody Blues, and none of them really stands out as definitive works for either this album or the band’s music as a whole. It’s just another day at the studio, cranking out another album. That’s really the overwhelming feeling of this album anyway – another forty minutes on tape and back on the road, business-as-usual but no extra spark to really grab the listener’s attention. Maybe it’s the lack of lush orchestration, or the fact that there is only a vague notion of a central theme to what is supposedly presented as a conceptual work. Maybe it’s the pervasive melancholy in the understated vocals, or the sometimes depressing lyrics about life and the infiniteness of space, I don’t know for sure. It’s probably a little bit of all the above.

The chant-like vocals and sitar on “Sun is Still Shining” give it a bit of an exotic feel, but also make for a very dated sound when played today. The arrangement here is the most interesting of all the tracks, but still nothing to get particularly excited about.

The closing “Watching and Waiting” reminds me a lot of “Tuesday Afternoon” and “For my Lady”, and benefits from some good supporting orchestration and nice harmonic vocals. The message is a bit weak after investing the better part of an hour in the build- up though, and again is a rather dated message that today seems either quaint or naďve, depending on your viewpoint.

This is a decent album by the Moodies, and I wouldn’t suggest that fans bypass it altogether. But I don’t think this is the one you would want to start your Moody Blues collection with, and one should expect to have to invest a bit of time and energy to get anything is substance out of it. It’s probably a bit better than a simple collectors-only work, but certainly not quite up to the ‘excellent’ standard either. Three stars seems right.


Report this review (#82139)
Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an essential Moodies album for sure. The celestial quality of the mellotron has never been more evident than on this LP, and the songwriting is up there with the best of their career. The theme of space travel is not important and fairly loose, although it does provide the album's one skippable track, Beyond, an experimental instrumental that isn't really much fun to listen to. Other than that, the songs really shine. Hayward's Gypsy and Watching and Waiting are incredibly moving and beautiful compositions, and his guitar playing features melodic, attention-grabbing licks that catch the ear without dominating the dense but clear mix. Mike Pinder gets in a couple of his best songs on Out and In and the sitar-driven Sun is Still Shining, and John Lodge shows his mystical side on Candle of Life. Even Ray Thomas, who sometimes succumbs to schmaltziness, contributes the classy, ultra-melodic Eternity Road. The songs blend into each other with fade ins and outs in a wonderful, flowing manner. The whole affair has a sense of quiet profundity and spirtuality that you won't find in much of the psych music of the period. This album has been with me for half my life, and I never tire of it. If you want to pick up a couple of Moody Blues albums, make this one of them. It's pure class from start to finish.
Report this review (#96891)
Posted Thursday, November 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars If I may state an opinion about The Moodies it would have to be that they are an amazing band with immense song writing abilities, they pay attention to detail, they play an incredible amount of musical instruments, their music ranges from heavy, psychedelic, dreamy and mellow, bombastic, subtle, soft and acoustic, hard and electric, sparse, dense, catchy, experimental, down-to-Earth, lost-in-space, commercial and uncommercial - every emotion conceiveable, with an endless source of inspiration permeating their albums, yet the individuals as players, I wouldn't call 'virtuoso'. This particular album, 'To Our Children's Children's Children' is where the chemistry of the band was at its strongest (IMO), and EVERY track is perfect, displaying all textures above, yet flows effortlessly along to form my absolute favourite Moody Blues album. It is also recorded and produced really well.

Opening with a rather hallucinogenic atmosphere, 'Higher and Higher' showcases the power and eclecticism of the band with some wonderful poetry from Graeme Edge and some really 'hot' guitaring from Justin Hayward. Most keyboard sounds are provided by the Mellotron, of which Mike Pinder was a master of, having worked in the factory which manufactures them (Streetly Electronics) prior to joining the Moodies. 'Eyes of a Child I' is very beautiful, starting with Harp and flute, a soft melody and great harmony singing, with the ever-present Mellotron and catchy chorus. 'Floating' is a typical Ray Thomas song, almost child-like, cheerful and light-hearted, recalling Barrett-era Floyd (in inspiration, not sound), 'Eyes of a Child II' is a rocking, heavier arrangement of the first part, 'I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Hundred' is a soft piece of just Hayward and acoustic guitar, next up is the AMAZING instrumental track 'Beyond', which is a sonic experiment with many stops and starts, with some unique mellotron work in its unusual structure. Side 1 finishes with the symphonic sounding (thanks to the blaring 'tron) 'Out and In' - a very catchy melody with the mellow singing of Pinder.

Side 2 kicks off with a stunning Hayward track, 'Gypsy' - a fast paced, epic song which fully deserves to be called a Moodies classic. Everything is in the right place here, the riffs, the singing, the Mellotron - man, what a track ! Yes, and I listen to the record I review, as I write. 'Eternity Road' is yet another beautiful track, with great lyrics and vocals, and superb progressions, especially leading to Hayward's simplistic, but effective lead break. The Mellotron is responsible for the breath-taking atmosphere generated in many Moodies' songs. 'Candle of Life' is a soft song, kind of sad and reflective, yet retains the general warmth and seamless flow of this album. Some nice piano playing as well as the 'tron. Faultless vocals. 'Sun Is Still Shining' is an Eastern-sounding tune, very 'hippy', yet catchy and accessible, and still in-keeping with the rest of the album. 'I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Million' is a brief acoustic verse again like 'Live to a Hundred', and the album closes with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL Moodies track ever - 'Watching and Waiting' - the mellotron supplying the riff to this deep and meaningful track, all too short but ever so sweet. A masterpiece and absolute essential record (CD for the modernists !) in every way.

Report this review (#107309)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Moody Blues are coming to my town and in preparation I've been replaying their albums. I've heard their LPs, especially the first seven, many times and am always astonished at how good they are.

But this time around, one has struck me as being especially mindblowing-"To Our Children's Children's Children."

This album is exceptional for a number of reasons, but it's the albums theme of outer space and space exploration that is most significant. The Moody Blues were one of the first artists to poetically and musically render the space age experience for the popular imagination-the enormous magnitude of outer space, the isolation it suggested to us earthbound spectators, and emotionally complex responses it evoked-the exhilaration, the awe, the fear, the critical questioning of our destiny, and so on.

Appropriately, the LP opens with the thunderous awesome sonic spectacle of a Saturn V blasting off the launch pad, which fades out as the churning, scrubbed-sounding rhythm guitars fade in at the open of "Higher and Higher." Graham Edge's poetry sketches out the album's broad theme of humankind at the threshold of a new consciousness and its implications, and as the song develops, edgy high-end lead guitar fights its way through the ensuing sonic fray like lightning in a thundercloud.

As the hurried, frantic rhythm of the first track fades, the exquisite extra-slow tempo woodwinds introduce the metaphysical melancholy of "Eyes of a Child." And, for this listener, the transition is one of the most sublime moments in rock music.

To digress for a moment, the Moody Blues are masters of the slow tempo song, and by slow tempo, I mean, the sort of very slow tempo that subtly calls attention to itself and draws the listener in. In fact the MB are one of only a few bands I know of that use the extremely slow tempo to this effect.

The album then proceeds to continue to explore the implications for space age man and woman: Some songs are humorous and lighthearted, like "Floating," others cautionary, warning humankind of its promethean predicament. One concept is particularly intriguing: That of "Out and In" which suggests that the vastness of outer space is equally matched by the vastness of our minds' inner space, and that explorations of both are necessary for humanity's growth.

But in addition to these, it's the album's recurrent theme of the inhuman vastness of outer space that gets the best treatment. Perhaps the most profound effect our space age conquest has had on us is a dispiriting awareness of the enormous distances and enormous spans of time that confront us if we wish to explore the cosmos. And it's this sense of cosmic loneliness and melancholy that is perfectly captured in songs like "Gypsy," "I Never Thought I'd Live To Be a Hundred" (and its reprise) and the instrumental "Beyond." The latter piece that still surprises me today. Following the intro section, a eerie sonic passage worthy of Kubrick's "2001" emerges and develops before fading and being overtaken by the theme of the intro. An amazing psychedelic moment.

All in all, an astonishingly rich musical experience and an extraordinary meditation on a unique moment in humankind's history. What the TV reporters and newspaper commentators writing about these extraordinary events and even the astronauts themselves couldn't quite communicate to the people, the Moody Blues succeeded in doing. Five stars.

Report this review (#110080)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This has become my second favourite of the Moodies 'classic 7' Their run of excellence ended in 1972 with 'Seventh Sojourn'

'TOCCC' is a concept album, about space travel, and the possibilities it presents for future generations. What makes this album one of the best Moody Blues offerings, is the way the classic formula of acoustic guitar, Mellotron and Haywoods vocals comes together so well. I had felt that on some of the previous albums, and indeed on some that followed, that the overall feel of the album was marred by moments of banality. 'TOCCC' doesn't seem to suffer for this.

'Higher and Higher' is a great opener, complete with the sound of a rocket taking off at the beggining. Apparently the band had acquired a tape from NASA for this, but it didn't work in the studio for some technical reason. The band resolved to emulate the sound themselves. I'm not convinced about the poetry that sits on top of the music on this track, but the guitar part, and the energy of the song do make for an exhilerating opener. 'Eyes of Child 1' is a simple beautiful song, opening with swathes of harp, and setting the scene for a fine perfomance from Justin Hayward. 'Floating' is one of the Moodies 'silly' songs IMO, and seems to pull the feel of the album back to 1967, which is probably not something that needed to happen. It smacks of Beatles psychedelic playfulness, and I think breaks up the thoughtful atmosphere, so far achieved.

'Beyond' is a great instrumental, with some fine Mellotron moments from Mike Pinder. This track has a real 60's sci fi TV program feel to it. It breaks frequently and the spaces between the sections are filled with wonderful, well produced ambient noises. Should be listened to in a dark room! 'Out and In' once again dates the proceedings slightly, but not in such a negative way as 'Floating'. Pinders performance and an excellent chorus save the day. The psychedelia here is more thoughtful than playful, which suits my taste. 'Gypsy' 'Eternity Road' and 'Candle of Life' represent a run of unbroken excellence! Three consistently good songs, with memorable choruses and soaring Haywood vocals. The albums draws to a close with a wonderful continuity, you'd expect from any good concept album. The George Harrison-esque 'Sun is Still Shining' loses me a little, but floats nicley into a reprise of 'I'd never thought I'd live to be a million' A slightly different arrangement and lyric to 'I'd never thought I'd live to be a hundred' earlier on the album.

This drifts perfectly into 'Watching and Waiting' one of my all time favourite Moody Blues songs. 'W&W' is an example of just how perfect the Moodly Blues could be. Haywards trembling, tearful vocals are complimented by some wonderful lyrics:

"Soon you will see me, cause I'll be all aroind you, but where I come from I cant tell. But dont be alarmed by my fields and my forests There here for only you to share"

For me the words evoke someones soul becoming part of the nature, and achieving immortality in another way than that suggested hinted at throughout the rest of the album.

In the case of most of their albums, the Moody Blues never quite got there for me. There are moments of monumental beauty and musical genius, and passages of what sounds like lazy mediocrity. 'TOCCC' is a strong 4 star album. Very good stuff.

Report this review (#114144)
Posted Sunday, March 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The Moody Blues had been busy boys as the sixties drew to a close. This was their third studio album in only two years and few groups were able to match that level of productivity. But while the hard work had obviously helped them improve in the craft of recording LPs perhaps it also had a side effect of hampering them with tunnel vision to some extent. Here's why I say that. In that same year King Crimson had burst upon the scene and revolutionized the use of the Mellotron, Yes had released their impressive debut, Pink Floyd was pushing the envelope of psychedelic music with "Ummagumma" and Jethro Tull was becoming increasingly more progressive with the notable "Stand Up." The field the Moodys competed in was getting crowded and fiercely competitive and they knew that but I'm not sure they realized to what extent.

You gotta hand it to these guys, though. They know better than most how to kick- start an album. Graeme Edge's "Higher and Higher" begins with a loud bang and a busy wall of sound that is impossible to ignore. Following their proven and familiar formula the spoken word is used to create atmosphere and drama (despite unintentionally funny utterings like "bursting forth with the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes"), the electrically charged guitar work is excellent and the group vocals singing the ascending chorus all add up to a spectacular opening. John Lodge's "Eyes of a Child" calms things down a tad by unfolding as a really nice tune that features a harp and acoustic guitar. The words aren't bad, either. ".Through life you will be/a small part of a hope/of a love that exists/in the eyes of a child." Compare those with the lyrical content of the next song, a Ray Thomas embarrassment titled "Floating" that would be more appropriate in an episode of the "Teletubbies" than being included on a rock album. It's hard to excuse banal, childish words like "Bouncing about on the Moon/guess you'll all be up here soon/the candy stores will be brand new/and you'll buy rock with the Moon right through." What the.?

Moving right along, a snippet of an alternative version of "Eyes of a Child" leads us to Justin Hayward's poignant "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred," one of the group's all-time best moments. It's nothing more than a simple folk ballad played on acoustic guitar but it is a gem and his voice is always unique. A Graeme Edge instrumental follows, the odd "Beyond" that is basically a spirited jam built around a Mellotron melody that inexplicably fades out twice for some strange psychedelic interludes. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time but it's just damn weird. Pinder and Lodge's "Out and In" is an interesting Mellotron-heavy song, then Hayward's powerful "Gypsy" jumps out at you from the get-go and this time the words are refreshingly poetic. "Speeding through a shadow of a million years/darkness is the only sound to reach his ears," he sings. It's one of the album's highlights and, as I recall, garnered a lot of FM radio play. Thomas redeems himself slightly with "Eternity Road" in that it sounds more like a grownup tune, at least. The words are still silly but at least the tasteful guitar solo makes it palatable. Lodge's "Candle of Life" is a step in the right direction with its grandiose piano sound but with too much off-key singing and corny lines like "So love everybody and make them your friends" it's hard to take it seriously. Mike Pinder contributes an Indian raga- influenced, sitar-driven ditty called "Sun is Still Shining" next before you get a too-brief reprise of Justin's song "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Million." They end things with a Hayward/Thomas collaboration, "Watching and Waiting," that benefits enormously from Justin's pleasant vocal and some creative Mellotron work from Pinder.

I counted and over half of these songs' lyrics have something to do with being in outer space and maybe that's a clue to understanding why this band was no longer considered cutting edge in 1969. I think they saw themselves as self-appointed gurus to the mostly media-created "let's all go on a groovy acid trip" generation but the real world (and the band's maturing audience) was moving away from that pseudo scene faster than they realized. I readily admit that they were growing as musicians, arrangers and writers but a lot of their music from that era fails to hold up as well as others' does. 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#114846)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was a great concept for an album given the whole man on the moon things too. They were stiill strutting their stuff with conceptually great albums, orchestral arrangements that make some classical music sound bleak. To Our Children's Children's Children will strike up a great chord with future generations of space travel!! They will look back on this think these guys were prophets or something. Musically as I said a very solid album and yet another great MB album to have in your collection. A solid three and a half stars again!
Report this review (#131569)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Moody Blue's 1969 effort, To Our Children's Children's Children, has always been one of the more overlooked works in their "Core 7" string of albums. I have absolutely no idea why that is, because this may very well be the group at its peak, and at their most progressive. The concept dealed with life on space, and the isolation faced by those on Earth who decided not to make the trip to space. There's much more to the story than just discussing man's first trip to space, contrary to what many people believe. Just like their other concept albums, things aren't exactly clear as water regarding the story, and that's what I like, especially with this album. Repeated listenings will reveal more and more things, even if this is far from the most complex music created. For me it's hard to describe in words some of the greatness potrayed on this album. "Higher and Higher" is great with its creative spoken word bits, and Justin Hayward's fine guitar playing. John Lodge's "Eyes of a Child Part 1" is a mystical gem which leads into Ray Thomas's playful "Floating" which in turn has one of the coolest and most spine-tingling segues into the rocking and fast-paced "Eyes of a Child Part 2". Great, great stuff. We then have a short acoustic number by Hayward titled "I never thought I'd live to be a Hundred". Graeme Edge's awesome instrumental, "Beyond", represents a fast trip through space. This song segues into one of Mike Pinder's masterpieces, "Out and In", which demonstrates some otherwordly mellotron. This song is beautiful. "Gyspy" may very well be the most straight-foward track on the album, and features some good strumming and excellent vocals by Hayward. Up next is another tune by Thomas called "Eternity Road". This song is somewhat unusual for Thomas mainly because it's more serious. The end of this song features a flury of flute, mellotron and percussion as it segues smoothly into one of Lodge's finest ballads ever, "Candle of Life". Following that is Mike Pinder's heavily Eastern influenced "Sun is Still Shining". We're nicely brought back to Hayward's "I never thought I'd live to be a Million" which then leads into this grand album's closer, "Watching and Waiting", which was co-wrote by Thomas and Hayward. This song features wonderful mellotron and vocals, and is a somber ending to an epic album in their catologue and an essential piece of Progressive rock.
Report this review (#131588)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every MOODIES fan has their favourite of the superb seven, and this is mine.

This album encompasses such a wide range of sensibilities. 'To Our Children's Children's Children' manages to rock out, such as on the opening track (with a frenzied guitar solo). It has the most maudlin and melancholy music (the closer, 'Watching and Waiting', for example, a HAYWARD tear jerker). The segues here between song fragments, a technique tried less than successfully on the previous album, work perfectly here. Part 2 of 'The Eyes of a Child' is marvelously up-tempo: pure genius. I'll even forgive JOHN LODGE his falsetto for once. They make us wait until most of the way through the first side before they wheel out JUSTIN HAYWARD, and good thing too: much as I marvel at his voice, the MOODIES are far more than a crooner's backing band. Superior compositional skills take the listener on the most intense journey, from 'Eyes of a Child' (its two parts separated by THOMAS' typically whimsical 'Floating') through the fabulous psychedelic 'Beyond', complete with stereo tricks, to PINDER'S lugubrious 'Out and In'. This is fitting, as the album ostensibly celebrates man's journey to the moon. On this album THE MOODY BLUES get the balance exactly right, a balance they never achieve again (despite the title of their next album).

Side two is a slightly more formulaic affair, but the songwriting continues to be top notch. There simply isn't a dud here; every song is a keeper, from the rocky 'Gypsy' through to the haunting 'Watching and Waiting'. This album is by far the most complex they made: so complex, in fact, it proved difficult to play live, as the overdubbery and other studio trickery could not be transposed to a live setting. This, along with the absence of a hit single, limited the popularity of the album, and encouraged the band to strip their sound back for their next endeavour. Such a pity.

Because of its complexity, the perfection of their sound, and the absence of the more overt commercial numbers, this to my mind is the outstanding MOODY BLUES record, and I believe one that everyone should own. You can listen to this one right through without reaching for the skip button. In fact, you'll probably press 'repeat' at the end.

Report this review (#139938)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is one of my favourite Moodies album. Not a masterpiece but a globally pleasant one. The orchestrations are almost gone and several songs are on the rockier / psychedelic edge ("I Never Thought", "Beyond", "Gypsy").

The nice ballads which appear here were definitely an inspiration for the very early "Genesis". But the Moodies are better in this exercise than my beloved "Genesis" (let's be honest : "Revelation" was not at all a good album).

The atmosphere of this album is also very joyful, optimistic. At times, it reminds me some "Caravan" work. I like particularly both "Eyes Of A Child". And the mellotron of course during the pastoral and melodic "Out & In".

The psychedelic atmosphere is present throughout the album. On the soft side , "Eternity Road" is effective and catchy. But I have a special tenderness for these sounds which might not necessarily be the case of you, younger prog fans.

The Oriental (and smoky) mood from "Sun Is Still Shining" has the indelible mark of the Fab Four adventure in India. Not a bad source of inspiration, is it? And one of my fave on this album is the beautiful "Watching & Waiting". Very emotional song which gives a great piece of mind.

All in all a good Moodies album. Three stars (probably seven out of ten if it were possible (come on [email protected])...

Report this review (#164547)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

Now that I think of it, knocking On The Threshold for Dear Diary is just plain stupid. This album, as well as the previous, are complete masterpieces. This, though, with no flaws may be an 11/10. This entire album is just incredible and I love it to death. With the energetic opening of Higher and Higher to the absolutely brilliant and tear jerking Watching and Waiting, this album stuns me. I can't edit my reviews so that 9.5 for threshold must stay as I write this review on Tuesday, May 6th 2008. Once I can edit that, its getting that well deserved 10! But I must say I do enjoy this one sleightly more. I mean, I never thought I'd live... parts are absolutely unheard of. I can't handle them. Please!!! Wow, incredible stuff. Hayward is just a musical genius a musical genius at this time and it shocks me everytime I think of the path he took. The power they had died way too soon...well, I guess it is all the more special that it died young, the songs and albums stand in this spot as pure genius and short lived. My favorite part of this album are the last two tracks intertwining to complete and utter atmospheric bliss; I Never Though I'd Live... and Watching and Waiting. Stop the album now because I can't even handle it. Please listen to this with headphones or something and just embrace the brilliance of this musical ART form that The Moody Blues created. Mike Pinder thank you again for this mellotron work that is out of this world. I hope to give this album to my children's, children's children one day...

Report this review (#170114)
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Probably the least accessible of the magnificent seven, "To Our Children's Children's Children" is meant to be listened to from start to finish, as no track really provides the grip of a "Tuesday Afternoon" or "Never Comes the Day". Instead, the overall effect is generally peaceful and trippy, and best experienced as a whole.

As always, the band knows how to pace the proceedings, with the first "side" consisting of mostly snippets, all being dramatically different yet somehow forming a highly palatable sweet. With all the Moodys innovation in the latter part of the sixties, the idea of a suite of brief tracks had not been explored until now. "Higher and Higher" revels in trademark silly spoken themes as verses, and explores man's ever expanding reach into the cosmos. My favourite remark is a comparison to the power of "ten thousand butterfly sneezes". "Eyes of a Child Part 1" is a much mellower affair with excellent verses and harmony in the choruses, while Ray Thomas continues to explore the moods engendered by psychedelic substances on "Floating". "Eyes of a Child" Part 2 is much rockier and only hearkens back to part 1 in the lyrics of the chorus. "I Never Thought I'd Live to be 100" is a quiet prelude to the moody instrumental "Beyond" in which the band fades in and out of energetic and spacey passages. Quite impressive but not exactly the stuff of 45s. "Out and In" comes closer to this quality but is by no means poppy, but more a mellotron-drenched introspection while still being somewhat catchy.

The mellotromatic theme continues with "Gypsy", probably the standout here, with some fine Hayward acoustic and electric guitars and a wordless chorus that becomes intrinsic to one's experience of the Moodys. The next two tracks go perfectly together, "Eternity Road" and the even better "Candle of Life", both more laid back and spacey with plenty of intermingled mellotrons and guitars. But "Sun is Still Shining" continues this trend to a poor end, requiring illicit substances for appreciation rather than merely being enhanced by such indulgences. In fact, it is really the lack of progression on side 2 which keeps this disc from a perfect rating. The beautiful closer "Watching and Waiting" would have been more powerful had it been paced better, after a more upbeat number perhaps, rather than coming at the end of a nearly incessant downbeat set of tunes.

The implication in the title is that this would be the album by which the Moodys should be remembered. While I doubt this to be the case, it represents them well and should be passed down rather than up.

Report this review (#192031)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars To Our Children's Children's Children is the fifth full-length studio album and the second album release in 1969 by UK progressive rock act The Moody Blues. The predecessor On the Threshold of a Dream was released on the 25th of April 1969 while To Our Children's Children's Children was released on the 21st of November 1969. So two album releases within a seven month period from the band. To Our Children's Children's Children was the first release on The Moody Blues own newly formed Threshold Records.

The music style is very much like the style on On the Threshold of a Dream. I will go as far as to call them sibling albums. The melodic and song oriented pop/ rock style with progressive features like flute and mellotron is still the order of the day. The vocals are pleasant. The album is very consistent and all songs are of good quality in terms of songwriting and performance but like I said in my review of On the Threshold of a Dream I find the music a bit too simple, sweet and nice for my taste. When Mike Pinder´s mellotron is the focus in the music I´m swept away, but it happens too rarely IMO.

The musicianship is good and the warm, full and pleasant sound from the predecessor is also present on this album.

Overall To Our Children's Children's Children is a good song oriented melodic and slightly progressive pop/ rock album that should please the fans of the band. For us casual listeners this is just another one in a long row of good but pretty average releases from the The Moody Blues. A 3 star rating is deserved.

Report this review (#212365)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#243325)
Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Umm, nature feeling here, calm dances with moderate and guided adventure here, feeling of 60s and their symphonic elements, which became somehow their trademark sound. Actually, this is my first review of TMD, but I heard few songs (I think that it was from live version of some kind), so I can compare, at least a little bit. These songs have big part of ambient sounds inside, involved by mellotron (one of reasons why I like TMD), but that's not everything. Melody, I mean really strong one, is something what you won't find much here, because this is about something different. It's about atmosphere, consistence. And all these tracks are making concept album, linked by theme.

3(+), not so catchy and interesting for me at first, maybe next time. I just don't hear, don't Feel meaning in this.

Report this review (#243828)
Posted Friday, October 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Back in the late 1960's, the Moody Blues were a band that just kept chucking out album after album, each one having to deal with some brand of ''concept'' if you will. I usually never care what the concept is as long as the music output is at least decent and honourable. For awhile, I'm led into thinking this is a masterpiece...

This album has Graeme Edge's strongest songs, ''Higher and Higher'' and ''Beyond''. While the former contains the awkward sounding poetry, both are psychedelic splendors with some of the best instrumental performances to grace the Moody Blues canon. In fact, ''Beyond'' kicks off a three song sprint of delight as ''Out and In'' and ''Gypsy'' bring power to the album without being too overpowering.

The rest is a mixed bag. Before ''Beyond'', the songs are fairly decent if not good. ''Eyes of a Child'' sticks out the most here as it's a two parter (''Floating'' separates the two parts) with both parts sounding like night and day (part 1 is soft and acoustic while part 2 is typical of John Lodge's upbeat writing style). Unfortunately, after ''Eternity Road'', CHILDREN'S just plods in soft rock mediocrity; ''Watching and Waiting'' really takes the cake as it's as noneventful as watching water evaporate.

This has the typical Moody Blues sound, so if you're familiar with other (likely earlier) albums, CHILDREN'S shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Nothing earth-shattering, but nothing offensive; it's only slightly better than averagy-average.

Report this review (#260092)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not really progressive??

To Our Children's Children's Children (1969) was the fourth in the series of Moody Blues concept albums. It was inspired by and dedicated to the 1969 moon landings, and it was concerned with the twin themes of space travel and children. This was the first album released on the band's vanity label Threshold. As far as I know the only artists to have done this previously were The Beach Boys (Brother), Frank Zappa (Bizarre) and The Beatles (Apple). This is one of the most symphonic Moodies albums and is also one of their career highlights.

Mike Pinder's Mellotron had been missing from three songs on the previous album, On The Threshold Of A Dream. Here it features on every track apart from Justin Hayward's twin acoustic vignettes. Incidentally, for those who credit King Crimson with revolutionizing the use of the Mellotron, that honour actually goes to the redoubtable Mr Pinder. While I'm on the subject of King Crimson, I remember commentators hailing their debut as the best produced long-player of the era. Well, in my non-expert opinion it must be a near run thing between Court and Children's Children. In fact due to the extent of the lush orchestration and overdubbing on the Moodies album, few of its songs could be performed live (Higher And Higher, Gypsy, Candle Of Life). The Crimson album is beautifully produced, but where I think The Moodies' album is superior is in its atmosphere. When I listen to Children' Children, preferably with headphones, I feel as if I'm in outer space. I've listened to a lot of Hawkwind et al in my time, but nothing comes close to the aura The Moodies create on this recording.

The opening sforzando of Higher And Higher might make you have an unfortunate accident if your system is cranked up high, so beware! This is the first Graeme Edge song to appear on a Moodies album, with his previous contributions having been restricted to poems. After that sudden accented chord at the start, we are treated to Pinder's keyboards simulating a rocket launch along with characteristic Moodies' heavenly choir vocals. The spoken-word lyrics are underpinned by arguably Justin Hayward's greatest ever kick-ass guitar riff and Pinder's intermittent rocket thrusts. The first part of John Lodge's Eyes Of A Child is a classic example of one of those Moodies songs that begins quietly and gradually builds to a rousing chorus. Man, they're good and Justin's acoustic guitarwork is sublime. I was ten years of age at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and schoolchildren were treated to television viewings of the events. This song perfectly captures the feelings of wonder and hope that this accomplishment instilled in us children at the time. Floating is one of Ray Thomas's signature songs and this also deals with its subject matter (family holidays in space!) from a child's perspective. This song actually caused some controversy in the US because it was mistakenly thought that some of the lyrics advocated the taking of drugs. The second part of Eyes Of A Child is a brief minor key rocker that leads to another short piece, Hayward's I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Hundred. This is another song with accomplishment as the theme, with Justin simply accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. There's a similar, and shorter, piece later in the album. King Crimson did something like this with their Peace themes on In The Wake Of Poseidon. Oh yeah, that was the following year.

Beyond is unusual for two reasons; it was only the second Moodies' instrumental, and Graeme Edge composed it. Seems like he was really on a roll here. Out And In features some of the loveliest Mellotron on the disc, and that's saying something because the album is bathed in it. Hayward's Gypsy (Of A Strange And Distant Time) continues the space travel theme, although the message of hope that prevailed earlier in the album is now in doubt as the protagonist is unable to return home to Earth. This is the song that The Moodies chose to open their Royal Albert Hall show (Caught Live + Five), and features the unsurpassable triumvirate of flute, guitar and Mellotron. Eternity Road is one of Tomo's finest songs, with the metaphor of space as an eternal road that the protagonist must search in order to find peace of mind. Flute, guitar and Mellotron in perfect harmony once again. The bittersweet Candle Of Life is a long-time favourite of mine, which now has greater significance as I myself grow old. This is without question one of John Lodge's finest songs; all of the Moodies are on top song-writing form on this album. The Eastern influence that pervaded the Lost Chord album reappears here with the optimistic vision of Pinder's Sun Is Still Shining, featuring his 'Turkish' scale Mellotron mingling with Hayward's sitar. Watching And Waiting is another in a string of successful Hayward/Thomas collaborations. If I had to pick one song that exemplified The Moody Blues, this song would fit the bill. I'm not even going to try to describe its beauty, please just seek out and listen to this wonderful creation.

In response to the 'not really progressive' statement, I guess it depends on what you mean by progressive.

Melodic, melancholic, staggeringly beautiful. Undoubtedly.

Report this review (#275750)
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every personal "best albums" list, no matter how closely in line with general consensus, should contain what I would call a "personal" favorite. That is, there should be an album or two or five on the list that could easily be considered good but goofy and moderately underwhelming from one very arguable point of view, and absolutely breathtakingly amazing from another. For many, for instance, this slot is taken up by Forever Changes, an album I've grown to like overall but which still bothers me with its low degree of stylistic variation throughout. For me, that album is this; I can see lots of people shaking their heads confusedly at the idea of me giving an album like this a perfect score, but to me, this album is absolutely AWESOME, with a sound and a vibe and melodies that are close to my idea of perfection. Cosmic artsy lush universal love-pop, that's what this is, and no matter how much additional music I hear this grabs hold of my heart like few things can.

It's another concept album, more or less based around space travel (appropriate, seeing as this was the year when Man landed on the moon), the passage of time into the eternities, and those of us who are along for the ride. Of course, specific details in interpretations may vary, but that's not what's most important. What is important is that this album, to my ears, is a collection of some of the most overwhelmingly moving, beautiful, and powerful songs ever written, and is certainly the best final product that the group ever comitted to tape.

We kick off with the usual poem, entitled "Higher and Higher," but even if you aren't a fan of Edge's verse style, there are plenty of other things that can make one enjoy this; we start with an explosion, some grandiose harmonies in the background, with the effect of emulating a manned rocket launch, and then this great electric guitar driven rock song takes over, with Pinder pronouncing Man's fate with his best voice of God imitation. And that chorus, "Higher and higher, now we've learned to play with fire, we go higher and higher and higher," is phenomenal! It simply rules, and easily falls into my list of Top Ten Moodies songs. As the opening fury dies away, a lovely harp leads us into the simply gorgeous "Eyes of a Child," with some of Lodge's best writing ever and beautiful group harmonies. And that clarinet part in the beginning is simply perfect. And we've only just begun!

Thomas' "Floating," an ode to the joys of moonwalking, has perhaps the catchiest melody he's ever written, and that "come flooooooating" part ... wow. And as the "you'd liiiike it" fades out, we get "Eyes of a Child II," which RULES! It doesn't exactly 'rock,' but it's fast, and Lodge's clever and memorable lyrical images are cemented in by simply amazing harmonies and a great melody. Oh, by the way, we're not even a third through the album. Next, we get a beautiful, majestic acoustic number from Hayward, with those angelic vocals we've come to expect, entitled "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred." It's gorgeous, and begins the 'passage of time' stretch of the concept. But don't go anywhere, because we get ANOTHER great song from Edge (two in one album? Amazing!), the 'cosmic' instrumental "Beyond." Alternating soaring, heavenly Mellotron sounds with a series of rough, almost really rocking passages, this track certainly carries the listener into space or time or whatever it is as well as one could expect from such a piece. And finally, we get Pinder's soothing Mellotron-soaked mantraesque atmosphere piece, the wonderful "Out and In." Oddly enough, I once somewhat disliked this number, but now I'm not really sure what was wrong with me. All I know now is that it sucks you in, mellows you out, and all of those great things that it so obviously wants to do.

Amazingly, though, side two is even better. I think it would perfectly reasonable to say that Hayward's "Gypsy," Thomas' "Eternity Road," and Lodge's "Candle of Life" are the best three song stretch that can be found on any Moody Blues album. The first is one of the group's signature songs (although it wasn't in the later parts of their career, it was their regular concert opener for several years), a fast rocker with a really dark Mellotron ambience surrounding the fast strumming of the acoustic guitar. The second is another one of Thomas' great songs, with some lovely Hayward harmonies, a great melody, and some lovely flute at the end. Finally, "Candle of Life," regardless of the ridiculous chorus, is beeeeeyooooooooooootiful, as Hayward and Lodge each take half of the verse parts and Pinder's piano part is as gorgeous as can be. Simply phenomenal.

Pinder's next song, "The Sun is Still Shining," isn't any worse than the masterpieces which preceded it, although it's somewhat odd to be getting such a cheerful song from Mike (especially when the last three tracks had all been so dark). It's cool, and you'll be perfectly happy to hear it when it comes on. Anyways, as we head down the home stretch, we get the Hayward reprise "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Million," which helps bring the concept(s) of the album to a completion. Before we leave, though, we get one final dose of Justin's voice in the Hayward-Thomas composition "Watching and Waiting." It's a little weaker than the other tracks on side two, mainly because it's so obvious that they were trying very hard to make another "Nights in White Satin" (Justin has said in many interviews since that the pressure to do so was enormous, and that they were extremely disappointed when "W&W" failed to be a smash). It's pretty, though, and it seems to be a cry of loneliness from a planet with no friends or human inhabitants. Or something pretentious like that. Still lovely stuff.

In short, if I haven't yet convinced you to have this album, I say only this; side two is the best side of Moodies music ever, and side one is the second best. Plus, the overall 'atmosphere' of this work completely and totally defies description - it is like nothing I have ever heard or encountered before, nor do I imagine that this will change in the future. While it doesn't have quite the death grip on me that it once did (I once held this as my second favorite album overall, behind only Revolver), it is still certainly one of my ten favorite albums of all time, and given how much my collection has grown since I first heard this, that says something. This is THE essential album to own for a Moody Blues fan, especially since you will never hear any of the songs on the radio, anywhere. A pity, this is.

Report this review (#279630)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Back in the seventies, I knew quite a few people who thought that this was the best album The Moody Blues had recorded. That was lost on me. Although it had some nice songs, overall it was more of a mixed bag than the preceding three releases. The supposed concept of the album never came through to me, and the many of the songs seemed to fade out before they were finished. I don't know if that was a band or producer's decision.

I do like the two completely different versions of Eyes Of A Child, and occasional parts of the music, but on the whole, I thought that this was a step down for this band.

Report this review (#293606)
Posted Friday, August 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I always felt there was something special about the early Moodies music. This album was one of my favourites for years, but I love all of their work from the classic era. The concept for this release was inspired by the first moon landing and the reverberation on the vocals and lush orchestrations give it a very atmospheric, dreamy feel. The songwriting is excellent and often connected with space travel.

Higher And Higher sets the cosmic mood off well especially with the way Pinder simulates the rocket blast off sound on keyboards. The arrangements in "Eyes Of A Child" are rather splendid. The verse part is particularly melodic and slightly melancholic. Thomas's "Floating" oozes with charm and is one example of why you shouldn't always take this group seriously. "Beyond" is one of the more psychedelic tracks. It also turns eerie in the middle section casting scary images of being alone in space.

All of this stuff is flawless to me but favourites include the floating "Out And In", "Gypsy", the beautiful "Candle Of Life"and "Sun Is Still Shining". The unsuccessful single "Watching And Waiting" is also a nice track which brings the album to a close.

In summary, the music is quite powerful, extremely mellow and rich. I often like to play this music around Christmas time precisely because of its atmosphere and warmth. I give five stars to this wonderful classic. Very highly recommended indeed.

Report this review (#363834)
Posted Saturday, December 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars To Our Children's Children's Children ? 1969 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: Gypsy

Two in one year, a very important year at that, and both of 'em are a couple of winners (one very minor). I can dig it. I don't dig that this is some sort of unparalleled super album, though. How much pot do you have to smoke to think TOCCC is superior to DOFP or my glistening nutsack? It's rad and tubular (bells) and I can listen to a few songs off it in rampant succession and still want more, but it's no goddamn perfect record. Seriously, every singly web review seems to take this album like a work of majesty. Starostin, Prindle, McFarrin, all of them cite this as the band's highest point. But I swear to gobsmack, I don't understand. The classical motifs are back with a vengeance, sure, and it's definitely the best album SINCE Days, but let's not get carried away here.

Maybe it's because I heard the one first. I dunno. I really like the album for crying out loud. 'Eyes of a Child I' has some great singing and 'decent' orchestration. There's some slick stylistic diversity, and they never try and give you too much to handle. It just seems less important than what I'm looking for. The silly concept this time is aging and immortality, but it could just as well be about burgers and fries. In fact, I'd prefer that. This is professional, exciting, and 'Gypsy' sort of rules, but it never really impacts me as a full album. Maybe it's 'Beyond' and the 1960s wiener rock they keep clinging to. Great tunes, though!

Report this review (#440461)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Both one of the Moodies' most successful and cohesive concept albums, and one of the best of various musical explorations of space that came out in 1969 in response to the Moon landing, TOCCC features some of the Moodies' most complex playing - the arrangements being sufficiently dense in some places that they simply couldn't play much of the material live. Lurching from the drama and tension of Higher and Higher to the nursery-rhyme cadences of Eyes of a Child Part I and Floating, before returning to more stirring and dramatic fare with the second part of Eyes of a Child, the album seems various themes emerging again and again over its course, as the band plot a generally optimistic course for mankind's future. A mellotron- heavy masterpiece that attains progressive heights the band would unfortunately shy away from; for their next album they would veer towards simpler songs that were more within their ability to reproduce live.
Report this review (#455768)
Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars 14/15P.: The Moody Blues on their creative peak: a unique and perfectly arranged sonic experience, a journey to the past and to the future at the same time with the most inventive Mellotron production ever made - and one of the definitive statements of '69

Regardless of what one might think about The Moody Blues and their work one has to admit that they worked brilliantly as a unit of pop songwriters and as a unit of arrangers. Even when the compositions became a bit bland, as on a few pieces on Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, the arrangements could make up for it, and when the arrangements were stripped down, as on A Question of Balance the quality of the compositions was high enough to grant the album the status of a genuinely good recording. And this also shows why the Moodies later became a band which we in Germany would assign to the genre "Schlager" (i.e. music with replaceable lyrics about love and stuffed with triviality): they worked as a unit in the 1970s, and when Justin Hayward and John Lodge took over the full duties of a) songwriting, b) singing, c) programming the keyboards and d) programming the drum machine, there was no teamwork anymore, and (needless to say) no compensating sonic depth either.

To Our Children's Children's Children, however, is the opposite and hence is my favorite recording amongst the other Moodies albums. The teamwork has never been better on any of the earlier or later albums: there are ~ 2-3 compositions by each of the band's members, even Graeme Edge is responsible for two pieces - and of them is even instrumental* and perhaps the band's greatest sonic achievement: Beyond, which features a gorgeous motif on a driving space rock rhythm, although the most exciting parts are the short "time slots" inbetween, brief interludes of reverberated Mellotron flutes or half-speed Mellotron strings which really feel like looking through the windows of a spaceship, independent from time and space. Higher And Higher is quite similar, but features Edge's poetry (recited by Mike Pinder's deep voice, at first played through a filter to sound like a radio-transmitted voice), dealing with the journey to the universe, influenced by the moon landing in 1969. As one probably has already noticed this is the topic of the whole album, and interestingly it sound neither dated nor embarassing (listen to Eloy's Power and The Passion) at any place; the songs still are a journey through time and a rewarding listening experience, too, particularly since The Moody Blues were never to be as elaborate in sound construction and experimentation again. The whole first minute of Higher And Higher consists of overdriven electronic sounds which should sound like a spaceship starting and which always remind me of the wind sounds before King Crimson's Schizoid Man.

This also resulted in the unfavorable situation that none of the songs (bar Gypsy, a straight-forward rocker by Justin Hayward with awesome counterpoints by Mellotron and flute) could be performed live. Eyes of A Child Pt.1, for instance, sounds like an old English madrigal with a lot of percussion sounds, important parts played on the bass flute by Ray Thomas and random arpeggio sounds played on a harp. Eyes of A Child itself bookends Ray Thomas's lightweight pop song Floating which is completely simple, but also slightly psychedelic due to the pitch-bent Mellotron vibraphones and the echoing glockenspiel notes; Hayward's lively acoustic guitar picking is also not too bad! I still do not really understand Eyes of A Child Pt.2. It has similar lyrics to part one, but rather is a follow-up to the hard-rocking To Share Our Love from the Moodies' previous album. It simply is by far too short to be acknowledged as a second version of the same song, but it is no distracting filler by any means because it could be the closest the Moody Blues ever came to hard rock. And in a way it also fits this "time window" feeling which many pieces have, this feeling of travelling past short musical miniatures while listening to the album (if you know Brian Eno's Another Green World you will know what I mean).

The two pieces I'd Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Hundred and I'd Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Million fall into the same category and are actually the same piece: 'hundred' are stanzas #1 and #2, 'million' is stanza #3. Written by Justin Hayward, it's a beautiful acoustic ballad (two acoustic guitars, double-tracked Hayward lead vocals) and surprisingly convincing regarding their length. But, again, the whole is larger than the sum of its parts: these interludes are even better in their context as they a) skillfully prepare the succeeding pieces and b) give the album structure (=a frame).

John Lodge's contribution on side 2 of the record is called Candle of Life and is sung by Justin Hayward - nice to hear him singing a song which doesn't sound like a Hayward composition. Mike Pinder weaves his trademark Mellotron strings with lush grand piano counterpoints, making the piece resemble a classical composition in terms of sound. A nice thought experiment to understand how elaborately this album is arranged: imagine the piece lacked Ray Thomas' tambourine and you'll see that Candle of Life wouldn't be as effective. Plenty of beautiful backings vocals again, a song totally in harmony and coherence with itself.

Unfortunately Mike Pinder doesn't deliver one of his trademark longtracks on this album, but his two shorter contributions on TOCCC nonetheless possess the depth which his compositions (mostly) have. Sun is Still Shining is perhaps the weakest track on the record, although it's four stars worth as well, and is one of those one-chord-songs which build up on a single drone and which thus remind the listener of oriental music, apart from the McCartney-esque bass line which appears here and there. The distant sitar licks which stay in the background like a mantra add to this effect and are the last examples of the Moodies' era of eastern-influenced psychedelic music (except for the short reminiscence in 1970's Procession). The chorus diversifies the song and offers some wonderfully accurate Mellotron pitchbends and a few notes of lead guitar. It could be these two elements which give the piece its space rock flavour, instead of the Indian sound of Om which was also led by sitars. Out and In, Mike Pinder's contribution on side 1, is perfect and a more typical Moody Blues track with Hayward's rock'n'roll licks underneath the carpet of Mellotron strings, again pitch-bent most perfectly. Originally, on the LP cover the song was credited to both John Lodge and Mike Pinder (by the way - listening to this album as a LP with groove sizzling and the wonderfully painted 31cmx62cm gatefold is a sublime experience which I can only recommend); nobody seems to know why Lodge appeared, but seemingly it was a mistake since the reissues delete him again. The song's classy and comparatively frugal rock sound make Out and In the secret highlight on this album to me.

The only band member which is still left is Ray Thomas, and his contributions are well able to stand up to the other songs on the album. Eternity Road fits in perfectly well with this slightly nostalgic 18th century sound, paired with the futuristic soundscapes. In a way it's the pendant to Out and In with tasteful guitar licks woven with the Mellotron. Again the composition is awesome; just listen to how the Mellotron echoes the 'here he comes' which Ray sings in the beginning of the stanzas. A reviewer praised the last minute of the piece to be one of the finest acoustic rock'n'roll fade-outs ever. I do agree with that, it is in fact full of energy with swirling flutes, but maintaining the lush tenderness which ties the compositions gathered on this album together. Watching and Waiting could have become a kitschy affair, but the 'we stuff this piece to the gills with Mellotron strings'-approach is so highly successful that I always replay this piece one or two times. Basically, Watching and Waiting is one of those torch songs which have this slight jazz influence and the reflective-wishful mood throughout. Expect for some hi-hat washes the drums are mixed totally in the background, it's the acoustic guitar which gives the rhythm and the rest is essentially Mellotron strings. And, as it is the case everywhere on this album, Mike Pinder resisted the temptation to only play chords, but rather arranged it like an orchestra instead, with different layers with different dynamics and equalizer/tone settings, a single high note placed at one place or another - it does sound like an orchestra, and as a child I wouldn't have believed that all of these sounds come from a keyboard instrument! The lyrics of the song are, yes, wishful. "Mole he is burrowing his way to the sunlight, he knows there's someone there so strong". Yes, it's a storybook metaphor, clearly influenced by the first chapters of The Wind in the Willows, but the song is perfectly uplifting and emotionally intense, unlike many of the Moody Blues ballads one had to suffer in the late 1980s. And the metaphor also fits the topic of the album, and the thoughts of those days: transcending the borders of one's mind, meditation, reflecting oneself from a sufficiently distant position. And also the parallel scientific progress: flying to the moon, travelling through space, but also the self-abandoning Major Tom idea, and alienation in a world in which a war as cold-hearted as the Vietnam War disputed the peace-led idealism. 1969, being on a voyage into an unexploited, but lonely world - the spaceship team compared with a mole in the earth. And the craving for "someone to understand" you. Yes, that's how I - from the perspective of a German who was born in the 1990s - imagines the spirit of the late 1960s, an age which wasn't paradisiac at all, but an age in which one thought about relevant things and one could find both emotional and intellectual fulfillment in music and art.

And although this romanticistic and idealist approach to music, as it is omnipresent on the Moody Blues' albums, cannot cover all situations (indeed I'm glad to be able to listen to punk rock, electro/house etc., too), I'm utterly glad to have such an album, a relic from a time passed, but a relic that has never aged much. It's an important part of my record collection, and I recommend this unique listening experience to everyone who is interested in progressive and art rock. This could be the definitive Moody Blues album, and even if you don't like the band too much because they're too soft - this album (and "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour") could appeal to you!

(I don't own the 5.1 remix, but I know the BBC session which is added on the bonus version. It's actually like "Caught Live", a highly recommendable live recording with lots of atmosphere, but unfortunately the pieces are shortened gravely, perhaps due to time restraints in the transmission. The band runs through the pieces and this makes the concert hard to enjoy. So, buy "Caught Live" instead if you are only interested in the live versions. The alternate versions could be of interested as there are, as far as I know, some full-length versions around, but the main point of interest should be the 5.1 remix, although I don't know how this job was done!)

* for your information: Graeme Edge only wrote quite a lot of poems on the Moodies' first albums, but never composed any music!

Report this review (#505006)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars The Moody Blues fifth album "To Our Children's Children's Children" may not be as inventive or ground breaking as the lush symphonic debut but this is still a strong album influenced by the concept of space travel and its impact on future generations.

Justin Hayward on guitars and lead vocals is sensational on this album. The consistent rhythm machine of John Lodge's bass and Graeme Edge's drums are a wonderful backdrop where Michael Pinder on keyboards and Ray Thomas on harmonica and flute can solo over. Higher And Higher begins with space rocket effects and a blitzkrieg of pounding percussion and soaring guitar.

Eyes Of A Child is on more familiar territory, a track featuring the cool harmonies and peaceful textures that have become trademark for the band. This song is found on most Moody Blues compilations and is well known as a result.

Other highlights include the psychedelic Floating, the acoustic reflective I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Hundred, and the rocking Beyond, with strings and melodic guitars. The balance is played around with fluctuating from left to right speakers which is a trippy effect. The songs fade out quickly and are very short but it maintains the interest, and certain melodies fade in and out during songs. There is a lot of emphasis on space travel on the album, or themes about escaping into the stratosphere such as the symphonic Out and In. The concept was injected to celebrate Man's landing on the moon at the time.

Gypsy is another of the quintessential tracks for the band with haunting flute and majestic strings on mellotron. The melody has a mystical interstellar soundscape and this is perhaps one of the band's greatest triumphs.

Eternity Road is a psychedelic gem with Hayward at his best. Then song after song continues the peaceful relaxing atmosphere including Candle Of Life, Sun Is Still Shining, I Never Thought I'd Live To Be A Million and closing with the mellotron soaked beauty of Watching And Waiting.

"To Our Children's Children's Children" is a relaxing journey into space and The Moody Blues excel on such conceptual albums. Some of their later releases are nowhere this quality and one thing that can be stated is the music is serene and accessible to any lover of beautiful music. This is their second best album and the last great Moody Blues treasure.

Report this review (#602338)
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Anyone who looks at the history of progressive rock cannot deny the influence that psychedelic rock music had on the genre. Some of the first progressive rock bands started off as psychedelic rock/pop bands (Yes, Pink Floyd). The Moody Blues did the same with the release of Days of Future Passed (if you take away the symphonic interludes). Yet despite the greatness and influence that album had, it still had a distinct psychedelic feel. On To Our Children's Children's Children, The Moody Blues creates an album that truly shows to us how and when the psychedelic rock genre evolved into progressive rock.

The album opens with Higher and Higher, which takes us off into the vast grandness of space with the blast of a rocket. At first, it appears to be somewhat of dark psychedelic music. Slowly, we hear the guitar enter and Pinder begins to quote Edge's poetry. The song then delves into a pseudo-instrumental with both psychedelic and hard rock elements.

Eyes of a Child Pt. 1, written by Lodge, is a surprising piece for him, who has often been associated with the band's more rocking moments (Peak Hour, Ride My See-Saw). Beautiful and delicate, it shows that Lodge is able to step out of his comfort zone.

Thomas' Floating is very light (both musically and lyrically) compared to the previous two songs, but it gives the listener a chance to relax; to feel as if they really are floating and making "sixty foot leaps."

Lodge returns to his typical style by turning Eyes of Child Pt. 2 into a rock number. Despite this, it is as enjoyable as Part 1.

Hayward enters the album with I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred. On any other album, it would sounds like a filler song, yet here it provides the perfect bridge between two rock numbers.

Beyond, a groovy space-rock instrumental, is surprisingly written by Edge, who usually only does poetry for the band. The song fades in and out, taking the listener for a journey deep into the cosmos.

Out and In, a rare collaboration of Lodge and Pinder, is a delicious treat featuring elements of both Pinder's and Lodge's songwriting styles.

Gypsy is a unique piece in the Moody Blue's library. Here we see a third member step out of his comfort zone. Hayward, who often writes the band's more gentle and romantic songs, writes a song that is both heavy (for them) and lyrically dark. May be unusual for Mr. Hayward, but that is what makes it one of my favorites.

Thomas produces another piece called Eternity Road, which reminds me of Legend of a Mind. They are not musically similar, but it is comparable to when he wrote the child-like Dr. Livingstone I Presume? and Legend of the Mind on the same album, which were so different that you would think two different people wrote it. Same with Floating and Eternity Road. A beautiful psychedelic piece that paints a picture of space vastness. I would argue that this is the Moody Blues MOST underrated song.

Lodge surprises us once again with Candle of Life, which you would think was written by Hayward. Filled with piano, gentle guitar, and psychedelic atmospheres, it is definitely one of the album's highlights.

Pinder finally gives us a sole contribution is Sun is Still Shining. While not like The Voyage from the previous album, it is an enjoyable song with some funk and folk elements to lead us back on our journey back to our planet.

We are brought back down to Earth with I Never Thought I'd Get to be a Million, a reprise of the song of the somewhat same name. Like before, though short, it is perfectly placed, allowing us to catch our breath from our journey through space.

The closer, Watching and Waiting, allows us who remain on Earth to contemplate everything we have seen in the heavens and beyond. One of the most beautiful songs produced by the Moody Blues. It is a shame that this song, released as a single, never made it into the charts.

Normally, I take careful consideration in whether or not to give an album five stars, no matter how good it is. This album deserves every single star that is given to it. Essential for progressive rock, psychedelic rock, classic rock, and 60's fans.

Report this review (#875519)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now I am finally really impressed of what I hear from The Moody Blues. To our children's children's children from 1969 is The Moody Blues' fifth studio record and it is absolutely the best I have heard from that band. The powerful arrangements and the very deep sound that is present all the time make this a really good plate. I love the cover picture where we can se a hand painting pictures from our time on a wall. It's a holy picture, I feel the band wants to tell their descendants about their time. The colours go in red and orange. I also like the name of the record.

With this one I fiannly got real respect for The Moody Blues. These thirteen songs are emotionally deep and the melodies are harmonic. The sound from the instruments are heavy and deep. It feels like there are many sounds all the time and the penetrating organ is the key ingredient for that. On this album Justin Hayward sings and plays guitar, John Lodge blays bass and sings, Michael Pinder plays keyboards and sings, Ray Thomas plays flute, harmonica and sings and Graeme Edge drums and plays percussion.

All their earlier recordings, the songs are melted together so the end of one song is the next's start. It gives everything a nice flow. The first song "Higher and Higher" is marvelous and more powerful than any Moody Blues thing before. The sound really conquers the room(10/10). The record contains to more perfect tracks: "Beyond" which truely is something beyond the common(10/10) and "Eternity Road" (10/10) which has a very rich soundscape. The dramatic "Gypsy"(9/10) and the beautiful "Candle of life"(9/10) as well as "Watching and waiting"(9/10) are also wonderful and everything else on this album is alos great. Unlike their former recordings this whole record is placed beyond common pop music. The music has left it's gaiety and become heavy, rich and progressive. My rating of To Our Children's Children's Children will be 4,31 = 4 stars!

Report this review (#1110367)
Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Along with Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues were an early venture for me into non-metal- related progressive rock. Their "Days of Future Passed" was the first compact disc I ever bought (back in 1989) and the only CD I owned for a couple of years. Impressed by this first acquisition, I looked at their other classic era albums and without knowing one from the other, I bought "To Our Children's Children's Children".

From the onset, I really got into this album. The opening track "Higher and Higher" has such excitement and promise. Justin Hayward's vocal delivery sounds like an optimistic narrator for a "promise of human kind in space" documentary. The lyrics capture that enthusiasm and optimism:

"Vast vision must improve our sight / Perhaps at last we'll see and end / To our own endless blight / And the beginning of the free / Climb to tranquility / Finding it's real worth / Conceiving the heavens / Florishing on earth"

The song also features some terrific fuzz tone guitar, making this a very accessible to an 80's metalhead who became enamoured with the psychedelic guitar sounds on the late 60's.

The next two songs capture the Moody's more childlike character with gentle music, pretty melodies and lines like, "The candy stores will be brand new". However, "Eyes of a Child Pt. 2" comes in rock band packaging with more electric guitar. A short acoustic guitar number about a sun that has turned 100 (years? eons?) concludes this set.

The instrumental "Beyond" is a highlight for me. It begins with an intense and busy guitar and flute rock piece which is then eclipsed by an ominous drone of notes that makes me imagine humans busying themselves in space for the first part and then the enormity of the celestial bodies and vastness of space in the second part. A second busy theme floods in and once more human beings and their space craft are rushing about hither thither, only to be replaced by a pretty pair of flutes creating a vision of a Catherine-wheeling space station orbiting over the earth as the sun comes in a blaze of light over the horizon. The piece concludes with more playful humans in space active and occupied.

"Out and In" wraps up side one in a more gentle and emotive Moody Blues fashion.

Side two seems to focus more on space adventure with more mature and lively themes in "Gypsy" and "Eternity Road". Some great songs here. We get a little mellower and reflective with "Candle of Life" and "Sun is Still Shining". The Moody Blues write some pretty eloquent and evocative lyrics, a very poetic and English take on the Age of Aquarius sentiment.

Our sun has become a million in the brief track to follow and "Watching and Waiting" is the obligatory slow tempo album closer with strings and lyrics about a lonely entity, quite likely the Earth, offering its bountiful fruits to all its inhabitants. Perhaps there is a message here for us to not neglect our home in our rush to conquer space.

After five Moody Blues albums and a double-disc compilation of their career from 1967 to around 2005, this album still resonates with me the most. One of the first albums you should hear by this band!

Report this review (#1289201)
Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#1440385)
Posted Monday, July 13, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars When discussing the best Moody Blues album, the common answer given is Days of Future Passed, which contain the classics "Night in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon", as well as being one of the first bands to incorporate a symphony into their music. Even from a progressive rock standpoint, if there were no Moodies, there would be no King Crimson, so DOFP would deserve the most respect. While I can't deny how much of an impact that album had, I believe To Our Children's Children's Children is the one deserving of the title of best Moody Blues album. It deserves to be placed alongside DOFP as being influential of the progressive rock genre. There's no doubting that psychedelic rock had a huge influence on the genre and this album is the missing link which showed that moment when it made that transition.

When discussing the material on this album, I feel it necessary to discuss it in regards to each individual musician's contribution rather than the songs individually. One of the strengths of this album is that all the band-mates actually step out of their comfort zone when it comes to sound. I've always considered that to be the sign of a good musician and the Magnificent Moodies, while not the most technical or profound, certainly fit that bill.

Justin Hayward (guitars) and John Lodge (bass) act as the band's two main songwriters. The former focuses on softer songs (like Nights in White Satin) and the latter tends to write "rock-n-roll" songs (i.e. Ride My See-Saw). While Justin contributes with his traditional sound with the album finale Watching and Waiting, he pulls a surprising curve ball with Gypsy, a song that is surprisingly dark and heavy for a Moody Blues song. The change pays off as it is one of the best songs in Justin's repertoire. On the other hand, Lodge doesn't write a single "rock" song on this album. His two main contributions are the two part Eyes of a Child and Candle of Life, the latter being one of my favorites by the Moodies with it's soft symphonic sounds tinged with psychedelic rock melodies. Even if I didn't like the songs, I would respect the two of them for trying something new, but it works very well for them and I'm a little sad that neither of them tried to do it again after this album.

I must confess that whenever a song by Graham Edge (drums) or Mike Pinder (keyboards) comes on, I always feel the temptation to hit the skip button. I don't really care for Graham's poetry overtaking the music and I find Pinder's songs boring; experimentalism with no adventure. However, both of them pull a pleasant surprise with their contributions to the album. In regards with Pinder's work,Out and In is mellow rock song drenched in psychedelica and Sun is Still Shining is best described as a playful funk/folk song. Graham finally writes a full song with the opening Higher and Higher which starts loud, calms, and then continues to slow build up until the instruments climax. Beyond took me completely by surprise. Written by Graham, it is an extremely catchy instrumental that connects the two sides of the album. Being used to him just writing poetry, I was honestly shocked that he wrote an instrumental of this caliber.

And last but not least, Ray Thomas (flute), the unsung hero of the band. Despite not writing the most popular songs, his work always tends to be a personal favorite of mine ("Twilight Time", "Legend of a Mind", "Dear Diary"). The two best songs on the album, which truly encapsulate the feeling of space, are written by him. Floating is very light and playful, reflecting the lyrics of a hotel resort on the moon, where people spend their time carelessly jumping 60 feet in the air. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever heard a song capture the open, mysterious, endless beauty of the cosmos as in Eternity Road, which is, bar none, the Moodies' most underrated work.

Actually, that can be applied to this entire album. Unlike the other classic seven albums, this one does not have a "hit" song on it. Yet for all the adventurous material, stepping out of comfort zones, and wonderful sounds and orchestrations, To Our Children's Children's Children easily deserves the five star rating and the title of "Best Moody Blues album."

Report this review (#1506307)
Posted Sunday, January 3, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm delighted to see how many reviewers have given this album five stars. Don't know yet which way I'll round my 4˝ stars... I won't speculate how progressive The Moody Blues were, and for the large number of reviews I'll try to be short. This album is, at least to some degree, a conceptual one inspired by space exploration and the technical evolution of mankind. On the sharply rocking opener 'Higher and Higher' the band made up their own sound effect for a rocket, unsatisfied with the real thing by NASA. The song was written by Graeme Edge and the narrator's voice belongs to Mike Pinder. John Lodge's 'Eyes of a Child' has a very beautiful melody and the vocal harmonies are lovely as usual. Ray Thomas looks at space age from a more naive perspective in his sympathetic 'Floating', foillowed by the brief and edgier Pt. 2 of 'Eyes of a Child'. The instrumental 'Beyoand' is IMHO the worst track, it sounds terribly outdated in its psychedelia.

The B side is notably more coherent; each song, with the exception of Mike Pinder's average 'Sun Is Still Shining', is marvelous, full of the best Moody Blues magic. 'Gypsy', 'Eternity Road', 'Candle of Life', 'Watching and Waiting'.... Wow! This is a lovely album indeed, and so I'll give the full rate, despite some little marks of imperfection.

Report this review (#1649082)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars Depending on one's view, no artist celebrated or exploited the 60's counterculture quite like the Moody Blues. From a homage to acid guru Timothy Leary to all manner of hippy dippy lyricism, the Moody's were quite in a league of their own. With the release of this, their forth conceptual album To Our Children's Children's Children, the group jumped away from the 'love in' topics and jumped onto the space exploration/moon landing craze of 1969 and put together one of their least dated sounding albums of their late 60's albums run.

Starting with an authentic sounding Saturn rocket lift off (all studio trickery), the group catapult the listener from Graham Edge poetry on "Higher And Higher", not one of his better ones unfortunately, into the driving "Eyes Of A Child" that is broken up into two pieces by a whimsical Ray Thomas song called "Floating". "Floating" is uplifting and infectious and actually sounds as if it was written with a child in mind. So far so good. This is followed by a lovely acoustic guitar ballad by Justin Hayward titled "I Never Thought I'd Live to Be A Hundred". All the songs, which are banded together and flow into and out of one another, are quickly over before the listener can catch a breath. That comes immediately with with a slight instrumental that features an insistent 2/4 beat with a repeating Mellotron driven melody that unfortunately goes nowhere fast. Authored by drummer Graham Edge, this must have been his "Ringo takes the spotlight moment". Edge's "Beyond" is the weakest track on the album. Fortunately, keyboard extraordinaire Mike Pinder ends the album's original side one with "Out And In", another of his gentle philosophical songs that's bathed in all manner of lush sweeping Mellotron.

The original vinyl's side two starts with Hayward's strident and dramatic" Gypsy", A song about some lost space traveler rocketing around the universe alone "without a hope of coming home". It's one of guitarist Justin Hayward's most underappreciated songs and is a cornerstone to the album. Ray Thomas' "Eternity Road", a good that's well sung, seems out of place both lyrically and musically, but the song doesn't break the album's spell. Intermediately following is the exquisite "Candle Of Life". The song, written by bassist John Lodge but wisely song by Hayward, is a clinic of lush layered Mellotron and piano accents from Pinder that boasts a gorgeous melody and truly moving lyrics, save the "flower power" vocal chant of "Love everybody and make them your friend" in the song's middle eight section. Truly cringe worthy stuff (even for an old hippy like me) but this cliched flower power intrusion is gone quickly before the song returns to it's gorgeous melody and lyrics.

Unfortunately, the flower power vibe returns full blast with Pinder's eastern tinged "Sun Is Still Shining" which merges Arabic sounding mellotron scales with ridiculously outdated (even for 1969) sitar. This song actually breaks the space traveler vibe of the album for me, but all's well again with Hayward's melodically melancholy ballad "Watching And Waiting". The album's stunning closing track, "Watching And Waiting" is one of those emotional songs that only Hayward could write and sing, and only Pinder could magnificently orchestrate with his virtual arsenal of Mellotrons. In fact, no following Moody's albums would be as lush, layered and overdubbed as TOCCC.

The album does suffer from some period production shortcomings, particularly the use of Sgt. Pepper's-like recording tricks from time to time, but this really didn't detract from my enjoyment of the album. 4 stars seems about right for as enjoyable as TOCCC is, there is something missing about the album that I feel makes it truly essential and classic. Perhaps I should dig out my old water pipe from the attic and give it another spin.

Report this review (#2278267)
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | Review Permalink

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