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The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog

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The Moody Blues To Our Children's Children's Children album cover
4.08 | 459 ratings | 51 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Higher and Higher (4:06)
2. Eyes of a Child (2:23)
3. Floating (3:03)
4. Eyes of a Child, Pt. 2 (1:21)
5. I Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Hundred (1:06)
6. Beyond (2:57)
7. Out and In (3:43)
8. Gypsy (3:34)
9. Eternity Road (4:18)
10. Candle of Life (4:18)
11. Sun Is Still Shining (3:37)
12. I Never Thought I'd Live to Be a Million (0:34)
13. Watching and Waiting (4:19)

Total Time 39:19

Bonus tracks on 2008 Threshold remaster:
14. Gypsy (alternate version) (4:16)
15. Candle of Light (alternate version) (4:55)
16. Sun Is Still Shining (extended version) (4:03)
17. Have You Heard / The Voyage / Have You Heard (5:50) *
18. Legend of a Mind (4:33) *

* BBC Radio One "David Symond's Show" concert recorded at the BBC Paris Theatre, London on December 17, 1969.

Line-up / Musicians

- Justin Hayward / acoustic & electric guitars, sitar, lead vocals (5,8,10,12,13)
- Michael Pinder / piano, Mellotron, Hammond, celesta, VCS3 synth, acoustic guitar, double bass, lead vocals (7,11), spoken voice (1)
- Ray Thomas / flute, bass flute, oboe, tambourine, lead vocals (3,9)
- John Lodge / bass, acoustic guitar, harp, lead vocals (2,4,10)
- Graeme Edge / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Phil Travers

LP Threshold ‎- THM 1 (1969, UK) Mono
LP Threshold - THS-1 (1969, UK) Stereo

CD Threshold Records ‎- 820 364-2 (1986, Europe)
CD Threshold Records - 844770 (1997, UK) Remastered by Steven Fallone
CD Threshold Records ‎- B0011212-02 (2008, US) Remastered by Alberto Parodi & Justin Hayward with 5 bonus tracks remastered by Paschal Byrne

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE MOODY BLUES To Our Children's Children's Children ratings distribution

(459 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE MOODY BLUES To Our Children's Children's Children reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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.
Review by loserboy
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.

Review by daveconn
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.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.
Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Watcheroftheskies
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.
Review by Philo
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.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by ClemofNazareth
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 naïve, 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.


Review by Heptade
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.
Review by 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.

Review by Blacksword
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.

Review by Chicapah
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.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!
Review by russellk
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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
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 M@x)...

Review by kenethlevine
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.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "To Our Children's Children's Children" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act The Moody Blues. The album was released through Threshold Records in November 1969. Itīs the successor to "On the Threshold of a Dream" which was released on the 25th of April 1969, so thatīs two full-length studio 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 on "To Our Children's Children's Children" is similar to 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, accessible, and the harmonies are smooth and well sounding. The album is consistent in quality in terms of songwriting, musicianship, and production values. Itīs sometimes almost a little too polished and nice, and a few more rocking parts and just a little bit of grit would have made the material more interesting. Album opener "Higher and Higher" features some grit and harder rocking parts and itīs great to hear the band rock out (the instrumental "Beyond" has a little of it too). The second track "Eyes of a Child I" however immediately takes us into mellow and tranquill semi-progressive pop/rock territory again.

One of the great assets of the music is the parts where Mike Pinderīs mellotron is the focus, which provides the material with an epic symphonic quality. The instrumentation is generally well arranged and pleasant sounding. Upon conclusion "To Our Children's Children's Children" is a good quality song oriented melodic and slightly progressive pop/rock album. To my ears "Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time)" with its hard rocking basis and slighly darker atmosphere is one of the highlights of the album, but it is generally an album without many standout tracks. Quite a few of the songs are very similar in their slow, melodic, and layered pop/rock style, and not much unconventional happens. I dare say some of the album is therefore a little dull. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Sinusoid
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.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by tarkus1980
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Warthur
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.
Review by Einsetumadur
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!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by FragileKings
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!

Review by Matti
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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I've bought the double CD release with bonus tracks and definitely recommend it for Moody Blues offer the one kind of moody and dreaming landscape with lyrical singing, more down-to-earth music as opposed to psychedelic "In search of a dream". This means to me also that there are fewer progressi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2433824) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, July 31, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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 T ... (read more)

Report this review (#2278267) | Posted by SteveG | Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1506307) | Posted by Ghost_of_Prog | Sunday, January 3, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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 son ... (read more)

Report this review (#1440385) | Posted by Mr. Gone | Monday, July 13, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 ti ... (read more)

Report this review (#1110367) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, January 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 Pass ... (read more)

Report this review (#875519) | Posted by SpectralHorizons | Thursday, December 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#440461) | Posted by Alitare | Friday, April 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 g ... (read more)

Report this review (#363834) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, December 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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

Report this review (#243325) | Posted by sealchan | Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 energ ... (read more)

Report this review (#170114) | Posted by The Lost Chord | Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#131588) | Posted by Kyle | Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 C ... (read more)

Report this review (#110080) | Posted by bluetailfly | Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 aco ... (read more)

Report this review (#75886) | Posted by ProgHappy | Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 und ... (read more)

Report this review (#71456) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 s ... (read more)

Report this review (#67782) | Posted by kristo68 | Wednesday, February 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#52037) | Posted by | Sunday, October 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#49985) | Posted by Tonbridge Man | Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 experimen ... (read more)

Report this review (#35877) | Posted by titfortat03 | Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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. ... (read more)

Report this review (#15679) | Posted by | Thursday, April 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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 ea ... (read more)

Report this review (#15678) | Posted by | Thursday, April 7, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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