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THE MOODY BLUES

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Moody Blues picture
The Moody Blues biography
Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, UK - Suspended activity between 1974 and 1977 - Still active as of 2017

Imitation. Innovation. Sensation. That pretty much sums up the first phase of THE MOODY BLUES. Their 1965 debut, "The Magnificent Moodies", was your standard British Invasion record; R&B covers and originals from Mike Pinder and Denny Laine that included an earlier #1 hit single, "Go Now". In 1967, Justin Hayward and John Lodge replaced Laine and Rod Clarke, and what followed was the stunningly original "Days of Future Passed".

Featuring orchestral arrangements and introducing to many ears the transcendent tones of the mellotron, that work almost single-handedly set the stage for the progressive rock movement. Subsequent albums confirmed the band's status as England's newest sensation: "On The Threshold of a Dream", "A Question of Balance", "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" and "Seventh Sojourn" all hit #1. Hibernation of a sort followed in the mid '70s, as each member of the band released solo albums (Hayward and Lodge had the most success with their 1975 effort, "BLUE JAYS")!

The band regrouped in the '80s and picked up where they left off (commercially anyway) with "Long Distance Voyager". Though the '90s found the Moodies less of a commercial force than a cult band, the group still tours and releases albums on occasion (including 1999's "Strange Times"). Their mix of sentimentalism and existentialism still resonates with listeners today, a point perhaps best made when the band was invited to play themselves on that most trendy of television shows, The Simpsons.

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THE MOODY BLUES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE MOODY BLUES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.28 | 87 ratings
The Magnificent Moodies [Aka: The Beginning]
1965
4.17 | 787 ratings
Days Of Future Passed
1967
3.84 | 401 ratings
In Search Of The Lost Chord
1968
3.77 | 344 ratings
On The Threshold Of A Dream
1969
4.10 | 373 ratings
To Our Children's Children's Children
1969
3.51 | 289 ratings
A Question Of Balance
1970
3.54 | 288 ratings
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
1971
3.69 | 277 ratings
Seventh Sojourn
1972
2.72 | 145 ratings
Octave
1978
3.31 | 202 ratings
Long Distance Voyager
1981
3.02 | 120 ratings
The Present
1983
2.25 | 100 ratings
The Other Side Of Life
1986
2.39 | 78 ratings
Sur La Mer
1988
2.76 | 74 ratings
Keys Of The Kingdom
1991
2.59 | 80 ratings
Strange Times
1999
2.51 | 63 ratings
December
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 55 ratings
Caught Live + 5
1977
3.43 | 35 ratings
A night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphonic Orchestra
1993
3.87 | 24 ratings
Hall of Fame - Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000
2000
3.57 | 14 ratings
Lovely To See You Live
2005
2.76 | 18 ratings
Live At The BBC: 1967 - 1970
2007
3.30 | 19 ratings
Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2008
4.08 | 3 ratings
The Days of Future Passed Live
2018

THE MOODY BLUES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.22 | 8 ratings
Legend of a Band
1990
3.28 | 22 ratings
A Night At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (DVD)
1993
4.04 | 11 ratings
Hall Of Fame
2000
2.15 | 17 ratings
The Lost Performance: Live in Paris '70
2004
3.32 | 15 ratings
Lovely To See You Live (DVD)
2005
2.57 | 9 ratings
Live at Montreux 1991
2005
3.98 | 8 ratings
Classic Artists: The Moody Blues
2006
3.54 | 17 ratings
Threshold of a Dream - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Days of Future Passed Live
2018

THE MOODY BLUES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 6 ratings
Go Now - Moody Blues #1 [Aka: In The Beginning]
1965
4.33 | 56 ratings
This Is The Moody Blues
1974
2.31 | 7 ratings
Voices In The Sky - The best of The Moody Blues
1985
2.54 | 17 ratings
Prelude
1987
3.85 | 12 ratings
Greatest Hits
1989
4.26 | 21 ratings
Time Traveller (Box set)
1994
1.18 | 2 ratings
True Story
1996
3.05 | 8 ratings
The Best Of Moody Blues
1997
2.16 | 6 ratings
The Moody Blues Anthology
1998
2.72 | 5 ratings
The Best of Moody Blues - 20th Century Masters
2000
3.81 | 7 ratings
The Singles +
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ballads
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Say It With Love
2003
3.81 | 7 ratings
Gold
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Moody Blues Collected
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
Playlist Plus
2008
4.80 | 5 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
3.14 | 3 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Timeless Flight
2013

THE MOODY BLUES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
Steal Your Heart Away
1964
2.80 | 5 ratings
Go Now!
1964
2.00 | 3 ratings
I Don't Want to Go On Without You
1965
2.00 | 3 ratings
Everyday
1965
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Moody Blues E.P.
1965
2.83 | 5 ratings
From The Bottom Of My Heart
1965
2.00 | 3 ratings
Boulevard De La Madelaine
1966
4.53 | 19 ratings
Nights In White Satin
1967
2.67 | 3 ratings
Life's Not Life
1967
3.00 | 4 ratings
Fly Me High
1967
3.15 | 8 ratings
Voices in the Sky
1968
4.00 | 10 ratings
Tuesday Afternoon
1968
3.81 | 12 ratings
Ride My See-Saw
1968
3.86 | 7 ratings
Voices In The Sky
1968
4.00 | 5 ratings
Never Comes the Day
1969
4.00 | 9 ratings
Watching and Waiting
1969
4.75 | 14 ratings
Melancholy Man
1970
4.13 | 13 ratings
Question
1970
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Story In Your Eyes
1971
4.11 | 10 ratings
Isn't Life Strange
1972
3.83 | 6 ratings
I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
1973
2.67 | 7 ratings
Steppin' in a Slide Zone
1978
3.20 | 5 ratings
Had to Fall in Love
1978
3.50 | 4 ratings
Driftwood
1978
3.50 | 4 ratings
Gemini Dream
1981
4.33 | 6 ratings
The Voice
1981
3.20 | 6 ratings
Talking Out Of Turn
1981
3.83 | 7 ratings
Blue World
1983
2.29 | 6 ratings
Sitting at the Wheel
1983
3.20 | 5 ratings
Running Water
1984
3.75 | 9 ratings
Your Wildest Dreams
1986
3.75 | 5 ratings
I Know You're Out There Somewhere
1988
3.50 | 5 ratings
No More Lies
1988
1.24 | 7 ratings
Bless The Wings
1991
3.50 | 4 ratings
English Sunset
1999
3.00 | 2 ratings
December Snow
2003

THE MOODY BLUES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In Search Of The Lost Chord by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.84 | 401 ratings

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In Search Of The Lost Chord
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq

3 stars To a large extent, this album picks up where the group's previous effort, Days of Future Passed, left off. Given the relative success of Days of Future Passed, this makes sense. In particular, 'Voices in the Sky,' 'The Actor,' and 'Ride My See-Saw' help In Search of the Lost Chord sound like a logical next step for the band.

Among the elements the Moodies kept from their prior album were the poetry recitations ('Departure' and 'The Word'), the use of multiple lead singers (no one sings lead on more than three of the twelve tracks), and, throughout the album, an odd mixing formula which often seems to crank up the solo vocals and overhead drum mics while drenching the choruses in reverb and placing them back in the mix. All of this, plus the liberal use of the Mellotron, make it impossible to confuse this for anything but late-1960s Moody Blues album.

There are some significant changes from Days of Future Passed, though; most notably, there's no orchestra this time. Compared to Days of Future Passed, the concept here (a 'search,' to quote the album title, or a journey of exploration) is vague and abstract, and I wonder whether, without the constraints of a more concrete theme, the Moodies wound up emulating the Beatles, subconsciously or not.

For example, 'Dr. Livingstone, I Presume' sounds like an attempt at mixing McCartney's playfulness and Lennon's psychedelia, but the Moody Blues are clearly better off doing their own thing than trying to create the next Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Since there is no hint of mischief or ambiguity in 'Dr. Livingstone,' it comes off more like the 1910 Fruitgum Company than the Beatles. To be fair, the 'we're all looking for someone' section also sounds like the Pretty Things - - I'm assuming that there were mutual influences at work here. Meanwhile 'Om' seems to be a stab at a universal theme, ' la 'All You Need is Love' or 'Hey Jude' - - although it's more of a heroic piece than an anthemic one.

There are other non-Beatles influences at work, and the most interesting by far is the adoption of some Four Seasons vocal arrangements on both parts of 'House of Four Doors.' Listen to the chorus ('house of four doors / you'll be lost now forever') and you'll see what I mean. There's even a falsetto part, which, based on what I know of the Moodies, is a rarity.

On the upside, there are a handful of songs that are vintage Moody Blues tunes, and two in particular are among the band's classics. John Lodge's 'Ride My See-Saw,' a minor hit which nonetheless received recurrent airplay at least through the 1980s, has 1968 written all over it. The lyrics are by no means deep (something that can be said of any song on the album), but they're thoughtful; 'Ride My See-Saw' is psychedelic pop and borderline 'sunshine pop,' but not bubblegum.

The standout track on In Search of the Lost Chord, and probably the group's best 1960s song, is 'Legend of a Mind,' written and sung by Ray Thomas (thereby atoning in full for 'Dr. Livingstone'). Naming the subject (Timothy Leary) repeatedly, rather than having the listener guess (as in the Beatles' 'Doctor Robert,' Donovan's 'Jennifer Juniper,' and many, many others) was novel, and in fact just the kind of thing the Beatles would've done. Once more, it's not fine poetry, but neither is it a cutesy lyric whose LSD connection could be plausibly denied. Unlike 'Ride My See-Saw,' 'Legend of a Mind' was ahead of its time. Its arrangement featured a 'dry ice' section five years before 'Close to the Edge,' and its highlight is a soaring recapitulation of the chorus.

In Search of the Lost Chord is a mixed album, with a couple of great songs, and a couple of clunkers. On the whole, it hangs together as an enjoyable 42-minute work. Days of Future Passed it's not, but if you're interested in late-1960s psychedelic proto-prog, I'd suggest picking it up.

 Days Of Future Passed by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.17 | 787 ratings

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Days Of Future Passed
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq

4 stars Days of Future Passed takes a little while to get started. The album begins with a four-minute orchestral piece, and the first real "song" doesn't start until more than six minutes into the record. And the first two songs on the first side, "Dawn is a Feeling" and "Another Morning," are relatively weak. But side ends on a strong note with "Peak Hour."

Side Two begins with "The Afternoon," from which the classic single "Tuesday Afternoon" was culled. "Tuesday Afternoon," written and sung by guitarist Justin Hayward, is among the most recognizable Moody Blues songs, and is here paired with bassist John Lodge's "(Evening) Time to Get Away," a catchy little number which, as far as I can tell, was never released as a single anywhere. This is followed by two more single-worthy songs by two more members of the band: keyboardist Mike Pinder's eastern-tinged "The Sunset" and Twilight Time" by flautist Ray Thomas. Both are parts of the "Evening" suite.

And finally comes "The Night," the majority of which is Hayward's majestic "Nights in White Satin." This is a rare song that is a legitimate pop classic and an equally legitimate progressive-rock classic. Its message and melody are as timeless as that of, say, "Dust in the Wind," but its execution is much more "progressive." And while many prog classics ("Close to the Edge! "2112," "In the Court of the Crimson King," etc.) are expertly composed, produced, and performed, few have the universality of "Nights in White Satin."

The Moody Blues are rightly congratulated for taking risks with this album. But not every experiment on Days of Future Passed is an unqualified success. The orchestral pieces mostly serve as bridges between suites or songs. For these, arranger/conductor Peter Knight, who is billed on the album cover and receives a few co-composition credits, often picks the hokiest motifs from the Moodies' melodies for the orchestral passages. His work throughout "The Night," though, is a substantial exception. Here the orchestra and the orchestration seem like integral components of the track.

The other innovation which quite doesn't work (for me, at least) is the poetry recitations. I can deal with some pretentiousness - - this is art rock, after all - - when the content is of high quality. But that's not the case here. Although nicely performed by Pinder, the poetry itself doesn't justify its inclusion as the bookends of the album. Interestingly, the band swore off the use of an orchestra after Days of Future Passed but continued with the poetry. In my opinion, the orchestra had some promise and, of the two, might have been the one to continue experimenting with.

Anyway, in the grander scheme, these are mild annoyances. Days of Future Passed is certainly a package deal, and the orchestra and poetry are part of the package. More importantly, the album is well produced, the sound is generally very good given the available technologies, and the compositions are very good. There are eight Moody Blues songs on Days of Future Passed, and after two relatively pedestrian offerings is a string of six very strong songs: "Peak Hour" → "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" / "(Evening) Time To Get Away" → "The Sunset" / "Twilight Time" → "Nights In White Satin."

Some might call Days of Future Passed a "flawed masterpiece," but I think that's misguided on two counts. First of all, it's not a "flawed" album at all. It has imperfections and a couple of feeble songs, but not fundamental flaws. And secondly, it's a not a masterpiece. Its status as a document of substantial historical significance among prog-rock fans probably elevates the expectation of first-time listeners, but realistically, this album is a very good songs-cycle which happened to break new ground. From this perspective, Days of Future Passed is exceptionally cohesive despite having been strung together from relatively independent songs written by four different writers.

Four stars for an excellent proto-prog / psychedelic rock album.

 Ride My See-Saw by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.81 | 12 ratings

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Ride My See-Saw
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another single outtake from the Moodies' classic line-up's second album In Search of the Lost Chord. The highly innovative and eclectic album opens with rather experimental 'Departure' which is seamlessly followed by the fast rock song 'Ride My See-Saw'. It has became an evergreen, often performed in their concerts. And why not, it's a pleasantly catchy rock song finished with the excellent vocal harmonies. Not very proggy, though.

The real treat is on the B side: Mike Pinder's 'Simple Game' didn't make it into the album -- which definitely contains some weaker weaker material in comparison. It starts a bit mildly, but when it gets to the powerful section, it's obvious that it's one of Pinder's masterpieces (of course a minor one compared to the more epic pieces such as 'Have You Heard?' or 'My Song'). But this is just as effective in the emotional sense; all those marvelous songs were born from Pinder's aching view on the world around him.

For an excellent non-album song this is a four-star single.

 Voices in the Sky by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
3.15 | 8 ratings

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Voices in the Sky
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the seminal Days of Future Passed (released in November 1967) that combined the Moodies' songwriting with Peter Knight's orchestral passages, The Moody Blues and their invaluable producer Tony Clarke carried on on their own devices, bursting with creativity, it seems. The next album In Search of the Lost Chord was released in July 1968. It is one of their classic-7 albums I consider worth full rating for its innovative, psychedelic and eclectic proto-prog nature, despite some unevenness. A couple of singles were also released from its material. This one comes with no non-album material unlike 'Ride My See-Saw'.

'Voices in the Sky' is easy to recognize as a Justin Hayward composition. The gorgeous melodies full of both dreaminess and emotional power, and the very nuanced arrangement (with a lot of Ray Thomas's flute) serving both of those things, to an almost symphonic effect. The use of vocal harmonies is superb.

And the B side track 'Dr. Livingstone, I Presume' is just as unmistakably a Ray Thomas song. The joyful and mildly naiive approach approach was very typical for Thomas. This is a nice simple song and it makes you feel happy, but I don't count it among his finest compositions, and the repetition of the chorus line "We're all looking for someone" gets a bit too dominant.

This single is very good when judged by the music only, but first and foremost it's just a sampler of a complete album that shows how much the Moodies were an album band, and a pioneering one at that.

 Long Distance Voyager by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.31 | 202 ratings

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Long Distance Voyager
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by patrickq

4 stars I'm not a huge Moodies fan; the only album I had before this one is Days of Future Passed. (I've acquired several more since.) Based on the singles "Gemini Dream," "Talking Out of Turn," and "The Voice," I expected Long Distance Voyager to be solid, commercial pop/rock. While not as artsy-for-art's sake as Days (whose artsiness I generally enjoy), Long Distance Voyager is also not nearly as commercially driven as I thought it'd be. "22,000 Days" and "Veteran Cosmic Rocker" have more in common, to my ears, with "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" than they do with "I Know You're Out There Somewhere;" the hits (I include "Meanwhile" here) have aged well; and even the more balladish "In My World" has grown on me. Things bog down a bit toward the end ("Nervous" and "Painted Smile/"Reflective Smile"), but on the whole, it's as consistent as Days of Future Passed.

Its early-80s release date and the fact that it spawned some successful singles probably make Long Distance Voyager suspect to many prog fans. But the Moody Blues always sought to have hit singles, and I think that they're accurately classified here on Prog Archives as "Crossover Prog." Long Distance Voyager is really no more or less "progressive" than the average Moody Blues album of the 1960s or 1970s.

Overall, a high-quality album, well produced, with good songs. Not a masterpiece, but recommended for any progressive rock fan.

P.S.: Long Distance Voyager is Patrick Moraz's first LP with the Moody Blues. His playing seems somewhat restrained, and is pushed back in the mix. Given the generally tasteful string arrangements, this actually works well. Anyway, if you're looking for the follow-up to Relayer, keep looking.)

 Hall Of Fame by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2000
4.04 | 11 ratings

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Hall Of Fame
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Three days ago I bought a cheap used copy of this DVD which turned out to be a fairly good addition to my music DVD collection. (I probably wouldn't have paid a full prize for it, so it was a lucky find in that sense too.) The concert was held in the 1st of May, 2000. The Moody Blues line-up of Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge is accompanied by two keyboardists, another drummer/percussionist, two female backing vocalists and The World Festival Orchestra conducted by Larry Baird.

I've always thought that the Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful venue, and visually this concert is indeed pleasant: the lights and the camera work are well done. Unlike another reviewer here, I didn't notice any tiredness of the band, nor was I feeling frustrated for their visible signs of ageing. And when the show started with the orchestral 'Overture' (featuring themes from Days of Future Passed) followed by 'Tuesday Afternoon', I was immediately fascinated by it. With these highly promising starting points, it comes down to the set list itself, how much will I enjoy the DVD as a whole. There are quite a lot of the later stuff (as opposed to the classic era of '67 - '72) that I'm not so fond of. The album Strange Times (1999) had been released a short while ago; threes tracks are featured here. 'English Sunset' is pretty good, while 'Words You Say' is a deeply emotional love ballad from John Lodge, but it functions well enough in this setting. The boring mid-tempo love song 'Haunted' is definitely the weakest link in this set. I also could have been without the 80's hits 'I Know You're Out There Somewhere' and 'Your Wildest Dreams'. But this amount of the soft-pop oriented late era is quite acceptable. Could have been worse.

The rest of the 81-minute set is not very far from being as good as it gets from the Moodies in this Millennium. Well, of course there would be dozens of fantastic classic era songs I'd love to hear on a Moody blues concert, but sadly they're not much heard on any of their DVD's. Fast songs 'Story in Your Eyes', 'I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)' and the encore number 'Ride My See-Saw' nicely add some energy. And since Ray Thomas (R.I.P.) was still in the band at this point, his classic 'Legend of a Mind' belongs to the set as much as 'Nights in White Satin' (which sounds gorgeous with the orchestral backing). The concert also features a lot of flute playing from Thomas. 'Isn't Life Strange' and 'Question' are other fine pieces from the classic era.

Admittedly the set list has its ups and downs, but I count this DVD among their better ones, thanks for the orchestral arrangements and the visual quality. (I recently purchased also Days of Future Passed Live 2017, which I haven't watched yet.)

 Timeless Flight by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
3.14 | 3 ratings

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Timeless Flight
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Some 12 years ago I reviewed a 4-CD Moodies box set "Time Traveller" (1994; referred as TT from now on), and here's the first review for this more recent 4-CD box. For starters, the booklet is very good: it contains a 37-page illustrated band history written by Mark Powell.

The musical contents are roughly rather similar to TT; on both chronological boxes the 1st CD ends with the identical chain of tracks from the third album On a Threshold of a Dream (1969). Differences in representations lay especially on the era before Days of Future Passed, and on that album itself. TT contains also Hayward-songs 'Fly Me High' and 'Cities' sandwiching Mike Pinder's 'Love and Beauty' that marked the beginning of the band's new, Mellotron-centred era and which opens this box. TT picked just the two most famous DoFP songs whereas TF has four tracks of the original stereo mixes previously unreleased on CD. TT didn't have the excellent non-album tracks 'What Am I Doing Here?' and 'A Simple Game' found here.

On the 2nd disc TT has plenty of tracks from the next three albums whereras this box squeezes also songs from Seventh Sojourn (1972) to the same disc. Here's also 'Island', the gorgeous desolate song from the 1973 recording sessions (it was previously released as a bonus on Seventh Sojourn CD). TT had more songs from the Hayward & Lodge album Blue Jays (1975), finishing the 3rd CD with material from Octave (1978). The post-Octave years are in my opinion represented quite poorly here, not even trying to give any fresher looks at the studio albums. For example Long Distance Voyager (1981) is represented by the often circulated 'The Voice', 'Gemini Dream' and 'Veteran Cosmic Rocker'.

The albums after The Present (1983) are the poorest in the band's catalogue, but still it would have been more interesting to choose less familiar songs for change. The years between 1994 and 2013 frankly weren't very fruitful for The Moody Blues. This box has 'Eternity Road' and 'Question' from the 1997 concert with The World Symphony Orchestra which originally was only broadcast on radio. Three songs from Strange Times (1999) is enough, but the last studio album December (2003) is represented by only one song, 'December Snow'.

In comparison to TT, Timeless Flight has slightly more previously unreleased tracks/versions (although mostly of album songs songs), but all in all it follows a bit too identical path, and the recent decades haven't got much to add here. Concerning the post- classic era years altogether, this box is mostly a wasted opportunity to have material not already endlessly circulated on compilations. I don't know exactly to whom these multi-disc box sets are aimed at, but for a fan this is rather useless and for a newcomer wanting to concentrate on the classic era I'd rather recommend Time Traveller -- although for a more casual listener the 2LP/CD set This Is The Moody Blues (1974) is still very valid.

 Days Of Future Passed by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.17 | 787 ratings

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Days Of Future Passed
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

5 stars Review # 98. This is the second album by The Moody Blues which was released on November of 1967. But it is the first album that it is considered as Progressive Rock (because their first was more of R&B style), and it is also the first album which was released after the departure of Denny Laine (who later joined Paul Mc Cartney's Wings). At that time, 2 very important members for the future of Moody Blues joined the band: Justin Hayward and John Lodge. These two will play a significant role, changing the band's sound as they will become the main composers and singers, and in general will be the "engine" of The Moody Blues in the years to come.

Days of Future Passed is a concept album, with a very simple but nice theme. An 'everyman's day' from dawn until night. The musicians that participated here are the 5 members of the band, together with the London Festival Orchestra. The contribution of the orchestra is very important to the whole record, but mostly in the transitions between the songs. The truth is that this project was a very dangerous experiment at that time. (Don't forget that we are talking about 1967!). Their company (Deram), didn't want to release the record in the beginning, because they were afraid that the combination of Rock and Symphonic music would be a failure.

After many discussions between the band, their manager and the company, they finally agreed to release the record. The album became a very big success, especially because of the songs 'Nights in White Satin' (Is there really anyone who haven't heard this song?), and 'Tuesday Afternoon'. But after its release, the album was accused of being lenient to drug consumption because of some assumed "inappropriate" lyrics. For example, in the song 'Dawn (is a feeling)' the part that says: 'the smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream', but also parts of the lyrics in other songs as well.

Despite all these, the album made very good sales, it reached at No.3 at the USA charts, and it will continue selling in the following decades. It is the most famous and the best selling album by The Moody Blues, and is considered as a pioneer for Progressive Rock, and one of the best albums ever. My Rating: 5 stars.

 Threshold of a Dream - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover DVD/Video, 2009
3.54 | 17 ratings

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Threshold of a Dream - Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars 'A pioneering Mellotron sound.'

The UK Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 was an exciting answer to the USA Woodstock Festival in 1969. Because the line-up featured many great bands that didn't perform on Woodstock, including a bunch of excellent progressive bands, from ELP and Jethro Tull to Procol Harum and The Doors. Also interesting was the flood of formations from the socalled Early British Progressive Rock Movement: Black Widow, Pentangle, Gracious!, Fairfield Parlour and Supertramp, performing their debut LP. But the top band in 1970 was The Moody Blues, with their many Top 10 singles and albums. They were announced as 'one of the best bands in the world!', and indeed, artistically and commercially The Moody Blues were at their peak, promoting their new album entitled Question Of Balance in that year.

The Moody Blues were one of the pioneering progressive rock bands in the late Sixties, along with The Nice, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, Colosseum and King Crimson. They delivered a serie of top notch albums between 1967 and 1970, all with high rankings. One of the prime movers was Mike Pinder: he had worked 1,5 years at Streetly Electronics, the Mellotron producing factory (for quality control and as test driver). He introduced this legendary vintage keyboard in the sound of The Moody Blues, from that moment the Mellotron could be used as a solo instrument. Like the Hammond organ with the Leslie speaker and later the Minimoog synthesizer with the pitchbend button, legendary and unique sounds! The Mellotron also delivered an extensive 'palet de sonor' for The Moody Blues their music, with the brass -, flute ' and violin-section. So The Moody Blues were pioneers with the Mellotron its unique and varied sound, since their album Days Of Future Passed from 1967 (till Pinder left in 1978). Soon many bands and artists decided to use or buy a Mellotron. Especially famous bands, like The Beatles and their legendary flute Mellotron notes on Strawberry Fields Forever. And the Rolling Stones with eerie sounding violins on the psychedelic 2000 Light-Years From Home. But The Moody Blues will always be remembered as the first band that fully used the Mellotron as an instrument. And this live DVD is an awesome registration of the omnipresent Mellotron in The Moody Blues their sound in the second half of the Sixties.

It contains 20 chapters, the first 8 chapters (at about 20 minutes) feature stories from band members about the early days, memories of the festival, 'flower power' and the Mellotron, embellished with nice early footage. A colourful intro to the registration of a memorable gig, according to the band 'perhaps their best live performance'. As I stated in previous reviews 'the best bands sound even better on stage', and indeed, The Moody Blues sound more powerful, dynamic and raw than on their studio-albums, this gives the music an extra dimension. Especially the Mellotron shines with its distinctive and majestic sound, it's also awesome to watch that wonderful mahogany, furniture-like keyboard named the Mellotron Mark II.

On that legendary night the atmosphere was electric, this had fuelled The Moody Blues their inspiration and generated an unique chemistry between the musicians. They presented their wonderful and varied blend of styles, layered with the unsurpassed Mellotron. From fragile with twanging acoustic guitar and delicate flute work in the tender Tuesday Afternoon to swinging rock with their distinctive vocal harmonies in Tortoise And The Rare. And from a catchy rhtyhm guitar with halfway emotional vocals and Mellotron in Question to psychedelic in the Mellotron drenched Sunset (embellished with beautiful images of the festival and a real sunset). The excellent rendition of their worldwide hit Nights In White Satin features powerful and emotional vocals, and the band plays in the dark of the night. And the tribute to Timothy Leary entitled Legend Of A Mind delivers strong vocals and flute work by Ray Thomas, along layers of The Mighty Tron.

But my absolute highlight is Melancholy Man (dedicated to festival manager Rikki Farr): great shots taken from the backstage area, on Mike Pinder playing his Mellotron and in the background the massive crowd. He does also a very good job as the vocalist with his emotional outbursts, perfectly matching with the moving atmosphere. This is topped by Pinder his use of the pitch control of the Mellotron (see my avatar), evoking a mindblowing psychedelic sound, goose bumps!

The 'encore' is the cheerful and dynamic Ride My See Saw, the images are taken from the festival performance and a wide range of gigs between 1965 and 1993. Really a very fine compilation and goodbey from the band, the crowd loved it.

On this DVD it's not about visuals and stage antics, no lasers, Boeing landing lights, pyro-technics, screen projections or flower masks and painted faces. In fact The Moody Blues are very close to their R&B roots, with the focus on purity and emotion, feeling honoured to be on the festival and eager to please the fans. That is a simple and honest attitude, you can feel it while watching, five skilled and inspired musicians, enjoying to be on stage and sharing their music with the crowd. For me a very moving experience, also due to Mike Pinder his omnipresent Mellotron work, breathtaking.

 The Days of Future Passed Live by MOODY BLUES, THE album cover Live, 2018
4.08 | 3 ratings

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The Days of Future Passed Live
The Moody Blues Crossover Prog

Review by Kingsnake

4 stars Old songs, old voices.

But still it's very great. It's a trip down memorylane. Here Justin, John and Graeme are accompanied by four great musicians to fill up the keyboards/flute/harmony-vocals. The Moodies are way over 70 (!!) years old now, so it's a not a surprise it al sounds a bit sedated. Although the band picks some rocking tracks, it all sounds rather soft. But that's what we already expected, so nothing new here.

CD 1 is a greatest hits, the band runs through their hits from the sixties through the seventies up to the eighties.

But the real treat is CD 2 where the band plays Days of Future Passed in it's entirety, with orchestra(!!!) The band released th original album in 1967, so it's 50 years old (!!!) It's great to hear the difference. And like good wine, it only gets better by aging.

Too bad that Ray Thomas wasn't there to play with them (as is Mike Pinder), because he sadly passed away. I don;t know why Mike doesn't play with the Moodies anymore and if they even asked him to be part of this, but that's a whole other story.

The accompanying band is really tight and I must say I like the female vocals. The baritone voice of Ray Thomas was never replaced, so that's a history-story now.

Anyway: it's great to hear the Moodies do what they do best: play symphonic softrock with so many harmonies. And for a couple of 70-years old geezers, they really deliver a solid live-album.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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