Let the record company executives worry about pulling songs from concept albums out of context and trying to make hits out of them. That song had actually been released earlier the same year with themes of isolation and loneliness. Spotify link. Typically, in the long history of the Music Enthusiast established , I post three or four songs per album. You may well not think this is prog-rock in the Yes or Crimson fashion with virtuosic musicianship and lightning-fast guitar runs. Just listen. Without prejudice. After this album, the Moodies put out another fine record, A Question of Balance.
They dropped some of the lush instrumentation and overdubbing so they could actually reproduce it on stage. Like Like. Kinda lost sight of these guys but need to spin a few of theirs. Great sound. Like Liked by 1 person. I definitely like the lush sound on Threshold and Children best. Yeah, go for it. They are largely underrepresented on the blogosphere from what I can see. Certainly deserve not to be forgotten. Have some of their albums Where did they come from? Yeah, give it a whirl. Worst case you lose 45 minutes of your time.
I chose the latter because I had pleasant memories of some of the songs from childhood, but I reserve the right to review Days of Future Passed in the future. Hear that, mother? The only time that ever happened was on In Search of the Lost Chord , where Lodge and Thomas actually made the superior contributions.
Humanity had just witnessed Armstrong and Aldrin bouncing about on another world, so speculation on what this event symbolized was rampant. What saves the song for me is the music in the background. Justin Hayward plays like his fingers are on fire, Graeme Edge pounds the crap out of his kit and the full-spectrum panning creates a feeling of surround sound years before we knew what that phrase meant. I loved my childhood and I took full advantage of it, running, laughing, playing tag and hopscotch, filling coloring books by the dozen and skipping along the streets to school as a way to stay warm in the fog.
Whenever it came on I would grab either my mother or my father to hold hands with me and pretend we were weightless while singing along with Ray Thomas. I still smile whenever I hear it, and the simple beauty of the melody and the ecstatic rise of the chorus fills me with sheer delight. Absolute perfection! The main theme is divided by intervals of trippy sounds that no doubt thrilled the listening audiences of the time and continue to work today in the context of this album.
While the mellotron is a bit overdone, I do like the glides that reflect the feeling of flying freely through space, and the syncopation in the bridge is a nice variation in the rhythm.
How did I miss that? I am so glad he decided to return for an encore. On this album, he has the freedom to imagine a future where such things are completely unnecessary. The lush string-like sounds of the mellotron are used with great effect here; when I hear that music, I imagine a small child gazing up into a night sky filled with stars and stardust. The two mesh together without interruption. Thus my false memory. TOCCC was never big for me.
People who did acid in their college dorms were listening to the MB. I did go sample the songs, to jog my memory, and now remember why this album was off-putting at the time. In spots it nibbles around the edges of the golden groove, but unlike See-Saw, Legend, Lovely, and a few others, never hits the motherlode. Like Like. Yes, the Moodies opened most of their albums with introductory tracks I could do without. Love your review. That said, even with its flaws I have a great fondness for this album. The songs really have to be listened to in sequence: they hang together.
Higher and Higher is an exception. Perhaps more accurately it has some passable lines one brilliant with great music. You quote what is indeed the dodgiest, most cheesy part, but I still go along with it as it establishes an ideal. The rest of the album engages with that ideal. The line about the butterfly sneezes is the brilliant one and covers a multitude of bad poetry sins. Eternity Road can be seen as a weak shadow of Gypsy, but I see it a bit as a reply. Pinders performance and an excellent chorus save the day. The psychedelia here is more thoughtful than playful, which suits my taste.
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.
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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. 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. Very good stuff. 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. 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.
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.
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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. 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 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. This album encompasses such a wide range of sensibilities. 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. This is fitting, as the album ostensibly celebrates man's journey to the moon. 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. 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". 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. Not a bad source of inspiration, is it? Very emotional song which gives a great piece of mind. All in all a good Moodies album. 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.
My favourite remark is a comparison to the power of "ten thousand butterfly sneezes". Quite impressive but not exactly the stuff of 45s.
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.
The music style is very much like the style on On the Threshold of a Dream. I will go as far as to call them sibling albums. The vocals are pleasant. The album is very consistent and all songs are of good quality in terms of songwriting and performance but like I said in my review of On the Threshold of a Dream I find the music a bit too simple, sweet and nice for my taste. The musicianship is good and the warm, full and pleasant sound from the predecessor is also present on this album.
The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children (Vinyl, LP, Album) | Discogs
For us casual listeners this is just another one in a long row of good but pretty average releases from the The Moody Blues. A 3 star rating is deserved. I just don't hear, don't Feel meaning in this. 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. Nothing earth-shattering, but nothing offensive; it's only slightly better than averagy-average. It was inspired by and dedicated to the 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. This is one of the most symphonic Moodies albums and is also one of their career highlights.
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. 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.
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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! This song actually caused some controversy in the US because it was mistakenly thought that some of the lyrics advocated the taking of drugs. 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. 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.
To Our Children's Children's Children
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. 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.
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. 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 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. And finally, we get Pinder's soothing Mellotron-soaked mantraesque atmosphere piece, the wonderful "Out and In.
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.