59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Voyage Continues....`cause we ain't there yet, 6 Jun 2013
The Voyage Continues....`cause we ain't there yet
So how is this new Moody Blues box set? On it's own merits, it rates a 5. Very well packaged, very extensive in content, good sound, decent video and another surround format to add to the collection.
But is this the end-all Holy Grail of Moody Blues lost treasures? No.
In fact, strictly looking at the studio work (discs 1-5). There is NOTHING that is really new. A better overall collection was Time Traveller. Released back around 1998, the Moodies have only released 2 additional studio works (Strange Time & December), represented by only 5 tracks in this collection.
There are several tracks marked as "previously unreleased on CD," and this is could be kind of misleading. There are really no "significant" alternate versions. Here is a quick breakdown of the studio tracks:
"Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin" (original 67 stereo mix) WERE released on Time Traveller, although these tracks do sound a tiny bit cleaner.
"Dawn is a Feeling" and "Peak Hour" (original 67 stereo mix) are truly NEW to this collection (Yeah!)
Eternity Road: NEW version; clean intro (not segue fade-in); very (very) minute differences in the mix; quicker fade (4:04 vs. 4:19 TOCCC)
"It's Up To You" NEW version; again very (very) minute differences in the mix (re-mix of the double tracked vocal are more centered; quicker fade (3:05 vs. 3:12 QOB / 3:23 QOB-bonus track)
"When You're A Free Man": NEW "edited"version; clean intro (not segue fade-in); 30 seconds of 3rd verse cut-out (why?); quicker fade (5:04 vs. 6:05 SS)
Several of the other studio tracks from discs 1-5 are have been "slightly" edited (altered track length) to deal with the fact that most of the original Moody tracks would segue to the next. On this collection those tracks that were originally joined (i.e. Dawning is the Day - Melancholy Man) the segue remains. Those tracks that they decided not to include either the prior and/or original following track was edited to fade in or out as needed. Most of the edits are acceptable. I do cringe at the "new" into to "Are You Sitting Comfortably" which leads off Disc 2. There is the distracting (to me) edit from the proceeding track (Lazy Day) from the original masters.
The big let down for me is not including the entire 67 stereo mix of DOFP, as it was alluded to in the Prog Magazine article.
All the other "rarities" were for the most part were included in the 2007 Deluxe re-issues. These were fantastic collections and included both a hi-resolution stereo and surround version of the album as a SACD. Apparently these are now out of print, but I've still seen them in local record stores and available here on Amazon. The original digi-packs have been replaced with standard jewel cases. but they DO include most of the bonus material, but not the high-rez SACD copy.
The 5.1 surround disc here are the same 70's quad mixes, but now on lower-resolution DVD video discs using Dolby 5.1 and DTS 5.1. There is video that accompanies the audio. Looks reminiscence of a late 60's psychedelia light show.
Big draw with this set has to be for those wanting the live material. Some very good (Blue Jays concert). To the,... well it's been said that the band had trouble trying to reproduced the heavily overdubbed studio recordings live (Albert Hall 1969). Includes some additional Red Rocks live tracks that were originally only available on the initial 5-disc copies of Time Traveller, and then later as part of the deluxe 2 disc edition of Red Rocks. Truly new is the 2 disc live show from the LA Forum. This is special to me as I was at that particular concert.
The video clips are pretty standard, most have been available here and there over the years. The performance clips (Beat Club, Colour Me Pop, Lulu) are fun to see the group in their early days. But these are generally lip synced or added live lead vocal to the recorded backing track.
I'm sure that anyone truly interested in getting this set has already seen the You-Tube un-boxing video so I won't add much about it's contents except for the following:
My copy is missing the "rare 67 tour program; Not one of my seventeen discs were scratched (amazing); and the box came packaged in a spongy foam "outer box" all sealed in an form fitting cardboard box (which was then packaged in an oversized Amazon box. Very impressive.
Also as stated by others, the 120 page book is very impressive. A lot of PR photos and alternate/unused album art. But there are several photo glitches when they scanned in album art for Threshold Of A Dream, To Our Children's Children..., Question of Balance, Seventh Sojourn, and the wrong disc info for Long Distance Voyager.
So who is this collection for? For the must have everything, in every form Moody Blues fan. To which I'm a victim. A fan like me already has collections like: This Is the Moody Blues, and Time Traveller. Even a few of the lesser titles (Voices in the Sky, Anthology) just to get that slightly different song edit. The various live albums/videos. And of coarse they already have the deluxe editions of the classic 7, So this collection does not give me anything I do not already have in the way of studio recordings. It does however provide some live material no longer available (Albert Hall: "Caught Live + 5"), unreleased material (Forum concert and Blue Jays concert - crown gem of this collection actually).
So what is missing? For my holy grail, this should have included all the material from the Deluxe Editions (the complete classic 7 albums), plus the 67 original stereo mix of DOFP, the inclusion of "Gimme A Little Something" the last of the "+5" not included in the deluxe editions (but was available on out-of-print "Prelude" CD. And a book that was proof-read.
Ah, but the voyage continues. You never know. Isn't life strange?
Update 1:: Amazon has quickly sent a replacement set, which did include the missing tour program. Very happy with Amazon's exchange policy.
Update 2: I have revised several section, especially the one regarding the "previously unreleased material" Addition quality listening time has provided a more definitive appraisal.