The Moody Blues have always been a guilty pleasure. Back in the halcyon days of the seventies when punk was in full spittle driven flow I would publicly laud The Sex Pistols, Clash etc, but behind closed doors I would raid my dads L.P, s and The Moody Blues were the band I kept coming back to. Apart from the quality of the song writing the most consistently appealing thing about them were they were the only band I knew of who used the mellotron. What a fantastic sound, eerie, atmospheric and if I may be permitted spiritual. The great thing about “To our Childrens Childrens Children” is it is absolutely awash with it.
Apart from” Floating” (“Floating, free as a bird/ Fifty foot leaps/ it’s so absurd”. I ask you.) Which is the contractual slightly embarrassing track that every Moody Blues album contains this is a collection of superb songs. On the two songs Mike Pinder contributes to the mellotron comes to the fore.” Out and in “has a slightly queasy mellotron melody, while “Sun is still Shining” is sublime with if I’m not mistaken a sitar twanging in the background. “Candle of Life” is the mellotron at it,s finest, gorgeous waves of sound ebb and flow.It,s soothing and invigorating at the same time.A neat trick.
Justin Hayward sing some wonderful ballads. The simple acoustic bookends “I never thought I, d live to be a hundred/million” and “Watching and Waiting” where that mellotron provides suitably plaintive backing. “Gypsy” is probably the most well known track and is the most up-tempo track on the album, with a furiously strummed guitar propelling the song along. “Eyes of a child Pts 1/ 2” feature more haunting mellotron as does “Eternity Road” which proves not all songs written by Ray Thomas have to make you curl your toes in embarrassment.
Along with “Every good boy deserves favour” this is my favourite Moody Blues album. It’s funny how things turn out. A punk icon appears on the sad but compelling “Im a celeb” and disgraces the memory of the movement he once spearheaded, ( Or is he being subversive?) Somehow I can’t imagine Justin Hayward demeaning himself in the same way. Listening to the Moody Blues may have been a guilty pleasure once but now I don’t feel guilty. I just enjoy a band at the peak of their power. A pleasure and an enduring one at that.
on 11 August 2010
Conceived and performed against the backdrop of the Apollo Moon landings in the spring and summer of 1969, this was the 4th of what became the Moodies' "classic 7" albums , spanning the period 1967-1972 and featuring Mike Pinder on keyboards.It is ,in my view, the Moodies' greatest achievement and the best "rock" record of all time.
To a self-important and largely untalented British "rock" press, which despised commercial success (particularly in the US, where the Moodies are to this day treated like the musical equivalent of the Messiah), and which placed form above any musical substance, the Moody Blues were by 1975 utterly derided.To some extent the Moodies allowed themselves to be easy targets given the undeniable fact that, at least from a lyrical standpoint, they never departed the mythical "summer of love " that apparently happened in the 1960's,(at some point or other).Certainly, by the era of the gritty British 3-day-week, any such summer had long since been washed away and replaced by a cold grey cloud under which the Punk/New Wave era flourished.
Musically this is a lush, textured and exquisitely crafted series of songs, that begins with the (studio generated) sound of a rocket "climbing to tranquility, far above the clouds" and ends, some 40 minutes later, with Justin Hayward seemingly gazing out across a vast and desolate universe "watching and waiting".
The undoubted "themes" that pervades the music are space (as in planetary) and time, as befitted the summer of 1969, for obvious reasons. The Moodies, like most people, were avidly following the Apollo landing and had a tv brought in to Decca Studio 1 in London's West Hampstead to watch the mission's progress. Mike Pinder was, and remains, fascinated by astronomy and this album is surely the high point of Pinder's Mellotron, which instrument seemed perfectly to define the "sound" of space,as it did memorably on Bowie's "Space Oddity".
At first blush this is an ethereal record; the aforementioned Mellotron, the heavenly vocal harmonies and the spacious studio production by Tony Clarke, create a nocturnal,uncanny ambience. It is difficult to place the musical genre or to point to any other music quite like it. The oddity reveals itself, with extended listening,to be a pervading rhythmic drive that emerges
throughout the record, as if bassist John lodge and drummer Graeme Edge were in a private world (or booth) of their own, determined to keep one eye on the band's R&B roots.
There were no hit singles from TOCC,there are instrumental interludes,lighthearted moments (as ever,from Ray Thomas) and the standard platitudes about "love" (albeit confined to one track, which is probably the best on the album !) and yet the entire 40 minutes represent the most beautiful and pure sound I have ever experienced from anything outside of Medieval church music.
With extended listening this is a record that is played from beginning to end, rather than dipped into. It has a timeless, homogenous feel, linked by the Mellotron and harmonics, as if the music is always playing and one simply rejoins its performance when the record is actually spinning. I started listening to this record when I was a teenager and I listen to it every day and I know it will be with me until I finaly conk out (and hopefully beyond!)
Lets not get too carried away; Its just a pop record, it doesn't purport to have any special meaning (the Moodies would be the first to point that out) and it represents nothing more than light and distracting entertainment. It is , of course,entirely irrelevant what this " critic" or that" critic" says or what other people enjoy, or tell you you should enjoy. If you find something special then lucky you. For me, personally, I am simply grateful that this album exists as it consistently and significantly enhances the enjoyment of my life.
Er, recommended then.
on 11 April 2012
Others have said how fantastic this album is, and it really is a beautiful piece of work.
But I wanted to add a little about the remastering. The last cd edition had some areas of distortion, especially on the low frequencies (particularly in the song 'Floating') These are now all gone. In fact, the remastering job here is fantastic, there is now a brilliant balance.
The Moody Blues are still an under-appreciated band, particularly in their own country. I would highly recommend exploring their catalogue if you have not already done so. This is a pretty great place to start.
One warning - don't listen on shuffle. This is, like Abbey Road, an album to be taken as a whole, in sequence.
on 12 February 2004
I make no apologies. I'm a Moodies fanatic and have been ever since that magical moment when I first heard Days of Future Passed on my old mono Bush record player. That shows my age, but I dare you to find any group that has consistently written such good music for nigh on 40 years! And Justin Hayward is such an underrated songwriter. OK so there are some duffers on all their albums and Ray Thomas writes kinda whimsically, but he has also produced some of their great ones too. Don't focus on individual tracks too much - listen to the albums as a whole, particularly the early ones and don't feel guilty - they just can't be bettered. I've replaced all my first 5 vinyl records and updated my collection with the later albums. And I disagree with farrout.... This is one of their best - turn down the lights, pour yourself a beer and float away on some of the greatest Moodies music ever. As other reviews have said this one leaves you feeling good and wanting more. Buy it now!
on 21 March 2009
This band probably started the crossover mix of pop with a classical style and whilst most will be familiar with "Nights in White Satin" I think this is by far their best work with such tracks as the haunting 'I never thought I'd live to be a million', 'Eyes of a child', 'Candle of Life' and 'Watching and Waiting' this is an album to be listened to in a darkened room with your favourite tipple. Enjoy!
on 24 August 2012
I have been a Moody Blues fan as long as I can remember. This was the last LP of the Original or Classic 7 that I purchased.
When I finally did, I was so sorry I had waited so long and now wonder WHY this gem seems to be the least popular of those
Original 7 Classic Moody's LP's.
Since I purchased it, it has become one of my all time favorites and makes it regularly onto the turntable as well as the
The original LP was divided into 2 sides, with Gypsy starting out side 2. After you listen to the CD you'll see why it was
divided up the way it was....each side having a somewhat different flavor but, working together on the same unique theme.
This truly is an LP for the masses and for generations to come.
It's truly an "Unsung Masterpiece" for Justin, John, Ray, Grahame, & Mike. Incredible production, writing, arranging, &
lyrics. They make you reflect on life and what is truly important to all of us as well as other issues. Best listened too
in a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere with your favorite toddy or what ever else you like, with an attentive ear and an open
mind. You'll be amazed. Gypsy is still often a staple in their line up in their live shows and for that, I am thankful.
Some of their best vocal work as well as writing is done on this LP.
Haunting, Beautiful, Brilliant, and Amazing ar the best words I can use to describe this offering. No bad cuts, no filler,
and no regrets after you purchase. Listen well, play it often and pass it on to your Children.....
on 23 October 2000
To Our Children's Children's Children was the first Moodies album I bought way back in 1969. I hadn't actually listened to it, or any Moodies for that matter, for some years as all my albums are vinyl and I've been without a turntable for ages. Their latest offering (Strange Times), released last year, sparked a renewed interest and I decided to begin building up a CD collection of their material. I began with On the Threshold of a Dream and then bought TOCCC. From the very first "blast off" to the last fade out I was mesmerised. This wonderful piece of music, although now over 30 years old, sounded so fresh it was like hearing it for the first time again. The space theme throughout is captured wonderfully by the band and their producer, Tony Clarke, and the songs flow together really well. The highlights, for me, are "Out and In", "Candle of Life" and "Watching and Waiting", but the album should definately be listened to as a whole. If anyone out there has lost touch with the Moodies or wishes to revisit (or just visit) the 60s, I would recommend giving the CD a listen - you won't be disappointed.
Virtually nearing their peak of popularity in the late sixties, this album speaks of a group confident in it’s talent and relaxed enough to bring out their best. This long titled album lacks any unnecessary urgency and seems more poetic and romantic with listen after listen.
The introduction to a Moody Blues album has continued to be a great motif. ”Higher And Higher” is no exception with its thrilling crescendo segueing into the exciting “Gypsy”. Both versions of “Eyes Of A Child” bring out the tenderest qualities in a verse and work well (along with the “I Never Thought I’d Live…”) as being a cohesive part of this concept album. “Floating”, “Beyond” and “Out And In” are all of whimsically, near fairy tale quality. Among the truly most romantic Moody Blues songs are “Candle Of Life”, a mood enhancing, spirited song and “Watching And Waiting” is one of their best ballads. These are magical soul searchers.
As one of the strongest concept albums of that decade and also containing some of the best lyrics and melodies of that time, one cannot lose with this set. The digitally re-enhancement adds a significant amount of quality.
on 15 June 2011
I had this when it was first released but ex wife sold all my music,now i have got it again after thiry odd years i just wish i had not waited so long as i think it is a master piece, to me its the best they made.With some luck i may get to see them live again before we are all gone far into the misty cloud.
on 10 January 2000
This album is the climax of the early years of the Magnificent Moodies. It might not contain the majestic conclusion of "Nights In White Satin / Late Lament" of the Days Of Future Passed album, or the cathedral type culmination of "Have You Heard / The Voyage" of On The Threshold Of A Dream album (which incidentally must have the mellotron being played at its very best by Mike Pinder) but the natural flow of absolutely outstanding songs, with no particular instrument dominating the album, apart from the band's unique vocals, makes this album THE outstanding one of the pre Patrick Moraz / Blue Jays era. It's a pity that only "Eyes Of A Child", "Watching And Waiting" and (partially)"Out And In" made it on to the first of the Best Of albums, This Is The Moody Blues - "Gypsy" and "Candle Of Life" at least should have made it as well. I might be a bit biased, as it was the first Moodies album I heard all the way through from start to finish, but the others, up to and including Seventh Sojourn, whilst all great in their own right, must all bow to Childrens Children as the best of the bunch, and the best kickoff for the Threshold Label.