38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Re-issue of classic Moody Blues album with extra tracks,
This review is from: On The Threshold Of A Dream (Audio CD)
Just one of a slew of Moody Blues re-issues with bonus tracks out at the moment “On The Threshold Of A Dream” deserves a lasting place in the hypothetical memorial dedicated to great British prog- rock with a hint of psychedelic classics.
The Moody Blues have never been cool, indeed they were dubbed “The Pseudy Blues” and even now when many formerly maligned bands are receiving over due critical re-appraisals there is still an air of sniffy superior diffidence when it comes to this band. Well I am more than willing to stick my head above the parapet and risk a lampooning bullet in the eye and state that from “Days Of Future Passed” in 1967 up to 1975,s “Seventh Sojourn “where they went off the boil a bit, they released a body of work that stands along side such rock behemoths as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
My personal favourites of that period are “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” and “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” but in terms of psychedelic drug induced magnificence On The Threshold Of A Dream is up there with anything by The Beatles. It’s also a concept album without any tangible concept of what it’s being conceptual about. There is the obligatory occasional embarrassing lyrical turn and guff about spectral planes and astral journeys and such like. It’s self indulgent to a degree that goes way beyond self indulgence but is so painfully sincere you’d forgive them that and then some. Why? Well mainly because the music is magnificent. They could write terrific songs could The Moody Blues.
Justin Hayward as ever provides the most melodiously mellifluous moments with the pristine ringing chords of “Lovely To See You” and the ballad “Never Comes The Day” which is heart shredding in its poise and tremulous sentiment. He can sing as well can Justin. It begins rather conveniently with “In The Beginning” a spooky instrumental passage with a frankly bizarre spoken voice over that descends into sci-fi parody. Ray Thomas who can usually be relied upon to produce something of squirm inducing lyrical content this time holds himself in check for “Dear Dairy” a slightly twee tale of daily disaffection while the bands egregious vocal harmonies dominate the jaunty “Send Me No Wine“.” To Share My Love “has more of those trademark vocal harmonies allied to more of Hayward’s clear concise guitar as has “So Deep Within You” which taking the title into account could be the band allowing a bawdier side to their personalities to shine through…..Or maybe not .Anyway, more discerning readers will have spotted a theme emerging, but wait “Lazy Day” has a more lugubrious pastoral air, although the lyrics are slightly embarrassing the choral vocals are superb. There is some lovely keening flute on the rather winsome “Are You Sitting Comfortably” With “Dream” the album’s psychedelic overtures take over with Mike Pinders mellotron dominating into the concluding triumvirate of “Have You heard Pt !”/ “The Voyage” / “Have You Heard Pt 2” which is glorious, ephemeral and verdant while still retaining an air of inconsolable poignancy.
I’m not entirely sure how necessary the extra tracks will prove to be being as they are re-treads of what has already gone before .Personally I’d prefer some unreleased stuff like they provided for the L.P.”Caught Live + 5” but no doubt Moody completists and hardcore fans will be salivating over these re-issues.
I hear hints of The Moody Blues in more contemporary music than it is possible to list. Even critical darlings The Flaming Lips multi -layered multifarious masterpieces have some semblance of their complex but melodious approach to song writing. Not that they would ever admit mind. The Moody Blues, still shamefully un-cool, still on albums like this unashamedly brilliant.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jun 2009 09:00:50 BDT
Wonderful review, thank you!
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2009 19:22:52 BDT
russell clarke says:
No problem , thanks for your comment.
Posted on 23 Nov 2011 01:13:14 GMT
The reason I'm reading this review is that I like this album. I remember it fondly and am thinking about purchasing it on CD.
But "Up there with anything by The Beatles"?
Not even slightly, in my humble opinion.
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