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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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As the eighth album form the original ensemble of the Moody Blues, this is the only one not to be remastered in 5.1 (actually 4.1 as the center speaker is not used). I can only guess it is because the group recorded at the Record Plant in California and did not have the same access to the mixers. However, Justin Hayward and Alberto Paroldi did a fine job remastering in stereo with this 2008 release. The songs are more vibrant than the original recording and the five `live' songs are incredibly clear, unlike the 'Caught Live + 5' album, which had horrible mixing.

As is usual with the first song on a Moody Blues album, there is a special effect `hook' used for introduction. However, "Steppin' In A Slide Zone" falls short as a single with a repetitive chorus and forced melody. In fact, some of the songs sound terribly dated, which is unusual for the Moody Blues earlier albums. "I'll be Level With You", "Top Rank Suite" and "Survival" just seem out of synch with a typical Moody Blues song. Note that this was a tough period for the group in general, not knowing what the future held. However, songs like, "Driftwood", "The Day We Meet Again" and "One Step Into The Light" (Mike Pinder's only contribution) are represented in the classic Moody Blues ethereal sound. In Fact, Pinder's song contains lyrics that harken back to the psychedelic era and the mellotron works well without being overpowering.

The additional five live songs don't make up for the lack of the quadraphonic sound most had hoped for, but at least they are crisply and clearly recorded. Again, "Driftwood" (with its reverb guitar) and "The Day We Meet Again" are nice surprises.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 June 2011
By the time the Moodies split in the early Seventies, they had recorded seven album. Creatively shattered and tired of seeing each other day in and day out, they called it a day...that is, until they reformed for Octave (released 1978).

Octave is a 'slow burn' - it takes a few plays to truly warm to it, then suddenly the penny drops. It is an absolute gem, oozing with gorgeous melodies and genuinely moving compositions. Take for instance 'Driftwood' - just sublime in its construction with the most beautiful lyrics.

Compared with earlier Moodies albums, it has a 'poppier' sound, with synths replacing the Mellotron and more contemporary compositions.

Later releases of the CD come with five live bonus tracks recorded at the time, making this a terrific package.
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The eighth album to be released by the Moody Blues, it captures much of the earlier magic, but frequently stumbles. This was during the late sixties, when the music industry was in a schizophrenic mode. The Moody Blues refused to change but were losing steam, giving the world a mediocre album.
There are some great cuts, however. "Steppin' In A Slide Zone" is a rockin' rock concert staple. "One Step Into The Light" and "The Day We Meet Again" showcase Mike Pinder's last songs. His mellotron jumps into high gear and gives the album a fine closure. The best cut, as usual, comes from Justin Hayward, who culls forth a melancholy, light, breezy mood with "Driftwood". This song alone saves the album.
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on 5 November 2003
As a Moody Blues fan, I waited with baited breath for the new album from the reformed Moody Blues. After all, each of their previous albums had seemed better than the last, culminating with the excellent "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" & then the brilliant "Seventh Sojourn", followed ny the even more brilliant "Blue Jays". However, on first playing "Octave" back in the summer of '78, I was somewhat disappointed - tracks such as "Under Moonshine", particularly "Top Rank Suite", & also "Steppin' on a Slide Zone" (although I've since revised my view of this one since seeing it performed live) just didn't seem up to the Moodies' previous form. The album did grow on me with time, stand-out tracks being "Driftwood" & "The Day we Meet Again", but isn't one I play much nowadays. Notable in containinmg the last Mike Pinder recording ith the band - "One Step into the Light". Definitely one for the Moodies fans rather than the casual listener who wants a Moodies album - [I'd recommend "Blue Jays" or "Seventh Sojourn", or "This is the Moody Blues" compilation for such folks!]
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2010
As has been pointed out elsewhere, 'Octave' is completely different in style to all other Moody Blues albums. At times, it sounds more like a pub workout. The sound is stripped of its dramatic elements, notably the sweeping Mellotron backgrounds, while even the drumming is often perfunctory. On several tracks, the band seem to be leaning towards a similar approach to that of Justin Hayward's pal from 10cc, Eric Stewart, another band whose best work was behind them by this time. 'Steppin' In A Slide Zone' and 'I'll Be Level With You' are perhaps the only two tracks that would obviously fit in with the usual fare. The jaunty, brass-backed 'Top Rank Suite' is the most unusual. I like 'Octave' on its own terms, but for me this is nearer three stars than five.
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on 2 April 2014
Dear Amazon UK,

Why have you changed your reviewing policy? You have forced me to repeat myself, since I cannot "review" music well enough to do either myself or you the justice required.

Your records will show how many purchases I've made from you, and I will continue to do so. To date, ALL my purchases have arrived well before time and in perfect condition. That's my consistent feedback, and it should be enough for your purposes.

In short, I am a very satisfied customer. Yours, Ian A. Melbourne.
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on 7 January 2001
The last album to feature Mike Pinder, this album, although not the most critically aclaimed, flows beautifully from one track to the next. The upbeat songs, (time zone, I'll be level with you, etc.) are on par with earlier recordings such as 'I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band' and 'ride my see-saw', but without the pycadaelic edge of the previous seven albums. It was recorded after a lenghty pause, when the existence of the band was in question. The slower songs are of the highest quality and play instrumentally after the song has finished in a wonderfully relaxed way, with many instrumental lines intertwining over and under each other in a wash of melodic beauty that the moody blues are so good at. The vocal harmonies in the songs are just the same as previous albums and I love this album. If you like the Moody Blues, buy this one, it's not as well known, but it is certainly of merit. 1978 was a year for the punks, but in the background the Moody Blues were being nice.
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on 14 August 2011
From 1967's Days Of Future Passed to 1972's Seventh Sojourn, The Moody Blues carved a top class career in a certain mixture of rock with quasi classical music.
After a well earned break they returned with Octave.
Some fans state that it cannot be compared favourably with the preceeding seven albums.
Well, that is clearly personal taste, for me, maybe it did'nt add anything significantly new, however it maintains the high standards they set from Days Of Future Passed.
That may be because it reminds me of attending two concerts at The Empire Pool, Wembley, in 1979.
On the second occasion I attended the after concert party and found the band to be suprisingly unassuming and therefore a delight to meet.
Of the 10 songs here there is not one I dislike, while the most outstanding are One Step Into The Light, Driftwood and The Day We Meet Again, all three ballards with lovely harmonies and trademark backing guitars etc.
If you know other Moody Blues stuff, I think you should hear this one too.
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on 16 February 2012
Having seen the Moody Blues live, gathering a collection of some of their old albums has been a pleasure. Apart from the more well known tracks - at least among Moody fans - there are other lesser known gems. Octave is an interesting album and added to by the bonus tracks (some live) that are contained. Recommended.
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on 28 February 2012
Got the CD as I'm a fan of the group and this was missing from my collection. Extra tracks appear on the re-mastered CD so that's even better than the old vinyl. Great CD!Octave
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