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Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord
Label: Polygram Records
Release: 1968

Tracklisting:
Departure
Ride My See-Saw
Dr. Livingstone, I Presume
House of Four Doors (Part 1)
Legend of A Mind
House of Four Doors (Part 2)
Voices In The Sky
The Best Way To Travel
Visions of Paradise
The Actor
The Word
Om

In Search of the Lost Chord - Moody Blues
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After the near-perfection of Days of Future Passed, this album is a little disappointing. The band go for psychedelia on this release, and psych wasn't their strong suite - as it is, they manage to make some pretty good numbers on here, but not much to write home about.

There's three big psych numbers on here (bar the, as usual, horrid Edge poetry), ranging from excellent to utterlyridiculous. The excellent belongs in Ray Thomas's "Legend of A Mind", which people more often than not refer to as "TimothyLeary". A lengthy number that cuts into the 2 parts of Lodge's "House of Four Doors", it's a very atmospheric number, withsome great Pindertron passages and some wonderful flute playing from Ray himself - it's an excellent, very trippy number. Well done boys.

Same can't be said for the others - both written by Mike Pinder. "The Best Way To Travel" is at least interesting, with it'sweird mellotron break in the middle, but there's nothing else to write about at all on this song. And he also contributes,with ease, the most offensive thing on the whole album - even including Edge poetry. "OM" is, of course, the lost chord itself, and it's set to ridiculous musical background, and goes on for too god-damn long. Out of the "Core 7", this is easily a contender for the worst song the Moodies' made - it sounds like a light version of "Within You Without You".

Anyway, as for the rest - well, most of them are good, if not really classic Moodies. But don't ignore "Ride My See-Saw",a spectacular, bouncy rocker (Naturally, from the rockin' man in the band, John Lodge) that opens the record. And John Lodge puts his name forward as the most consistent songwriter in the Moodies' with the outstanding "House of Four Doors" -a tight contender with "Legend of A Mind" for best song, here. Many a musical part here - harpsichords, pianos, mellotrons,with a great refrain and chorus. Excellent.

Ray Thomas, bar "Legend", doesn't go too well. "Dr Livingstone, I Presume" is extremely catchy and childlike...but well, it's pretty typical for Ray. "Visions of Paradise" features some great flute hooks, but is kind of...well, yeah, just plainol' decent. Not a match for "Legend of A Mind". And Hayward? He does ok for himself - as usual, he is the balladeer, andso he does what he does best. "Voices In The Sky" is another great song - outstanding mellotron, as usual, and a beautifullead vocal. And "The Actor" is a good, but unmemorable acoustic number.

So, there you go. It's perhaps the worst out of the "Core 7", but it's not a poor album - although some moments really bring it down. Edge is, as usual, abysmal, and song-writing wise, this is probably the worst one for Pinder - a shame after greats such as "Dawn Is A Feeling" on the last album. So, I give it a high 6 - it's got some damn good songs, but really, this album could have been a lot better.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

often times thought of a let down. in some ways it is. the songs aren't as strong. the album drags a bit, the band goes seriously all out hippy here. interestingly, they play like 48 different instruments on here. if they didn't know how to play, they just learned how to! quite admirable.

has some great songs on it like ride my see saw, dr. livingstone i presume? legend of a mind (also known as timothy leary's dead) and the house of four doors. OM sucks as does graeme edge's poetry sections: he just hadn't learned to write good music to go behind his incredibly lame poetry. still, great moody melodies, moody singing, and a fun moody atmosphere. must have for moody fans.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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