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Last week we discussed On the Threshold of a Dream, and this week the next album by The Moody Blues, To our Children's Children's Children.

The band were the same lineup as from their second record, and after being released on 19691121 charted at #2 in the UK and at #14 the next year in the US.  This is really a very nice album, although not my favorite Moodies one.

This album follows the trend that The Moody Blues were an album rather than a singles band because the only single from it failed to chart.  We discussed this last week and came to the conclusion that the ideas that they were expressing were simply too complex for one or two songs.

Like many bands in the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Moody Blues forms their own record label after the success of "On the Threshold of a Dream".  They never recorded under the Deram label again, but rather under the Threshold label.  Although still a subsidiary of Decca in the UK (London in the US), the agreements allowed them more freedom to spend money on expensive album covers.  Thus, they were able to commission Phil Travers for the cover art again, as he had for all of their albums since "In Search of the Lost Chord".  Deram had objected to the expense of the art and the gateway covers.

The album opens with a first, and that is the Graeme Edge wrote the entire song rather than just a short verse.  However, in keeping with most other Edge material, the words were not sung but rather recited by Mike Pinder.  "Higher and Higher" is really outstanding.  I chose this particular video because the Apollo 11 moon landing was the inspiration for the album.  Once again, I am convinced that Pinder could do anything with a Mellotron, as the rocket blastoff sound is strictly created by him and is not an actual recording of Apollo 11.

John Lodge wrote the next song, "Eyes of a Child I".  It is one of their numbers that I like to use the term "hauntingly beautiful".  In particular the flute work by Ray Thomas and the harp by John Lodge make it so, and the choral work is outstanding.  Here is is:

The Thomas song "Floating" is the third track on the record and is very nice.  For those who know the band well, this song is instantly recognized as a Thomas number, not only because he sings it, but because of the musical style.  Note the I beg to differ with the notes in the embedded video, because I DO think that this song is about psychedelic drugs within the overall theme of space exploration.

The forth track is "Eyes of a Child II", again by Lodge, but I have not been able to find it.  If anyone can, PLEASE add it in the comments!

The extremely introspective Justin Hayward song "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred" is the fifth track and is, sadly, very short.  All acoustic, all Hayward, it is great.

"Beyond" by Edge is back to the classical progressive rock sound of The Moody Blues and is a rare instrumental only.  The Mellotron is perfect here.

The seventh and final track from the first side is "Out and In", was written by Lodge and Pinder in the only known collaboration in songwriting by them.  There is some controversy about this, as some critics claim that it was written by Pinder alone.  Pinder certainly is the singer.  This song also has some significant psychedelic references, even in the title.  It is another of the hauntingly beautiful songs.

Side two begins with the Hayward song "Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time)".  This is heavy with Mellotron and is a classic Moodies piece.  Thomas's flute is an outstanding contribution, and the whole song just comes together wonderfully.  Hayward's voice is perfect.

Track two is "Eternity Road", written and sung by Thomas.  Still in keeping with the concept of space and time, it is not one of their top tier songs, but is still very, very nice.

"Candle of Life", a Lodge song, is the third song on the side.  It is another of the highly introspective songs for which the band was famous, and I find it quite sad but inspirational at the same time.  The admonition to love everybody should be taken to heart by all.

I really like the sitar in the forth track, "Sun is Still Shining" by Pinder.  The Mellotron is also outstanding in it.

"I Never Thought I'd Get to be a Million", the followup to the similar Hayward song of the first side, is next at track five.

The final track of the record is the brilliant Hayward song "Watching and  Waiting".  It is my personal favorite from the album, and it showcases Hayward's voice perfectly.  The entire oneness with nature is a recurrent theme in the psychedelic movement.  So was introspection, and this is certainly introspective.  This was the single from the album that failed to chart.

Overall, I think that this record is weaker than the previous two.  It is still much better than a whole lot of other popular music, but in my opinion is just not up to their standard.  Now, taste in music is highly subjective and there are many that consider this album to be their best.

I believe that the reason that I like it less is that it does not seem to have as many songs as joy filled as the previous work, but that could just be me.  Please do not get me wrong; I like the album very much.  I just like others better.  Another part of it is that there are not a couple of songs that really grab me like on the previous two.

That will do it for Popular Culture tonight.  Please comment liberally and feel free to add video.  Remember, if anyone finds "Eyes of a Child II" please add it in the comments.

On a personal note, my wrist continues to make rapid progress in its recovery.  My little finger is almost completely functional now.  The only time that I wore the splint was writing this piece, and that is just because it makes it a tad easier.  Overall I would estimate that I now have 60% functionality.

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

Crossposted at

The Stars Hollow Gazette,

Docudharma, and

firefly-dreaming

Originally posted to Translator on Fri May 18, 2012 at 05:59 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA and Protest Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (13+ / 0-)

    one of the best of the best bands?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Fri May 18, 2012 at 05:23:39 PM PDT

    •  Excellent soundtrack for the SpaceX launch. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator

      See also Troubadour's diary here:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      And the LIVE streaming video from the launchpad and mission control center here:

      http://www.spaceflightnow.com/...

      It's now about 15 minutes before launch, and there are over 4,000 people logged into the live video.  

      Everything is go for launch.  

      Dude, thanks for posting this diary today, the juxtaposition of the Moody Blues' songs inspired by the space program, and this latest leap into space, is a wonderful coincidence.

      12 minutes and counting.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat May 19, 2012 at 01:43:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry to take so long to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        respond.  Someone special and I spent from around 11:00 AM until just now enjoying each others' company.

        Thank you very much for the very kind words!

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sat May 19, 2012 at 07:49:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks; and as it turned out... (0+ / 0-)

          .... the launch malfunctioned slightly and the safety systems worked to halt the sequence, so now it's rescheduled to lift off in a couple of days after the engineers fix whatever-it-was that went wrong.

          None the less, a great juxtaposition of the two eras.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sat May 19, 2012 at 08:53:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here Is Some Friday Music For You (6+ / 0-)

    I have always been a fan of Yo-Yo Ma. I found Alison only a few years ago, and my god how I had never heard of her before is beyond me. Sorry for the ad you have to watch to see this, but I hope this video is "real" and they did this in one take.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:06:24 PM PDT

  •  I agree with you, Doc... (5+ / 0-)

    Not my favorite album by the Moodies but full of many gems.

    I think maybe they got a little too ambitious with this one (I always respect pushing the envelope) and the days of "all instruments played by the Moody Blues" came to an end with this one.

    I think they realized the songs were unperformable by a five piece, however multi-talented.

    I should mention that the (multiple) lead guitar parts on Higher and Higher show that Hayward could hold his own--and then some-- in that department.

    I don't think the excellence and stylistic diversity of his guitar playing has been emphasized in this series.

    Then again, he seems like a modest, unflashy kind of a guy, much like his bandmates. The group concept always came first.

    I'm not paranoid, I'm just well informed--SherwoodB

    by SherwoodB on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:18:42 PM PDT

  •  It's one of my favorite albums, (5+ / 0-)

    by the Moodies or by anyone else.  It's hard to find a better set of three consecutive songs than the first three cuts on Side 2, beginning with Gypsy.  That's my opinion, anyway.

    I was a freshman in college when the album appeared.  The Moody Blues were getting air time on the campus radio station.  When they announced that the new album was out, I walked more than a mile to the nearest record store.  Prominently displayed in the store's front window was To Our Children's Children's Children, with its great artwork.  Being a constantly broke college kid, any album purchase was a big deal, but I bought this one on the spot.

    I must have had really good taste in music back then, because I still like nearly all of the music I liked in the 60s and 70s.  And I still have those old vinyl albums.

    Gee, I'm really dating myself.  Vinyl albums, record stores, walking.  But I'm sure that some of you can relate to all of that.

    •  Dating oneself is not a bad thing, (4+ / 0-)

      unless one means by "dating" that you are going out with yourself, LOL!  I still have ALL of my vinyl with the single exception of Screaming Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends Hands of Jack the Ripper that a "friend" would never return.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:46:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What the heck is Watching and Waiting about? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    It's my favorite song on the album, too. I never knew what all the words were until I rediscovered the album a few months ago.

    The lines...

    Monet is borowing his way to the sunlight
    He knows there's someone there so strong

    ...are beautiful, powerful, and sung with amazing dexterity by Justin. But they don't jibe with the rest of the song, which seems to be about a planet waiting to be lived in by, I don't know long distance voyagers or something.

    Wikipedia says that the song was written by Justin and Ray Lodge. My guess is that the Monet lines are Justin's. Maybe he had more lines that made the Monet lines make more sense, but they cut them along the way. They probably knew that the Monet lines were weird, but damn, does he sing it so well. (I always thought he was saying "Money is borrowing, it's the way to the sunlight," A Keynsian Mondegreen that only Krugman could love.) Anyway, they couldn't cut all of Justin's lyrics out because he's Justin Frickin' Hayword, for crying out loud.

    Anyway, thanks for the diary.

    See the losers in the best bars, meet the winners in the dives -Neil Young

    by danoland on Fri May 18, 2012 at 06:47:02 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for another great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, Translator

    Also, how glad I am indeed that you, in contrast to several other Moodies fans I've encountered (not naming names), don't mourn TOCCC as the "beginning of the end" just because it's not another In Search of the Lost Chord! Personally I like the way they varied their game across their albums, & the fact that that included making a "theme" album with complimentary parts.

    (Complimentary in the sense that Edge, Lodge, & Thomas are traveling into space; Pinder seems to be traveling to a different plane of existence; & Hayward character-acts as various Earthbound archetypes — though his work on this album is also the hardest to completely generalize into the over-all scheme...)

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