[Review] The Moody Blues: This Is The Moody Blues (1974)

Maybe all the Moody Blues you’ll ever need, although I dare you to resist buying more after hearing this.

Kronomyth 9.0: A look down life’s hallways.

This was released during The Moody Blues’ mid 70s hiatus, a double-album compilation featuring their classic material from Days of Future Passed through Seventh Sojourn. Remembering for the moment that Apple had just released two double-elpee compilations of The Beatles – the successful red and blue albums – Threshold rightly reckoned that audiences would snap up a double helping of The Moody Blues too.

This Is The Moody Blues, like The Beatles albums before it, is a nearly flawless collection of the band’s best music. In addition to the hits, you also get some of their most memorable album moments: The Dream and both halves of Have You Heard wrapped around The Voyage, In the Beginning leading into Lovely to See You and For My Lady among them. There’s even a nonalbum B side, Simple Game, included in the mix. By keeping the original albums’ continuity, the experience of listening to This Is The Moody Blues is like reliving the best moments from their albums rather than just a cavalcade of hits.

To hear this from beginning to end is to stroll through one of the greatest musical exhibits of the twentieth century. Graeme Edge’s poetry, Ray Thomas’ balladry, John Lodge’s rock songs, Mike Pinder’s orchestral touches and the brilliant songcraft of Justin Hayward all find equal balance here. As later Moodies compilations proved, it’s not simply a matter of collecting their hits and letting the music speak for itself. The music of The Moodies is a work of gossamer and granite, and needs to be presented with a discerning eye to both. There is a proper place for poetry, pop music and progressive rock in the Moodies’ body, and This Is The Moody Blues finds them. Despite the fact that the band continued to release great music after this (e.g., “Driftwood,” “The Voice”), I wouldn’t trade a single song on here (okay, maybe Melancholy Man) for what came after.

Original 2LP version

A1. Question (Justin Hayward) (5:39)
A2. The Actor (Justin Hayward) (4:11)
A3. The Word (Graeme Edge) (0:51)
A4. Eyes of a Child (John Lodge) (2:34)
A5. Dear Diary (Ray Thomas) (3:47)
A6. Legend of a Mind (Ray Thomas) (6:37)
B1. In the Beginning (Graeme Edge) (2:06)
B2. Lovely to See You (Justin Hayward) (2:35)
B3. Never Comes the Day (Justin Hayward) (4:39)
B4. Isn’t Life Strange (John Lodge) (6:32)
B5. The Dream (Graeme Edge) (0:52)
B6. Have You Heard (Part One) (John Lodge) (1:23)
B7. The Voyage (Mike Pinder) (4:08)
B8. Have You Heard (Part Two) (Mike Pinder) (2:08)
C1. Ride My See-Saw (John Lodge) (3:32)
C2. Tuesday Afternoon (Justin Hayward) (4:04)
C3. And the Tide Rushes In (Ray Thomas) (2:54)
C4. New Horizons (Justin Hayward) (5:06)
C5. Simple Game (Mike Pinder) (3:18)
C6. Watching and Waiting (Justin Hayward) (4:21)
D1. I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band) (John Lodge) (4:11)
D2. For My Lady (Ray Thomas) (3:54)
D3. The Story in Your Eyes (Justin Hayward) (2:45)
D4. Melancholy Man (Mike Pinder) (5:05)
D5. Nights in White Satin (Justin Hayward) (4:33)
D6. Late Lament (Graeme Edge) (2:33)

The Pictures

Photography by Dave Rohls, Pete Jackson, Nick Massey, David Wedgbury.

The Plastic

Released on 2LP, cassette, double 8-track and reel-to-reel tape in November 1974 in the UK and Australia (Threshold, MB1/2, KMBC1), the US (Threshold, 2 THS 12/13, THS8 12/13, THI 1213), Brazil (Threshold, 30002/3), Japan (Threshold, GSW-507/8), the Netherlands (Threshold, 6835 927/8) and Yugoslavia (Jugoton, LST 75013/4) with gatefold cover. Reached #11 on the US charts and #14 on the UK charts.

  1. Re-issued on 2CS in the US (Threshold, 2THS5 12/13).
  2. Re-issued on 2CD in August 1989 in Europe (Universal, 820 007-2) and the US (Threshold, 820 157/8-2).

2 thoughts on “[Review] The Moody Blues: This Is The Moody Blues (1974)

  1. I remember the original review’s Kronomyth was “That Was The Moody Blues”, but this one is cool too.

  2. I think I prefer the original Kronomyth. They seemed to be easier to come up with one’s a pun’s a time.

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