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Live At the Isle of Wight

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Album Review

Following the release of A Question of Balance the Moody Blues were a seemingly unstoppable force on the album charts in both the U.K. and the U.S. With four of their albums reaching the heights of the Top Ten in both countries, the Moodys were certainly hitting their zenith of popularity by the time the 1970 Isle of White Festival lineup was announced. Along with some of the biggest names in rock (Jimi Hendrix, the Who, ELP, Jethro Tull), the Moody Blues took the stage in front of what some historians estimate to be a crowd of over half a million — and they recorded it. Here, probably for the first time in a legitimate sense, is the document of that in-their-prime performance, Eagle Records' Live at the Isle of Wight 1970. Songwriter/flutist Ray Thomas gets a bit shafted on this set-list (only his ...Lost Chord gem, "Legend of a Mind," appears), but he may have been merely the victim of an ambitious concert song selection that focused on highlighting the pastoral and psychedelic extremes of the band at the time. Ditching any references to their Merseybeat past, this set pulls exclusively from the prog-lite stuff (Days of Future Passed through Question of Balance) and highlights the exceptional Mellotron mastery of "orchestra in a box" keyboardist Michael Pinder. ~ J. Scott McClintock, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Worth it...for a few reasons.

Ah, the Mellotron. The Mellotron is like your alcoholic uncle. You WANT to invite him over for Christmas; however you are just not sure how he will behave once he shows up. Unfortunately, for the Moody Blues at the Isle of Wight, ol' Uncle Mel was completely schnockered! This is too bad, as there are only a handful of soundboard recordings out there with Mike Pinder. Most Moody purists believe that the band ended when Mike Pinder left in 1978 (I, for the most part, disagree. I love LONG DISTANCE VOYAGER). This recording is worth getting for the rarities performed, including Minstrel Song, Melancholy Man, Tortoise and the Hare and Question (with Mike's tron and not that overplaying machine, Patrick Moraz).

Sound Quality is Horrible

Songs are recognizable, but musicianship is a little ragged, and the recording quality is abysmal. A nice little artifact, but you won't be able to stand listening to it.


Formed: 1964 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion. The group's history began in Birmingham, England with Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), who had played together in El Riot & the Rebels and the Krew Cats. They began recruiting members of some of the best rival groups working in Birmingham, including...
Full Bio