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Time Traveller

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Customer Reviews

What a trip!

The English progressive rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s owe a lot to the original “progressive band”, The Beatles. With “Sgt. Pepper”, they opened the door to adventurous new bands that expanded upon the ideas of that album and took it to new sonic landscapes. Pink Floyd explored the realms of the human mind and psyche with trippy sounds but an increasingly cynical view of the world. Traffic had the “Hippie folk” sound perfected with the “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “John Barleycorn Must Die”. Jethro Tull’s albums could be described as “Elizabethan boogie”. Yes inadvertently provided the soundtrack to J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth. And Emerson, Lake & Palmer saw themselves as the modern equivalent to Wagner and Stravinsky.

And then there was The Moody Blues.

The Moody Blues were that rare band that could do all of the above, sometimes all in the course of one album. After scoring a modest pop hit with “Go Now” they changed directions starting with the 1967 album “Days of Future Passed”. They crafted a sound that wasn’t quite rock, not quite symphonic, not quite pop. It was just different, and very well done at that. They could do the delicate acoustic tunes, symphonic-style epics, even heavy guitar-based rock that sounded even better onstage. There was always a quiet elegance to every song they recorded. Their secret weapon was the Mellotron, a kind of early synthesizer that produced an orchestra-like sound at a discount price and was a distinct element in every song from their first 7 albums.

“Time Traveler” is a fine retrospective of their career from 1967-1991. While “Go Now” is not here, this set starts with their “turning point” in adding guitarist Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge to the band. Their first single with them, “Fly Me High”, already indicates that the band was going in a different direction. The band’s trademark harmonies are already here on this single.

This 4 CD set gives you all their best known songs with choice album tracks. I’m a little disappointed that songs like “Tortoise and the Hare” “And the Tide Rushes In” and “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume” are absent. But I was surprised at the number of songs here that would’ve made for fine singles, like “It’s Up to You” from “A Question of Balance”. This almost sounds like an alternate version of the earlier “Lovely to See You”. “Gypsy (of a Strange and Distant Time)” got a lot of airplay on FM stations and has a cool driving sound that would’ve fit right in on AM Top 40 radio too. The only rare track here is “Cities”, the B side of their breakthrough American hit “Nights in White Satin”. “Forever Autumn” comes from the all-star “War of the Worlds” concept album and “Blue Guitar” from the Hayward/Lodge “Blue Jays” album. This set also does some clever editing, “In Search of the Lost Chord” began with “Departure”, a Graeme Edge poem that quickly dissolves into laughter as “Ride My See-Saw” kicks into gear. For this set, “Departure” is seamlessly combined with “Ride..” since most radio stations back then probably played both together anyway as it made for a great segway (in the liner notes, Hayward jokes that while listeners loved the seamless transitions between songs, DJ’s hated it!) . This doesn’t quite work with “Legend of a Mind” and “House of Four Doors” from the same album, however. On the album, “House” was in 2 parts and “Legend...” was sandwiched in between them. Here, “Legend” is a completely separate song, and both parts of “House” are edited together. And come AFTER “Legend”. It sort of works, but the old way was much more effective at setting the mood, always important with these guys!

Time Traveller

An outstanding album with tons of songs on 4 discs. Too bad the 5 disc version is no longer available, as it has several songs cut from the Red Rocks concert CD and a cover of a song called "This Is The Moment". The Classic 7 albums are heavily represented except for Days Of Future Passed, which only has two songs represented. All in all, a good album that pretty much covers everything up to Keys Of The Kingdom.

A must have for classic Moody Blues

This is a must have for anyone interested in Moody Blues songs that defined what this group was about. Certainly a few of the later songs on this release were manufactured by thoughts of who they thought they were, but 90% of the earlier songs on this release are classic Moody Blues songs and ballads. The price is high for this collection, but well worth the investment.


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...
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