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The Moody Blues: Chapter 5.

Music Review: The Moody Blues – To Our Children’s Children’s Children

The Moody Blues returned in November of 1969 with their fourth consecutive concept album. They had explored a day in a life, a spiritual journey, dreams, and now they traveled into space. Apollo 11 had landed on the moon the previous summer and humanity’s venture into space was at its apex. The five members of The Moody Blues would create a cosmic, philosophical, and musical look at mankind’s reaching outward into the unknown.

To Our Children’s Children’s Children may not be the most enjoyable Moody Blues album, but it is one of the most creative and experimental. The songs form a cohesive unit and from track one through thirteen they keep it interesting.

Graeme Edge would again lead off the album. This time, however, it would be through his first full length song as “Higher and Higher” clocks in at over four minutes. The sound of a rocket taking off and the lyrics recited by Mike Pinder introduce the theme. This rock song launches the Moody Blues and the listener into the space age at least from a musical perspective.

I have always thought that the next three songs were some of the most creative that the group would produce. “Eyes Of A Child” by John Lodge is a two part composition that is split by Ray Thomas’s “Floating.” The brilliance is in the simplicity and the beauty. The wonder and hope of the space age is explored through the wonder of a child.

“Out and In” was the only song that Mike Pinder and John Lodge would co-write together, and in some ways is the center piece of the album around which all the other music swirls. Pinder’s mellotron provides a lush backing for this exploration of the universe.

There are a number of other delicacies to be found here. “Gypsy” is an ominous and haunting rocker by Justin Hayward. “Eternity Road,” penned by Ray Thomas, is a wonderful and upbeat lyrical journey that considers space exploration as a continuing journey. Beneath the grandiose music is some of Justin Hayward’s masterful guitar playing. “Candle Of Life” finds John Lodge diverting from his usual rock style and contributing a romantic and lovely song centered around a piano sound.

It’s easy to ignore the two Justin Hayward compositions, “I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Hundred” and “I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Million,” as they are very short. It is a looking back at life and opportunities taken and passed over. As you grow older these songs take on new meaning.

To Our Children’s Children’s Children has an artistry to it and fits in well with The Moody Blues catalog of concept albums. It holds up very nicely so put on your ear phones, turn the lights down low, close your eyes, and prepare to leave this world, all courtesy of The Moody Blues.   

About David Bowling

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for writing about a sentimental favorite album of mine.

    There’s a bit of schmaltz here and there, and the album really needs to be listened straight through, yet I’ve enjoyed it from the very first listen until now.

    When I was ten (1976) my brother forgot to take it along when he went to college so I liberated it. I listened to it frequently over the next few years, as I didn’t have ANY albums of my own. The themes of opportunity, hope, not fitting in, doubt, regret, all registered strongly in my pre/early teen brain. As I’ve grown older I find more layers in the lyrics and still enjoy the soaring, then meditative, music.

    You’ve touched on a lot of what I like about the album, so I won’t restate it. Will add that I’ve never been a big fan of Graeme Edge’s poetry, but I think his contribution of “Higher and Higher” is excellent, with a dash of humor, too. Butterfly sneezes, indeed.

  2. One can find the original James Moodys Blues on youtube, whether the 1949 recorded in Sweden, or the Eddie Jefferson vocal, or the famous King Pleasure version.

    Why settle for less than the original Moodys Blues?