Between 1967 and 1972, Birmingham’s The Moody Blues released seven studio albums, commonly referred to as the Core Seven. While they stayed in step with the times, transitioning from richly orchestrated psych pop to more stripped down albums in the 1970s, The Moody Blues were twee, moustachioed and played gentle music that rarely rocked. Drummer Graeme Edge wrote poetry, Justin Hayward sang like an angel, and Mike Pinder questioned the meaning of existence over a series of gorgeous and ridiculous albums.
#7: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971)
Despite a great Justin Hayward rocker ‘The Story In Your Eyes’, EGBDF remains the slightest and most dispensable of the core seven.
#6: In Search Of The Lost Chord (1968)
The Moody Blues went full on hippie mode in 1968, with lyrics about Timothy Leary and ‘Om’, but they’re too (endearingly) dorky to make convincing hippies.
#5: A Question Of Balance (1970)
The group’s material was becoming too complex to play live, and they stripped down their sound, while their first album of the 1970s tackled issues of the environmental and war. Justin Hayward provides the highlight with the driving, acoustic ‘Question’.
#4: On The Threshold Of a Dream (1969)
The group’s first album of 1969 is filled with gentle, pleasant songs, which are the group’s forte.
#3: Seventh Sojourn (1972)
The final album of the core seven is bass player John Lodge’s turn to shine. He wrote and fronted two of the most memorable songs, ‘Isn’t Life Strange’ and ‘I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)’. The group ditch the poetry and turn up Hayward’s electric guitar, making it the least typical record of the seven.
#2: Days Of Future Passed (1967)
After their time as an R&B combo petered out, The Moody Blues relaunched their career with an album of richly orchestrated ballads, with Pinder’s Mellotron colouring the arrangements and the orchestra providing link tracks. Both Pinder and orchestra are featured on Hayward’s soaring ‘Nights in White Satin’, the breakthrough hit.
#1 To Our Children’s Children’s Children (1969)
The group’s lush, orchestrated sound reached an apex with this concept album about ageing and space travel. All four songwriters contribute great material, and the album’s full of great songs like Hayward’s ‘Gypsy’ and Ray Thomas’ ‘Eternity Road’.
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