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Worst to Best – The Moody Blues Core Seven

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.

the-moody-blues-every-good-boy-deserves-favour#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.


the-moody-blues-in-search-of-the-lost-chord#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.


the-moody-blues-a-question-of-balance#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’.


the-moody-blues-on-the-threshold-of-a-dream#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.


the-moody-blues-seventh-sojourn#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.


the-moody-blues-days-of-future-passed#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.


the-moody-blues-to-our-childrens-childrens-children#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’.

For more detailed Moody Blues coverage, please visit the new Moody Blues page.

17 thoughts on “Worst to Best – The Moody Blues Core Seven Leave a comment

  1. To our children’s children’s children – I’m not familiar with the album, but I quite like that title – and the math involved, trying to process what generation that would make me (great-grandfather I believe?!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a song named ‘I Never Thought I’d Live To Be a Hundred’ and a song called ‘I Never Thought I’d Live To be A Million’. It really deserves a place on the 1001 – it’s generally the fan favourite, but doesn’t make great albums of all time lists much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As you might recall, I did a piece on ‘Children’ a while back so we are in agreement there. I would probably move ‘Question’ up a little bit, ‘Future Passed’ down a little bit. The rest, I suppose, flip a coin as I haven’t heard some of them in years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post is great timing, since I’ve yet to explore The Moody Blues in greater detail. I think you’re right they are more of an acquired taste overall.

    I’ve always loved “Nights In White Satin,” which was one of the early songs I learned to play on acoustic guitar. From “Days Of Future Passed” I also dig “Tuesday Afternoon.” I also like “Go Now” from “The Magnificent Moodies.”

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would actually be kind of cool to experiment with making an accompanying “Worst to Best” video sometime, with a clip from each album. Some of my favourites are ‘Gypsy’ from To Our Children’s Children’s Children and ‘Question’ from A Question of Balance.

      Like

  4. That’s an accurate (and concise!) breakdown of that classic era. I only recently discovered “Children’s Children” in full as I picked up a vinyl copy on short money. A great album and one without a major hit single, so it all sounded fresh to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I wrote it in Sydney airport on a work trip, so I was on a schedule – could probably expand it a little sometime. Children’s Children is often a consensus favourite – it’s my favourite both sonically (it’s the peak of their lush sound) and in terms of material. Often I like Hayward and Lodge best, but everyone writes good songs on that record.

      Liked by 1 person

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