Moody Blues - Strange Times

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Univeral Records/Threshold
Catalog Number: 012153565-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:37:00

Strange as it might seem, but the Moody Blues album Days Of Future Passed is regarded by many as the world's very first progressive rock album. Initially intended as a demonstration record to illustrate the stereo effect, this album managed to find its way all over the world, thanks to immortal hits such as "Tuesday Afternoon" and of course "Nights In White Satin." Today no fewer than 32 years later, Messrs. Hayward, Lodge, Thomas and Edge are once again knocking on our doors with fourteen brand-new compositions, all written following the famous Moody Blues recipe.

Strange Times was written in Italy and is the very first album the foursome has produced themselves. Contrary to the previous albums, the band has left the synthetic sounds for what they are (although you would think different once you hear the opener "English Sunset") so as to re-invent the warmth of the acoustic instruments. So do expect a fair share of "warm" sounds with beautiful arrangements. Typical is also the sometimes-hesitating voice of Justin Hayward and the full sound of the "strumming" guitars. The Moody Blues also have a patent where "catchy" melodies are concerned, like here during "Sooner Or Later" with nice Hammond organ and country guitar, the tasteful uptempo character of "Foolish Love," the whipped up "The One," and the harmony of "Forever Now." Yet a thing the Moodies have always mastered like no one else are the ballads, such as the brand-new "Love Don't Come Easy" and "All That Is Real Is You" (with its soft Irish tone).

With "Words You Say" it's as if we're back with both feet in the recording session for Days Of Future Passed because of the strong orchestration lifting this song to unseen heights. Sublime and very Beatles-like! This can also be said of "My Little Lovely," which starts of like "Blackbird." The album closes with grandeur and beauty by means of "Nothing Changes" and they couldn't have been more right: nothing has changed, the Moody Blues still have it in their fingertips, the writing of timeless music which will steer them right into the new millennium without any problem!

English Sunset (5:05) / Haunted (4:31) / Sooner or Later (Walkin' On Air) (3:49) / Love Don't Come Easy (4:33) / All That Is Real Is You (3:33) / Strange Times (4:29) / Words You Say (5:31) / My LIttle Lovely (1:45) / Forever Now (4:37) / The One (3:39) / The Swallow (4:58) / Nothing Changes (3:32)

Justin Heyward - guitars and vocals
John Lodge - bass and vocals
Graeme Edge - drums, percussion and vocals
Ray Thomas - keyboards and vocals
Danilo Madonia - programming, keyboards and orchestrations

Go Now/Moody Blues #1 (1965)
The Magnificent Moodies (1965)
Days Of Future Past (1967)
In Search Of The Lost Chord (1968)
On The Threshold Of A Dream (1969)
To Our Children's Children (1969)
A Question Of Balance (1970)
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971)
Seventh Sojourn (1972)
This Is The Moody Blues (1974)
In The Beginning (1975)
Dream (1977)
Caught Live + 5 (1977)
Octave (1978)
Long Distance Voyager (1980)
The Present (1983)
Voice In The Sky: The Best of The Moody Blues (1985)
A Compleat Collection (1985)
Other Side Of Life (1986)
Prelude (1987)
Sur La Mer (1988)
Greatest Hits (1989)
A Night At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony (1993)
Time Traveller (1994)
Best of (1997)
Strange Times (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1553
Language: english


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