5.0 out of 5 stars The Moodies at their most psychadelic
Ok, so I'm not good at writing review titles. Some call this the Moody Blues' only psychadelic album but they've had others in the core 7. Anyway if we just stopped thinking about labels and listening to the music it's more enjoyable. I first got really in the first six songs which I think are the first side for the LP. I still don't like "Voices In the Sky", a...
Published on March 13 2004 by Reviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great stuff, but... Uneven
This is by far the weakest of the Moodies' 1st 7 albums. "Departure," "Ride My See-Saw," "Legend of a Mind," "Voices in the Sky," "The Actor" & "The Word" R all classics -- they've all got that great "moody" atmosphere, & the vocals & keyboards R gorgeous. But the rest is WILDLY uneven,...
Published on Oct. 24 2002 by Tracy Deaton
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5.0 out of 5 stars True Progressive Rock,
Many groups have been described as "progressive rock" during various times in their careers. To truly understand the definition of progressive rock, put yourself in 1968 listening to this album for the first time. The Moody Blues surpassed the Beatles with exquisitely complex orchestrations, using instruments that often were (and are) played only in obscure classical presentations. The lyrics are often incredibly spiritual without being denominational and without offending any specific denomination, a difficult feat in any era.
This album was a follow up to the ground-breaking "Days of Future Passed" album, and set the expectations for all future Moodies albums. So many groups get into a groove, and keep playing that groove endlessly and monotonously. The Moodies made seven concept albums in a row, none of which was identical. Most were only similar in that they had elements of fantasy, science fiction, and hope for a better world and a better life. The expectations for each Moodies album was (and continues to be): what unusual thing are they going to try to do this time?
In this album they played with using instruments to achieve various effects, such as the doors opening on the "House of Four Doors", and the combination of instruments on "Om" that evokes a feel of India without being Indian. The use of the sitar on this album is one of the best in a rock album, if not the best.
This album ranks as one of my all time favorites. There is no need to evaluate individual songs because they are all very good. This album deserves to be ranked with albums such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and Led Zeppelin's Runes or ZOSO album.
In some ways you may consider this album as a peak for the Moodies, and their subsequent albums are continually compared to "Days" and to "The Lost Chord." Fortunately the Moodies have never been disheartened by the unexpected success of their first two albums, and have kept on making more music. If you are new to the Moodies, you will find this album to be one of their best. If you like this album, you may also enjoy "To All Our Children's Children's Children," "On the Threshold of a Dream" and "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour." Each of these is similarly experimental, with varying degrees of success.
Regardless of your feelings toward this album, it helped defined progressive rock as a genre with the few other progressive rock groups of the late 60s and early 70s, and will always hold a special place for those who looked for the next evolution of rock music.
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a ride then a journey,
This CD starts off with "Ride My See-Saw," one of the all-time classics, written by Moody Blues bass guitarist John Lodge. With supercharged acoustic rhythm guitar, scintillating leads, and wonderful vocal harmonies and mellotron, it is an absolutely breathtaking, electrifying masterwork. I am always mesmerized by its majesty and power, and it is one of my personal top five rock songs ever.
On the remainder of "In Search of the Lost Chord," the music and verselines are sweet-sounding but rarely cloyed like those of its predecessor, "Days of Future Passed." Orchestral-type overlays are employed at times, but nothing resembling what was in "Days." The music is elegant English minstrel psychedelia of the late '60s, employing woodwinds at times, in addition to cello and mellotron, autoharp and harpsichord, and frequent pretty vocal harmonies. A sitar can also be detected on a few tracks, evoking Eastern mysticism.
Like Love's "Forever Changes," this CD has interesting musical arrangements, and from the preceding discussion it might be inferred that there is more in common between the two, which there is, even in the voices of the singers. But the songs here are stronger and catchier, and the lyrics are less eccentric, better and prettier, often evoking images of nature. This is all seen as the real journey begins, with "Dr. Livingston, I Presume." The search takes us to "Legend of a Mind" ("Timothy Leary's Dead") and its psychedelia, first somber and later majestic; soars upward with the lovely "Voices in the Sky"; and captivates with the beautiful "Visions of Paradise." We reach Nirvana with the concluder "Om," leaving us enriched musically and, I guess, spiritually.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Music, Stupid!,
"It's the music, Stupid!" That is what I have to say to those who fuss over this as a "concept album". In Search of the Lost Chord is one of the two most consistent and musically cohesive albums the Moody Blues ever did (the other is Children's Children). Except for the first two songs ("Ride My See Saw" and "Dr. Livingstone") it isn't rock music at all. It is simply their own sound, completely original and unique and you can't get it anywhere else. There is one bad song ("House of Four Doors") but everything else is top drawer, even the spacy Best Way to Travel. Indian and western musical influences are blended more successfully here than any other rock or pop band ever achieved, including the Beatles. "Legend of a Mind," Ray Thomas' cheeky English take on American acid-head Timothy Leary is experimental and entirely successful, working toward a thrilling climax propelled by repeated calling of Leary's name and John Lodge's thumping bass. "See-Saw" is solid classic rock. "Voices in the Sky" and "Visions of Paradise" are delightful, but I save my highest praise for "The Actor". It is the quintessential and best Justin Hayward song ever, and that is saying a lot - powerful singing, a beautiful melody, delicately textured instrumental backing of acoustic guitar and flute, gentle drumming by Graeme, and very effective lyrics. It is a song to be listened to with eyes closed. Singers today attempt to convey emotion through pre-programmed vocal acrobatics, but listen to Justin on this song. He just belts it out straight and the passion is right there, it comes right out of him, and it's much better than his earlier and more famous "Nights in White Satin". The Actor is the song on which Justin makes his strongest claim to greatness as a vocalist.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best rock/pop experiments ever made,
This review is from: In Search of Lost Chord (Audio CD)
Being from my favorite group from all time, I can't be objective with this record. But anyway to listen to it is to understand how far they got in making incredible modern music mixed with classic and traditional influences from many places and times in the world and mixing as well a very moving and dinamic, young nature with a vital and deep sense of spirituality.
After the grand experiment with a symphonic orchestra of 'Days of Future Passed' the Moody Blues and the producer Tony Clarke lock themselves in the studio in 1968 to create a magnificent musical expedition across the mind. 'Legend of a Mind' is maybe the highest point flute player Ray Thomas has ever reached as a songwriter. The part with of the flute solo leaves you standing naked in the middle of a field embracing nature with your open arms, and the intense ending leads you through a speed-of-light journey across your dreams and feelings.
'Visions of Paradise' is the song that maybe has put in the highest point the intention George Harrison founded of mixing psychodelic 60's rock with Indian traditional music. The voice harmonies really make you see paradise in front of you as you ever dreamed it was. 'Voices in the Sky' is a splendid, fresh and delicious chant to nature and simple joy. 'Om' is one of the superb tunes full of universal spirituality keyboardist Mike Pinder created, ending the album with perpetual choir voices ascending to the sky.
Every song in this album has a life in its own and is a world in itself, and they're also a standard for all pop/rock music created later. So, it's five starts without a doubt. A masterpiece of symphonic rock.
4.0 out of 5 stars After all, any follow-up to DAYS would have been a letdown,
DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED (1967) not only changed the way orchestras were used in pop music, but it gave new life to the Moody Blues' almost-dormant career at the time. With Justin Hayward now the official leader, the Moodies had officially left behind their blues-rock beginnings & pursuing the orchestral-pop concept full time. But while DAYS was a huge surprise, any follow-up to it was bound to pale in comparison, and with IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD, it certainly did. The best way to describe LOST CHORD could be that it is a little too hippie. With meditation & spiritual oneness becoming fashionable, only time would tell when it found its way into pop music. The Beatles had been fierce converts (at first), but the next closest would probably be the Moodies courtesy of the LOST CHORD album. Of course, it didn't start out that way. After the introduction called "Depature", we get into the driving rocker "Ride My Seesaw". We all know a see-saw is something you'd see on the playground, but in England maybe it means something else, but either way the song still rocks to high heaven, proving that the Moodies hadn't totally given up their beat-driven days. "Dr. Livingston, I Presume" is hard to describe really, rather than it's just another odd yet strangely infectious concoction that they created during their orchestral-pop phase. Maybe XTC was born a decade before it actually arrived, thanks to this song. "House Of Four Doors" is where we truly get into the whole mystical theme that runs throughout the album & if you don't quite get what it's all about, you're not alone. Perhaps you had to have been around in the '60s to understand it. "Legend Of A Mind" has a much more recognizable theme, being it a tribute of sorts to Timothy Leary, even with the line "Timothy Leary's dead/No, he's outside looking in". The music is enchanting enough to make one forget about the highly esoteric nature of this & many of the other songs on LOST CHORD. "Voices In The Sky", "The Best Way To Travel" & "The Actor" are some of the better-conceived tracks on what is truly an uneven album. It even ends on a pretentious note with "Om", which we all know is the mantra for meditation advocates the world over. But it has been joked about so much, that this song may not be able to stand up to a listen without being criticized. All in all, IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD seemed like a novel idea at the time, but the Moody Blues didn't seem to take into account of how the album would sound 3 decades later. With all the meditation & hippie vibes (couldn't resist using that term) surrounding it, LOST CHORD can't help but sound rather dated today. This pattern would continue for the next few albums before the Moodies slowly began to pursue other avenues with albums like 1970's A QUESTION OF BALANCE.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why they are just singers in a rock and roll band,
The Moody Blues put together cohesive theme albums of which this is a great example. This cd explores eastern mysticism and many of the cuts, such as "Om" are very spiritual. Thus, many fans treated the Moody Blues as sorts of demigods. When young fans would meet the Moody Blues at airports and literally throw themselves at their feet, begging for the band members to bless them, it became too much for Mike Pinder who ultimately left the group. It is also the reason for the song, in a later album, "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band." Years ago, albums were in vinyl with two sides. I hated having to flip the album over but, often one side of an album would be really great. To me, side B, starting with "Voices in the Sky" and ending with "Om," was such a side. It's not as though side A has any weaknesses ... it doesn't. It's just that side B is almost true perfection. Side B of their "Days of Future Past" album starting with "Tuesday Afternoon" and concluding with "Nights in White Satin" is another example of an absolutely perfect album side. Of course, we lose the concept of "sides" with cds.
The cd starts out strongly with "Ride My See Saw" a rocker, and continues strongly with "Dr. Livingston I Presume" and "House of Four Doors." The latter song, in the space of 4 minutes, manages to piece together what seems like an endless saga. The phrasing in the switching to various verses of the song seems to draw it out into epic proprtions. The song is one which is hard to hum along to but then switches to a very melodic chorus. This is a great cd and exemplifies the almost mystical aura that surrounded the Moody Blues. I loved my vinyl version in college and love my remastered cd now which I share with my two sons.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey look at that album cover,
By A Customer
A friend of my older brother had this record in 1968 and I briefly remember examing the cover and the yantra. I didn't have a chance to hear it as "Switched on Bach" was being played on the hi-fi, and I was heading out the door. Then in 1970 when I heard "Question" on the radio, which I immediately liked, they mentioned the group was the Moody Blues. I knew then that I had to buy their records. Out of the 4 Moody Blues in the record bin, "Lost Chord" had the wildest cover, and I was, of course, "familiar" with it. In what would become a ritual I waited until evening and laid on the floor with headphones on for a test spin. What occurred was pretty memorable- after "Departing" I immediately recognized "See-Saw" had been played by our late night AM radio jockey, Roy Cooper. This was when AM DJs were allowed to make they own playlists. I never knew the title, and hearing this on my record was akin to finding some lost jewel or something. Then "Legend" came on and again-deja vu- I heard this on our FM radio station, as well as on a local TV car commercial advertising custom paisley car tops of all things. When "Travel" came on-another FM favorite-I just couldn't believe that all these great songs had come from the same group! I was pretty impressed. The sequencing was pretty smart. One side had two of the four vocalists highlighted, and side two seemed to say-you haven't seen nothing yet-here's Justin Hayward. And to start side 2 with "Voices In the Sky" was just superb programming. Troughout the album all members are treated as equals-but I can't help noticing Haywards nice 12 string work. Sure the sleeve is 1/5 the size it used to be, and the Yantra isn't included anymore, but thats what used record stores are for. 30 years later I still get a charge out of this record.
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual journey,
They had done the symphony thing and pulled it off with flying colors. But this follow-up was pure, 100% Moody Blues. Of the 32 (!) different instruments used on this album, every one of them was played by one of the five band members. With this and other albums, they earned the nickname of "the world's smallest symphony orchestra."
This album is a journey, from beginning to end, in search of the chord and many other things. There is a heavy Eastern Philosophical influence, especially on the Mike Pinder contributions (Best Way to Travel, Om.) The songs flow into each other beautifully, making it sound like one continuous song. In every song, the singer yearns for something which that can never be defined in words. Mike Pinder's searing mellotron and Ray Thomas's soaring flute are the definitive sounds of the album.
Of course, this is the album that yielded two of the Moodies greatest and most enduring concert pieces, the rollicking "Ride My See-saw" and psychadelic "Legend of a Mind." Another standout is "The Actor," A Justin Hayward ballad so haunting it is in the same league as "Nights in White Satin." Then there's the lovely "Voices in the Sky," and John Lodge's epic, expermental "House of Four Doors," which samples musical styles throughout history.
This album is absolutely loaded with beautiful, experimental music. Why this band is so often not considered a part of the Prog Rock genre I'll never know.
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless,
By A Customer
I loved this album when I first got it as a Christmas present (I must have been 12 or 13). And I love it today. I haven't heard the "re-mastered CD" so I can't comment on that - I still listen to my scratched up LP. This, along with "To Our Children's Children's Children", are in my opinion the Moody Blues best. Lots of reviewers here are putting heavy emphasis on the "Eastern" flavor of this album. To me, this sort of misses the point. True enough, the Eastern theme may be ovbious on the surface, but the music acts as a springboard which transcends categorization, religious or otherwise. And isn't that the point of music? It's the Moody Blues, first and foremost, and that's what makes the album so wonderful.
I agree wholeheartedly with reviewers who expressed the idea of the endless emotional journeys that this album will take you on. And people tend to forget, the Moody Blues can rock! But rather than overwhelm you with it, they tease you, such as the ending to "Dr. Livingstone". Chunky, syncopated layers of acoustic guitar, bass, drums and vocals still send chills up my spine 30 years later. "Ride My See-Saw", "Legend of a Mind", and "The Best Way To Travel" are in my opinion the best cuts.
Simply put, this album is a treasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars AFTER AN EXCELLENT FIRST ALBUM, A GREAT NEXT STEP!!,
After listening to DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED, I got so impressed with Moody Blues music that I had an enormous interest in listening their second album. Normally many groups, after a great and succesful first album -in this case it was the first with Justin & John-, they try continue to follow the style they began and repeat themselves. But, in this album, we see it didn't happen. This album IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD was as great and extraordinary as their predecesor. It captured the Eastern sounds and it showed how a band must experiment with the music and their sounds without being something extremely complicated. Sincerely when I heard first time this album, I was in ectasy. I couldn't believe such a peaceful and wonderful music I was discovering, it was like a hidden treasure for me. From the beginning with the funny laugh of Graeme till the last song, the relaxed tarck called Om, we feel like we were travelling to Eastern places. It really continue with the conceptual albums, and the idea for House Of Four Doors -which included Part 1, Legend Of A Mind & Part. 2- is simply brilliant. My fave tracks here are: Never Comes The Day, House Of Four Doors, Voices In The Sky and Legend Of A Mind. This album showed why the Moody Blues have been considered as one of the best Classic Rock bands in the world, and their first 7 albums are considered as real gems of music.
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