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The Moody Blues - Timeless flight | FESTIVALPHOTO

The Moody Blues - Timeless flight



'Timeless flight' is billed as the definitive career-spanning Moody Blues box set. It's been released in several different variants as is common with box sets these days. There's the 17 disc box set which will set you back around £160, there's the 4 CD box set which is around £29, and there's the more basic 2 CD version at under £10. Obviously hardcore fans will want the full 17 disc box set which is an impressive package...

Housed in a heavy-duty LP-sized hard-back slipcase, this lavish box set contains 17 discs including:
* 11 remastered CDs featuring key album tracks, previously unreleased mixes, out-takes and complete live concerts
* 3 DVDs of rare television performances from around the world, promotional videos and the previously unreleased live concert from Olympia, Paris in 1970
* 3 DVD audio discs containing the long-deleted 5:1 surround sound mixes of Days Of Future Passed, On The Threshold Of A Dream, To Our Children's Children's Children, A Question Of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Sojourn
* 120-page hard-back book including a new essay by Moody Blues researcher Mark Powell plus rare and previously unseen photos on heavy weight paper
* Replica full colour tour poster and discography
* Replica Threshold press pack containing photos and memorabilia
* Exclusive Timeless Flight fabric patch

The 4CD version is also a pretty impressive package. It's presented in a hard back book-style case that opens to reveal the discs plus a 40 page booklet about the band.

The 2CD version is the most basic and is simply a double album.

The version being reviewed here is the 4 disc version. At £29 it's good value - you get four CDs containing 70 tracks in total. The book-style case looks fantastic, it's good quality and is well designed, and holds the CDs well (sadly something that isn't always true with some fancy packaging). The booklet (a term that feels slightly inadequate given the size and number of pages - this sits somewhere between being a booklet and a full book) is excellent. It's packed with information and there's plenty to read here, and there are sme great rare photos of the band breaking up the text and making it more visually interesting.

OK you're probably thinking to yourself that since there are already around 20 compilation albums of The Moody Blues, then why do we need another. It's a fair question, and the answer really lies in the choice of songs. Most of the compilations are "Greatest hits" type albums, so include a fairly small range of their best known songs, whereas this album includes a mix of the hits and some less well known tracks, and has tracks that cover the whole of their career.

This means that alongside songs such as 'Nights in white satin', 'Tuesday afternoon' and 'Forever autumn', you get some more obscure tracks. One of these, 'Departure' is a track that really surprised me - it's unlike any Moody Blues songs I knew, and sounds far more like Hawkwind than the Moody Blues that people think of from the hits. Tracks like 'In the beginning' and 'The dream' also fall into the category of songs that you really don't expect and which have a very different sound to the more traditional Moody Blues songs.

The fact that you have this mix of the hits, the obscure and the slightly bizarre makes this album so much more interesting than a "greatest hits" type of album. It's also avoided the danger of only including obscure and rare tracks and not including the hits as that type of album is great for hardcore fans but is less accessible for the more casual fan. This album has a nice balance which works really well. It's also nice to be able to listen and hear how the music evolves over the course of their career.

For me, the 4CD version is definitely the best option to go for - the 17 disc version is amazing but at that price will only really appeal to hardcore fans. The 2CD version is good, but the extra discs in the 4CD version plus the booklet and superior packaging make the 4CD version the one I'd choose - you get a lot for your money with this one, and I'd definitely recommend it both to fans of the band and to people who only know a few of their hits.

Disc 1:

1. Love And Beauty
2. Dawn Is A Feeling
3. Peak Hour
4. Tuesday Afternoon
5. The Night: Nights In White Satin
6. Departure
7. Ride My See-Saw
8. The Actor (Full Version)
9. Legend Of A Mind
10. Voices In The Sky
11. What Am I Doing Here (Alternate Mix)
12. A Simple Game
13. In The Beginning
14. Lovely To See You
15. Dear Diary
16. Never Comes The Day
17. Are You Sitting Comfortably
18. The Dream
19. Have You Heard (Part 1)
20. The Voyage
21. Have You Heard (Part 2) (Full Version)

Disc 2:

1. Higher And Higher
2. Gypsy
3. Eternity Road
4. Watching And Waiting
5. Question (Full Version)
6. And The Tide Rushes In
7. Don't You Feel Small (Original Mix)
8. Dawning Is The Day
9. Melancholy Man (Full Version)
10. It's Up to You (Tony Clarke Mix)
11. The Story In Your Eyes
12. After You Came
13. One More Time To Live
14. I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)
15. New Horizons
16. For My Lady
17. You And Me
18. When You're A Free Man (Tony Clarke's Stereo Mix Edit)

Disc 3:

1. Isn't Life Strange (Original Version)
2. Island
3. I Dreamed Last Night
4. Blue Guitar
5. Who Are You Now (Live At Lancaster University / 1975)
6. Driftwood (Edit Version)
7. Steppin' In A Slide Zone (Album Version)
8. The Day We Meet Again
9. Forever Autumn
10. The Voice (Full Version)
11. Gemini Dream (Full Version)
12. Veteran Cosmic Rocker
13. Blue World
14. Sitting At The Wheel (Album Version)
15. Running Water (Live At The Forum / 1983)
16. The Other Side Of Life (Single Version)
17. Your Wildest Dreams (Single Edit Version)

Disc 4:

1. I Know You're Out There Somewhere
2. Lean On Me (Tonight)
3. Say It With Love
4. Highway
5. New Horizons (Live At Red Rocks/1992)
6. Emily's Song (Live At Red Rocks/1992)
7. Legend Of A Mind (Live At Red Rocks/1992)
8. This Is The Moment
9. Eternity Road (Live At The NEC / 1997)
10. Question (Live At The NEC / 1997)
11. English Sunset
12. Strange Times
13. The Swallow
14. December Snow

Skribent: Anthony May
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