Top Artists – The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • The Moody Blues’ Masterpiece finally returns to the site with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this early British pressing – the vinyl is exceptionally quiet for this 60+ year old title as well
  • The sound is huge, rich and lively throughout – you need this kind of space for the orchestral parts to work their Moody Magic
  • An Album Experience beyond practically anything that had come before (Sgt. Pepper excluded)
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Days of Future Passed became one of the defining documents of the blossoming psychedelic era, and one of the most enduringly popular albums of its era.”

This album is more than 50 years old for god’s sake! In those 50 years I’d forgotten how good it is.

“Tuesday Afternoon” is the Perfect Pop Song, with the whole of side two flowing effortlessly from it as each song (each day) is linked by means of the surrounding orchestrations until it reaches its zenith with the climax of “Nights in White Satin.”

The sound is very much a part of the entire experience. The strings of the orchestra sound as sweet as any Decca, the soundstage wide and deep as any symphonic recording.

For those of you who still think Mobile Fidelity is the king on this one, here’s a record that demonstrates what a real orchestra sounds like. (more…)

The Moody Blues – Seventh Sojourn

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

  • An outstanding copy with Double Plus (A+++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Forget the dubby domestic pressings and whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – the UK LPs are the only way to fly on Seventh Sojourn
  • Great sound isn’t easy to come by for the Moody Blues — it takes a lot of copies to find sound as good as this
  • The Moodies’ biggest success on the American charts – I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock & Roll Band) is the killer hit from the album

This pressing is excellent on both sides. It has lovely vocals — sweet and breathy — so critical to the Moodies sound. It’s also spacious and energetic, two qualities that the average copy simply has very little of. To top it all off, this copy rocks about as much as this album, in our experience, CAN rock. Most pressings are shockingly compressed, recessed and murky.

And the domestic copies are made from dubs; they’re brighter but grainy and transistory as hell. They convey NONE of the Moodies magic.

Moody Blues records have a marked tendency to sound somewhat murky and muddy; that’s obviously the sound these guys were going for because you hear it on every album they released.

Compound their “sound” with bad mastering, bad pressing or bad vinyl — not to mention vinyl that hasn’t been cleaned properly — and you will find yourself trying to wade through an impassable sonic swamp. With anything but a Hot Stamper the result is going to be sound so fat, thick, and opaque that it will confound any attempt you might make to hear into it. (more…)

The Moody Blues – On The Threshold Of A Dream

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last
  • You will not believe how punchy, lively, dynamic, and exciting some of these tracks sound here – this is one of their best albums for both music and sound!
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful album, a vintage UK pressing is the way to go
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… [I]n 1969 this was envelope-ripping, genre-busting music, scaling established boundaries into unknown territory, not only “outside the box” but outside of any musical box that had been conceived at that moment…”

Both sides give you silky highs, surprising clarity, amazing openness and transparency, real weight to the bottom end, lots of air in the flutes, wonderful texture to the strings, and so much more. The acoustic guitars sound impressive, with the proper balance between pluck and body. The vocals are shockingly clean and clear throughout.

Copies like this bring all the psychedelic Moody Blues magic to life in your living room. The richness, sweetness, and warmth on this one give you exactly the sound you want for this wild music. You get lovely Tubey Magic and clarity. The sound is cleaner, clearer, richer, sweeter, and more present that you could have imagined.

It has been my experience that, as good as the British originals of the Moody Blues records are — and I think they are the best sounding pressings of their music that can be found — their one consistent shortcoming is an overly smooth top end. We managed to find a handful of copies that break with that tradition, and the results are wonderful. (more…)

The Moody Blues / In Search Of The Lost Chord

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • This early UK pressing has a stunning Triple Plus (A+++) side two backed with an excellent Double Plus (A++) side one
  • Just full of that Moodies Magic: warm, full-bodied, rich and smooth with excellent size and energy
  • The first Moody Blues album to feature their trademark mellotron arrangements
  • “…the album on which the Moody Blues discovered drugs and mysticism as a basis for songwriting and came up with a compelling psychedelic creation, filled with songs about Timothy Leary and the astral plane and other psychedelic-era concerns.”

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The Moody Blues / Seventh Sojourn – Once Again, The Hit Single Is the Worst Sounding Track on the Album

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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We had a bunch of British and Dutch imports to play, and we did hear some good sound, just not the kind of good sound we’ve heard on earlier albums. If you like this album we’re pretty sure you will have a hard time finding a copy that sounds even remotely this good. Most of them are much much worse. Dreadful in fact. (more…)

Letter of the Week – A Question Of Balance

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

The Moody Blues – A Question Of Balance… I had five copies before getting this copy from Better Records. It is clearly BETTER. They have exacted a science of this. The proof is in the record grooves… I can’t try to figure out how or why, nor do I want to! It’s always about the sound for me.

Fabulous service!

Andy

 

More A Question Of Balance

Letter of the Week – Days of Future Passed, World Machine and Picture Book

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

Just thought I’d drop you a line on the two albums I just received yesterday. I had some free time on my hands today so I was able to do some comparisons. I have an original Days of Future Passed, which sounds about as dull as they come. I have that reissue I bought from you years ago and the mofi. The reissue was pleasing to the ear but lacked that lifeforce which makes listening to records so involving. The mofi was always my favorite, but this Super Hot Stamper I was hearing the whole recording studio. There was a lot more depth and realism which I didn’t hear in the other records.

The Level 42 World Machine was always a fun record to listen to. The cd was just bright and bass heavy, so I bought an import lp off you years ago. It sounded pretty good until you turned it up, then it became so shrill I had to turn it back down. The Super Hot Stamper sounds great and I can turn it up as loud as I want. The sound stage is deep and believable which for an 80’s record is a rarity. (more…)

The Moody Blues – A Question of Balance

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • Side one earned a Double Plus (A++) grade and side two was even better, nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++)!
  • This copy has some of the tubiest, richest, yet clearest Moody Blues sound we’ve heard
  • Huge and spacious with strong midrange presence – this is the way the band should sound, alive and kickin’!
  • Includes the big hit Question, one of the all time greats by the band, which sounds fantastic here of course

Note that the sound on side one seems to get better as it goes, a phenomenon we have noticed often in the past.

What to Listen for

Achieving just the right balance of “Moody Blues Sound” and transparency is no mean feat. You have to be using the real master tape for starters. Then you need top end extension, a very rare quality on these imports, and finally, good bass definition to keep the bottom end from blurring and bleeding into the midrange. No domestic copy in our experience has ever had these three qualities, and only the best of the British imports (no Dutch, German or Japanese need apply) manages to get all three on the same LP. (more…)

The Moody Blues – Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides – this is one of the better sounding copies we played in our recent shootout
  • With a wonderful combination of Tubey Magical richness and clarity, this pressing will be very hard to beat
  • Full-bodied and lush, yet not veiled or distant, this is the sound that brings the Moodies magic to life
  • 4 1/2 stars: “The best-realized of their classic albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour was also the last of the group’s albums for almost a decade to be done under reasonably happy and satisfying circumstances — for the last time with this lineup, they went into the studio with a reasonably full song bag and a lot of ambition and brought both as far as time would allow…”

This copy had the BIG, RICH, LUSH British sound that can only be heard on the very best Moody Blues pressings. (more…)

The Moody Blues / To Our Children’s Children’s Children

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Reviews and Commentaries for The Moody Blues

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  • Lush but clear Tubey Magical Double Plus (A++) British Decca LP sound on both sides, on quiet vinyl to boot
  • You get richness, fullness and warmth on both of these sides, which is exactly what you want for the Moodies’ music
  • “It is the fourth of what are popularly considered the group’s “core seven” (or Classic Seven) albums from 1967 to 1972, and as such represents the peak of their career to some.”
  • “There are no extended suites on this album, but Justin Hayward’s “Watching and Waiting” and “Gypsy” have proved to be among the most popular songs in the group’s history.”

This British Decca pressing has two excellent sides. Most aren’t nearly this airy, open or spacious. The bottom end is strong with nice weight and much improved bass definition. The vocals are big and solid. (more…)