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The Moody Blues

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Here's a double dose of Moody Blues love for fans of this highly-influential prog band.

The Moody Blues
Threshold of a Dream: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

Eagle Vision

The Isle of Wight film begins with a 20-minute documentary that shows the Moodies arriving at the festival site in a helicopter and offering their thoughts on the yet-to-be-played show; present day interview footage with Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Graeme Edge and Mike Pinder reveals that the band was deeply affected by the show; the half-a-million-strong event in the U.K. continued the social and musical sea-change that Woodstock signified for Americans the year before.

The documentary portion also looks briefly at how the Moody Blues were initially a blues cover band and how they found success by dropping the idiom and replacing it with songs about their own lives set to their own soundtrack.

As to the concert itself, the 10-song set list is fairly evenly split between material from the three albums that had hit big in the preceding two years; "Question," "Tortoise and the Hare" and "Melancholy Man" from Question of Balance are performed along with other favorites like "Tuesday Afternoon," "Never Comes the Day," "Legend of a Mind" and of course "Nights in White Satin."

The band traditionally closes with the acid era hit single "Ride My See Saw" and this show is no exception. An included CD has a few songs not on the DVD, notably "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" and "The Dream."


The Moody Blues
Live at Montreux 1991

Eagle Vision

The Live in Montreux set, filmed two decades after the Isle of Wight, has the band opening with "Lovely to See You" and "Gemini Dream," both performed with a little blues swagger that pays homage to the band's pre-fame days.

The show is typically sublime as the guys, minus Pinder here but augmented by quite a few sidemen and background singers, play a set full of beloved cuts like "The Story in Your Eyes," "Isn't Life Strange," "Gemini Dream," "Your Wildest Dreams" and the rollicking "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band.)

The show once again closes with "Ride My See Saw." The included companion CD features the same show as the DVD minus two lesser-known songs.


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