PlayBack Magnificent Moodies Box Set Review

When one thinks of British blues artists, many a name comes to mind…John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, the original incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, and artists like Eric Clapton. To be sure, The Moody Blues belong in this group of musicians. Long before their string of 70s and 80s hits, the five-piece band had their first hit off of their first release, The Magnificent Moodies. The track was titled “Go Now,” and it started the band down the road to even greater success. The group consisted of Denny Laine (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Mike Pinder (piano, vocals), Ray Thomas (flute, tambourine, vocals), Clint Warwick (bass, vocals), and Graeme Edge on drums (before taking over the drums, he was once manager for the band).

Now, Esoteric Recordings have released a boxed set dedicated to the album. It is a must have for any collector or serious fan. Consisting of two discs, the material here is a gem. The first disc opens with the original album recordings from their first release. Included here is the hit single “Go Now” (in original form as well as a previously unreleased version), “Lose Your Money (But Not Your Mind),” and “Steal Your Heart Away,” as well as material from the later-released French EP, Boulevard De Madeleine.

The tracks here are presented in their original Mono format, with the exception of The 1966 Denny Cordell Sessions included at the end of the second disc. Even a Coca-Cola commercial from 1965 finds its way onto the set. The second disc of the set contains several unreleased tracks, including the controversial track “23rd Psalm.”

Also included in the package is a poster backed with newspaper clippings and photos, a 23-page booklet, and three photo post cards. Overall, this is a very nice set. With all the unreleased material, as well as the original album, a collector couldn’t ask for more. B+ | Marc Farr

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