To Our Children's Children's Children [Bonus Tracks]

by: The Moody Blues

This latest remastering of To Our Children's Children's Children is essentially a lower-rent reduction of the double-disc SACD/CD "Deluxe Edition" put out by Polydor in Europe in the late winter of 2006. Possibly the SACD market is perceived as too tenuous in the United States, but for whatever reason this single platter release contains only the remastered CD audio -- great sound, to be sure, but no multi-channel surround option -- from that two-disc set's first disc, augmented with highlights from that set's full CD of bonus tracks. This was the group's most advanced album production, on which they carried the concept of the studio as an "instrument" so far, that only one song -- the single "Gypsy," which was the simplest number here, in terms of sound -- ever got played on-stage. Needless to say, the multiple layers of overdubbed sound blossom in all manner of rich tone colors here (and are even more impressive on the SACD version) -- if any Moody Blues album were ever meant for digital audio presentation, it was this one which, thanks to Michael Pinder's ever-advancing electronic keyboards and all of the overdubbing by everyone, is effectively the work of 30 or 40 Moody Blues at times. All of that musicianship, much of it suggested in the sound of the original LP, is closer to the fore now, and well worth hearing in this rather elegant remastering. The main change among the bonus tracks is the elimination of more than half of the December 1969 BBC performance, principally material off the preceding album, On the Threshold of a Dream, as well as that radio performance of "Gypsy"." There's still enough here to please and inform the casual listener, though most serious fans will almost certainly already own the Deluxe Edition with all of this material on it. ~ Bruce Eder

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