The Moody Blues ‎– Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

Threshold (5) ‎– THS 5
Vinyl, LP, Album


Original 1971 US Release.

Includes a custom inner sleeve.

Threshold logo and DISTRIBUTED BY LONDON RECORDS, INC. printed on the labels in purple ink. The XTAL 10638/8 P PH on the labels appears at 3:00 below the THS5.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (SIde 1 Label): THS 5 XZAL 10638P PH
  • Matrix / Runout (Side 2 Label): THS 5 XZAL 10639P PH
  • Matrix / Runout (Side 1, Stamped): XZAL 10638P (etched) -2 P.R.
  • Matrix / Runout (Side 2, Stamped): XZAL 10639P-1 (etched) #3 PR

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March 23, 2017

Gone is the psychedelia …

I so vividly remember a friend walking into my apartment with this album tucked under his arm, face beaming, while I silently rolled my eyes, as I was so done with The Moody Blues, more than content with their early works to move with me though the rest of my life.

With the album’s title being taken from mnemonic device for mastering the musical scale E-G-B-D-F, and with those notes being part of the opening track “Procession,” it was the album’s goal to to sift though the history of music, from it’s earliest formats up to the release of this outing.  Though when on thinks of music, one tends to consider the context of the whole, the melding and morphing to create a completeness that is greater than the sum of its parts, yet here on Every good Boy Deserves Favour, all five members contributed but a single song together, truly feeling like The Beatles White Album, pulled together and fashioned by individuals from bits and pieces that were loosely strung together … certainly nothing like the holy trinity, or even A Question of Balance.

While the record did in a sense return to the more sonically textured and layered albums of the past, gone was that true cosmic feel, also gone was that attitude that we are all tethered together, with personal songs coming into play such as “Emily’s Song,” written in celebration of the birth of his daughter by John Lodge.  Other influences personal to other individual members also float in and out of other tracks.  Also gone were the other-worldly lyrics, with “Procession” containing but three spoken words ‘desolation, creation and communication,’ where with those three words and a budding complexity of seventies progressive rock self-indulgence, the Moody Blues seemed destined to tear down all that I’d come to love in a singular event that certainly indicated that the Moody’s had nothing to say.

Yes, “The Story In Your Eyes” jumped from my speakers, and momentarily gave me hope that they’d gotten back on path, becoming the hit single back in July of 1971, with the high energy of the mellotron and guitars overshadowing the very dark lyrics, causing me to wonder if this had be done on purpose to disguise them, or to have them stand in stark juxtaposition to the music.  Without a doubt, the album contains some other highlights, but highlights do not make for a lasting production, especially one that was so heavily overdubbed that I felt left out, never drawn in, nor did I hear any of the idealized saga regarding the history of music in all of its fashions and glory.  And that left listeners with a series of arrangements and melodies to stand in for what was touted to be an imaginative and haunting composition.  So while the lusher sounds may have been back, that’s all they were, lusher sounds that took listeners nowhere, and offered no passion.

I want to laugh here, because at this moment in time I do know the future, where the Moody’s would be down the road, knowing that there was a music video in the not so distant future, where “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” sees the Moody Blues coming face to face with their past, happy with the balance they’ve found.  So here I stand, sometimes feeling that I’m braced against a wind, listening to people point to this part or that part, or say, But listen to this lick, and to them I just hold up In Search of the Lost Chord, and say, But just listen to this … meaning the entire album, not bits and pieces.

*** The Fun Facts: The album was mixed and released in both stereo and the fledging quadraphonic. Quadraphonic (or Quadrophonic and sometimes Quadrasonic) sound was similar to what is now called 4.0 surround sound and uses four channels in which speakers are positioned at the four corners of the listening space, reproducing signals that are (wholly or in part) independent of one another. Quadraphonic audio was the earliest consumer product in surround sound and thousands of quadraphonic recordings were made during the 1970s. It was a commercial failure due to many technical problems and format incompatibilities. Quadraphonic audio formats were more expensive to produce than standard two-channel stereo. Playback required additional speakers and specially designed decoders and amplifiers.

Review by Jenell Kesler