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Mostly though, it's the fact that everyone in the band (they all contributed songs) was willing and able to be honest to the world and bear their heart and soul in the music.Now, keep in mind, this is one of the main criticisms that Rolling Stone has of them, but if you have a sensitive bone in your body, this stuff can't help but move you.
Indeed, the Moody Blues were the first group to put me under the "these guys are awesome, I need all of their albums" spell (I'm quite sure that my friends and associates remember quite well my obsession, devotion and compulsive desire to get other people into the group during my last year and a half in high school). And their individual voices weren't any slouch either.
I would approach it with this sense of fear and forboding, not knowing what sound would come out of it when I played it; could be strings, could be a trumpet, maybe an oboe ...
over time moisture would buildup in it and the tapes would get warped and stretched ..." You get the idea.
First, Ray Thomas was one of a VERY select few to make extensive use of the flute in pop music.
Now, he didn't use it in the Ian Anderson make-the-flute-rock-as-hard-as-the-guitars manner, but rather he used it for pure melodic beauty and to add to the grandeur of the tunes.
And even today, when my music collection is so much more than just Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and A Question of Balance, I still really love these guys. In particular, primary (at least, in the sense that the band's greatest hits were mostly done by him) vocalist Justin Hayward could make a legitimate claim to being the greatest male rock singer for about fifteen years.
Of course, Rolling Stone hates them with a passion, but that's all the more reason for me to dislike Rolling Stone. High notes, low notes, and everything in between, he had force and power that simply could not be approached by any other.Before I go onto the actual albums, I would like to be fair and say something negative about the band, perhaps to convince you, the reader, that I am not a totally blind devotee.The main weakness of the Moody Blues was that their work was extremely formulaic and most definitely had a set style.But the very fact that he had such skill in controlling and taming the mellotron in and of itself qualifies him as one of the great underrated keyboardists of all time.Indeed, the mellotron has always been considered one of the greatest, most monstrous enemies of keyboard players through the ages, and most of today's developments in synth sound were driven for the sole purpose of putting the mellotron in the past.Of course, getting away from that is a large part of the reason that their late 80's work is really bad, but that's for the reviews themselves.