The Moody Blues – To Our Children’s Children’s Children / The Royal Albert Hall concert (Deluxe Edition, 4CD/1Blu-Ray or 1LP/12” Vinyl)


Released in 1969 on the bands newly minted Threshold label, The Moody Blues’ fifth album To Our Children’s Children’s Children divided opinion like no other album in their canon. Vocalist Justin Hayward later described the album’s aesthetic as “delicate”, and that’s pretty apt. It didn’t pack the same punch as previous long players and despite its respectable chart placing (No. 2) it’s since got a reputation as their “Marmite” album. However, distance and perspective are wonderful things, and listening to this deluxe edition, it becomes immediately evident what a strong record this is, and unlike much music from that era that sounds rooted in time, To Our Children’s Children’s Children remains fresh and innovative.

Whereas current album cycles are two years or more, it never ceases to amaze me the rapidity with which bands used to release albums, and To Our Children’s Children’s Children was The Moody Blues’ fourth within two years. What’s even more impressive is that there was no discernible drop in quality, and while some might decry the softer nature of this record as the result of “burn-out”, it evidences a band at a creative peak, and while the world was expecting another ‘Nights In White Satin’, they dished up something far more interesting. It’s notable that this was one of two Moody Blues tapes that Apollo 15 took to the moon, because opening track ‘Higher And Higher’ blasts off like a rocket towards the heavens, and its futuristic theme stitches the whole record together. Part of the reason that this record isn’t as acclaimed as other Moody albums is the lack of a hit single. There’s no one track that sticks out as single material; ‘Watching And Waiting’ was tried (and failed) but this was more of an album’s album. It found the band in transitional mode, distancing themselves from the teenyboppers who’d leached onto the band, and firmly establishing The Blues as an album-orientated outfit. Tracks such as ‘Candle Of Life’ and ‘Sun Is Shining’ find the band burning brightly, and the miniscule gaps between tracks means the album flows smoothly. The new stereo and surround mixes by Stephen W. Tayler have done a grand job and have alleviated the “delicacy” highlighted earlier. While you won’t find the music acting in new, strange ways, it’s now far punchier and direct, making this the ultimate version of To Our Children’s Children’s Children.

In addition to some B-sides and alternate versions, the second disc contains a special live set recorded for David Symonds’ Sunday Concert a month after the album was released. The BBC may have many faults, but they documented the golden age of rock with some amazing in-studio sessions (check out sets by Zeppelin and Bowie) and this set by The Moody Blues can stand tall amongst them. The first thing to note is that the cut from To Our Children’s Children’s Children (‘Gypsy’) hits far harder, Graeme Edge’s drums are given the requisite punch meaning it sits well amongst the older, more familiar tracks. Recorded five days before the BBC session, an appearance at Live At The Royal Albert Hall makes up CD Three and contains a similar set list as that which was performed at the Beeb, and it’s a shame that they didn’t have the foresight to include more tracks from the latest album in the running order. Nevertheless, it reads like a ‘greatest hits’ with an extended, wonderfully dreamy reading of ‘Nights In White Satin’ sounding absolutely massive in the cavernous environ of the Royal Albert. CD Four presents a new stereo mix on which Stephen W. Tayler has stretched the original so it now employs a wider dynamic range, and gives the all the instrumentation more room to breathe. Completing this set is a Blu-ray that pulls all three mixes together and is presented with the sound quality you’d expect from that format.

This reissue is also available, for those with a penchant for vinyl, as a one LP/12” set that compiles the Royal Albert Hall gig. But whatever you choose, there’s never been a better time to (re)discover this classic album.

  • To Our Children’s Children’s Children / The Royal Albert Hall Concert is released via UMR on 12th May 2023.
  • Official Website

Track List:

4CD/1Blu-Ray Edition:

CD One: To Our Children’s Children’s Children – The original album re-mastered

  1. Higher and Higher 

  2. The Eyes of a Child (Part One)

  3. Floating

  4. The Eyes of a Child (Part Two)

  5. I Never Thought I’d live to be a Hundred

  6. Beyond

  7. Out and In

  8. Gypsy

  9. Eternity Road

  10. Candle of Life

  11. Sun is Still Shining

  12. I Never Thought I’d Live to be a Million

  13. Watching and Waiting

CD Two: B-sides / Alternative Versions / Live At The BBC

  1. Candle of Life (single version, B-side of single: Threshold TH4, April 1970)

  2. Gypsy (alternate version)

  3. Sun is Still Shining (extended version)

  4. Candle of Life (alternate version)

  5. Gypsy *

  6. The Sunset *

  7. Never Comes the Day *

  8. Are You Sitting Comfortably *

  9. The Dream *

  10. Have You Heard / The Voyage / Have you Heard *

  11. Nights in White Satin *

  12. Legend of a Mind *

* BBC Radio One, David Symonds’ Sunday Concert,17th December 1969

CD Three: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 12th December 1969 – The new stereo mix

  1. Gypsy

  2. The Sunset

  3. Dr. Livingstone I Presume

  4. Never Comes the Day

  5. Peak Hour

  6. Tuesday Afternoon

  7. Are You Sitting Comfortably

  8. The Dream

  9. Have You Heard / The Voyage / Have you Heard

  10. Nights in White Satin

  11. Legend of a Mind

  12. Ride My See Saw

CD Four: To Our Children’s Children’s Children – The new stereo mix

As Disc One, tracks 1 through 13

Blu-ray Disc: To Our Children’s Children’s Children – *New 5.1 Surround Sound mix, 96 kHz / 24-bit new stereo mix, 96 kHz / 24-bit original stereo mix*

As Disc One, tracks 1 through 13

The new 5.1 Surround Sound mix – ‘Live at the Royal Albert Hall’, 12th December 1969

As Disc Three, tracks 1 through 12

1LP / 12” Vinyl: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 12th December 1969, new stereo mix

Side A

As Disc Three, tracks 1 through 5

Side B

As Disc Three, tracks 6 through 10

12”: Live At The Royal Albert Hall, 17th December 1969, 2022 Remix

  1. Nights In White Satin

  2. Legend Of A Mind

  3. Ride My See Saw