display | more...

"To Our Children's Children's Children" is a 1969 concept album by British progressive rock group The Moody Blues. Inspired by the Moon Landing, it was, as the title suggests, a concept album about space travel and the future. This is augmented by the album cover, a cave painting-style drawing of a soldier, and starts with the first track of the album, describing a rocket lift-off.

The milieu of this album, in broad strokes, is a familiar story. What was called psychedelic rock in the 1960s turned into progressive rock in the 1970s, and the Moody Blues were one of the pioneers of that shift, putting together orchestrated music with complex lyrics. And this album, composed and recorded right around the time of the moon landing, reflects several different themes, with some of the songs being light musically and lyrically (such as "Floating", about being in zero gravity, which I can imagine as a Donovan song), while others are denser and more rock oriented, such as "Gypsy of a Strange and Distant Time", a far-future science-fiction story about a man fleeing through space. As a transition from the 1960s to the 1970s, the album sounds like a combination of folk rock and progressive rock. Thematically, it combines both optimism and fear, which probably encapsulates the counter-cultures attitudes in the late 1960s.

One of my biggest questions about this album is just how much substance there is in the science-fiction part of the concept. To be honest, it took me a while to realize that there was even a concept here. Some of the songs mention science-fiction aspects explicitly, while others seem to be general meditations on life. While mention is made to zero gravity and space travel and extended life span, there is no common thread that binds them, other than seeming generally "spacy". And, at least some of the songs, such as "Floating", seemed to be as much about the 60s other great pastime as they were about space travel. A concept album about the future sounds a lot like a concept album about taking lots of drugs is one of the problems here. The music, especially the more folk-oriented songs, doesn't sound especially space age, either--- the album would have probably sounded much more like a "space" album if it had been recorded with more synthesizers, a few years in the future. Unlike, for example, Deltron 3030, which sounds like an album made when the internet was just getting popular, this sounds more like a Donovan album with some odd lyrics thrown in. However, since this is one of the first (if not the first) science-fiction albums, I think this makes sense in context, as they were still trying to find the formula.

Overall, I like this album as good psychedelic rock that tried for something new---even if it didn't quite get it.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.