Munchener Freiheit – Fantasie

Munchener Freiheit - FantasieWith a single exception, the music on this album is identical to its English language descendant, Fantasy (attributed to Freiheit, a shortening of the group’s name in Germany). The lyrics, however, are in their native German, and the song known as “Keeping The Dream Alive” on the English pressing becomes a less effective pop number called “So Lang’ Man Traume Noch Leben Kann” with synth-pop instrumentation and a drum machine beat (though the vocals follow the same tune and exactly the same meter and rhythm of “Dream”). What very little knowledge I have of the German language tells me that some of the songs’ titles and lyrics do more or less match their English counterparts (“Land Der Fantasie” / “Land of Fantasy”), but others do not. Upon further listening, I’ve deduced that some of the English “translations” have lyrics that have nothing to do with the original German versions. I’d really like someone to help me figure out 2 out of 4what the differences, discrepancies and similarities are…not to mention what the band’s name is English (though I believe freiheit is freedom, I could be wrong). Despite the fact that I understood maybe ten or twelve words on the entire album, it’s still a favorite of mine and stood me in good stead until I recovered my beloved English-translated copy of the same songs!

Order this CD

  1. Bis Wir Uns Weiderseh’n (3:45)
  2. In Deinen Augen (4:42)
  3. Diana (4:17)
  4. Land der Fantasie (4:54)
  5. Mondlicht (3:06)
  6. So Heisb (4:04)
  7. Zum Allersten Mal (3:22)
  8. Du Bist Dabei (3:46)
  9. Lasb Es Einfach Gescheh’n (4:05)
  10. So Lang’ Man Traume Noch Leben Kann (3:25)

Released by: WEA
Release date: 1988
Total running time: 39:26

Moody Blues – The Other Side Of Life

Moody Blues - The Other Side Of Life Like Long Distance Voyager, this album is a rare case of the Moodies concentrating on style over substance, with keyboardist Patrick Moraz starting to contribute to the songwriting some. The best song is, by miles, “I Just Don’t Care”, a much more traditional Moody Blues love song that wouldn’t have been out-of-place in their ’60s repertoire, and of course everyone remembers “Your Wildest Dreams”, or at least the video from it.

Something else interesting I’ve noticed about this album is the design of the back cover and CD booklet – 3 out of 4everything is slanted leftward in a sort of reverse-italic style. This in itself is unremarkable, but it’s odd when you look at the similar stylings on the 1986 album by ELO, another band from Birmingham – their album sleeve and inner sleeve also sported a reverse italic motif. I think there’s a conspiracy at work here somewhere.

Order this CD

  1. Your Wildest Dreams (4:50)
  2. Talkin’ Talkin’ (3:55)
  3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Over You (4:50)
  4. I Just Don’t Care (3:25)
  5. Running Out Of Love (4:25)
  6. The Other Side of Life (6:50)
  7. The Spirit (4:14)
  8. Slings and Arrows (4:29)
  9. It May Be A Fire (4:56)

Released by: Threshold
Release date: 1986
Total running time: 41:54

Moody Blues – Keys of the Kingdom

 This was the last studio album the Moody Blues released until 1999, and it was indicative of the problems they were encountering around this time – namely, a lawsuit from dismissed keyboard player Patrick Moraz alleging that he had been denied his fair cut of the band’s financial gains – and the results of the decision against Moraz. Despite the fact that Moraz tried to sue for way too much money on a very flimsy case, the thought that ambassadors of musical goodwill might not be as good-intentioned as previously thought probably didn’t help sales. Still, it contains one gorgeous bona-fide Moodies classic, “Bless The Wings”, and leads off with “Say It With Love”, which is at least up to the standards of Long Distance Voyager. Other than that, this 2 out of 4album seems unbalanced. Whether the hasty departure/dismissal/who knows? of Moraz left a gap in the group’s sound – which I think it did, if you compare Keys to, say, Other Side Of Life or Sur La Mer – or there were other internal difficulties, it’s hard to say, but after the previous two albums this one is a letdown.

Order this CD

  1. Say It With Love (3:55)
  2. Bless the Wings (That Bring You Back) (5:10)
  3. Is This Heaven? (4:04)
  4. Say What You Mean (Part I) (3:47)
  5. Say What You Mean (Part II) (1:52)
  6. Lean On Me (Tonight) (4:56)
  7. Hope and Pray (5:03)
  8. Shadows on the Wall (5:06)
  9. Once Is Enough (4:02)
  10. Celtic Sonant (5:00)
  11. Magic (5:12)
  12. Never Blame The Rainbows For The Rain (4:57)

Released by: Threshold
Release date: 1991
Total running time: 53:04

Moody Blues – Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves FavourWhat can I say for this album aside from the fact that it has one of the all-time weirdest opening sound-montages any rock act has ever assembled? Even though the piece to which the odd, UFO-like noises are attached is rather interesting, it’s quite a jarring departure from Future Passed. Still, there are many good things about the album, including the familiar Story In Your Eyes and one of my all-time favorite Moodies tunes, “Emily’s Song”. Despite these, however, this album has always managed to hit me in precisely the wrong way; I can’t put a finger on it. The album certainly falls within the 2 out of 4parameters that the Moodies settled into after Future Passed, but somehow it doesn’t trip my trigger like most of their other material.

  1. Procession (4:44)
  2. The Story In Your Eyes (2:56)
  3. Our Guessing Game (3:35)
  4. Order this CD Emily’s Game (3:42)
  5. After You Came (4:33)
  6. One More Time To Live (5:42)
  7. Nice To Be Here (4:23)
  8. You Can Never Go Home (4:15)
  9. My Song (6:20)

Released by: Threshold
Release date: 1971
Total running time: 40:10

Moody Blues – Days Of Future Passed

Moody Blues - Days Of Future PassedI’ll probably be lynched for saying this, but here goes: Days Of Future Passed, not Sgt. Pepper, was the best rock album to come out in 1967. I can buy the arguments that Lennon and McCartney are/were masterful songwriters, and even that Sgt. Pepper was a huge technical leap for rock music. But the sheer beauty and depth of emotion with which the Moody Blues imbued their most famous – and so far unparallelled – album puts it light-years of the material the Beatles were turning out at the time. Days of Future Passed paints a humblingly poetic view of the progression of a single day, and the music keeps getting better as the “day” in question goes on. Naturally 4 out of 4everyone remembers “Tuesday Afternoon” – which was here titled “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” – and “Nights In White Satin”, but my all-time favorite Moody Blues song has to be the exotic Mike Pinder tune “The Sun Set”. The combination of an unusual rhythm and the flowing orchestral melody never fail to entrance me. It’s definitely on my DNP Album List.

Order this CD

  1. The Day Begins (5:55)
  2. Dawn is a Feeling (3:48)
  3. Another Morning (3:56)
  4. Peak Hour (5:27)
  5. Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) / (Evening) Time to Get Away (8:24)
  6. The Sun Set / Twilight Time (6:40)
  7. Nights in White Satin (7:32)

Released by: Deram
Release date: 1967
Total running time: 41:42