Possibly inspired by the moon shots of 1969, To Our Children’s Children’s Children is an interesting musical document of awe and wonder, and you can hear Hayward and Lodge turning over in their minds the implications of that decade-defining triumph of technology and determination. That rebirth of wonderment and subsequent wrestling with the realization that this triumph could be used for either good or ill is very much the theme of the album, starting with the cacophonous opening of “Higher And Higher”, evoking the sound of a rocket launch (or is that a bomb blast?) from up close and even featuring processed spoken vocals that could conceivably remind one of voices transmitted from space.
“Eyes Of A Child” furthers this theme by appearing twice on the album, in radically different forms. The first treatment is gentle and, sonically, appropriately childlike and quite relaxing. The second version is faster-paced, heavy with electric guitars, and filled with a somewhat more mature, one might even say rebellious, energy – and yet it’s the same song.. I thought that was a fascinating concept, and the Moodies did it just enough to avoid it being too repetitive. “I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Hundred” and “I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Million” provide another – somewhat opposite – set of matching bookends.
“Beyond” is a rousing instrumental with a dreamy, ethereal middle section, and leads directly into a quartet of some of the best material the Moodies ever put on record. “Out And In”, the churning “Gypsy”, and the wistful one-two punch of “Eternity Road” and “Candle Of Life” are a consecutive home run streak of winners. The album closes out with another winner, the gentle but eminently hummable “Watching And Waiting”.
Overall, To Our Children’s Children’s Children is one of the Moody Blues’ best efforts, and one of the best reflections of a lyrical style that is uniquely theirs. Their words express concerns and worries about the human condition, present and future, without taking the banal (and, for future listeners lacking the context, commercially fatal) route of making things topical. Even knowing the events that were going on when these songs were written is entirely optional – it becomes a subtext, not a context vital to understanding the songs. Beautiful stuff – there simply isn’t enough music like this around.
- Higher And Higher (4:11)
- Eyes Of A Child I (3:23)
- Floating (3:00)
- Eyes Of A Child II (1:22)
- I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Hundred (1:05)
- Beyond (2:58)
- Out And In (3:41)
- Gypsy (3:33)
- Eternity Road (4:18)
- Candle Of Life (4:18)
- Sun Is Still Shining (3:36)
- I Never Thought I’d Live To Be A Million (0:33)
- Watching And Waiting (4:16)
Released by: Threshold / Polydor
Release date: 1970 / remastered & reissued 1997
Total running time: 40:20