The Moody Blues - "Seventh Sojourn"

Category: Music

For now, below is an artistic review of this album I did a while back on another site.

I'll try to get a review of the various recordings sound quality in soon.


"A great Prog/Rock masterpiece of the 20th century.

This is a review of the Mobile Fdelity Ultradisc II version of this album.

In a nutshell, Seventh Sojourn has retained a place as one of my absolute favorite albums continuously now for over thirty years. Though I find it is one of the few pieces of rock music that always uplifts me spiritually, I can understand how some might find it depressing.

IMHO, this is a prog album without flaw. Though not clearly identifiable as a concept album, it flows smoothly both musically and lyrically from start to finish. The lyrics and thematic content of each song is timeless and can be related to very strongly in either a positive or negative manner. The other of the Moodies original classic seven albums, though musical masterpieces each in their own right, have not aged as well overall I believe.

There is a "wall of sound" kind of aspect to the production overall. However, it is a very fluid and effective "wall of sound" thanks to Michael Pinder's unique simply gorgeous mellotron/keyboard effects. Justin's Hayward's electric guitar solos and playing on this album in particular is absolute world class....not necessarily virtuosic but simply gorgeus and inspiring throughout, perhaps in particular because the electric guitar is prominent in many places on this album compared to earlier works and delivered in a purely symbiotic manner throughout along with the aforementioned mellotron, keyboards or whatever Pinder used on this particular album ( I think I read once that Pinder used a newer technology keyboard, not technically a mellotron on this album. I am not a electronic keyboard expert. All know is thatwhatever is used it sounds very good to me).

There is nothing else like the tapestry of mellotron/keyboard, guitar and vocals on this album, in all of music, IMHO. A few examples that pop into mind are the guitar solo towards the end of "New Horizons" (breathtakingly soaring) and the guitar/keyboard accompaniment during the chorus sections of "Land Of Make Believe". JH's electric guitar playing (exceptional on this album) and usual excellent vocals on his songs are some of the highest points...however there are continuous and juicy fluorishes delivered by all the Moodies throughout.

To me this album is to rock music what Mahler's Third Symphony is to classical music. It will take you through a truly "Moody" journey from some somber but poignent lows to the most exhuberant of highs. Then it ends with an exhuberant "shrug" to it all as the Moodies resignedly belt out their final statement of this era: "I'm Just A Singer in a ROck and Roll Band".

The Moodies are I suppose just "Singers in a Rock and Roll Band". However, the message of their music, soberly delivered over much of their discography, is in my optinion, the most universal one, a message which many respond to, yes, in a decidely "spiritual" manner. There is no cynicism with the Moodies, as there was to some extent even with the Beatles. Just the purest of universal messages: peace and love and sadness expressed when these ideals are out of reach or not achieved often enough by many in the real world."
Agree it is a great one. And the recording is well done. This was the last great Moodys record for me. I look forward to your review of various releases. I currently own 2 original release LPs and the "remastered" CD. Both sound great but we always look for better!! Also agree that the Moodys are very positive. Of course they were not put through the same public meat grinder as The Beatles. Thanks.
Ok, you convinced me to buy this one. I have to admit I stopped buying the Moody Blues albums after Every Good Boy Deserves A Favour. After checking release dates I see Seventh Sojourn was the first release after I graduated high school; maybe I thought I outgrew them.
Love the Moodies!

"A coin represents our time on earth. You only get one coin. Choose wisely how you spend it and don't let others spend it for you." Justin Hayward.
Great album although Pinder did contribute to Octave but didn't tour and left the band at that time. patrick Moraz added another dimension to the bands sound with Long Distance Voyager. After that album they just could find their creative juices anymore. Thay still producted a few billboard rated hits but the albums had lost that "theme or concept" status, with Pinder out of the band it became clear that he was the catalyst of the Moody Blue sound. I was a tremendous fan attending concerts, collecting every kind of pressing I could get my hands on, but Hayward and Lodge have a more "pop sound" goal and that really wasn't what the Moody Blues were recognized for. Ray Thomas seemed to bring a little of that sound to the band and Graeme Edge just seemed to desire to become the band's joker guy. He had added a few good songs in the early years on Question of Balance and Every Good Boy but it just wasn't a broad enough contribution. Seventh was a great collection of songs and it seemed as though they really reached the zenith of lyrical and musical creativity which unfortuneatly coincided with their burn out of working with each other. I truely miss the influence of Mike Pinder and I am sure that they do as well. And now with Ray Thomas gone I really think they will fade away as a Las Vegas show band. Sadley the good albums are no more. All just MHO of course
I've seen the Moodys live 5 different times (1st was the Octave show) and most recently the tour from a couple of years back captured on the recent release video "Lovely To See You".

Check the online reviews of that performance. Many consider it their best. And these guys are well into their 60's at this point, and arguably sounding better than ever on tour. They tour continuously almost every year and have really honed in their sound over the years. Their body of work and consistency over so many years as a live act makes them a true musical treasure in my mind.

On the flip side, there is a good bit of decent material post Seventh Sojourn, but that album was surely their peak. "The Present" is a largely unknown release from the early 80's that is very good from start to finish. Strange Times from 1999 was a return to form with many good tunes and is a very solid work from start to end that can be recommended.

One of my favorite Moody tunes is Ray Thomas' "Never Blame the Rainbow for the Rain" from the more uneven (but still very good)early 90's release "Keys To The Kingdom".

Even Sur La Mer has a few good tunes on it and can be had for a pittance these days.
Does anyone know if Pinder still makes music? I was surprised to see that R. Thomas had left. He made the concerts so much better. I saw them twicw with him and both were well played shows. Now its all JH and JL who are great but that is not the real Moody Blues.

In 1997 I saw JH play a 40 minute acoustic set for free at a Borders store in Phoenix. THere were about 40 people present. It was really great to see. He was hawking a solo CD at the time.
Love them Moody Blues seen them just last year for the second time with out Ray Thomas. Have been a big fan since way back in the late 60s. Have seen them in tack i mean the original group on several occasions. My favorite is Children but 7Th is right there with the rest and i like all of them.

I have the MFSL LP version of 7Th as well as the Threshold LP.

We are all just singers in a rock and roll band i think.
They made some great and memorable music. True songmasters. I've got to put on some of their albums over the weekend and revisit it. Seventh Sojourn was my first Moody's record, way back when. I think I own most of them now - you can pick them up for a buck or two at used record stores. Some of the best music for very little coin.

Just gave SS a fresh spin for the first time in a while since completing recent system upgrades.

The bar was raised significantly this time around in terms of the overall sound quality of the MoFi CD.

With the new 500w/ch IcePower amps, everything was delivered with more power and authority along with accompanying detail and clarity than ever before. I was able to crank this up perhaps louder than ever before and there was no fatigue whatsoever. Truly exhilarating! I do not use that word very often.

Mike Pinder and Justin Hayward are truly the stars here. Pinder's songs provide the foundation of this as a concept album and his Chamberlain playing and parts are simply out of this world. Justin Hayward seems to know exactly what note to play from start to finish. Outstanding!!!! And the themes and lyrics of the tunes are timeless as well, only getting better with age. There is nothing else out there quite like this! More than ever, the quintessential perfect pop/rock album to me.
Wow , someone else who really enjoys this group . I thought that I was alone here !
What are your feelings about ELP ?

Happy Tunes
"What are your feelings about ELP ?"

I'm still an ELP fan and enjoy a lot of their music. They were very talented musicians first and foremost and cut a lot of ground in their day mixing in a lot of musical elements from other genres, especially classical, with rock music. Most rock critics despised them as they did the Moodies. Too pretentious! But that is a matter of perspective. A lot of great art that strives to break new ground can easily be called pretentious. I quickly learned to place little value in what rock music critics with narrow perspectives regarding what constitutes "good music" had to say. I'm sure at least some have changed their tunes over the years...
Wow, The Moody Blues & ELP, talk about a blast from the past! I guess it's safe to admit, 45 yrs after the fact, that I used to drop quite a bit of acid/LSD back in those days. 'Threshold' & 'Children's Children' were literally mind-blowing records for me! ELP's 1st 2 records were also favorites back than. Here's an interesting true story. I was 'heavily' into ELP after their debut recording and bought tickets to see them at the Fillmore East (just checked and see that the date was 6/1/71!). Lest you think I'm some kind of degenerate, I'll just say that LSD was very heavily used at the Fillmore East & West back in the day, especially for your 'trippy' type bands. Anyhow, the audience was a typical Fillmore audience, zonked on acid, waiting for ELP, who had top billing that night. But 2nd billing went to Edgar Winter's White Trash, at the time he & they were unknowns. WELL, 3 encores later this Rock 'n' Roll/R&B revue type band left the audience howling, amped, sweating and begging for more! If you've ever heard their live album; 'Roadwork', you've heard what I heard that night! So after an intermission ELP come on and open with 'Barbarian'. Normally a killer tune was met with polite applause, everybody was still pumped from the R&R extravaganza they'd just experienced, and ELP was more of a cerebral music. For the 2nd tune Emerson announces they were going to play this new opus from their forthcoming album, a tune called 'Tarkus'! I remember him telling us to plz sit down and be patient, as it was a long piece. Under normal circumstances this would've been fine, but after having been dancing and howling in the aisles, being told to sit down and listen politely (+ the drug) didn't go over too well. By the middle of the tune, Emerson's out in the crowd playing this 'moog-stick' thingamajig instrument, people started leaving in droves! Including me. Mind you, I went to see ELP, I was a huge fan. After that show I never could listen to their music without recalling that show, I never bought any more of their music (undoubtedly my loss but...). I did go on to see Edgar Winter's White Trash a 1/2 dz. times and am still a fan of EW to this day! Ahhh, the good ol' days!;)
Hey Chazro, I saw Edgar Winter's White Trash in the summer of 71' (or was it 70'?). It was at one of those outdoor concerts (festivals) in New Hampshire. They were awesome that night. We actually thought it was gonna be Johnny Winter but the disappointment didn't last long.
They were followed by a very young J. Geil's Band who came out with an older, much older, black harp player who continued to blow the crowd away.
Yes there were chemicals a plenty.
I am just now going back to vinyl . Dug out my old LP's and guess what the first album was that I played on my new turntable , Tarkus ! Second was one of my all time favorite songs , Nights In White Satin . Still topnotch after all these years .

Happy Tunes
Glad to hear the MOFI is of good quality. But,of course, nothing could be worse than the original Derams. Simply tragic that a group with such a terrific early catalog were shacled with such third rate recording quality.
I also caught the J.Geils Band, 2nd billing (featuring "Mr. Magic Dick on the lickin' stick!"), with White Trash, top billing by this time, at a place called the Rockpile in NY! Man, you wanna talk about a smokin' night of Rock'n'Roll!! Put's a smile on my face just thinking about it!;) I'd LOVE to hear about a show happening currently that could compare!
Moody Blues nominated for Rock and Roll hall of Fame this year.   


Make it so!

Agreed- mapman
Those first 6/7 MB albums are stone(d) classics to be sure.
One of the first "concept" albums of the Rock era via Days of future Passed.
Happy Listening!
Moody Blues fans be aware the Moodies 50th anniversary of Days of future Passed Concert from earlier this year in Toronto with orchestral accompaniment is premiering this weekend on PBS's Great Performances program.
Thanks for the heads up mapman. I've seen many bands over the years but, regretfully, never saw The Moody Blues.
Moody Blues finished second behind Bon Jovi in HOF voting.   Both well ahead of the others.     They better get the nod.     Patrick Moraz should get inducted with them but we'll see about that.    Maybe Pinder would join them and perform at an induction.   Would be nice if Ray Thomas could make it but don't know.  These are no spring chickens.   
I picked up a newer remaster CD of Seventh Sojourn recently.   Very nice recording.   Enjoying the bonus tracks as well.   The instrumental only version of "Lost in a Lost World"  really immerses you and allows you to hear all the details of the keyboards and guitar accompaniments.    Island is a worthwhile new addition.   Moody Blues fans need to hear these.
The second album I bought in my life was Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. I became thoroughly immersed in the Moody Blues from that point on. IMHO Seventh Sojourn was and is a musical testament to life and living life’s journey in a ‘One with the Universe’ way. 
I was so fortunate to see them perform in the late 70’s at New York’s Madison Square Garden... Awesome. Thank you for your wonderful review. Happy Listening. Lissnr