LOS ANGELES — “Timeless Flight,” a definitive box set of The Moody Blues’ work, is slated to arrive June 4.
The 17-disc set, which is being issued by Universal Music Enterprises, will include digitally remastered CDs, DVDs of rare television performances, audio discs, a hard-back collector’s book and more.
Housed in a heavy-duty LP-sized hard-back slipcase, the box set includes:
• 11 remastered CDs featuring key album tracks, previously unreleased mixes, outtakes and complete live concerts;
• Three DVDs of rare television performances from around the world, promotional videos and the previously unreleased live concert from Olympia, Paris, in 1970;
• Three DVD audio discs containing the long-deleted 5:1 surround sound mixes of “Days Of Future Passed,” “On The Threshold Of A Dream,” “To Our Children’s Children’s Children,” “A Question Of Balance,” “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” and “Seventh Sojourn;”
• A 120-page, hard-back book printed on heavyweight paper that includes a new essay by Moody Blues researcher Mark Powell, as well as rare and previously unseen photos;
• Replica full-color tour poster and discography
• Replica “Threshold” press pack containing photos and memorabilia
• Exclusive “Timeless Flight” fabric patch.
An extremely limited-edition version of “Timeless Flight” also will be available exclusively from Universal Music’s Box Sets store.
The Moody Blues continue to tour for admiring audiences, although the lineup these days is limited to Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge.
“I suppose that it is our songs, and the way we interpret them that has seen us travel so far,” Hayward says. “It means so much to us that some of our recordings have really meant something to people.”
Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, The Moody Blues came from the same gene pool that brought the world Traffic, The Move, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Slade. The original lineup of the band (Edge, Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder) scored a global No. 1 hit with “Go Now,” but it was unable to follow up this success. Warwick and Laine left the group and were replaced by Lodge and Hayward, respectively, in 1966.
For the next few months, the band re-thought its musical approach and crafted new material in a unique style. Eager to recoup some of the money they had invested in the band, Decca Records executives asked The Moody Blues to record a rock version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony to demonstrate a new stereo system the label was launching, known as Deramic sound.
Instead, the Moodies, along with producer Tony Clarke, used the orchestral settings for a suite of their own songs, which resulted in “Days Of Future Passed,” a record that was as groundbreaking as any of that era and featured the band’s signature song, “Nights In White Satin.” The LP heralded the era of the concept album and ushered in elaborate sleeve artwork that would epitomize the progressive rock movement that followed.
This proved a turning point for the band; The Moody Blues soon became acknowledged masters of lushly orchestrated psychedelic rock and trailblazers in the use of the Mellotron, which the group used both live and in the studio to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra.
Era-defining albums — including “In Search Of The Lost Chord,” “On The Threshold Of A Dream,” “To Our Children’s Children’s Children,” “A Question Of Balance,” “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” and “Seventh Sojourn” — followed. The band has released 24 albums, which have sold to the tune of more than 70 million copies.