From the latest post on my favorite classical music blog (which also regularly includes fascinating insights regarding world music and Sufism), On an Overgrown Path:
Long Distance Voyagers is a 796 page resource book about the Moody Blues rock band. Surprisingly given the high profile of the band – they have sold more than 80 million records and were one of the pioneers of the concept album and of classic rock – this is the first major volume devoted to their oeuvre. The book is the labour of love of Marc Cushman, who is best known for his monumental books analysing Star Trek and Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space series. This latest massive volume is equally monumental – it is only volume one taking the story of the band up to 1979.
Recently I have been impressed and rewarded by several major historical books about art music icons, including the Nick Drake anthology Remembered For A While. This comes from long-established publishing house John Murray, and has commensurate high design values and sharp sub-editing. Long Distance Voyagers comes from new media publisher Jacobs Brown and suffers from the lacklustre design and lightweight sub-editing that are the hallmarks of desktop publishing. But this should not detract from what is a very rewarding document for those who, like me, underwent their musical and other rites of passage in the 1960s to the soundtrack of In Search of a Lost Chord.
Needless to say, this beauty went on my Amazon wish list immediately, with plans to purchase it Very Soon Now. Blog author “Pliable” is a former EMI classical recording engineer, eclectic in his musical tastes and erudite in his commentary. His pungent, all-too-sharp observations on the negative effects of social media recently prompted him to sever his links to Facebook and Twitter (a gutsy step I’ll honor by keeping this post off them). I can’t help but agree with his lament in a previous post on the magnificent Moodies:
Gone are the days when Visconti’s Death in Venice, Ken Russell’s Music Lovers, Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Pictures At An Exhibition could add a new diacritic to young lives. Instead the mantra of our digital age is ‘more of the same please’ driven by the insidious dynamic of social media approval.
Do check out On an Overgrown Path — it’s always excellent reading about music that matters — as well as Long Distance Voyagers!
— Rick Krueger