Full honesty up front. I was at the web premiere of The Wind of Heaven as a video. I wasn’t very moved at first viewing. It could have been the interview around it, who knows. I watched it once or twice after and it didn’t grab me. Today my copy of All The Way arrived so I was afforded the opportunity to sit back and just listen to this more than seven minute journey. I also looked up more information and found this synopsis of the film it (strikingly well) represents:
“The Wind of Heaven is about a veteran that comes back home from Afghanistan and really loses himself, can’t pick up the life he had before he left. Eventually, he gets work on a ranch and he finds that he has kind of a communion with the wild horses and he finds himself through horses.”
In addition, one should know:
“The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse’s ears” – Arabian Proverb
So, with both of those in mind, I listened again, without the video. It starts very much in the area of despair, and the chorus arrives and lifts us slightly out of it before the song goes back into the sadness. But again, the chorus “rescues” us. The cycle repeats, and the length of the song gives it time to do so over and over. Thrust back into dark, lifted back out of it. Incredibly lifelike. It took me repeated listens, though, to notice how each time the chorus visits us, it is more uplifting than the previous, and by the end the keyboards are practically giddy before the end.
It is not just a beautiful song, the structure of it has made me really love it.
In some ways it’s a little too easy to collect Moody Blues items in the internet era. Finding an official pressing of Moving Mountains was once a little tricky and meant digging around. Now of course you can take your pick of a number of them on eBay. But I don’t mind at all – some things that would have been out of reach or hard to find simply wouldn’t have come my way.
I watched the Nights In White Satin documentary (thank you, internet, for pointing me to the DVD release) and it was the first I heard of the story about the Patricia version of the song being out ahead of their own! Some quick eBay looking for a very reasonable price, a 45 was on its way from France to my door. It arrived with a post-it note signed “bonjour de France”. A simple pleasure in connecting with another music lover in another part of the world.
More often than not now the Moodies items I find worth my interest come from abroad – France, Japan, Australia, of course, the UK. I definitely get an added smile when something comes with a nice little note of thanks or sharing of an interest!
When I was in high school, I was fortunate enough to meet Mike Pinder and spend about an hour with him doing an interview for our local cable station. I’m going to look into posting the video shortly, even though I find it hard to watch!
Two days later, he did a signing at a local Borders book store and I was able to hang out with Mike and Tara over the course of the evening.
Almost unbelievably, The Other Side of Lifecelebrates its 30th anniversary. To “celebrate” there is a vinyl release from Friday Music. I would call it “ok.” It’s nice to have a clean stamping on a heavy piece of vinyl, but it doesn’t sound any better than the 1986 vinyl if you find one that’s in tip-top shape, so no special remastering. I find it strange that TOSOL, which did so much to bring attention and revival to the band, never got an upgrade at the 25th anniversary or now. It should be ripe for it – it was the band’s first DDD release on CD, meaning it was recorded digitally.
I would have expected it would get an SACD or similar release given the import it has in the band’s portfolio. The Core 7 got the SACD treatment, though one could argue that SACD is out of fasion. Still, in the Mobile Fidelity days, everything up through Long Distance Voyager saw the gold disc and remaster treatment, but not TOSOL.
We do have the too-expensive box set, The Polydor Years which is almost an update if you imagine TOSOL along with the live concert CD from the accompanying tour, but it’s not truly an update to TOSOL.
So, not one to raise problems without offering solutions – how about a high resolution download? I would love a high bitrate download of a FLAC or similar file. This is often the high-end solution these days in place of physical media, and it should be relatively cheap and quick to produce. And surely there’s an unreleased track or two kicking around, yes? And if I really had my wish, it’d come with that original painting with the child that was nixed by the band!
I’ve used eBay for quite a while – back when if ordering from the UK I had to get a money order from the post office, send it overseas and wait for my item. Things are much different today and it’s a great way to find rare (or not!) items.
In 1999 I saw the Moody Blues twice on their Strange Times tour. I saw them near Pittsburgh, PA where I was attending college, and then again in Virginia. In Virginia I didn’t have great seats because I bought the ticket last minute… because I’d won an OFC raffle for a meet & greet! This is the only time I met the band when I could actually exchange a few words with them.