It might surprise those coming in late to their story that the original double-LP version of this album from 1974 was the first compilation devoted to the Moody Blues
' work. That's seven years after their switch from R&B-based British Invasion rock & roll to psychedelic music, and ten years into their overall history, an awfully long time for a successful band to avoid the compilation route. That fact alone speaks volumes for how healthy their album sales were -- only the group's decision to take a hiatus seems to have prompted the assembling of this collection. The Moody Blues had actually had enough hits and charting singles between England and America since 1967 so that a good best-of could have been assembled, but the makers went far beyond that, encompassing LP tracks that had become favorites on FM radio between 1967 and 1973 and also ignoring the actual release order of anything here. So instead of a tour through their history, listeners get a kind of collage of most of their best work, the songs nicely representative of the various members' most important contributions to the group's work. That said, however, it should also be pointed out that so much of the band's music is connected, conceptually and thematically, with the surrounding songs on their albums that inevitably the listener will feel rushed through some of this history; additionally, there is one excellent number left off for every three that are included.