A Question of Balance

About

A Question of Balance
CD on Amazon.com
Released: 1970, August
Labels: Deram / Polydor
Average rating: Based on DM and site visitor ratings
Previous / Next by The Moody Blues
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Tracks

Average song rating Question (Justin Hayward) - 5:40 Lyrics
Average song rating How Is It (We Are Here) (Mike Pinder) - 2:48 Lyrics
Average song rating And the Tide Rushes in (Ray Thomas) - 2:57 Lyrics
Average song rating Don't You Feel Small (Graeme Edge) - 2:40 Lyrics
Average song rating Tortoise and the Hare (John Lodge) - 3:23 Lyrics
Average song rating It's up to You (Hayward) - 3:11 Lyrics
Average song rating Minstrel's Song (Lodge) - 4:27 Lyrics
Average song rating Dawning Is the Day (Hayward) - 4:22 Lyrics
Average song rating Melancholy Man (Michael Pinder) - 5:49 Lyrics
Average song rating 10  The Balance (Edge, Thomas) - 3:33 Lyrics
  11  Mike's Number One (Previously Unreleased) Lyrics
  12  Question (Alternate Version) Lyrics
  13  Minstrel's Song (Original Mix)  
  14  It's up to You (Original Mix)  
  15  Don't You Feel Small (Original Mix)  
  16  Dawning Is the Day (Full Original Mix)  
Album preview
All album lyrics on one page 

Credits

Tracks 11-16 are bonus tracks on the SACD version

Ray Thomas - Bass, Flute, Horn, Vocals
Graeme Edge - Drums
Justin Hayward - Guitar, Vocals
John Lodge - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Michael Pinder - Keyboards, Vocals
The Moody Blues - Multi Instruments

Tony Clarke - Producer
Adrian Martins, Robin Thompson, Derek Varnals - Engineers
John Reed - Liner Notes, Interviewer, Sleeve Notes
David Rohl - Photography
Phil Travers - Cover Design, Paintings, Cover Painting
Steven Fallone - Mastering, Digital Remastering

Reviews

Site visitor reviews
6/10 Bruce Beatlefan (October 29, 2011)
The album begins with the strident lyrics "Why do we never get an answer, when we're knocking at the door..." and concludes with the spoken benediction, "And he learned love, and then he was answered". "A Question of Balance", the sixth Moody Blues album, is concerned with the way disagreeing viewpoints between peoples cause division and strife, and fail to supply answers to problems like war and hunger. The first four tracks develop this theme, the next four feature unrelated new music, and the final two tracks return to this theme. The Moody Blues simplified their sound, lessening the lush overdubs in order to present music more readily performed live.

In spite of leading off with one of their classic hits and concert staples, "A Question of Balance" is not one of their stronger albums. Each of the five members contribute competent, workmanlike music, but none of the songs aspire to the majesty of "Legend of a Mind", the enchantment of "Are You Sitting Comfortably", or the emotional weight of "Watching and Waiting", hence the overall effect is underwhelming.

Graeme Edge composes his first complete (music and lyrics) song, "Don't You Feel Small" which is pretty decent, but undermined by the unfortunate whispering vocal. The rocking excitement of live versions of John Lodge's "The Tortoise and the Hare" is not captured particularly well in the studio version. Ray Thomas does well with "The Tide Rushes In" but hurts the lovely spoken piece "The Balance" with a musical chorus which is pedestrian and rushed.

For a Moody Blues fan, the album is well worth having for its best features: Justin Hayward's three new songs are all excellent (for some curious reason, the Moodies albums in which Justin's songs are the most prominent and the best tend to be the group's weaker albums). "Melancholy Man's" marching beat and pessimistic lyrics results in probably the best-known Michael Pinder song. The last of Graeme Edge's distinctive spoken-word pieces closes the album with what is surely his most lovely such track, "The Balance".

If you are a hardcore Moody Blues fan, you can own this album without regret. A more casual listener can find "Question" and "Melancholy Man" on most compilations and not feel cheated. The six songs selected from this album for the "Time Traveller" box set represent A Question of Balance excellently. A Question of Balance is a worthy citizen of the Moody Blues "Classic Seven" albums, but sits a little bit down in the hierarchy

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