Seventh Sojourn

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"The Land of Make-Believe" redirects here. For the song by Bucks Fizz, see The Land of Make Believe. For other uses, see Land of Make Believe.
Seventh Sojourn
Studio album by The Moody Blues
Released 10 November 1972
Recorded January and
May - September 1972
Decca Tollington Park Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Length 39:29
Label Threshold Records
Producer Tony Clarke
The Moody Blues chronology
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
(1971)
Seventh Sojourn
(1972)
This Is The Moody Blues
(1974)
Singles from Seventh Sojourn
  1. "Isn't Life Strange"
    Released: April 1972
  2. "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)"
    Released: January 1973
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[2]
Uncut 2/5 stars[3]

Seventh Sojourn, released in 1972, is the seventh studio album by The Moody Blues in their "classic" lineup and their eighth album overall. For the album, singer/keyboardist Mike Pinder used, besides his trademark Mellotron, a similar keyboard called the Chamberlin.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Several songs contain overt political references. Mike Pinder's "Lost in a Lost World" laments the brutality of revolution ("Revolution never won / It's just another form of gun") and racial tension ("In their eyes it's nation against nation against nation / With racial pride"). "You and Me," like "Question" from two years earlier, alludes to ongoing wars and conflicts, including Vietnam ("There's a leafless tree in Asia"), Africa ("Under the sun there's a homeless man"), and the Arab-Israeli conflict ("There's a forest fire in the valley / Where the story all began"). In the 1990 Documentary "The Moody Blues: Legend of a Band," Bassist John Lodge described "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" as a response to fans who mistakenly read guru-like wisdom into the Moodies' often philosophical lyrics. The song makes a clear statement that the band is just as worried by the crises of the modern world and has just as few answers as everyone else.

In contrast, "The Land of Make-Believe" describes a utopian world where "heartaches can turn into joy." This highly melodic track employs a complex and counterpoint-filled accompaniment in which contrasting lines are introduced in succession: First by the acoustic guitar (played by Hayward), then bells (Edge), then bass (Lodge), flute (Thomas), and finally electric guitar (Hayward again). Each part is unique, but ultimately blends well with the others, in keeping with the theme of the song's lyrics ("Only love will see us through / You know what love can do to you").

Reception[edit]

Seventh Sojourn reached #5 in the United Kingdom, and became the band's first American chart topper, spending five weeks at #1 to close out 1972.

Two hit singles came from this album: "Isn't Life Strange" (#13 UK, #29 US) and "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" (#36 UK, #12 US). However, both songs were overshadowed by the re-release of "Nights in White Satin," which had been first released in 1967. Whereas both singles from Seventh Sojourn made the top 40, "Nights In White Satin" bested both, hitting #9 in the UK and #2 in the United States and gaining the highest American chart position for a Moody Blues single.

Aftermath[edit]

As this album proved difficult to record, with a 1973 follow-up quickly shelved after inception, the group decided to go on hiatus after their tour of Asia in 1974 (Mike Pinder's last tour with the group), before reuniting in 1977 for Octave (1978) and its subsequent tour, albeit without Pinder.

In April 2007 the album was remastered into SACD format and repackaged with four extra tracks. "Island", the fourth bonus track, was recorded in 1973 and is an incomplete recording of one of the songs that were intended to be released on the aforementioned follow-up record.

In 2008 a remaster for standard audio CD was issued with the same bonus tracks.

Original track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Lost in a Lost World" (Mike Pinder) – 4:42
  2. "New Horizons" (Justin Hayward) – 5:11
  3. "For My Lady" (Ray Thomas) – 3:58
  4. "Isn't Life Strange" (John Lodge) – 6:09

Side Two[edit]

  1. "You and Me" (Hayward, Graeme Edge) – 4:21
  2. "The Land of Make-Believe" (Hayward) – 4:52
  3. "When You're a Free Man" (Pinder) – 6:06
  4. "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" (Lodge) – 4:18

2007 SACD Expanded Edition Tracks (also 2008 remaster)[edit]

Bonus tracks SACD version:

  1. "Isn't Life Strange (Original Version)" (Lodge) – 8:10
  2. "You and Me (Beckthorns Backing Track)" (Hayward, Edge) – 6:33
  3. "Lost in a Lost World (Instrumental Demo)" (Pinder) – 4:41
  4. "Island" (Previously Unreleased) (Hayward) – 4:30

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer - Tony Clarke
  • Recording engineers - Derek Varnals and Tony Clarke ("Isn't Life Strange")
  • Assistant engineer - David Baker
  • Cover and liner art - Phil Travers
  • Innersleeve - The Moodies
  • All instruments played by The Moody Blues
  • Recorded at Tollington Park Studios, London

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1972 UK Albums Chart 5
Billboard 200 1

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1972 "Isn't Life Strange" UK Singles Chart 13
Billboard Hot 100 29
"I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" UK Singles Chart 36
Billboard Hot 100 12

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review at the Wayback Machine (archived June 6, 2008)
  3. ^ David Stubbs Uncut, May 2007, Issue 120
Preceded by
Catch Bull at Four by Cat Stevens
Billboard 200 number-one album
9 December 1972 – 12 January 1973
Succeeded by
No Secrets by Carly Simon