In Search of the Lost Chord

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In Search of the Lost Chord
In search of the lost chord.jpg
Studio album by The Moody Blues
Released 26 July 1968
Recorded January – June 1968 at Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London
Genre Progressive rock, Psychedelic rock
Length 42:07
Label Deram
Producer Tony Clarke
The Moody Blues chronology
Days of Future Passed
In Search of the Lost Chord
On the Threshold of a Dream
Singles from In Search of the Lost Chord
  1. "Voices in the Sky"
    Released: 28 June 1968
  2. "Ride My See-Saw"
    Released: 12 October 1968

In Search of the Lost Chord is the third album by The Moody Blues, released in July 1968 on the Deram label.


Sessions for the album commenced in January 1968 with the recording of Thomas's "Legend of a Mind". The song's title does not appear in the lyrics, which are about LSD advocate Timothy Leary.


In Search of the Lost Chord is a concept album around a broad theme of quest and discovery, including world exploration ("Dr. Livingstone, I Presume"), music and philosophy through the ages ("House of Four Doors"), lost love ("The Actor"), spiritual development ("Voices in the Sky"), knowledge in a changing world ("Ride My See-Saw"), higher consciousness ("Legend of a Mind"), imagination ("The Best Way to Travel"), and space exploration ("Departure"). Space exploration would go on to become the theme of the Moodies' 1969 album To Our Children's Children's Children, inspired by and dedicated to the Apollo 11 mission. The mysterious "lost chord" of the title is revealed to be the mantra "Om" (in the last stanza of Graeme Edge's poem "The Word"). According to keyboardist Mike Pinder, the title was inspired by Jimmy Durante's humorous song, "I'm the Guy that Found the Lost Chord," itself a reference to The Lost Chord by Sir Arthur Sullivan.[1]

After using the London Festival Orchestra for the interludes (but not the songs) on Days of Future Passed, the Moody Blues played all instruments themselves – approximately 33[2] – on In Search of the Lost Chord. Indian instruments such as the sitar (played by guitarist Justin Hayward), the tambura (played by keyboardist Mike Pinder) and the tabla (played by drummer and percussionist Graeme Edge) made audio appearances on several tracks (notably "Departure", "Visions of Paradise" and "Om"). Other unconventional (for the Moodies) instruments were also used, notably the oboe (played by percussionist/flute player Ray Thomas) and the cello (played by bassist John Lodge, who tuned it as a bass guitar). The mellotron, played by Pinder, produced many string and horn embellishments.

Having already experimented with spoken word interludes on "Morning Glory" and "Late Lament" on Days of Future Passed, The Moody Blues tried the practice again on In Search of the Lost Chord, on the Graeme Edge-penned pieces "Departure" and "The Word". The latter was recited by Pinder, who was the primary reciter of Edge's poems on this and other Moody Blues albums. "Departure", which escalates from mumbling to hysterical laughter, is a rare studio example of Edge reciting his own words.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[4]

In Search of the Lost Chord was released on 26 July 1968. It peaked at number 5 in the UK[5] and reached number 23 on the US album charts.[6] Neither of the two singles from the album, "Ride My See-Saw" nor "Voices in the Sky", charted in the top 40 on the Billboard charts, although the latter reached number 27 on the UK singles chart.

In Search of the Lost Chord was remastered into SACD in March 2006 and repackaged into a 2-CD Deluxe Edition. Unlike the other Moody Blues albums released in Deluxe Editions at the time, this did not come with a new 5.1 surround sound mix as the original multitrack masters could not be found. In 2008 a remaster for single standard audio CD was issued with the nine bonus tracks.


In the Q and Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album was placed at number 37 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Departure"   Graeme Edge Graeme Edge (narration) 0:44
2. "Ride My See-Saw"   John Lodge John Lodge, Ray Thomas, Justin Hayward, Mike Pinder 3:38
3. "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume"   Ray Thomas Ray Thomas 2:58
4. "House of Four Doors"   Lodge John Lodge 4:13
5. "Legend of a Mind"   Thomas Ray Thomas 6:37
6. "House of Four Doors (Part 2)"   Lodge John Lodge 1:42
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Voices in the Sky"   Justin Hayward Justin Hayward 3:30
2. "The Best Way to Travel"   Mike Pinder Mike Pinder 3:12
3. "Visions of Paradise"   Hayward, Thomas Justin Hayward 4:15
4. "The Actor"   Hayward Justin Hayward 4:39
5. "The Word"   Edge Mike Pinder (narration) 0:49
6. "Om"   Pinder Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas 5:47


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1968 UK Albums Chart 5
Billboard 200 23
Year Single Chart Position
1968 "Voices in the Sky" UK Singles Chart 27
"Ride My See-Saw" UK Singles Chart 42
Billboard Hot 100 61


  1. ^ Moody Blues documentary, 2013,
  2. ^
  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ "Moody Blues | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums, p.214 (revised & enlarged 3rd ed. 1995).
  7. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]