The eight-part PBS series, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, a co-production of KCET/Los Angeles and the BBC, in association with England’s London-based Imperial War Museum, premiered on PBS November 10, 1996 to great critical acclaim.
This single-CD compilation doesn't do too much more than scratch the surface of the band's sound at its most popular points, but it does do one thing that no prior Moody Blues compilation ever did – it includes "Go Now," which, as the notes point out, is still the group's top-charting single in England. What it doesn't do is get "Go Now" in really good sound (no one seems to have a proper master source) or include their even better follow-up single, "From the Bottom of My Heart." Still, this body of work is pleasing and, thanks to its extension back to the original lineup, even a little bit informative, and it was the first Moody Blues compilation to be mastered in 20-bit audio. The dominant personality is Justin Hayward, who has provided the band with most of its hits, followed somewhat distantly by John Lodge, whose songs began to shine as the '70s dawned – a pair of Hayward/Lodge songs and one solo Hayward release fill out the 17 tracks, which showcase the soulful, the mystical, and the psychedelic aspects of their music in equal parts. It's a good intro to their history, and anyone who wants more can jump to the Time Traveller box.