The View from the Hill mostly showcases some of Moody Blues vocalist/guitarist Justin Hayward in excessive form, though its best tracks may alone be worth the price of admission for serious fans. The album opens with the engaging "I Heard It," a catchy number whose electronic flourishes recall the Moodys' "Your Wildest Dreams." Up next is the album's clear highlight -- the ethereal, hypnotic "Broken Dream," which boasts a flamenco-spiced guitar and a prominently mixed vocal that ranks with Hayward's finest. From there, The View from the Hill is mostly filled with lyrics about "pockets full of dreams," "the dark of the mystic night," and "sadness in your eyes."
Performance CreditsJustin Hayward Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Paul Bliss Keyboards
Mickey Feat Bass,Vocals
Sonny Kompanek Conductor
Olivia Koppell Performing Ensemble
Jesse Levy Cello,Concert Master
John Moses Performing Ensemble
Billy Nichols Background Vocals
Tessa Niles Background Vocals
Phil Palmer Guitar,Vocals
Geoffrey Richardson Mandolin,Pipe,Viola
Elio Rivagli Percussion,Drums
Steve Skinner Piano
Yergenia Strenger Performing Ensemble
Randy Wolfgang Performing Ensemble
William Ellison Performing Ensemble
Technical CreditsSonny Kompanek Contributor,String Arrangements,Woodwind Arrangement
Dennis Lambert Producer
Phil Palmer Producer
Steve Skinner Arranger
Stephen W. Tayler Engineer
Gary Tole Engineer
Francis Gavet Engineer
Monique Trempe Cover Design,Paintings
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
''The View from the Hill'' could just as well be titled ''The Justin Hayward 50th Birthday Album'', as it's official release date was the day following his 50th birthday (10-14-46). The view from Hayward's hill remains much the same. His themes still span the vocabulary of personal ads, concentrating on love, seashores, mornings, freedom, spring, and belief. Both his voice and sincerity remain remarkably clear after 30 plus years in the music spotlight. This solo effort, perhaps his best to date, brings back a very popular feature of those ''magic 7'' albums from the Moodies of long ago, that being all the songs ''cross fade'' into one another....and it was that clever effect that drew me to their music years ago. The album leads off with the engaging and optimistic ''I Heard It'', and another Moodies-like ''cosmic voyage'' is well underway. The second track ''Broken Dream'', is not for the faint of heart, for while very poignant to the point that the song will probably make you reach for the kleenex to dry your tears the first several times you hear it, the song is incredibly lush and pretty. The third track, ''The Promised Land'', at nearly 7-1/2 minutes is the longest number on the album, is most intriguing song Justin has ever done, with background vocals from a cast of thousands pleading for ''freedom in the new world'', and an incredible instrumental middle lightly laced with African rhythms. ''The Promised Land'' ends with the best cross-fade on the album into ''It's Not Too Late''; as the cross-fade begins, it's sounds as though the musical journey is going to take a dark and dangerous turn, and instantly, as ''It's Not Too Late'' begins, everything is safe and secure again, and hey, everything is going to be okay! Mindblowing to say the least! Another of the album's best cuts is ''The Way of the World'', which comes the closest of any songs on the album to that full, original Moody Blues sound. While the remaining five tracks on the album are perhaps not as strong as the one's previously mentioned, Hayward's soothing vocals and unique guitar sound makes the album delightful for all remotely familiar with his music. For an artist who has reached his 50th birthday with this album, I can hardly wait to see what other ''rabbits'' Hayward can ''pull out of the hat'' in the years to come! For Justin Hayward solo efforts, this one will be difficult to beat!
I find this work of Justins to be one of his best efforts lyrically and musically he speaks to the soul of his listeners with the depth and essence of a true poet, yet so pure in it's revelations he tells a truth of life like few others can a must have for all of his fans Broken Dream is my favorite it is all a ''genuine piece of musical wonder''!
Once again the talent and vision of Justin Hayward is shared with the world. Altho Each selection is different, Each song tells a different tale of life and stirs something in us all from the rich music,voice and lyrics and arrangements. It is a beautiful cd--Especially the song- THE PROMISED LAND--this sends chills - it reminds all of us-- why our ancestors came-- great insight from someone who was raised and lives in another country from ours. Buy this as a gift for yourself...
From one veteran cosmic rocker to all others: I really have not had the pleasure to hear and enjoy anything better than Justin's CD in a long time. Although some are slow, but there are really no bad cuts on this CD. As with other Moody Blues releases the listener must give a chance for the music to "climb into one's ear" and do its magic. Justin Hayward's compositions and arrangements have always been more like a musical jouney where he takes you up to a tense moment and resolves all your problems logically the next. What a joy! So friends and fans! Please lend an ear and enjoy the ride with sufficient (loud) volume, of course.
I couldn't agree more with Jeff Burgers'review in the ''All Music Guide''. The first two selections I enjoyed, but the music on the rest of the album was imminently forgettable. In addition the lyrics seemed rather patronizing in regards to the subjects being sung about.