Re: Pretentious music??
Yeah, no one could ever replace it, not Moog, not Yamaha not Korg. :)
That's because it was actual, 'real' recordings. :P There nothing like real live recording . . .
The Moodies were actually the template for many of the early prog bands, like Genesis and King Crimson. Genesis didn't use the mellotron as much; but Crimson really modeled themselves after what the Moodies were doing.
One of the differences I think between early Crimson and Bruford Crimson is the change that happened from well-rounded musicianship to virtuosity in prog. The Moodies, like the Beatels, exemplified a consort of musicians who could dabble on various instruments if need be. The concentration was not on virtuosity but on timbre and sound scape painting:string, flute, mellotron, or sitar. In some sense, it was sound tracking.
Crimson took up that mantle adding Sax, English horn, chamber orchestra, jazz improvisation, sometimes with a N'Orleans flair. You had the same pseudo romantic poetic imagery, sea imagery, love and armageddon.
Then Mahavishnu Orchestra came about, and things changed. For me, the earlier albums worked better because it was silly pretense masking as great art that was sometimes a lot of fun. I think they were quite a aware at how sardonic it often was. I think the latter stuff was conceived as art. It tried to be avant-garde but came of as silly pretense and seemed overly simplistic in comparison to what others were doing at the time. I think if Jamie Muir had not left the band things would have been very different. And look what happened to John Wetton.
Ken Marino Drum Teacher "It's not worth keeping score. You win some. You lose some, you let it go"