Okay – since they have been repeatedly snubbed by that other bunch in Cleveland, and since there seems to be a lot of appreciation for the Moody Blues on this forum, shall we vote them into the MD Hall of Fame? (I love that they released a live album titled Hall of Fame!)
Allmusic sums them up succinctly as “Pop mystics of the 1960s and '70s, whose impeccably produced albums exuded pseudo-classical glory, driven by lush Mellotron orchestrations.”
There’s nothing much left to say that hasn’t already been covered somewhere along the way, so for fun, here’s a list of their studio albums, each accompanied by a brief and hopefully relevant bite of info:
- The Magnificent Moodies (1965) – later named Go Now. Originally an R&B outfit, Denny Laine’s vocals helped propel the single ‘Go Now’ to its number one spot which was what led to the album’s release in the first place.
- Days of Future Passed (1967) – first rock/classical album also recorded in ‘Deramic Stereo’ by Decca. I have a beautiful copy – quality stuff!
- In Search of the Lost Chord (1968) – largely inspired by LSD and its proponent, Timothy Leary. The mellotron shows up here, played by Mike Pinder who’d worked in a mellotron factory and knew how to make ‘em work the way he wanted.
- On the Threshold of a Dream (1969) – Graeme Edge’s poetry continues to feature on this one along with a couple of Pinder penned tracks that are sublime. My favourite.
- To Our Children's Children's Children (1969) – a concept album inspired by the moon landing – or what was purportedly the moon landing! Lush, whimsical, and again, heavily laden with the mellotron.
- A Question of Balance (1970) – songs composed deliberately so that they could be played and recorded live, something they’d not achieved very well before, due to complex arrangements
- Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) – by the time this album came into being the band members had settled into their individual roles – “Pinder the impassioned mystic, Lodge the rocker, Edge the poet, Thomas the playful mystic, and Hayward the romantic…” – courtesy of Allmusic.
- Seventh Sojourn (1972) – at this time of this release there was a resurgence of interest in Days of Future Passed due to the USA charting of ‘Nights in White Satin’, and the Moodies found themselves in competition with themselves!
- Octave (1978) – the last album with Mike Pinder in the line-up, recorded after a six year hiatus.
- Long Distance Voyager (1981) – the first album featuring Patrick Moraz, who had previously worked with Refugee and Yes. A return to previous form (as stated by CRAZY-HORSE).
- The Present (1983) – three minor hits on this one and one of the first CD’s to be manufactured worldwide (apparently!).
- The Other Side of Life (1986) – contains the hit ‘Your Wildest Dreams’ and is a departure from symphonic, to a synth pop style.
- Sur la Mer (1988) – home to another big hit ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’ the release of which boosted concert attendance quite substantially.
- Keys of the Kingdom (1991) – saw the departure of Patrick Moraz and a return to a more rock oriented sound and instrumentation
- Strange Times (1999) – a pre-millenium studio album which seems quite reflective of that milestone, and the last with Ray Thomas, longstanding flautist and vocalist.
- December (2003) – the first album since their debut with songs not written by the Moodies, a Christmas affair.
There are way too many songs for one favourite so here’s a clip I like and which says quintessential Moody Blues to me. As you will see, made in the days when smoking (cigarettes) was perfectly normal!
Some ‘yes’ votes would be so cool … please ...