Friday, July 20, 2007

Nice Music: The Weekend Is Here, So Enjoy

A long time ago, at the birth of the British Invasion, a small group in Birmingham, England attempted to create some kind of R&B/Rock 'N Roll fusion and failed. They managed a single hit song, "Go Now", and pretty well disbanded. They called themselves the Moody Blues. Over time new members were added and they revamped their sound completely. The three remainng original members, Ray Thomas, John Lodge, and Michael Pinder recruited others, among them, Justin Hayward and Grame Edge. Those five musicians became the group that gained fame. In 1967 they produced the album, "Days Of Future Passed" which was an enormous hit, both in merry Olde England, but around the world as well. Two of the songs on that album are among the most easily recognizable Rock hits in history, namely, "Nights In White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon".

Here's a live recording of the Moody Blues playing "Tuesday Afternoon" for a small crowd. For me it's a very lovely song, one I could never quite sing - not enough breath to hold Justin's long notes - but which I still enjoy. Recognize it?

The first Moody Blues album I heard, and bought, was "On The Threshold Of A Dream". My friend, Jimmy Oswald, played it at his house one afternoon, and I was hooked. And the songs on it are the ones I like most of all by the Moody Blues. Maybe because it was the first MB album I owned? Dunno, but it's how I feel.

One of the songs on that album is called, "Never Comes The Day". I like how it moves from ballad to rock and roll and back. It's pretty. And it's here for you, as well! LOL

It seemed forever from "Seventh Sojourn" to "Octave". In fact, by the time "Octave" was released I had thought the Moody Blues had disbanded. And in fact in 1973 they announced that they were disbanding, after "Seventh Sojourn" went to Number 1 in 1972. Only Justin Hayward wanted to continue. They all went their own ways and worked solo.

In 1977, with Mike Pinder now living in California and raising a family, they got together there to begin work on an album. They produced "Octave" which I eagerly snapped up. Although it wasn't their best work, it has its moments and some nice songs. One of the prettiest is "Driftwood". This is a studio production of the song. The keyboardist is no longer Mike Pinder who didn't want to tour any longer. Patrick Moraz, who had been asked to leave the band Yes, was hired to take Pinder's place. But it is Pinder's work you hear on this version. Moraz would be asked to leave the Moody Blues later on, after they heard him bad-mouthing them in an article in Keyboard magazine. Nice career, eh? Anyway, here's "Driftwood". Enjoy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ray and greame and mike recruited Justin and John. though John was friends with Ray well before actually joining.