Author Topic: Moody Blues  (Read 506 times)

Moody Blues
« on: March 02, 2019, 01:13:52 AM »
Specifically the Voice which was playing on Radio 2 after a walk on Monday. Love the synth framing the song. Looking a bit deeper on YouTube, all sort of gubbins, a demonic drummer, someone who looks like one of the Gibbs brothers on melotron, and a dude on flute.
Is this worth further investigation?

purlieu

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 12:52:57 PM »
They're unfairly overlooked from the psychedelic and early-prog era, and although they had a frequent tendency to be overly serious, the 'core seven' albums are certainly worth a go.
Days of Future Passed was the first orchestral rock album - a song cycle about a day in the life of an ordinary person - with full orchestra. The orchestrations are lovely, lots of recurring themes from different songs used throughout the album, makes it feel very coherent. Some ballads in there (notably 'Nights in White Satin'), some psych pop and a couple of rockier tracks.
Key song - Sunset / Twilight Time
In Search of the Lost Chord is the full-on psych album, they played every instrument, including learning a lot of them for use on the album. Sitar, flutes, backwards sounds, the full psychedelic fare. 'Legend of a Mind' is the most famous song here.
Key song - Legend of a Mind
On the Threshold of a Dream is a touch more subdued, mostly a set of beautiful mid-tempo songs, bookended with some weirder moments (the electronic drone & spoken word intro and the proggy suite near the end).
Key song - The Dream / Have You Heard Pt 1 / The Voyage / Have You Heard Pt 2 (suite)
To Our Children's Children's Children is, after its raucous opener - complete with convincing rocket take-off effect - more subdued again, lots of acoustic instrumentation, vocal harmonies. The inner sleeve has the band sitting around a campfire in a cave, which sums up the mood quite well. The British psychedelia feel has gone by this point, and they arguably become a bit po-faced at the same time, but there are some beautiful songs here.
Key song - Eternity Road
A Question of Balance is a lot less exploratory than the others, written as an album they could perform live, so it feels more traditionally 'band' like than the others. 'Question' was a big hit single. Despite being more straight-forward, it's a surprisingly moody, atmospheric album in places.
Key song - Question
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour returns to the more studio-heavy approach, with opener 'Procession' being a sound collage representing the history of music from primitive man to rock, and closer 'My Song' going through a similarly winding structure. The rest is folky ballads, a couple of rockers.
Key song - My Song
Seventh Sojourn is very streamlined and the least adventurous of the lot, basically eight melodic, slightly proggy rock songs. No instrumentals, experimental pieces, spoken word sections, multi-part suites or reprises, but some pretty tunes in there. It's not too surprising they went on hiatus at this point, as it feels like the last roll of the dice.
Key song - Isn't Life Strange


Their 1978 reunion album Octave is ok (Steppin' in a Slide Zone is fun, if unintentionally daft), and the last with this line-up, before they moved towards a pop-rock and eventually '80s synthpop sound which was utterly dire. Their debut album, The Magnificent Moodies, is a very different line-up of the band (including a pre-Wings Denny Laine) focusing on soulful R&B - including the huge hit Go Now.

wosl

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 01:50:04 PM »
Purlieu's excellent break-down pretty much has things covered.  All I'll say is that Justin Hayward's later turn as a slacks and cardigan clad Radio 2 Breakfast Show heartthrob balladeer can obscure the fact that he's a very handy rock guitarist (check him out on the latter part of Higher And Higher).  To sidetrack a bit: his first solo album is patchy and it hasn't aged well in some respects, but it has some lovely moments - the opener is as invigorating as prime Jeff Lynne, if you can get past the squibby, synthy horns.

Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 02:36:25 PM »
Not heard much by them, but 'Go Now' is a fucking tune.

Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 03:30:04 PM »
they hired patrick moraz after he was unceremoniously dumped by yes, when daisy wakepeace returned to the fold. but the peak of their output was earlier- 'lost chord' etcetera as outline very nicely above. ignore that hysterical clip one sees from time to time in clips shows- they were better than that, & better than the potted ridicule it draws.

Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 03:36:53 PM »
if you've only just stumbled on the moodies.... here's some kid talking about king crimson. there's not a lot of their stuff on YT because... fripp. but it's worth hunting down, especially the... no, actually, all of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcdGDNNvUO4&t=2s

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 03:51:27 PM »
Superb post, purlieu. I'm going to dig out my In Search Of The Lost Chord LP now.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2019, 10:56:30 PM »
if you've only just stumbled on the moodies.... here's some kid talking about king crimson. there's not a lot of their stuff on YT because... fripp. but it's worth hunting down, especially the... no, actually, all of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcdGDNNvUO4&t=2s

Refreshing to see someone so young speak so fondly of and knowledgeably about KC.  VERY refreshing.

But Crimson are about as far away from the Moodies as you can get.  I've always thought that they (MB) operated in much the same circle as Barclay James Harvest, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Strawbs etc - they only really dabbled on the edges of prog and psychedelia, but otherwise very much stayed in the foot-tapping poppy mainstream.  It actually annoys me when the Moody Blues (and the others I listed) get mentioned in the same breath as KC, Genesis, Yes etc.

Long story short - it's not a simple and easy step from The Moody Blues to King Crimson...

Having said that, Nights In White Satin is a bona fide belter.

purlieu

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2019, 11:12:01 PM »
I'd say bits of In the Court of the Crimson King would appeal to Moody Blues fans, particularly the mellotronny bits.

the science eel

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2019, 11:19:07 PM »
Having said that, Nights In White Satin is a bona fide belter.

It's awful.

But the album's pretty good. Especially this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPLWBhNW3FM

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 11:53:17 PM »
I love the use of Dr. Livingstone in 1968's The Tyrant King.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlEmB_BIsGw

3m 48s ish

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2019, 11:54:29 PM »
It's awful.

Nah, it's ace.  Ubiquity does not always =terrible.

Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 08:32:16 AM »
'Lovely To See You' is bloody brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj1HBMKblo8

MiddleRabbit

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2019, 08:57:32 AM »
Nah, it's ace.  Ubiquity does not always =terrible.

I vaguely remember Jim Kerrinthe front of one of the music weeklies saying that 'You always want to write a classic, but nobody wants to write Nights In White Satin'.

Silly cunt was taking about Belfast Child, wasn't he?

I like it but I can see how it's a bit histrionic.  I also like the cover of Forever Autumn, especially the album one with Richard Burtoncomingjnhalfway through. 'Dogs snarled...'

Ride My Seesaw, with the dude dancing was one of the highlights of the old Sounds Of The Sixties on BBC in the early 90s.

But yeah, po faced and a bit sixth form thicko as an image does them no favours.

gilbertharding

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2019, 04:44:22 PM »
Ride My Seesaw, with the dude dancing was one of the highlights of the old Sounds Of The Sixties on BBC in the early 90s.

But yeah, po faced and a bit sixth form thicko as an image does them no favours.

Another vote for the Colour Me Pop Ride My See Saw clip - it's fantastic. I always get a thrill from the brilliantly understated guitar solo which seems to end just before it properly starts.

But yeah, they never grabbed me as a psych/freakbeat outfit - better more effective bands than them were a dime-a-dozen according to all the Rubble compilations... and they're also tainted for me by a bloke I knew who was their biggest fan - who was a concrete draughtsman by trade and a thoroughgoing bore by inclination.


wosl

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Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2019, 05:57:52 PM »
po faced and a bit sixth form thicko as an image does them no favours.

This is harsh but fair; their lumbering early attempts at profundity by and large have a tendency to cause the listener to set his or her teeth into a lockjaw clench.

Re: Moody Blues
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2019, 09:24:10 PM »
there's an episode of the simpsons, wherein homer & pals go to vegas...........

2'10 into this. I know there's a way to expedite that, but I can't remember it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgRbBIAjB9w