Moody Blues album cover art - they could have used Hipgnosis

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Oatsy, Aug 31, 2022.

  1. Oatsy

    Oatsy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don’t mind the first one, but it’s pretty much amateur hour after that.
    Then look at Blue Jays and Ray Thomas’ two solo albums. I like those covers. But they’re still a bit naff.
    They might have been taken more seriously then and got more respect now if they had better album cover art instead of paintings all the time.
  2. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Me, I love 'em as they are... :wave:
  3. Funny, when I read the thread title I got excited... As a kid, I used to stare at my dad's Moodies record covers for hours... They were mystical and intriguing. Lost Chord, Every Good Boy, those covers were amazing to me. I would not have changed them for the world.
  4. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    I think they were taken seriously back then, not sure if the surviving band members care about their respect now, because I am sure they are aware this has little to do with the quality of the music but much more with how they are presented in the media - I am sure if some advertising campaign used one of their songs they would be all the rage now for the covers , I think they are ok for what they are , at the time they were considered very special indeed, also let's not forget that some early Hipgnosis covers were not of the same quality as the cover art they are famous for
    here is one of the first Hipgnosis covers from 1968

    edit: you should also keep in mind people could afford perhaps one or two albums per month, so you spent a long time looking (and listening) to what you had , you cherished these records much more than the thousands of digital files on your computer and the crates full of unlistened albums which you have today , I remember picking up an A-Z children's encyclopedia (which I used to have as a young boy ) at a local flea market not to long ago and I recognized almost every picture in it 50 years later ...there was lot to discover in these Moody Blues covers and plenty of food for the imagination
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  5. Except for "Days Of Future Passed", which I find graphically very ugly, I like them as they are.

    ...I adore Hipgnosis, but they were too weird for the Moodies!
  6. CDmp3

    CDmp3 Forum Resident

    If they had used hypnosis then they would have looked like every other prog rock band. The Moody Blues had their own sound and their own style. In Search Of The Lost Chord is my favorite album cover of theirs. Quite a beautiful imagery of Life Death and rebirth spirituality.
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  7. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    perhaps you'll like it better when you turn it by 90 degrees

  8. Aladár

    Aladár Well-Known Member

    I think the artwork for In Search Of The Lost Chord is pretty gorgeous actually.
    caravan70, Ken.e., Defrance and 14 others like this.
  9. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    I think they’re brilliant covers and give an idea of the music within very well.
  10. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    They are fine as they are……
  11. Oatsy

    Oatsy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It was just a stoned thought. Those covers have always been a bit naff. I too have precious memories of how special all their albums were even if the art was a bit amateurish.
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  12. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Same here.
    Mesozoic Mike, Swansong, WMTC and 3 others like this.
  13. Lexhibit

    Lexhibit Forum Resident

    The album covers were strange and obscured on purpose to stay anonymous?

  14. flaxton

    flaxton Forum Resident

    That would make a great Doors compilation cover.
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  15. Lostchord

    Lostchord Dr. Livingstone, I presume

    Poznań, Poland
    The Moody Blues are still my favourite band, but I always disliked most of the covers, still do.

    The first, pre-Hayward album has a very nice one, both in the UK version (the pier) and the US (the windmill). I like the way they played with the British Invasion cover tradition, there's still the band in the picture, but the faces are barely recognizable... Still probably these photos work best on the LP format, and anyway I don't like the lettering on the UK cover.

    Out of the core-7 albums I would pick Seventh Sojourn as my favourite, not a huge fan, but at least there is some hint of mystery to correspond with the aura of the music. None of the others has it, as I see it, they are all very much "in your face" and unidimensional, with the exception of the Days of Future Passed cover, which doesn't work for me colour-wise.

    The Blue Jays cover is quite nice for me, at last it has this quality of inviting me "in" rather than attacking me. The Voyager and Sur la Mer covers might be very good on their own, but I can't really link them with the music. And don't even get me started on the Hayward solo covers.

    I'm definitely in the Hipgnosis-to-have-been camp :)

    (hold on, Songwriter actually *is* by Hipgnosis... oops)
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
  16. Joe N

    Joe N Forum Resident

    The core seven Moody Blues are some of my favorite album covers (not Days of Future Passed so much, but definitely the following ones). I think they're really well done, not amateurish at all. And they fit the music perfectly.
  17. MrJerry1876

    MrJerry1876 Short Distance Voyager

    I've always loved their covers, I think they evoked the "magic" that the band had. On A Threshold Of A Dream's cover I found very lush and relaxing, which most of the album is. Seventh Sojourn's cover is rather empty, and I think continues the theme of loneliness that I find in the lyrics of the album.
    The only album covers that I don't like from them are Strange Times and Sur La Mer.

    Also, if I'm not mistaken, Hipgnosis did do the artwork for their live album, Caught Live + 5:
    Which is fine, but I perfer the other ones.
  18. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    They should had Roger Dean do their covers.

    But, then I think everyone should have used Roger Dean. I love those all those 70's Yes covers. Except that dude's butt on Going For The One, which was most certainly not Roger Dean. Was that Hipgnosis?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2022
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  19. MythosDreamLab

    MythosDreamLab Forum Resident

    So. Cal.
    I don't mean to pile on, but I have not lost much sleep over this issue....

  20. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Blue Jays is nice. The 45rpm picture sleeve nice too.
  21. MikeVielhaber

    MikeVielhaber Forum Resident

    According to wikipedia, it was indeed Hipgnosis.
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  22. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Roger Dean (and brother Martyn) designed John Lodge's Natural Avenue sleeve.

  23. throwupmyhands

    throwupmyhands Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    When I was a kid I loved their covers. Now, not so much. Of the classic seven, Question is probably the only one I really like. But that music. Just talking about them makes me wanna go put on Seventh Sojourn.
    MrJerry1876 and 7solqs4iago like this.
  24. MadMelMon

    MadMelMon Forum Resident

    Their covers were always attractive to me because I would stare at them endlessly as a six year old. On the Threshold of a Dream and Every Good Boy Deserves Favor especially caught my eye.

    Now that I'm older, I recognize that some of them haven't aged particularly well. Not BAD, but pretty entrenched in their time. In Search of the Lost Chord is a great late 60s/early 70s psych cover, but it's most definitely of that era. The only one I could take or leave would be Question, although as I said it's not bad.

    On the Threshold of a Dream will always be my favorite, I think. Dated or not, that cover is my visual Rosetta Stone for what psychedelic album art should look like (and Dear Diary is my ground zero for what psych should sound like. Not very typical, I know.)

    So far as their current reputation, I think there are three reasons why they haven't really had a resurgence. As a record store employee, my first thought is that those records are EVERYWHERE. I guarantee you that right now the shop has multiple copies of each of the main seven. In terms of rediscovery, scarcity breeds cool, and those records have never, ever been scarce in the crate digging community.

    Two, well...the lyrics. They were a bit quaint in the post '68 music scene, but now they're cringe inducing. They go from ultra-twee everything-is-love high school poetry to just plain old ulta-twee ("Sunday roast is something good to eat/Must be lamb today 'cause beef was last week." Oof.)

    Three, the 80s resurgence was quite good at the time, but it was the most Dad Rock of all Dad Rock, and worst of all they tried to look hip. Musically, Long Distance Voyager was the last album to have anything you could call edge, and none of it was in the singles.
  25. 6stringer

    6stringer ...because it's the music that matters.

    The one thing to bear in mind with the Moodies albums is that, at least until they started making serious medium term money and launched Threshold, it was likely Decca's money being spent, and they weren't known for errant excessive spending!! In that light, they weren't bad and at least you could tell it was them.

    Also, we all know Hipgnosis and Roger Dean now but how difficult would it have been for their paths to have crossed in 1969/70? We're very used to immediate familiarity in the Internet age. It was NME and the Record Mirror then with the help of a landline phone, word of mouth and the odd art exhibition, I would suggest.
    caravan70, Bassist and Buddybud like this.

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