The Moody Blues album by album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Glenn Christense, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Honestly, I think the mixes on most 67-72 Moodies tracks could be reworked. Frustratingly little clarity, especially in the drums.
     
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  2. roman.p

    roman.p Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Maybe, but I think it's part of the magic.
     
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  3. roman.p

    roman.p Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Tony, that's cruel to leave us hanging like that. We're begging you for even a few clues!
     
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  4. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Crappy, muddy mixes are never magic to me. I still like the music, but I’d like it even more if it sounded good.
     
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  5. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Actually, the drums on the 1967 tracks engineered by Gus Dudgeon are quite spacious.
    The drum sound on “Seventh Sojourn” are also very pronounced.
     
  6. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Kinda harsh doncha think???
    Don’t think all the mixes were “crappy”...
     
  7. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I don't really think any of them were good, either. Muddy, murky, with drums barely present. Even the Moodies themselves must've thought the mixes were lame, since they remixed everything for This Is The Moody Blues. Give someone a crack at the rest of the core seven, let's see what happens.
     
  8. Tony Brown

    Tony Brown Well-Known Member

    Sorry roman, pm me and I'll let you have a little more info.
     
  9. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    Who remixed This Is?
     
  10. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Tony Clarke (presumably with some input from the band).
     
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  11. roman.p

    roman.p Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    For me, those remixes (and the ones done for the proposed followup that surfaced on the Timeless Flight box) didn't add much. I suspect that, in some cases at least, this murkiness you speak of was a consequence of tape degradation due to extensive overdubbing and bouncing.
     
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  12. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yeah, I agree. But I liked the Lost Chord remix. Basically, I can't listen to an original version of any of those albums and think to myself "yeah, this is definitely the best this recording can sound." I love these modern revisitings of 60's albums...if it doesn't work, you still have the original, but if it does work, it's a revelation.
     
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  13. Tony Brown

    Tony Brown Well-Known Member

    Am happy to now be able to provide a few more details on the amazing CD coming out shortly.

    Marty Wilde: Marty: A Lifetime In Music 1957-2019, 4CD Boxset - Cherry Red Records

    A new 4 CD Marty Wilde boxset is now on pre-order, containing, for the first time ever on CD, all four sides of the Wilde Three 45's (with Justin Hayward (pre-Moodies) joining Marty and his wife Joyce). There also a couple of demo versions of the 1st single A/B side plus, a real treasure - a previously unreleased Wilde Three track called "I Just Wanna Dance". I can't wait to get my copy.
     
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  14. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block Thread Starter

    I stumbled across this interview with Justin from 2014 and it gives some more slight insight into his solo work vs. working with the Moody Blues, as of 2014 anyway.

    JH:You know, I love The Moody Blues; it’s a great big production. But once those two drummers get going, it’s loud, man. But with this acoustic show, you can really hear every nuance. For The Moodys, I have to use electric guitar to rise to that volume a lot of the time, whereas with this solo show, I can really savor the sound of the acoustic guitars, and I’m getting back to exactly the emotions I felt when I wrote these songs.

    OMC: There was a 17-year hiatus between your last solo album and your latest, “Spirits of the Western Sky.” What was going on in that almost two-decade period, and were you working on “Spirits of the Western Sky” throughout that period?

    JH: During that time, I was collecting a lot of songs. We did make a couple of Moodys albums, so that was happening as well. We did “Strange Times” and a holiday album called “December.” But also I was appointed by Universal as the gatekeeper to the Moody’s catalogue, so I mixed three DVDs for Universal and Eagle Rock during that time. I did the Isle of Wight, the Murray Lerner film about The Moody Blues there. I did a lot of remastering for Universal too.

    I was just spending so much time in the studio; it was actually the engineer that said to me, “Listen, you have all of these songs; why don’t we just start now and put all this stuff down properly?” The fact is I couldn’t see the prospect of a new Moody Blues album on the horizon, so I think this was the best and most honest thing I could do. I could’ve done some solo work and called it Moody Blues, but that wouldn’t be that honest. This was the best way to do it.

    A conversation with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues - Justin Hayward
     
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  15. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern England
    Justin was working in Italy doing that remastering and he did speak of how listening to the way they recorded then really made him want to get back to that more 'organic' style of recording with real instruments etc...

    then 'Strange Times' came out full of keyboard and drum programming...!

    I feel the very '80s' style production dated that otherwise stronger album badly, the actual songs themselves and where used the REAL instruments such as Acoustic and Electric guitars, flute, strings etc were far more timeless and enjoyable than all the very attempting to sound ultra modern 'synthetic' stuff

    They had quite a lot of business issues over the nineties with things like the Decca royalties etc plus as stated Universal took over the back catalogue so much time was taken re the remastering plus a few live sets on CD and DVD too

    whatever the biggest issue was the almost decade long gap between new studio albums from the good if patchy album 'Keys of The Kingdom' in 1991 and the stronger 'Strange Times' in 1999 - a very long period of time (longer than it took to record the entire 'core seven' over the sixties / early seventies !) in which they became inevitably gradually more and more a nostalgic 'tribute band' to themselves admittedly with a large loyal following, complete with a backdrop of photos of the 'classic' Moodies at their concerts

    I think that long gap between studio albums proved to be very costly for them as a relevant recording band - it wasn't entirely their fault as the switch from Polydor / Polygram to Universal must have delayed them releasing a new album

    Justin made a telling comment re;
    'I wish record companies were as interested in our present as our past'

    in a DVD however you can't help feel they SHOULD have been able to put out at least one mid nineties studio album of new 'Moodies style' songs even if they had to pay up and do it all themselves as that even if not up to the earlier standards of chart successes would have kept the band on the 'still happening' radar more !

    I suspect partly due to such a vast time gap between 'Keys' and 'Strange Times' some had assumed they were no longer relevant to the nineties or the new century (and their live show after the 'Hall of Fame' period did become more and more 'core seven' based re live songs and their Moraz era onwards later material started to fade from their act in favor of older much loved songs)

    I think when 'Strange Times' fared less well chart wise than hoped for maybe Universal saw them as a nostalgia act re compilations etc - hence a compilation was paired with the holiday album - and perhaps too Justin began to feel that re new songs his solo career was the more viable way ahead....(?)

    I do suspect that IF Justin had really wanted it, with John eager and back then Graeme more able to contribute re a song and /or a poem etc that even after Ray retired they COULD have done at least one more studio album of new material as The Moody Blues

    - and had they invited Mike Pinder to at least 'guest' on a track or more (playing keyboards, even mellotron or chamberlain) that would have made a big difference re sales potential
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  16. Defrance

    Defrance A Northern Soul

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Strange Times should have been released on an indie label, produced by Saint Etienne and engineered by John McEntire. That would have made an immense difference.
     
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  17. Houston_Music_Fan

    Houston_Music_Fan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    It's all but confirmed now that Justin has put the MBs out to pasture. Tellingly, John's camp issued a statement recently stating that 'John continues to say yes' to potential MBs projects - the implication being that Hayward is the one saying no. It is possible they'll surprise us all and do a farewell show in 2020, but with Graeme also now retired in Florida, the prospects seem dim.

    Billo is correct, there should have been more studio albums. Hayward & Lodge proved to me via their solo albums released in 2013 and 2015, respectively, that they are each still capable of producing good material. But at least we'll always have the Core 7, and the post Core 7 - Octave to Strange Times all contain tracks I enjoy.
     
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  18. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I call bollocks on that. One drummer can barely walk, let alone play the drums, and the real drummer played a half-electric kit, with the non-electric half behind a glass shield. Barely any stage volume at all, not to mention with current technology, guitars and bass can all run direct (even Mark Knopfler is using a Kemper these days). Now, with the Moodies, it’s a big, full sound, but that’s different than it being uncomfortably loud.
     
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  19. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    A MB’s album in 1999 was always going to be a cult item, no matter what it sounded like.

    Granted, a MB’s album in the 2010’s would’ve still generated more interest than Justin and John’s albums combined.
     
  20. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block Thread Starter

    I’m not very concerned about his feelings regarding stage volume. We can argue that point but maybe he just likes acoustic music more these days .

    The weird quote to me was that he said he “could have done some solo work and called it Moody Blues but that wouldn’t have been that honest .”

    Really? Does he own the band name outright at this point or has his ego expanded to the point that he thinks he is the Moody Blues ?
     
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  21. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    ALso, the last time I saw the Moodies Graeme played almost exclusively brushes, and you can't make a lot of noise with those.
     
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  22. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southern England
    One point that apparently began to cause some friction in the classic group was back in the early seventies some music press were starting to become over focused on Justin Hayward (like later Peter Cetera re Chicago and then Suzanna Hoffs re Bangles etc)

    some music critics (spit !) even suggested the Moodies should do albums exclusively of Justin songs (!) - NO WAY in my view

    Much as I rate Justin of course and he was the face of the band providing most (tho' not all by any means) of the hit singles and key lead off album tracks etc the albums were always very much group orientated efforts and it was the combination of four major songwriters and lead voices - plus a perceptive poet - that characterised the 'core seven' classics making them so memorable

    even later the mix of Justin, John and Ray as songwriters and voices, plus Graeme's songs too, made their albums work well

    once it went down to only Justin and John the vocal sound was rather 'samey' and their musical idiom seemed to narrow more with those radio friendly 'wistful' songs re lost love etc...and although 'Strange Times' saw them back on form as songwriters (even if Ray only made a brief appearance as a lead singer) it was apparent it was really about half the band on an artistic level and when you compare the later albums after 1986 to what came before the overall lack of variation in song style rather hits home I think

    that said they could of course have still made decent Moodies albums but I think you do need at least to have:

    A) Hayward songs sung by Justin
    B) Lodge songs sung by John
    C) Hayward-Lodge joint written and sung in harmony songs
    D) an Edge song or poem narrated by Graeme / sung by John and Justin

    hopefully all in the 'Moodies style' - I find it's when they attempt to go all 'contemporary' they sound weaker and like 'fish out of water' in my view...!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  23. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block Thread Starter

    If they do anything together at this point I think they should drop the Moody Blues name and just call it Hayward & Lodge or Blues Jays Again or similar .

    With five members down to two members it dishonors the band’s name and the input of the three other members by still using it.

    Thirty years ago the Moody Blues name would have been more advantageous commercially , but these days so far past their big two eras , I doubt that it would sell much under any name so maybe that’s why Justin wants to be free to follow his muse solo from this point onwards.

    As he alluded to in the interview I posted he apparently isn’t one to look to the Moody Blues past to draw his enjoyment . At his age he wants to do what he enjoys with the time he has left.
     
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  24. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Music is life.

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I keep forgetting that This Is... was remixed... That was my first real exposure to the "classic" Moodies.

    I better re-buy that.
     
  25. Vic_1957

    Vic_1957 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Wow, finally made it to the end of the thread. Such a good read; sad to come to the end. This has been my second favorite thread on the site; second only to the Bobby Whitlock thread. I wish I was a member back when this thread was first started so I could have contributed to it.

    So,
    thanks Glenn and thanks to everyone who contributed to the Moodies thread.

    My first exposure to them was back in 1970. I was just entering High school. I had recently "discovered" WNEW-FM (in NYC), late 1969. Two DJs, Allison Steele and Scott Muni (both whom were acknowledged and thanked during the Moodies HoF induction speech) had been playing a lot of their music. My first Moodies album was EGBDF, so that album has a personal place in my heart. But it's SO hard to pick my fave of the bunch. It all depends on my "mood" on any particular day.

    Forgot about them for a while after that until LDV, which I admire very much. Got to finally see them a couple of times in the 80s and then got to see them on the DOFP 50th. tour. YAY! :righton:

    Although I've been angry at the R&R HoF for dissing them all these years, I realized it was their music and their very loyal fans that count. As a Dead Head (similar loyal fan base), that's all that ever mattered anyway.

    Well, that's all for now. Sorry to bump up this old thread, but I hope it will attract more Moody fans to read it through, as did I. Well worth the time.

    Carry on.

    P.S.- there was talk a few pages back, by Billo, about the imagery in the song, "Nice to be Here". Last week, as I was listening to this gem, I noticed a similarity between it and CCR's "Looking Out My Back Door". So of course, I played them back to back. The imagery in both songs is strikingly similar and the two songs segue well.

    Try it. :cool: (bong hits are optional, but do help - lol)
     

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