The Moody Blues http://www.moodybluestoday.com Official Site Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:26:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Moody Blues Announce ‘Timeless Flight” 2015 UK Tour http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-announce-timeless-flight-2015-uk-tour/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-announce-timeless-flight-2015-uk-tour/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:00:26 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=2022 Live Nation is delighted to announce the ‘Timeless Flight 2015’ Tour from The Moody Blues, one of the most enduring, creative and consistent groups in the world.  Tickets go on sale on 19 September 2014 from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk. VIP Packages go on presale Wednesday 17 September at 9am at Ticketmaster.co.uk HERE. Their remarkable music Read More...

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moody blues admat.inddLive Nation is delighted to announce the ‘Timeless Flight 2015’ Tour from The Moody Blues, one of the most enduring, creative and consistent groups in the world.  Tickets go on sale on 19 September 2014 from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk. VIP Packages go on presale Wednesday 17 September at 9am at Ticketmaster.co.uk HERE. Their remarkable music has enthralled generations of fans since the 1960’s and their recorded legacy contains some of the most important and ground breaking work in the history of popular music, having generated over 55 million sales throughout the world. The Moody Blues – Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge – carry on their magical musical legacy from generation to generation, year after year.

The legacy of The Moody Blues continues to live on, as the band tours throughout the world, delighting their loyal fans.  Justin Hayward said, “We are always so happy to be returning to the UK to play. All of these venues are dear to us and many, like the New Theatre Oxford and Newcastle City Hall, are the gigs we remember fondly from our youth when we played them as headliners for the first time. We felt then that we had really ‘made it’ at last and all our work had paid off. Dedicated Moodies fans will be out in force, and we love it.   We have been exploring our catalogue of songs recently and we’ll be playing some songs on stage that we only experienced for a day or so in the studio the first time round. They work brilliantly. We believe there’s something for everybody in our show and we are playing songs from just about every album. I can say this is the best incarnation of this great band I have been in. It’s certainly the happiest and truly faithful to the Moody Blues spirit. How long will it continue for us? I have no idea – none of us would have thought in our ‘Wildest Dreams’ we would still be up there – but it’s a fabulous ride and as long as we’re still playing from the heart and the fans are with us I’m in!”

John Lodge said, “Our Timeless Flight Tour returns to England and Wales in 2015. It is always special to me to be on stage in the UK. Every city on the tour seem to welcome the Moody Blues as their own, this is a very special feeling. To everyone who has been on this journey with us… Thank you”.

A legendary band with an enviable repertoire and reputation, The Moody Blues remain one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence. Graeme Edge explains the continuing popularity of the group thus; “It’s all about the music. The music is everything for us.  We’ve always put the music before anything else, and that’s why I think we’ve been able to endure for so long.”

JUNE 2015

Sat 6th          Plymouth          Pavilions

Sun 7th         Cardiff              St David’s Hall

Mon 8th      Brighton            Centre

Tues 9th      Bristol              Colston Hall

Thurs 11th   Bournemouth    BIC

Fri 12th       London              Eventim Apollo

Sat 13th      Ipswich              Regent Theatre

Sun 14th     Oxford                New Theatre

Tues 16th    Manchester        Apollo

Weds 17th   Nottingham        RCH

Thurs 18th   Sheffield            City Hall

Sat 20th      Birmingham        LG

Sun 21st     Liverpool            Philharmonic

Mon 22nd    Newcastle          City Hall

Thur 25th    Amsterdam        Heineken Music Hall    

 

Tickets are priced at £41.50 regional and £48.50 London and can be booked online through www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk (all tickets subject to a booking fee). VIP Ticket Packages will be available via www.Ticketmaster.co.uk

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Change in sound tilted the see-saw for the Moody Blues http://www.moodybluestoday.com/change-sound-tilted-see-saw-moody-blues/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/change-sound-tilted-see-saw-moody-blues/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:47:32 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1900 themorningsun.com By Gary Graff,   Count the Moody Blues among the many notable bands celebrating 50th anniversaries this year — in this case 50 years since the group’s formation in Manchester, England.     But it’s an odd landmark for singer-guitarist Justin Hayward, who didn’t join the band, along with bassist John Lodge, until November Read More...

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By Gary Graff,

 

Count the Moody Blues among the many notable bands celebrating 50th anniversaries this year — in this case 50 years since the group’s formation in Manchester, England.

 

 

But it’s an odd landmark for singer-guitarist Justin Hayward, who didn’t join the band, along with bassist John Lodge, until November 1966, after original members Denny Laine and Clint Warwick departed.

 

 

“(Keyboardist) Mike Pinder was the one who called me because he’d heard some of my songs,” recalls Hayward, 67, who was playing in another band called the Wilde Three. “I came to the group as a guitar player kind of masquerading as a singer as well, but they were a rhythm and blues group at the time, and I was lousy at rhythm and blues.

 

 

“So it wasn’t a great start for me with the band, but I think Mike was also the one who recognized that and realized that we had to do our own material and establish an identity, which the group didn’t have at that time. So it all turned out all right in the end.”

 

 

It was more than all right, of course. With Hayward and Lodge the Moodys were a smash off the bat with 1967’s orchestral “Days of Future Passed” and its signature hit “Nights in White Satin.” The Moodys have earned 10 gold and platinum albums and sold more than 55 million records worldwide, while its fans have waged a fierce campaign for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hayward, Lodge and original drummer Graeme Edge, meanwhile, continue to soldier on as a regular touring act and also host an annual ocean cruise.

 

 

New Moodys music, however, isn’t a priority. The group’s last album was a holiday set, “December,” in 2003, while it’s last all-original album was 1999’s “Strange Times.” Hayward continues to curate archival releases — another one, “The Polydor Years,” is due out this fall — but he’s more interested in making his own music these days.

 

 

“I suspect that even a Moodys record would still mean I was doing solo records and just calling them Moodys,” says Hayward, who recently released “Spirits … Live at the Bulkhead Theatre, Atlanta” on CD and home video. “The solo thing gives me the freedom to do what I want when I want. I live in the south of France. I record in Genoa. I don’t need anybody else to come there to help me and I go to a little studio in Nice and I just feel comfortable.

 

 

“Recording has become a process of capturing the moment when I think that I’ve got a good version of the song that I’ve written, and to just do that instead of trying to work it up with the band. I’m being selfish, but I think I have to be now, at my age.”

If you go

• The Moody Blues

• 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30

• Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit

• Tickets are $38.50-$68.50

• Call 313-471-6611 or visitwww.olympiaentertainment.com

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Moody Blues wrap up Pinewood concerts on beautiful evening http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-wrap-pinewood-concerts-beautiful-evening/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-wrap-pinewood-concerts-beautiful-evening/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:53:23 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1897 Journalstar.com Justin Hayward stood at center stage, dressed entirely in white, holding his guitar, and then he began strumming the familiar chords. In seconds, the crowd of 3,700 began to cheer, then sway and sing along. The song, of course, was “Nights in White Satin,” the peak of The Moody Blues’ two-set, 100-minute show on Read More...

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Justin Hayward stood at center stage, dressed entirely in white, holding his guitar, and then he began strumming the familiar chords. In seconds, the crowd of 3,700 began to cheer, then sway and sing along.

The song, of course, was “Nights in White Satin,” the peak of The Moody Blues’ two-set, 100-minute show on a beautiful Monday night at Pinewood Bowl.

Hayward, who was in strong voice, delivered it well, as did the band, composed of original Moodies John Lodge on bass and Graeme Edge on drums, along with a pair of keyboards, a backing singer/flautist and an extra drummer.

It was preceded by “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band),” which, along with “Higher and Higher,” featured Edge coming out from behind the drums to perform. These were the rockingest songs of the night.

The second set opened with “Your Wildest Dream,” which built from flute and acoustic guitar to swelling keyboard and drums, and dropped again — the “classical” element of the Moodies. Then, a couple songs later, came “Tuesday Afternoon,” one of the band’s defining songs that carry a late ’60s vibe.

The Moodies embraced that vibe with a few onstage comments about ’60s music festivals, hippies, etc., but more so with images projected on the video board behind them of old show posters, vintage performances, album covers, etc.

The first set, as Hayward had indicated in an interview, was primarily made up of the Moodies’ more recent material, like “Say It With Love,” a 1991 song that was given a gorgeous reading. It was followed by “Peak Hour,” a lesser-known psychedelic gem from the band’s 1967 breakthrough album “Days of Future Passed.”

Monday night’s show, in all likelihood, was the year’s final Pinewood Bowl concert. It was another good show in a solid summer’s worth of events in the amphitheater that has become one of the top outdoor concert venues around.

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Hayward and Moody Blues on another sojourn http://www.moodybluestoday.com/hayward-moody-blues-another-sojourn/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/hayward-moody-blues-another-sojourn/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 22:29:51 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1890 postbulletin.com Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues take nearly 50 years of history with them when they go on stage. “It’s something you don’t want to give up easily,” Hayward, the band’s lead singer and chief songwriter, said last week. “I suppose it comes down to a shared love of the music,” he said in Read More...

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Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues take nearly 50 years of history with them when they go on stage.

“It’s something you don’t want to give up easily,” Hayward, the band’s lead singer and chief songwriter, said last week. “I suppose it comes down to a shared love of the music,” he said in reference to the enduring partnership between himself and longtime Moodies John Lodge and Graeme Edge.

“Of course, it requires an audience,” Hayward said. “But for me, if nobody was buying my solo stuff, I’d be at the park doing it anyway.”

There’s little danger of that, either with Hayward, 66, who has just released a live solo album on the heels of a well-received solo album, or the Moody Blues, who have sold 70 million records and whose current tour brings them to Minneapolis on Tuesday and La Crosse, Wis., on Sept. 2.

Hayward, who wrote and sang the Moody Blues hits “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Your Wildest Dreams,” talked in a phone call from a tour stop in Boston.

Hayward was born and raised in Swindon, a major railroad junction west of London (as were Rick Davies of Supertramp and the members of XTC).

“I couldn’t wait to leave,” he said. “Music was exactly the ticket out. There weren’t many choices there in the ’50s and ’60s. When I heard Buddy Holly, my whole mind was focused on what I wanted to do.”

Hayward left school and Swindon at age 16 and headed for London, where the Beatles had just broken big and were inspiring an entire generation of British musicians. Eventually, Hayward found his way in late 1966 to the Moody Blues, and with “Nights in White Satin,” helped steer the band away from rhythm and blues toward a more orchestral, psychedelic sound.

The band’s breakthrough album, “Days of Future Passed,” originally was recorded to demonstrate the stereo capabilities of their record company. It became a huge hit, and Hayward still marvels at it.

“Even now when I listen to it, I think ‘How the hell did we do that?’” he said.

Subsequent albums — “On the Threshold of a Dream,” “To Our Children’s Children’s Children,” “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor,” “Seventh Sojourn” — were equally as successful.

Many of the songs on those albums were written by Hayward. He was asked about the bittersweet, melancholy nature of much of his material.

“I’ve noticed that, and I’ve tried not to analyze it, not to go into therapy,” he said. “I’m stuck with that kind of style.”

It’s a style that has served Hayward, and the Moody Blues, well for nearly five decades.

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‘NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN’ AND FIVE DECADES OF THE MOODY BLUES http://www.moodybluestoday.com/nights-white-satin-five-decades-moody-blues/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/nights-white-satin-five-decades-moody-blues/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:44:22 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1895 Journalstar.com Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge of The Moody Blues will be performing in Pinewood Bowl on Monday. If you go What: The Moody Blues Where: Pinewood Bowl, Pioneers Park When: 7:30 p.m. Monday Tickets: $33 to $172. Tickets available at Pinnacle Bank Arena ticket office, Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com and at 800-745-3000.   Name the Read More...

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Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge of The Moody Blues will be performing in Pinewood Bowl on Monday.

If you go

What: The Moody Blues

Where: Pinewood Bowl, Pioneers Park

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday

Tickets: $33 to $172. Tickets available at Pinnacle Bank Arena ticket office, Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com and at 800-745-3000.

 

Name the Moody Blues’ first hit.

No, it wasn’t “Nights in White Satin.” Nor was it “Tuesday Afternoon.”

It was “Go Now,” a 1965 R&B number that put the Moodies in the same bag with the other British Invasion bands.

But Merseybeat wasn’t the Moodies’ sound — at least after Justin Hayward joined the group in 1966.

“I came to the group, actually, as a guy who wrote songs,” Hayward said. “Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues called me because he’d heard my songs (via Eric Burden of the Animals). I sort of see myself as a guy who writes songs who got to be in a band that plays them.”

The band immediately began playing, recording and releasing Hayward songs. But the Moodies didn’t get a hit until he brought in a composition he called “Nights in White Satin.”

“I was at the end of a love affair and starting another one,” Hayward said. “I was 19-20 years old, and I just wrote this simple song. They didn’t think much of it when I played it. Then Mike Pinder, who had one of the first mellotrons, said, ’Play it again.’ He played it with me, and there it was.”

“Nights in White Satin” first appeared on “Days of Future Passed,” the band’s 1967 album that also contained Hayward’s “Tuesday Afternoon.” But “Nights” wasn’t a hit until five years later, going to No. 2 on the Billboard charts on its rerelease in 1972.

By that time, the Moodies had released six more albums, establishing themselves as a true classic rock band — with their inclusion of classical music concepts and sounds in their music.

But it was “Nights” circa 1967 that made the Moodies.

“It was the song, along with ‘Tuesday Afternoon,’ that defined us and our sound,” Hayward said. “It gave us a unique kind of style. That’s still important for groups today — to clearly define their own style and sound. ‘Go Now’ was a cover song. When we started doing our own stuff is when we really became the Moody Blues.”

Hayward, who plays guitar and sings; bassist John Lodge, who joined the band with Hayward in 1966 and penned “I’m Just a Singer/in a Rock and Roll Band”; and drummer Graeme Edge, who has been with the band from the beginning, now make up the Moody Blues.

They’ll be at Pinewood Bowl Monday for a concert that likely will be just what fans turn up to hear.

“The first half of the show is our newer stuff, by which I mean the ‘80s and ‘90s,” Hayward said. “The second half of the show is the stuff we have to play, our greatest hits. There are things from just about everything we’ve done. There should be something for everyone.”

The Moodies, who took a late ’70s hiatus and saw some personnel changes at the end of that decade, made a comeback in the ‘80s, turning up on MTV and generating hits like “Gemini Dream” and “Your Wildest Dreams,” two more Hayward compositions.

“People think the ’60s were our best time,” he said. “But, to be honest, the most fun was that time in the ‘80s — to have that opportunity to be on TV and have all the times of having hit singles in your early 40s. I was a kid in the ’60s, with my head down and a little too stoned. In the ’80s, I was able to enjoy it. Believe it or not, a lot of our audience today came from that time, not the ’60s.”

The Moody Blues last released an album in 2003. That’s likely to be the band’s final record.

“I think this is probably it,” Hayward said. “I did the solo record because I had so many songs, and I could not see a Moody Blues record on the horizon. People want DVDs from us now. I think any product we do will be along that line.”

The solo album Hayward mentioned is “Spirits of the Western Sky” that came out last year.

Now he’s on the road with the Moodies for about 100 shows a year and is doing another 90 or so solo dates.

“That’s why I’ve been married so long,” he said. “If I’d have been home more, you never know.”

The solo dates are smaller affairs than a Moody Blues concert. But Hayward said he would still be playing, even if it was to passersby on the street.

“I kind of feel a duty to do it,” he said. “Number one, it’s a lot of fun doing it. I wouldn’t want to give that up lightly. But I do feel a duty to the music. I’ve got a feeling I’d be doing it somewhere no matter what.”

“Nights in White Satin,” however, has ensured that Hayward will continue to have a large audience for as long as he continues to play. He wouldn’t have guessed that when he wrote the song.

“I would have run a mile if you’d have told me what happened,” he said. “I would have been scared.”

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Justin Hayward’s Live Solo Release Out Now http://www.moodybluestoday.com/justin-haywards-live-solo-release-now/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/justin-haywards-live-solo-release-now/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:50:35 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1888 Justin Hayward steps outside of the Moody Blues again today (August 19) with the release of “Spirits…Live — Live at the Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta,” a CD and home video souvenir of his solo performance on August 17, 2013. Hayward was promoting his 2013 album “Spirits of the Western Sky,” his first solo outing in 17 years, and he Read More...

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Justin Hayward steps outside of the Moody Blues again today (August 19) with the release of “Spirits…Live — Live at the Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta,” a CD and home video souvenir of his solo performance on August 17, 2013.

Hayward was promoting his 2013 album “Spirits of the Western Sky,” his first solo outing in 17 years, and he tells us that even though the show also featured Moody Blues songs, he wanted it to be very different than one of the band’s concerts:


“I knew for a start that even though I had full production on the ‘Spirits’ album, that on stage I just wanted to do it like it was in my music room and to do it like the original versions of my songs, or even like my demos, so that I could bring my home guitars out and do it in an acoustic format. I knew from the Moodys that if you introduce the drummer and you’re trying to do acoustic guitar and have that sensitivity, it doesn’t work. And even though I love playing with drummers — that’s, y’know, been my whole life — but to do it where you just have to focus on the song, you need some kind of quiet and some kind of aura around the acoustic guitars and to be able to feel every nuance of it. So I wanted…to do a quiet show and really concentrate on the little, the feelings and the emotions around the song in their sort of purest kind of form.”

“Spirits…Live” finds Hayward playing with a quartet that includes another guitarist and two keyboardists. The 15-songs set includes several Moodys favorites, including “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” “Questions,” “Nights in White Satin” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” Hayward is currently touring North America with the Moody Blues.

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‘How the hell did we do this?’ Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward looks back http://www.moodybluestoday.com/hell-moody-blues-frontman-justin-hayward-looks-back/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/hell-moody-blues-frontman-justin-hayward-looks-back/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:33:35 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1880 digitaltrends.com   Justin Hayward is not one to dwell on days of future passed, but he sure knows how to add to a storied legacy. Since 1966, Hayward has fronted The Moody Blues, a band synonymous with heady, progressive arrangements, sweeping harmonies, and an exacting standard for sound quality in their mixes, especially when it Read More...

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moody-blues-justin-hayward-live-970x0Justin Hayward is not one to dwell on days of future passed, but he sure knows how to add to a storied legacy. Since 1966, Hayward has fronted The Moody Blues, a band synonymous with heady, progressive arrangements, sweeping harmonies, and an exacting standard for sound quality in their mixes, especially when it comes to live recordings and surround sound.

Last year, a massive 17-disc box set, Timeless Flight, documented the band’s legendary six-decade career. It included six stellar 5.1 mixes done by Paschal Byrne and Mark Powell that were built on early-’70s quad mixes overseen by original Moodies producer Tony Clarke and constructed by engineer Derek Varnals. Hayward, who supervised the overall mixes for Timeless Flight with his longtime production partner Alberto Parodi, was quite pleased with the results: “I didn’t have the courage to go back to any of the masters and try to recreate those beautiful, real echoes myself,” he notes.

“There’s nothing like the beauty of just a guy and his guitar onstage.”

But occasionally, Hayward does get the itch to step outside of The Moodies and go it alone, a challenge he quite enjoys: “There’s nothing like the beauty of just a guy and his guitar onstage,” he says. “And you have to mean it as well. If it doesn’t come from the heart, it doesn’t work.” Without percussion or electric guitars to back him up, Hayward and a sparse trio embarked on a solo tour last year to support his fine 2013 solo release, Spirits of the Western Sky. That tour is superbly documented in HD on Spirits…Live – Live at the Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, released today on Blu-ray and other formats. Parodi’s crisp surround mix captures the beautiful acoustic guitar blend between Hayward and second guitarist Mike Dawes, best exemplified by Dawes’ percussive slap-taps on his fretboard counterbalancing with Hayward’s own furious chordings during the perennially hard-charging Moodies classic, Question.

Hayward, 67, recently sat down with Digital Trends to discuss the requirements for the mix of Spirits…Live, his favorite 5.1 moments, and why he needed to update some early-’80s CD transfers. If there’s one thing Hayward has mastered over the years, it’s how to answer questions of balance.

Digital Trends: Since your solo tour is acoustic-oriented, you must have had some different goals in terms of how you had it mixed.

Justin Hayward: I did nothing! (chuckles) Well, my front-of -house sound engineer, Steve Chant, puts his mix onto ProTools every night. For this particular show, we had another guy on the side of the stage who put his mix into a later version of ProTools. Steve listened to what the other guy had collected and then sent it to Alberto Parodi in Genoa [in Italy] along with his own rough mix balance of the night. And that was it, really; nothing too complicated.

moody-blues-justin-hayward-interview_

The next day, Alberto said, “I just put the faders up. It sounds great! And I put some nice little echoes on it too. I don’t know what else you want to do. Do you want to change anything?” And I said, “Well, I don’t think so. Is it all in tune?” He said, “Yes, leave it. If we tune it, it’ll sounds like we tried to fix something.” So we just left it. For the CD, I probably should have done some tuning, but for the DVD/Blu-ray, I just left it. Alberto gave a little bit of “aura” around the sound and did some other stuff sonically, but that’s all.

There’s a notable difference between your presence in a Moody Blues live mix and your solo live mix. You’re a little more naked in this acoustic setting — your voice is very much upfront, with just acoustic guitars and keyboards and no percussion. You’re deliberately going for different arrangements here.

Totally. I can feel every nuance on it. The guitars are different because I brought my home guitars out on this tour with me — that is, I’m using the same guitars I wrote on and did my original demos on. That was the feel I wanted to get — how it feels in my own music room, just as it was when I finished the song and was about to make the demo. I knew all of the parts, even in the Moodies songs, that I wanted to explain to the band as it was done. So it was basically a question of transferring my living room feeling out there onstage. At home, I just double-track myself, and then I go to a little studio in Nice near where I live in the south of France, and put my vocals down. They’ve got some lovely old [Neumann] 87s there, the right microphones.

“I’m using the same guitars I wrote on and did my original demos on.”

It’s the other way ’round from the way we’d do a Moodies record, where we’d work for several days on the backing track, and then work on the keyboards and electric guitars. Here, I put my stuff down first with my voice, trying to capture the moments where I really thought I’d finished the song, and then I put the other elements around it.

Another big difference is that you don’t have a drummer with you onstage.

Yes, there are no drums. God forbid, I love drummers, and some of my best friends are drummers. (laughs) But drums and acoustic guitar, and drums and vocal mics — they don’t mix. I’ve mixed five or so Moody Blues live DVDs for Universal over the last 25 years, and I’ve found that you’re stuck with the drum sound that’s on the vocal mics. That’s the big difference. And with The Moodies, you can have upwards of 76 tracks, and that needs a lot of sorting out, repairing, and fixing. I don’t have a lot of tracks on my solo live recordings to work with. So it was a very different experience.

Is there one particular Moody Blues song in this live set that, to you, shows a dramatic difference between the Moodies version and the Justin Hayward version?

There’s a little medley we do at the beginning of the show — It’s Up to You/Lovely to See You — that comes across exactly like how I first put down the demos for those songs in Decca Studios [in West Hampstead, London] in the early days, ’68 or ’69, whenever that was. [Lovely to See You was recorded January 14, 1969, for In Search of the Lost Chord, and It’s Up to You was recorded in early 1970 for A Question of Balance.]

I noticed that you extend the syllables in certain words, like “da-ay” in Tuesday Afternoon and “he-ere” in Forever Autumn. Is that a conscious choice?

Justin-Hayward-Spirits-Live-album

Yes. I think that happens when you have a synergy with the acoustic guitar and the way that resonates through your body. It just seems right to sing those words that way. I’d forgotten that Forever Autumn is such a powerful song. [Forever Autumn is a song Hayward performed on the 1978 album Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds, which went Top 5 in the U.K.] I so rarely get to do it. In fact, I’ve only done it on one Moodies tour, and even then I needed written permission. (both laugh) It’s such a great song, and it really resonates with people. I’m so grateful to be able to do it.

Please keep doing it. It’s a nice moment of transition before you move into the main set’s end run and the encore.

Oh yeah. It’s a winner. It’s like Nights in White Satin. I find that there are couple of songs you can go anywhere in the world and play on acoustic guitar, and people will go, “Oh, I know that; that’s great.” Forever Autumn and Nights are up there like that. 

Night in White Satin is one of those songs that benefits from being listened to in hi res, whether it’s via a 96/24 download from HDtracks or its amazing surround sound mix. The breadth of that recording is even more evident in hi res.

“I realized we’d spent almost 30 years with a digital version that just wasn’t very good.”

I did that mix myself. But I can’t take full credit, because all I had was the quad version done by Tony Clarke, the original producer, and Derek Varnals, the engineer. They’d done it in 1971 in the Threshold studio, so they had exactly the same echoes. Decca never threw anything away, so they were able to bring in a whole section of the original mixing desk, about 12 faders, to get exactly the same EQ and mix on it. So I did nothing on those surround sound mixes except add some ambience things in the 5 channel.

Would you agree 96/24 or even 192/24 is the best way to hear your recorded output?

I would. I was stunned with the quality of all of those early mixes — Days of Future Passed, particularly. I was just sitting there in the studio with Alberto working on the 5.1 for the box set, thinking, “How the hell did we do this? How the hell was it done?” But I can’t take any credit for it, because in those days, you weren’t invited into the control room. It really was Tony and Derek who did it — and I’m so glad they did the quad version in such beautiful quality, because it saved me a lot of time and pain. It was a responsibility I don’t think I’d liked to have taken on.

I happen to like that some of the more, shall we say, “dated” mixes of yore that were updated on Timeless Flight.

There were a couple of things I knew they’d rushed into the digital domain in the early ’80s that I’ve mentioned to you before, and quite badly. I really noticed it on [1968’s] In Search of the Lost Chord, with Graeme [Edge]’s ride cymbal. At first, I had just assumed it hadn’t been recorded very well, until I went back to the original master and listened to it again. And I thought, “No, it’s beautiful.” And then I realized we’d spent almost 30 years with a digital version that just wasn’t very good.

moody-blues-justin-hayward-interview__

I know I’m guilty, like everyone who works in the studio, of pandering to current sonic trends and how things sound, and what things sound nice. Alberto and I have received some “How dare you do this — you make it sound like it’s from 2011!” kind of comments. “You should have left it like it was!” It’s such a temptation to lift it a little bit and bring it in line with the way people’s ears are now. Time in a recording is so much more important now. You can’t have sloppy drumming or timekeeping like you had in the ’60s. People won’t accept that anymore. So we’re guilty of following some sonic trends that may make it sound a little different. But in years’ time, things may sound a little warmer or harder.

Can you give me two examples of what you felt may have gotten overlooked sonically but, listened to today, people might get something different out of, good or bad? Give me one from The Moodies, and one from your solo catalog.

“From top to bottom, the sound is just right, and lovely.”

I think To Our Children’s Children’s Children [1969] is the one Moodies album that didn’t come across on the radio. It didn’t jump; it was soft, it was quiet. Everybody was so delicate with it and handling it with kid gloves. The way it was mastered was quiet, and the way it was transferred to disc was delicate. In the end, it ended up getting a little lost. Watching and Waiting — when we heard that song in its studio beauty, we thought, “This is it! All of those people who had been saying to us for the past 3 or 4 years, “You’ll probably just do another Nights in White Satin with it” — no! We had shivers up the spine, and that kind of stuff. But when it came out and you heard it on the radio, you kept saying, “Turn it up! Turn it up!! Oh no, it’s not going to make it.” So it didn’t happen.

And then there’s one of my solo albums, Moving Mountains [1985], which I was totally into, but when I listen back to it now, I think, “Maybe it was just a few too many over-recordings. Maybe a bit too much was done in my front room. Maybe I did snuggle it too much afterward.” Sign of the times, yes, really.

Do you have a favorite mix that Alberto has done for you, one you’d consider his golden-ear best?

I have to say “One Day, Someday,” on Spirits of the Western Sky. That was really the top of his game. He and Anne Dudley did that together. She did the orchestration, and he was responsible for the mix. He let me play all over it, and then he got rid of the stuff he didn’t like and kept the stuff that he did. I turned up the next morning, after I went to the hotel in Genoa the night before and had left him still working in the studio. He was having a cup of tea and said, “Come and have a listen to this,” and it was like, “Wow.” From top to bottom, the sound is just right, and lovely.

My favorite lyric in that song is, “Trying to get ‘I love you’ in every song.”

Yes, that’s right — I am still trying to get “I love you” in every song! (laughs)

 

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Justin Hayward speaks with 105.3 WOW! FM http://www.moodybluestoday.com/justin-hayward-speaks-105-3-wow-fm/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/justin-hayward-speaks-105-3-wow-fm/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:13:20 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1876 Justin spoke with 105.3 WOW! FM in Lincoln, NE recently to get geared up for the Moody Blues show at the Pinewood Bowl on August 25th.  Check out the interview – Click Here!

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Justin spoke with 105.3 WOW! FM in Lincoln, NE recently to get geared up for the Moody Blues show at the Pinewood Bowl on August 25th.  Check out the interview – Click Here!

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Playing the hits: Moody Blues drummer knows what band’s fans want to hear http://www.moodybluestoday.com/playing-hits-moody-blues-drummer-knows-bands-fans-want-hear/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/playing-hits-moody-blues-drummer-knows-bands-fans-want-hear/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:30:58 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1874 lacrossetribune.com Alan Sculley For the La Crosse Tribune IF YOU GO WHAT: The Moody Blues WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2 TICKETS: $39.50 to $85, call 608-789-7400 Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge says he’s perfectly happy to play the classic songs by his band — even if it’s the 2,000th time he has played a Read More...

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lacrossetribune.com
Alan Sculley For the La Crosse Tribune

IF YOU GO

WHAT: The Moody Blues

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2

TICKETS: $39.50 to $85, call 608-789-7400

Graeme Edge

Photo By Jim ‘JT’ Gilbert

Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge says he’s perfectly happy to play the classic songs by his band — even if it’s the 2,000th time he has played a song like “Nights in White Satin.”

In a recent phone interview, he said he learned long ago that what the musicians on stage want to play isn’t what matters.

“You’ve got to do the hits, and I don’t disagree with it,” Edge said, citing a time some three decades ago when he learned that lesson. “I went to see a favorite artist, and he’d just gotten a new album out and he just did the new album. And I was so disappointed because I wanted to hear the songs that I knew. That’s when I realized you have the responsibility to play those songs because that’s what people come for.”

What Edge also has found is that he can always find something special in playing a song like “Nights In White Satin.”

“I use it to steal energy from the audience, because when we start to play it, I look down at the people in the audience and see the ones that turn and look at each other and will do something funny,” he said. “It’s special to them, and then I watch them and I play for them typically and watch them enjoy it and sort of leech energy from them.”

Edge joked that he’ll need all the energy he can find on the band’s tour, which includes a Sept. 2 show at the La Crosse Center, because the live set figures to be more demanding for a drummer than would be typical of many Moody Blues shows.

“This tour is almost entirely full-out belting rock,” Edge said.

“There’s not too much about the lyrical, gentle, folky side of the Moodies on this tour. It just happened that way. We picked the songs we enjoy and want to play. And I also think secretly those two are prone to trying to kill me off.”

Those two would be singer-guitarist Justin Hayward and singer-bassist John Lodge, the two other musicians who have been in the Moody Blues for most of what, as of next year, will be a 50-year history.

Edge is actually the lone remaining original member of the lineup that debuted in 1964 in Birmingham, England. Hayward and Lodge joined in time to make the album that saw the Moody Blues evolve from an R&B-based pop band into a far grander style of pop-rock — 1967’s “Days Of Future Passed.” Featuring the aforementioned Hayward original, “Nights in White Satin,” the album is considered by many the first progressive rock album, and its lush, melodic and expansive songs gave the Moody Blues a stylistic template the group built on as it turned out another six albums of intricate and melodic rock music before going on hiatus in 1974.

The band returned four years later with “Octave.” And while that album featured the hit single “Steppin’ In a Slide Zone,” the band members have frequently said the group didn’t really hit stride artistically again until the 1981 album “Long Distance Voyager.” The 1980s saw three more studio albums and hit songs such as “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” before the pace of studio recordings slowed in the 1990s. “Strange Times,” released in 1999, is the most recent studio CD.

As it is, the Moody Blues have enjoyed a long, successful and influential career. The group’s entire 50-year career has been collected and summarized with a lavish box set, “Timeless Flight.” Its 17 discs include 11 CDs of album cuts, outtakes and live tracks. Plus the set includes three DVDs of rare television performances and the official release of what was a widely bootlegged 1970 concert from the Olympia in Paris and three DVD-audio discs of the six albums released between 1967 and 1972 that cemented the Moody Blues as a major force in rock — “Days Of Future Passed,” “On The Threshold of a Dream,” “To Our Children’s Children’s Children,” “A Question of Balance,” “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” and “Seventh Sojourn.”

Ironically, Edge said, he wasn’t sure he was on board with putting out “Timeless Flight.”

“I initially wasn’t even that excited about the box set,” he said.

“But when I saw what a piece of quality work they (Universal Music) were doing, I changed my mind. But at first, I thought, what are you going to call it, ‘The Second Best Album’ or ‘Our Last Despairing Grab For Cash’?”

Instead, Edge likes the overall picture “Timeless Flight” presents of the Moody Blues and its career.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve attempted, and once or twice we actually got close to achieving it,” Edge said with a laugh. “I’m proud and very glad that we never followed trends. Like I always feel sorry for the Bee Gees. They were a great band, great vocal group. But they made the mistake of going out in the platform shoes in that (disco) era.

That was it, they got stuck there. They did some lovely stuff afterward, but nobody took any notice of them. I’m glad we never fell into that trap, more by luck than by judgment.”

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The Moody Blues performs at the Zoo Wednesday http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-performs-zoo-wednesday/ http://www.moodybluestoday.com/moody-blues-performs-zoo-wednesday/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:40:34 +0000 http://www.moodybluestoday.com/?p=1868 Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the Moody Blues’ first single, Go Now, an R&B-meets-pop lament over a failed relationship that, sonically at least, sounds like it was recorded in a small garage. As far as milestones go, Go Now’s Golden Jubilee is the equivalent of the throwback jersey: nostalgia for diehard fans only. It’s generic British invasion, and in no Read More...

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Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the Moody Blues’ first single, Go Now, an R&B-meets-pop lament over a failed relationship that, sonically at least, sounds like it was recorded in a small garage.

As far as milestones go, Go Now’s Golden Jubilee is the equivalent of the throwback jersey: nostalgia for diehard fans only. It’s generic British invasion, and in no way a forerunner of the psychedelic musical journey the Moody Blues would embark upon only a few years later.

Even the band isn’t planning anything special for the occasion.

“No, I’m afraid not,” said Moody Blues singer-guitarist Justin Hayward. “I think we’re probably looking to the [50th] anniversary of Days of Future Past when it comes up in a couple years of time. That might be interesting. It’s more of a promotional tool than something the band is eager to do.”

IF YOU GO
The Moody Blues
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Circle K Concert Series at the Toledo Zoo
Tickets: Tickets are $42.50, $59.50, and $79.50, and are available at all TicketMaster locations, livenation.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 or 419-385-5721, or visit the Toledo Zoo main box office Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Besides, Hayward didn’t join the band until 1966, the same year as bassist-singer John Lodge. Drummer Graeme Edge, the only other classic Moody Blues member left, was in the original line-up.

“I was lousy at rhythm and blues when I joined,” Hayward recalled in a recent phone interview with The Blade. “I don’t know why they asked me. I think Mike [Pinder, the band’s original keyboardist] asked me because I was a songwriter and I think … he had a feeling the group needed to change, from the cover versions to our own material.

“We had some success with a song called Fly Me High, before Days of Future Past, and that was nice.”

Of course, it was 1967’s pioneering Days of Future Past that changed everything for the Moody Blues.

Among the first commercially successful fusions of psychedelic rock and roll and classical music, the landmark album spawned the classics Tuesday Afternoon (Forever) and Nights in White Satin, and introduced Pinder’s use of the Mellotron, the hallmark sound of the band through the early 1970s.

It also launched a remarkable run of seven albums in seven years — Days of Future Past, In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, and Seventh Sojourn — that placed the Moody Blues at the top of the charts and as a vanguard in the progressive-rock scene.

But even as the band pushed the limits of popular music in the studio with a larger and larger sound, it found recreating those songs live to be increasingly difficult.

“There was an album called To Our Children’s Children’s Children which we loved but it got so impossible to play on stage that we followed it up with A Question of Balance that was really trying to pull back to a kind of live position, something that we could do live easily,” Hayward said. “It’s so much easier now with the balance and the in-ears [monitor] instead of having monitors on stage to try and get that … In truth I think we’re more faithful to the records now than we ever were in the ’60s.

“A couple years ago we were on the bus — I was remastering something for Universal and going through these tracks — and we just said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to work some of these songs up that we only played for like one or two days in the studio and see how they work on the stage.’ And we’ve got a few things in the show now that were not big hits but they really work as songs on stage and it’s lovely to rediscover the catalog like that.”

The Moody Blues haven’t recorded an album of all-new material in 15 years, since 1999’s Strange Times. Hayward, however, released a solo disc last year, Spirits of the Western Sky, with a live concert recording from that tour due out this month.

“I could not see a Moody’s album on the horizon or an opportunity to make a Moody’s album and so I had so much material left, I thought, I’ve got to do it properly and make a good album. All of these songs deserve to be recorded and heard,” he said.

And when will Hayward collaborate on a new Moody Blues record? Fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. Hayward said the band is enjoying the status quo of touring frequently and releasing live recordings.

“If we do any kind of big production it will be in the DVD audio-visual kind of format,” he said. “I think that’s probably where the future lies for the Moodys. Just to do another album [means] we’re always competing with our own catalog.

“But the three of us are so enjoying our old catalog and having this freedom of not having the pressure to do that. Our dilemma always — and it will be at the zoo there — is not what to play but what to leave out. There’s just too much material.”

Contact Kirk Baird at: kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.
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