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The Moody Blues

For over thirty years, The Moody Blues have been musical mainstays on concert stages, recordings and the airwaves.  Their remarkable consistency has generated the sale of over 55 million albums and created a standard for classic rock music which has brought them numerous awards including the NARM Number One World Group Award 1972, 18 platinum records, The Playboy Vocal Group of the Year Award, the Golden Ticket Award for the sale of 100,000 tickets at Madison Square Garden, as well as ASCAP and Performance Awards, the Ivor novello Statue (1984 Outstanding Contribution to British Music), and a priceless place in rock history.

The Moody Blues’ first full studio album, Days Of Future Passed, was released on November 11, 1967 and stayed on the Billboard charts for over two years.  Featuring the soon-to-be classic “Tuesday Afternoon” and one of the biggest-selling singles of all time, “Nights In White Satin,” the album became a milestone in rock recording.  It was one of the very first concept albums and set the style for many others to follow.

The band toured consistently in Great Britain and Europe and followed Days of Future Passed with the August 1968 release of In Search of The Lost Chord. Riding the success of the album’s hit singles “Ride My See-Saw” and “Voices In The Sky,” The Moody Blues began their first concert tour of the USA in October of that year and quickly developed a devoted and fanatical following there, which endures to this day.

On The Threshold Of A Dream, which contained the hit “Never Comes The Day,” was released in April 1969, followed in November of that year by the first release on the newly formed Threshold label, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which featured the single “Gypsy.”  Both albums went to number one on the British charts.

In August 1970, Threshold’s second album was released, A Question Of Balance, which featured the international number one single “Question” and firmly established the Moodies as one of the emerging mega-groups of the time.

Other artists, such as Timon, Trapeze Nicky James, Sue Vickers, Providence and Asgard, were signed to and recorded with the new Threshold label, with members of the Moodies acting in various roles as producer/backing vocals/instrumentalists.

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour followed in July 1971 and included their rock hot “The Story In Your Eyes.”

Almost five years after their original appearance on the charts, “Nights In White Satin” and Days of Future Passed were re-activated in the States in 1972.  Their return to the charts was amazingly successful with both album and single hitting the number one position – and Days remaining on the charts for another two-year run.  In the UK “Nights In White Satin” has charted three times for the group = in 1968, 1972 and again in 1979.

Seventh Sojourn was also launched in October 1972 and, with the momentum of the smash single “I’m Just A Singer (in a Rock ‘N” Roll Band)” and “Isn’t Life Strange,” the album held the number one spot in the US charts for five consecutive weeks, giving the band two albums in the US top ten simultaneously.

After the resounding international success of Seventh Sojourn, the Moodies once again took to the road, launching the world tour which would travers three continents.  It was to be the last time that The Moody Blues were to appear together on stage for the next four years.

The break allowed band members to focus on projects outside the group.  Justin Hayward and John Lodge collaborated on the Blue Jays album in 1975.  Graeme Edge made two solo albums with Adrian Gurvitz – Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom – before departing for an ocean-going trip around the world.  Ray Thomas produced two solo albums – From Might Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams.  John Lodge recorded Natural Avenue.  Justin Hayward recorded his solo album Songwriter and worked with Jeff Wayne on The War of The Worlds project, which produced for Justin the beautiful world-wide hit “Forever Autumn.”

In 1978 the Moodies returned to their group format and released Octave, which shot to the top of the charts with singles “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone” and “Driftwood.”  This proved that their fans had remained loyal despite a four-year absence.  The Moody Blues are one of the few groups in the world that have toured extensively with every album released.

Long Distance Voyager, a massive hit released in May 1981, held the number one spot on the album charts and introduced the singles “Gemini Dream” and “The Voice.”  This was followed by The Present in September 1983 which included the hits “Blue World” and “Sitting At The Wheel.”

The Moodies’ next album release was The Other Side Of Life in 1986, and when the single “Your Wildest Dreams” became a top-ten hit, yet another generation of fans was introduced to the Moodies’ music.  In addition, “Your Wildest Dreams” was voted Video of the Year by Billboard Magazine.

Sur La Mer followed in June 1988, containing the sensational “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.”  This track, another hit for the Moodies, continues the saga of lost love first begun in “Your Wildest Dreams.”

The legend continued with the album Keys Of The Kingdom in July 1991, which included the hit single “Say It With Love,” and was a return to the soaring melodies and lyrical emotions of the band’s roots.  The track “Hope and Pray” completed the trio of searching/seeking songs.

In 1992 the album and video A Night At Red Rocks was recorded in Denver with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.  This was the first ever Moody Blues video of a live performance and has been on the video charts since its release.  The video was aired several times on PBS TV in the USA, through which the band has gathered an ever greater following.  This concert recording set the scene for the next two hugely successful years when the band toured the USA and Europe, accompanied by a full symphonic orchestra.

In September 1993 the band were presented with a historical audio cassette by one of the space shuttle astronauts, Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson, which he had carried with him on all four of his space missions.  Thus Days Of Future Passed and Seventh Sojourn had travelled over 10 million miles, circles the earth more than 420 times, spent 26.5 days in space, and travelled 26 times the speed of sound.  The plaque containing the cassette was displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills (where it was presented to the band) until it was brought back to the UK to take its place in the Threshold Records gallery.  “Hoot” has since carried the CD of Legend Of A Band on further missions.

1994 was the year that saw the Moodies inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame where the band’s hand prints and signatures are now pemanently on display.  This was also the year that the promised box set was released.  Entitled Time Traveler and including 5 CDs, this most comprehensive Moody Blues collection ever chronicles the band’s rich history from their 1967 singles through their ground-breaking recording, to their current concert successes.  In addition, during their resoundingly successful orchestral tours of the USA, The Moody Blues made a triumphant return to Red Rocks, two years after their first concert with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

In 1995 the band also achieved one of their long-time ambitions, which was to perform concerts in South Africa.  They were very appreciatively received and look forward to being able to make a more extensive tour there in the future.

Late 1996 saw the release of The Very Best of The Moody Blues.  After entering Music Week’s Top 75 Albums chart at number 13 in the week following its release, the album achieved Silver status in the second week and after only five weeks had earned the Gold award.  This was followed in 1998 by the double-cd Anthology album.

Heading for the millenium The Moody Blues released their aptly named studio album Strange Times.  Self produced and recorded in Italy, this is only the second time that a Moodies’ album has emerged from a studio outside the UK.

During the band’s 2000 tour of the UK they were presented with a Platinum Sales Award by Universal Music to recognize the sale of more than 300,000 copies of The Very Best of The Moody Blues.  There couldn’t have been a more fitting setting for the presentation than London’s majestic Royal Albert Hall.

Hall of Fame: Recorded Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000, which is available on CD, video and DVD, features all their greatest hits performed with The World Festival Orchestra.  Also filmed and recorded for television broadcast on over 70 American Public Television pleadge specials.

In the spring of 2001 the Imax film Journey into Amazing Caves, narrated by Liam Neeson and featuring a soundtrack with songs and performances by The Moody Blues, was released.  Apart from the new arrangements of more well known Moody Blues songs Justin and John co-wrote two new songs, “Water” and “We Can Fly,” for the soundtrack which is available on CD, video and DVD.

As well as performing their many concert tours, The Moody Blues have participated in the following notable events:

  • 1969 August – Isle of Wight Festival
  • 1970 August – Isle of Wight Festival
  • 1984 UK Charity Concert Tour (for the NSPCC)
  • 1986 March 15 – Heartbeat Concert at NEC in Birmingham (for The Children’s Hospital, Birmingham)
  • 1986 December 5 – Concert – Wembley Arena, London (for Stars Organization for Spastics)
  • 1988 September – Festival – Ibiza 92
  • 1990 July 21 – Opening Ceremony of the Goodwill Games in Seattle
  • 1991 June – Singing the National Anthem at “World Bowl” for the World League of American Football, Wembley Stadium, London
  • 1991 July 4 – Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
  • 1995 November 13 – Beacon Theatre NY (Concert to benefit World Hunger)

Albums:

1967 Days of Future Passed 1984 Voices In The Sky (Compilation)
1968 In Search of the Lost Chord 1986 The Other Side of Life
1969 On The Threshold of a Dream 1987 Prelude
1969 To Our Children’s Children’s Children 1988 Sur La Mer
1970 A Question of Balance 1990 Blue
1971 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour 1991 Keys of the Kingdom
1972 Seventh Sojourn 1993 A Night At Red Rocks
1974 This Is… 1994 Time Traveler (5-CD box set)
1977 Caught Live +5 1996 The Very Best of The Moody Blues
1978 Octave 1997 Caught Live +5 (Re-release)
1979 Out Of This World (Compilation) 1998 Anthology
1981 Long Distance Voyager 1999 Strange Times
1983 The Present 2000 Hall of Fame

Singles:

1967 Fly Me High/Really Haven’t Got The Time 1979 Nights In White Satin/Cities
1967 Love And Beauty/Leave This Man Alone 1981 The Voice/22,000 Days
1967 Nights in White Satin/Cities 1981 Gemini Dream/Painted Smile
1967 Tuesday Afternoon/Another Morning 1981 Talking Out of Turn/Veteran Cosmic Rocker
1968 Voices in the Sky/Dr. Livingstone, I Presume 1983 Blue World/Going Nowhere
1968 Ride My See-Saw/A Simple Game 1983 Sitting At The Wheel/Sorry
1969 Never Comes The Day/ So Deep Within You 1984 The Voice/Gemini Dream
1969 Watching and Waiting/Out and In 1986 Your Wildest Dreams/Talkin’ Talkin’
1970 Question/Candle of Life 1986 Isn’t Life Strange/The Spirit
1971 The Story In Your Eyes/My Song 1988 I Know You’re Out There Somewhere/Miracle
1972 Isn’t Life Strange/After You Came 1988 No More Lies/River of Endless Love
1972 Nights In White Satin/Cities 1991 Say It With Love/Lean On Me (Tonight)/Highway
1973 I’m Just A Singer (In a Rock ‘N’ Roll Band)/For My Lady 1991 Bless The Wings (That Bring You Back)/Once Is Enough
1978 Steppin’ in a Slide Zone/I’ll Be Level With You 1999 English Sunset
1978 Driftwood/I’m Your Man

Recordings of other material:

  • 1992 “What Child Is This” on the CD “The Christmas Album – A Gift of Life”
  • 1994 “This Is the Moment” on the CD “Gloryland – World Cup USA 1994″

Inclusion on Film/TV Soundtracks:

  • 1983 Film: “She” (Eternal Woman)
  • 1986 Film: “Karate Kid 11″ (Rock and Roll Over You)
  • 1987 TV: “Star Cops” (It’s Not East & incidental music)
  • 1988 TV: “The Shoe People” (theme tune)
  • 1988 Film: “Howling IV” (Something Evil, Something Dangerous)
  • 1988 Film: “Nights In White Satin” (Nights In White Satin)
  • 1988 Film: “1969″ (Tuesday Afternoon)
  • 1990 TV: “Baywatch” episode “Eclipse” (Breaking Point)
  • 1991 Film: Shattered (Nights In White Satin)
  • 1993 Film: “A Bronx Tale” (Nights In White Satin)
  • 1993 TV: “Heartbeat” episode “Bitter Harvest” (Nights In White Satin)
  • 1994 TV: “The Wonder Years – Movin’ On” (Tuesday Afternoon)
  • 1995 Film: “Casino” (Nights In White Satin)
  • 2001 Film: “Journey Into Amazing Caves” (We Can Fly & Water)

Official Videos:

  • 1989 “Cover Story” – TV profile from 1986
  • 1989 “Rock Art – Psychedelic Television Vol. 1″ Fractal Lumination – (selected tracks from Days of Future Passed and In Search of the Lost Chord)
  • 1990 “Legend of a Band – The Moody Blues”
  • 1991 “Star Portraits – The Moody Blues” (Re-packaging of 1986 TV profile “Cover Story”)
  • 1993 “A Night At Red Rocks (with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra)
  • 1993 “Legend of a Band”
  • 1995 “The Other Side of Red Rocks”
  • 2000 Hall of Fame (Live From the Royal Albert Hall)

Appearances on compilations/other videos & DVDs:

  • 1985 “30th Anniversary of Rock ‘N’ Roll – All Star Jam” – Bo Diddley with a celebrity band including John
  • 1988 “Rock and Roll’s Greatest Years – 1967″ (“Nights In White Satin” black & white version)
  • 1989 “Remember the 60s Vol. 1″ (black and white festival performance of “Gypsy”)
  • 1989 “The Killer” – Jerry Lee Lewis at London’s Hammersmith Odeon with celebrity band including John
  • 1991 “Rock and Roll’s Greatest Years – 1970-75″ (“I’m Just A Singer In A Rock ‘N’ Roll Band”)
  • 1995 “Message To Love – Isle of Wight Festival 1970″ (“Nights In White Satin”)
  • 1996 “An Audience With Jimmy Tarbuck” – LWT TV special with finale of Johnny B. Goode by supergroup including Justin and John
  • 2002 “Sometimes I Dream” (Live) Mario Frangoulis with Justin at Thessalonki, Greece
  • 2003 GAIA Concert for the Environment – Justin with Alan Simon and other artists

Fan Club Videos:

  • 1987 “The Moody Blues” (Various promo videos, interviews, plus TV’s “Cover Story”)
  • 1995 “The Moody Blues in South Africa” (Summer Tour 1995)

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