Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Justin Hayward: There Will Most Likely Be No More Studio Albums From the Moody Blues

In 2003, the Moody Blues released their sixteenth and, what looks to be, final studio album December.

The band is a near constant presence on the road and that is where it looks like they will be concentrating all future work, including any releases. Justin Hayward, who has been the bands guitarist and vocalist since 1966, recently talked with the Fort Myers Florida Weekly, telling them "I think this is probably it. People want DVDs from us now. I think any product we do will be along that line."

The Moody Blues have an impressive catalog even though it only includes sixteen studio albums over 51 years. Their debut, 1965's The Magnificent Moodies, had a strong Merseybeat sound including their first hit, Go Now (1964 / #10 U.S. / #1 U.K.). Made up of Denny Laine, Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, Clint Warwick and Graeme Edge, the lineup only lasted two years with Warwick retiring from music and Lane striking out for greener pastures.

In came Hayward and John Lodge and the band decided to change directions. They signed with Decca and, after a couple of unsuccesful singles, were moved to the new Derem label where they were charged with putting together a rock version of Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony. While that project was never completed, they built enough of a reputation that they were allowed to follow their rock and orchestra concept to record the masterpiece Days of Future Past (1967 / #27 U.K. // 1973 / #3 U.S.). While the main single from the album, Nights in White Satin, was not a hit upon its release in 1967, it went to number 2 in the U.S. and 9 in the U.K. upon its rerelease in 1972.

Days of Future Past kicked off a long line of rock/orchestral works from the band including In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children's Children's Children, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Soujourn.

After an extended hiatus, the band came back together in 1978 with Patrick Moraz replacing Pinder during the recording of their album Octave. The new set marked a change for the group with more synthesizers and only three tracks including strings. That change became complete with 1981's Long Distance Voyager, their second U.S. number 1, which included the very 80's sounding Gemini Dream.

Since 1981, the Moody Blues only recorded five more studio albums along with the holiday themed December. While those albums may not be considered the classics of the early 70's releases, they did produce a number of hits including Your Wildest Dream and I Know You're Out There Somewhere. Lodge added that it was a favorite time for him. "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 play Hollywood, FL tomorrow night are are scheduled for U.S. dates through April 2.