Sunday, November 5, 2023

Sunday morning music


The legendary British rock and progressive rock band, The Moody Blues, was formed in 1964.  A couple of years later, in 1966, two of the founding members left and two replacements were recruited, including Justin Hayward, who became the lead vocalist for the group until it was disbanded (after the death of the last original member) in 2018.

Hayward also had a long-standing solo career, releasing his first album in 1965 and continuing to perform alone and with others since then.  He's continued to tour under his own name, not using the Moody Blues label because he's not in favor of "rip-off tribute bands", as he's called imitators before.  This has included several tours of the USA, most recently this year.  Even at the age of 77, he's still performing and entertaining audiences.  I have to doff my cap in tribute to his longevity and ongoing enthusiasm for music.

I've picked five of his live performances on US tours, from 2019 to a couple of weeks ago.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  In several of them, he takes the time to introduce the song concerned and describe how it was composed and/or named.

From the Moody Blues' 1981 album "Long Distance Voyager", here's "The Voice".

Here's "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" from the group's fourth studio album, "On The Threshold Of A Dream", released in 1969.

"Question" was originally released as a single, but was later used as the lead track for the Moody Blues' sixth studio album released in 1970, "A Question Of Balance".

Hayward was invited to contribute to Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical based on H. G. Wells' novel "The War of the Worlds".  The novel became a classic, and has never been out of print since its first publication in the last years of the 19th Century;  and the musical has enjoyed similar enduring success, selling over 15 million copies to date and still being popular.  Here's Hayward singing "Forever Autumn" from that musical, a song that became a major hit for him.

And finally, here's his solo rendition of his own composition, the classic Moody Blues number "Nights In White Satin", from their second album "Days Of Future Passed".

Lots of musical memories there . . .



Maniac said...

Lifelong metalhead, but "Nights..." is epic. I have a soft spot cor "The Other Side of Life" as well.

Old NFO said...

Fond memories there!

glasslass said...

Started the 1st and it was over 3 minutes before he uttered a note. Same on 2 others. Not my cuppa.

Anonymous said...

Too much talkin’, not enough music.

Anonymous said...

My sisters had all their album. I remember days of future past when ,sounded like Pink Floyd, the where talking and the band,vocal went manic, then they slammed into "Ride my Seesaw"

Anonymous said...

Peter, I believe you feel victim of thinking '19xxx' yet writing 19th century.

The Moody Blues have long been a fovorite. Indeed, the first LP I bought, and still have, was On The Threshold Of A Dream.

I don't mind too much the talking from the stage. What grinds my teeth and batters my ears is the raucous clapping from the audience. Even in the intimate small gatherings, they are intolerable interruptions especially as they drown out the music. Noise over music.

Peter said...

@Anonymous at 3:44PM: No, the book was published in 1898. That's the tail end of the 19th century.

EricW said...

One of the top three bands of the classic rock era for me.

Lucky John said...

Love your Moody Blues songs! So great and evocative of past times. However, I find the more reflective lyrics of “Isn’t Life Strange “ to be more personally meaningful.
I really value your blog and the comments from your denizens. But mostly your books, above all.
Thank you,
Lucky John
Vancouver BC