The Moody Blues
This is a direct excerpt from UNCLE JOE'S RECORD GUIDE - PROGRESSIVE ROCK, Copyright (c) 1989 by J. Benson Unlimited. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
The original Moody Blues were an R&B group founded in May 1964 - the contemporaries of the Who and Kinks. Like Pink Floyd, who were established in early 1965, the Moody Blues underwent an important change within their first two years, then were later written-off by critics, only to return with some of the biggest success of their career. Also like the Floyd, the Moody Blues experienced only two personnel changes in their first 25 years together.
After the reshuffling of their line-up in 1967, the Moody Blues were influenced by the Maharishi, just as the Beatles were turning on to his form of transcendental meditation. But the Moodies' resulting radical change of career was far more dramatic than that of the Beatles. The Moody Blues' lyrics began to reflect their spiritual outlook, assuming a "cosmic" slant that became the band's hallmark, like the sound of their mellotron.
The second Moody Blues line-up quickly developed a unique approach to songwriting. They became the first rock group to consistently assemble songs thematically into sweeping concept albums. They were also the first to successfully incorporate extended orchestration in their songwriting - initially with an orchestra, then with their trademark mellotron (an early synthesizer that used taped rather than self-generated sounds).
Although they lacked the virtuosity of Yes, the Moody Blues featured three lead vocalists and five songwriters - far more depth than any of the other progressive bands. Never a singles band, they were also the first to hit big commercial success - eventually selling over 50 million albums worldwide.
Known for their combination of heavy touring and many album releases during the first phase of their career, the Moody Blues were the first progressive band to take a lengthy hiatus, and the first to stage a comeback. Although their record sales have slowed in recent years, the Moody Blues continue to be a major concert draw, featuring a repertoire of music that touched millions over the past two decades.
Moody Blues Birth Dates
Graeme Edge - 3/30/41On The Threshold Of A Dream - Side One
Justin Hayward - 10/14/46
Denny Laine - 10/29/44
John Lodge - 7/20/45
Patrick Moraz - 6/24/48
Michael Pinder - 12/12/42
Ray Thomas - 12/29/41
Clint Warwick - 6/25/40
The Moody Blues
On The Threshold Of A Dream (17-20)
4th LP, released 5/69 - eight months after their last. This album, perhaps the Moody Blues' finest, elevated the five-piece band from the status of a cult favorite to a mythical level among their fans. While not as spaced-out as contemporary work by the Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd, this was still a very cosmic collection of songs - definitely superb listening on headphones. Tony Clarke handled the production, as usual. Drummer Graeme Edge, vocalist/flautist Ray Thomas, guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, keyboardist Michael Pinder and bassist/vocalist John Lodge averaged 24 years of age when they recorded this in a two week period in January 1969. With three lead vocalists and five songwriters, the Moody Blues were operating at their artistic peak as Jethro Tull and Yes were just beginning to roll.
On The Threshold Of A Dream became the Moody Blues' first #1 charting British release, and their third gold album as it hit #20 on the American charts. With the Moody Blues commercial and financial success well in hand, they established their own record label (as the Beatles and Rolling Stones were also doing).
** Special Note: The final tone on the last song of the album continues onto the inner groove, and thus would play indefinitely on a manual turntable. That effect was completely lost on the compact disc, although the CD does track through without breaks between the songs.
- "In The Beginning" was credited to drummer Graeme Edge and recorded on January 29, 1969.
- "Lovely To See You Again," written by guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, was recorded on January 14, 1969.
- "Dear Diary" was credited to vocalist Ray Thomas and recorded the day after "Lovely To See You Again."
- "Send Me No Wine" was listed as bassist/vocalist John Lodge's song.
- "To Share Our Love" was another Lodge number.
- "So Deep Within You" was Michael Pinder's composition.
On The Threshold Of A Dream - Side Two
- "Never Comes The Day," written by guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, peaked at #91 on the American singles charts in July 1969. This track was recorded on January 22, 1969.
- "Lazy Day" was credited to vocalist Ray Thomas.
- "Are You Sitting Comfortably" was co-written by Hayward and Thomas.
- "The Dream," a 52-second poem written by drummer Graeme Edge, was one of the final numbers completed for this album. One of the last tracks finished for this album, this was recorded on January 31, 1969.
- "Have You Heard (part 1)" was credited to keyboardist Michael Pinder.
- The band recorded "The Voyage," another Pinder number, on January 19, 1969.
- "Have You Heard (part 2)" was the conclusion of Michael's composition. Both segments were recorded on January 18, 1969.