Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Moody Blues

@ Starling


I was relatively new to the Moodies, I confess, when I started this page, and really hadn't had the chance to absorb their music with as much tenacity and zest as, say, that of Jethro Tull (no kidding). However, I did have enough time to take some serious listens and draw some interesting conclusions which are no doubt your only excuse for opening this page. So let's have it this way: you take my comments seriously and I'll try not to be neither too sceptical nor too pathetic. Okay?

Before I proceed to the actual reviews, I'd like to notice this one little peculiar thing about the Moodies' music. The Moody Blues are often dubbed 'prog-rockers' and put into the same bag with bands like the above-mentioned Tull, Yes, Genesis, etc., etc. Now I really don't know that much about the exact genre terminology, but it seems to me this is no less than a fatal mistake. The Moodies were made of an entirely different dough than all of these mature 'proggers' (hey, good word! sounds almost like 'frogger', doesn't it?) First of all, their music never even approached the level of complexity that was absolutely necessary for being called 'prog'. Their instrumentation, even though it did heavily rely on keyboards and/or orchestral arrangements, was deeply rooted in happy British pop of the early Sixties, with bands like the Hollies providing inspiration for most of the Moodies' songwriters, while Yes and company usually ventured into a much deeper past - medieval music and stuff like that. Second: the famous 'conceptuality' of the band (practically every album they made, at least in their 'golden years', had a central theme) was generally understandable - sometimes too naive, sometimes thoughtful and intelligent, but always clear and explainable to the average listener, unlike the twisted, mystical, and often purely nonsensical 'concepts' of prog-rockers. So were the lyrics: sometimes unbearingly banal and derivative, but sometimes quite fascinating - and always straightforward and, once again, easily understandable. Both of these factors certainly contributed to the Moodies' sell-out status in the late Sixties/early Seventies, but both of these factors also contributed to their (also very popular) image of lame artsy guys with lots of pretension and bombast but little real talent, an image mainly fostered by Rolling Stone, whose staff has probably hardly ever gotten further than Graeme Edge's lame 'poetic' introductions at the beginning of each album, and the likes of it. You decide who to side with.

Actually, at times I'm a bit puzzled as to why the Moodies receive such a lot of hatred in their address. Deep down inside, I feel that this hatred is pretty much artificial - it's easy to choose somebody as a symbol of rock's past failures and flaws, and the Moodies are one of the obvious candidates. I mean, some people prefer to poke at Yes or ELP instead, but these bands' fans poke back at their critics by emphasizing these bands' virtuosity and sheer rockin' power. So the Moodies fall easy prey to art-rock haters since they are quite limited as to what concerns their instrumental skills. The fact that all the five members were undisputed professionals, and Mike Pinder was one of the most creative and intelligent Mellotron tamers in history, is somewhat disregarded, of course. But the Moodies can't play fifty notes per second like Steve Howe, right? They can't play fifty different synths all at a time like Keith Emerson, right? And they are pretentious, stupid and vain. Naturally, they suck big time. Well, I'll just tell you that I never cared much for such simplistic 'logics' and will probably never care for it. Don't bother arguing with me on that one.

One thing's for certain: the Moodies are unique in many ways. Whether that uniqueness is something to like or something to shrug your shoulders about - that's up to the consumer. I don't tend to idolize them (as lots of hardcore fans do), and I don't tend to underrate them (as even more scepticists do). The classic Moodies' sound is somewhat uniform to my ears, but you can't deny the catchiness and melodicism of quite a good percent of their output. Not to mention the fact that they really can sing, especially Justin Hayward, and do it with gusto - unlike, say, Jon Anderson. It's also interesting to note that the band was a truly democratic organisation - a phenomenon which is quite rare among art rock bands. Everybody contributed to the band's sound, trying to make it as diverse as possible. Oh well - it wasn't their fault that they mostly failed at that. Their 'classic seven' albums mostly follow the same formula, and in a certain way, they just kept re-writing the same stuff over and over again, being more or less the art rock equivalent of AC/DC.

SPECIAL WARNING: It is worth noticing, thus, that I haven't yet seen not even two Moody Blues fans whose views on the band's best/worst stuff would coincide; a typical case for bands whose albums all sound the same - the accent is then carried over to nitpicking and saying 'I hate this song because the vocals sound ugly' or 'I love this song because there's a nice Mellotron bend'. In my reviews, I have tried where possible to evade this approach: of course, it's not always possible, but my primary opinion is that the Moodies were good as long as they weren't totally ripping off themselves, because their rip-offs always tend to be less catchy and memorable than their 'originals'. It should also be said that, while my own personal ratings of the Moodies' 'classic period' differ rather seriously, it doesn't really matter where to start and where to finish with it - the differences are never crucial. The Moodies were very highly formulaic; but, of course, their main difference is, unlike AC/DC, they never stopped using brains, not brawns, to produce their music...

Let's move on to the lineup, shall we? Here's the original Moody Blues as nobody knows them: Denny Laine - guitar, vocals; Clint Warwick - bass guitar; Mike Pinder - keyboards, notably Mellotron; Ray Thomas - guitar, flute, different thingamajigs; Graeme Edge - drums, dumb bits of dumb poetry. This lineup was formed somewhere around 1965, recorded one (or more) albums and dissolved in a year or so, with both Laine and Warwick quitting for good (Laine kicked around for a couple of years more before becoming McCartney's sideman in Wings). They were replaced by Justin Hayward (guitar, vocals) and John Lodge (bass, vocals), thus forming the second lineup (as everybody knows them). Er, I just noticed I assigned 'vocals' to Hayward, when it's really incorrect: everybody had his share in singing. Hayward's was just the most prominent one.

The band dissolved in 1972, then reformed as an 'oldies act' in 1978, spewing forth an album (Octave). In 1981 they reconvened again, having replaced Pinder with Patrick Moraz (ex-Yes keyboard jester). The latter, however, didn't stay for too long, having quit by the time they started recording Keys Of The Kingdom in 1991, and they've carried on with side players since then. Hey, seems like they're still around and kickin'! Ain't it fun?

Let me warn you, though, that all that 'reunion' stuff, beginning with Octave, is really only necessary for you if you adore the original 'big seven'. The Eighties and Nineties stuff has some particularly high points and some particularly low ones, but it's all rooted in Eighties' production values, and even the best of it stands so close to the border that separates 'cheese' from 'class' that I fully understand people who dis every single album of the 'Newdy Blues', even if I don't always agree with them. Wanna try your luck? Start with The Present and see if you can tolerate the rest. Oh, their latest product is quite good, too; you might pick up that one (Strange Times) without too much fear.

General Evaluation:
Listenability: 4/5. Accessible and gorgeous melodies, for the most part, but the Moodies were often on the brink of falling into "schlock and pap", and sometimes crossing that brink.
Resonance: 4/5. Hard to deny that the Moodies are always up and down on your emotional centers, but sometimes the sap gets too much.
Originality: 3/5. Their first album was a revolutionary masterwork, but that's pretty much everything they did - they spent the next thirty years of their career coasting on its success. Great coasting, though.
Adequacy: 2/5. Anybody wants to argue? Get me Mr Graeme Edge for personal execution.
Diversity: 2/5. Oh boy. If the Moodies didn't have a FORMULA, with all capitals, then nobody had.
Overall: 3.0 = C on the rating scale. =>>>>>>>>>>>

============ prog-rockers ============

@ Wiki
The Moody Blues is a British rock band originally from Birmingham, England. Founding members Michael Pinder and Ray Thomas performed an initially rhythm and blues-based sound in Birmingham in 1964 along with Graeme Edge and others, and were later joined by John Lodge and Justin Hayward as they inspired and evolved the progressive rock style. Among their innovations was a fusion with classical music, most notably in their seminal 1967 album Days of Future Passed.

The band has had numerous hit albums in the UK, US, and worldwide, and has seen several additional musicians come and go, and they remain active even as of 2007, with a North American summer tour scheduled.

Founding and early history
The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964 in Erdington, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. Ray Thomas, John Lodge, and Michael Pinder had been members of El Riot & the Rebels, a regionally-popular band. They disbanded when Lodge, the youngest member, went to technical college and Pinder joined the army. Pinder then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats and enjoyed moderate success. The pair recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine, band manager-turned drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick (born Albert Eccles, 25 June 1940, in Wilton Street, Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire). The five appeared as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. The name developed from a planned sponsorship from the M&B Brewery and was also a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, "Mood Indigo".

Soon, the band obtained a London-based management company, 'Ridgepride', formed by ex-Decca A&R man Alex Murray (Alex Wharton), who helped them land a recording contract with Decca Records in the spring of 1964. They released a single, "Steal Your Heart Away" that year which made it onto the charts. But it was their second single, "Go Now" (released later that year), which really launched their career, being promoted on TV with the among the first purpose-made promotional films in the pop era, produced and directed by Wharton. The single became a huge hit in the United Kingdom (where it remains their only Number 1 single to date) and in the United States where it reached #10.

Wharton left the management firm and the group released a series of unsuccessful singles. In mid-1966 Warwick left the group. He was briefly replaced by Rod Clarke but in November 1966 Laine and Clarke had also departed the group. They were immediately replaced by Pinder and Thomas' El Riot bandmate, John Lodge, and Justin Hayward, formerly of The Wilde Three. The band soon realised that their style of American blues covers and novelty tunes was not working for them and decided to develop an original style. Their new style, featuring the symphonic sounds of the mellotron and Ray Thomas's flute, was to be developed in a concept album revolving around a day in the life of everyman.

Deram Records contract and founding of signature style
The Moody Blues' contract with Decca Records was set to expire and they owed the label several thousands of pounds in advances. However, Deram Records (a London/Decca imprint) chose the band to make a LP in order to promote Deramic Stereo and the group was to be forgiven its debt to the label to make a rock and roll version of Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony. The Moody Blues agreed but insisted that they be given artistic freedom and be left without supervision. They then convinced Peter Knight, who had been assigned to arrange and conduct the orchestral interludes, to collaborate on a recording of their stage show instead. Deram executives were initially skeptical about the hybrid style of the resulting concept album, Days of Future Passed (1967). However, it was to become one of the most successful commercial releases of all time. Decca producer Tony Clarke was chosen to produce the album and the Moodies carried on a durable working relationship with Clarke who would end up producing all of their albums and singles for the next eleven years. Engineer Derek Varnals would also contribute heavily to the creation of the early Moodies' studio sound.

The album plus two singles, "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon", became massively popular, as was the 1968 follow-up LP, In Search of the Lost Chord. Also included on this album is the song "Legend of a Mind," a song written by Ray Thomas in tribute to LSD guru Timothy Leary which encompassed a masterful flute solo performed by Thomas. Justin Hayward began playing sitar and incorporating it into Moody Blues music, having been inspired by George Harrison. Graeme Edge found a significant secondary role in the band as a writer of poetry, and nearly all of their early albums from the late 60's begin with Mike Pinder reciting poems by Edge that were conceptually related to the lyrics of the songs that would follow. The band's music continued to become more complex and symphonic, resulting in 1969's To Our Children's Children's Children - a concept album based around the band's celebration of the first moon landing. The album reportedly even went to the moon on Apollo space missions. (According to the booklet in the 4-disc anthology "Time Traveler")[citation needed] The album closes with the fan-favorite 'Watching and Waiting', composed by Ray Thomas and Justin Hayward.

Although the Moodies had by now defined a somewhat psychedelic style and helped to define the progressive rock (then also known as 'art rock') sound, the group decided for a while to record only albums that could be played in concert, losing some of their full-blown sound for their next album, A Question of Balance (1970). This album, reaching #3 in the American charts and #1 in the British charts, was indicative of the band's growing success in America. Justin Hayward began an artful exploration of guitar tone through the use of numerous effects pedals and fuzz-boxes, and developed for himself a very melodic buzzing guitar-solo sound. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and Seventh Sojourn (1972) (that reached #1 in both the UK and the US), the band returned to their signature orchestral sound which, while difficult to reproduce in concert, had become their trademark. Edge, the long standing drummer-poet, started writing lyrics intended to be sung, rather than verses to be spoken.

In late 1972, a re-issue of the five-year-old "Nights In White Satin" became the Moody Blues' biggest US hit, soaring to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming a certified million-seller; the song had "bubbled under" the Hot 100 charts on its original release. The song also returned to the UK charts, reaching #9, ten places higher than its original release in 1967.

The Moodies were also among the pioneers of the idea that a successful rock band could promote itself through its own label, following the Beatles' creation of Apple Records. After their On the Threshold of a Dream album (1969), they created Threshold Records, prompted in part by disputes with London/Deram over album design costs (their gatefold record jackets and expensive cover art were not popular with company executives). Threshold would produce new albums and deliver them to London/Decca who acted as distributor. The group attempted to build Threshold into a major label by developing new talent - most notably the UK hard rock band Trapeze and the Portland, Oregon classical-acoustic sextet Providence - but these efforts proved unsuccessful and the Moodies eventually returned to more traditional recording contracts. However, they did lay the groundwork for other major acts to set up similar personal labels and distribution deals including The Rolling Stones' own label and Led Zeppelin's Swan Song, and all of the Moodies' studio releases from 1969 to 1999 would bear the Threshold logo on at least one of their format versions.

Hiatus, solo work
In 1973, the group took an extended break — originally announced as a permanent break-up - Justin Hayward the only one eager to go on; the other bandmembers feeling overshadowed. (This said by Justin himself in the last and current issue of Higher & Higher magazine 2006)

Hayward and Lodge released a duo album, the very successful Blue Jays (1975), and the members each released solo albums.

Edge produced two, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots (1975) and Paradise Ballroom (1976); Hayward elegantly composed Songwriter (1977), and Night Flight (1980), which would in later years be followed up by Moving Mountains (1985), The View From The Hill (1996), and Live In San Juan Capistrano (1998). Lodge released Natural Avenue (1977); Pinder produced The Promise (1976); and Thomas also two, From Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams (1976).

Reunion, 1977–1990
In 1977, as the group made a decision to record together again, London Records decided to release a somewhat poorly mixed then-eight year old recording of the band performing at the Royal Albert Hall, against their artistic wishes. London did this in an attempt to redevelop a somewhat waning public interest in the Moody Blues prior to their anticipated new album, but the crude sound of the concert from 1969 titled "Caught Live +5" would clash sharply with the lush and refined sound the modern Moodies were capable of producing in the studio. By this time Pinder had married and started a family in California, so for their reunion recording the band decamped there with producer Clarke. By all accounts, the sessions had moments of tension and difficulty, but by autumn 1978 Octave was released. Pinder, citing his young family, excused himself from any tour commitments and was replaced by former Yes keyboardist, Patrick Moraz. In spite of these difficulties, the album sold well and produced the hits "Steppin' In A Slide Zone", written by Lodge and "Driftwood", written by Hayward. The music video produced for "Driftwood" features Moraz, although Mike Pinder was the one who played on the actual recording; the video for "Steppin' In A Slide Zone" simply shows the other four members without Pinder.

The band toured in 1979 and by 1980 was ready to record again, this time bringing in producer Pip Williams. Moraz was retained as the band's permanent keyboardist, though Pinder had understood that he would continue to record even if not tour with the band. Pinder attempted legal measures to prevent the new Moody Blues album from reaching the public without his contribution, but he was not successful. Released in 1981, Long Distance Voyager was a colossal success, reaching #1 on Billboard and top 5 in the UK. The album yielded two hits, "The Voice," written by Hayward, and "Gemini Dream," written by Hayward and Lodge. By now, the mellotron had been set aside as their primary synthesizer and the band embraced a more modern, less symphonic approach. The marketing formula for the band demanded from this time forward that a Justin Hayward song would be used to lead off their studio albums, as his material was the most successful.

The Present (1983), again produced by Williams, proved less successful than its predecessor, though it did spawn a UK top 40 hit in "Blue World" (#62 in the US) and a US top 40 hit in "Sitting At the Wheel" (which failed to chart in the UK). Videos were also produced for both singles. "The Present" was released in conjunction with Talencora Ltd. Records shortly before a major label shift for the band.

In 1986 they enjoyed renewed success with their album The Other Side of Life and in particular with the track, "Your Wildest Dreams" - a US Top 10 hit (and #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary singles chart for two weeks) which garnered a Billboard Video of the Year award after being frequently featured on MTV. Newly-hired producer Tony Visconti delivered a modern sound the Moodies had been after in order to remain competitive with their pop contemporaries. The album's title song also charted in the US, at #58.

They performed live at the charity event concert "Heartbeat '86" which raised money for the Birmingham Children's Hospital. The band played four songs, and later provided backup with Electric Light Orchestra for George Harrison.

The Moodies continued their early video-generation success with Sur La Mer (1988) and its video/single, "I Know You're Out There Somewhere", a sequel to "Your Wildest Dreams". Their sound took on an ever- increasingly synthetic and technical quality as Moraz and Visconti began utilising modern sequencers, samplers, and drum machines. During this time, Justin Hayward and John Lodge wrote and sang on most of the songs as the band came under pressure from the new record company, PolyGram Records, to promote those it deemed to be the two more commercial looking and sounding members. Ray Thomas was playing a diminshed role in the studio. There seemed to be no room for his ethereal flute in these new songs which were awash in high-tech 80s production. He provided some backing vocals for both The Other Side of Life and Sur La Mer, but according to Visconti, his vocal tracks were never mixed into the final version of the latter album.

1990s, new millennium, and present
Thomas' high value remained on stage primarily from his continued ability to boisterously sing out his 60's and 70's Moodies classics, and also in dynamic flute and keyboard duets he composed with Moraz which were only performed by the two during Moodies' concerts. The band had begun to reinforce their concert sound in the later 1980s with the addition of a second keyboardist, Bias Boshell, as well as female backing singers. They also hired second drummer Gordon Marshall. As they began work in 1990 for their new studio album, Patrick Moraz made some comments in an article in Keyboard magazine regarding his dissatisfaction with his role in the Moodies and he was dismissed before completing work on the album. Bias Boshell and Paul Bliss were brought in to play keyboards on the remaining tracks.

Keys of the Kingdom (1991) had modest commercial success. It featured the new single "Say It with Love" and its follow-up "Bless the Wings" as well as a new flute masterpiece by Ray Thomas entitled "Celtic Sonant". John Lodge would make a defining shift in his songwriting on this album, leaving his trademark high-energy rock music, and instead gravitating towards slow love ballads. This trend would continue on the two successive Moodies albums. Instead it was Hayward who wrote the driving two-part piece "Say What You Mean" which featured compelling chord and melody structures as well as a spoken-word section. Tony Visconti produced some of the tracks on "Keys", as did Christopher Neil and Alan Tarney.

For touring purposes, the band decided not to hire a permanent replacement in the keyboard chair but instead to tour as a quartet with extra hired musicians. However, keyboardist Paul Bliss has consistently fulfilled keyboard duties with the band on-stage since 1991 - successfully recreating the Mike Pinder and Patrick Moraz sound live with the Moody Blues. Thomas and Bliss continued the tradition of a flute/keyboard duet for many tours. The Moodies remained among the highest-earning concert acts, and a series of video and audio versions of their Night at Red Rocks concert enjoyed great success, particularly as a fund-raiser for American public television where it had been first broadcast. Instead of beginning on a new studio project, they would instead attempt to perfect the art of playing with an orchestra during these years, working with several talented orchestral ensembles and trying new arrangements for well-known pieces. The second hiatus from recording ended in 1998.

Their first studio album in eight years, Strange Times (1999), proved to be the first Moodies album in almost two decades to be more than moderately received by UK critics; released by Universal Music Group, it made the UK top 10. It was recorded in a studio in Recco, Italy, at Hayward's suggestion, and was produced by the Moodies themselves - attesting to their 3 decades of recording experience. This album was the first to feature Danilo Madonia as an arranger and electric organist. Madonia would go on to play keyboards on all future Moodies studio tracks, including on the follow-up album, "December". The CD opened with the unusual "English Sunset," an RPM techno song written by Justin Hayward. "Strange Times" was also the first album since 1970 to include a new poem by Graeme Edge, in an effort to partially recreate their "concept" album sound of the late 60s/early 70s. It became clear to fans that Thomas' interest in the group was waning as he only provided one song for the new CD that, while highly whimsical, was less than two-minutes in length.

Also in 1999, The Moody Blues appeared in one episode of "The Simpsons" called "Viva Ned Flanders".

In 2000, the band released "Hall of Fame," a new live concert from Royal Albert Hall on the Ark 21 label.

In 2001, an IMAX film was released, entitled "Journey into Amazing Caves", which featured two new songs written and performed by the Moody Blues. The soundtrack also featured Justin Hayward performing vocals and playing guitar throughout. One of these songs, entitled "Water," is the Moody Blues' first instrumental studio recording since their 1983 "Hole in the World" from The Present LP.

The new millennium saw the Moody Blues reducing their touring schedule. In 2002, founding member Ray Thomas retired from the group, reducing The Moody Blues to a trio (with Edge as the only remaining original member). Flutist Norda Mullen has been a versatile player on-stage and in the studio in Thomas' stead. In 2003, they released, with the absence of Thomas, a Christmas-themed album entitled December. The songs included originals and covers such as John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)".

Original bassist Clint Warwick, who had left the group in 1966 to become a carpenter and raise a family, returned to the music scene in 2002 and released a solo CD. He died of liver disease on May 15, 2004.

On October 23, 2005, Hayward, Lodge, and Edge joined Tennessee musicians David Harvey, Tim O'Brien, John Cowan, and others for a concert of "Moody Bluegrass" at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; the Moodies had been impressed by the group's CD of the same name featuring well-known MB songs interpreted in bluegrass style.

November 2005, Hayward, Lodge, and Edge - accompanied by Norda Mullen, Gordon Marshall, Paul Bliss and second keyboard player Bernie Barlow released a live-DVD, entitled Lovely To See You LIVE, recorded at The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.

The remaining Moody Blues trio continues to tour. Moody Blues toured the UK, US and Europe (Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Helsinki) throughout late 2006. They toured the U.S this past winter and will undertaking a tour of the U.S and Canada during the summer of 2007. In addition, Hayward took part in the first UK tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds in April 2006 with a proposed DVD release of the show in November 2006 and a second tour in November 2007.

In March of 2006, the first five of the band's 'Core 7' albums were re-released in Super Audio CD format with Deluxe Editions, featuring bonus songs and some rare previously unreleased tracks by the group. In April 2007, the last two of these classic albums were re-released by Universal/Threshold. Digital remastering for these Deluxe Editions was done by Justin Hayward himself.

Bassist John Lodge has said in an interview on the radio show "Acoustic Storm" on January 30, 2007 that a new Moody Blues album is "not far away."

Since Pink Floyd's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Moody Blues (along with King Crimson and Yes) are at the head of the list of progressive rock groups which have not yet been inducted and consistently top opinion polls of acts who the public feel should be inducted.

Original lineup of Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, & Graeme Edge
* The Magnificent Moodies (a.k.a. The Moody Blues #1 - Go Now) (London LL-3428, PS-428 -- 1965)
* In The Beginning (Deram DES-18051 -- 1970 reissue of "Go Now-The Moody Blues #1")
* An Introduction to the Moody Blues (Fuel -- 2005)

Laine & Warwick replaced by Justin Hayward & John Lodge
* Days of Future Passed (Deram DE-16012, DES-18012 -- 1967 -- US #3)
* In Search of the Lost Chord (Deram DES-18017 -- 1968 -- US #23)
* On the Threshold of a Dream (Deram DES-18025 -- 1969 -- US #20)
* To Our Children's Children's Children (Threshold THS-1 -- 1969 -- US #14)
* A Question of Balance (Threshold THS-3 -- 1970 -- US #3)
* Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Threshold THS-5 -- 1971 -- US #2)
* Seventh Sojourn (Threshold THS-7 -- 1972 -- US #1)
* This Is The Moody Blues (Compilation double album) (Threshold THS 12/13 -- 1974 -- US #11)
* Caught Live + 5 (London 2PS-690/691 -- 1977 -- US #26)
* Octave (London PS-708 -- 1978 -- US #13)

Pinder replaced by Patrick Moraz
* Long Distance Voyager (Threshold TRL-2901 -- 1981 -- US #1)
* The Present (Threshold/Talencora LTD TRL-2902 -- 1983 -- US #26)
* Voices In The Sky--The Best Of The Moody Blues (Threshold 820155 -- 1985 -- US #132)
* The Other Side of Life (Polydor 829179 -- 1986 -- US #9)
* Prelude (Compilation of 1967-69 odds & ends) (London 820517 -- 1987)
* Sur La Mer (Polydor 835756 -- 1988 -- US #38)
* Greatest Hits (Threshold 840659 -- 1989 -- US #113)
* "Legend of a Band" (PolyGram Video --Documentary 1990)

Band becomes a quartet with Moraz's departure
* Keys of the Kingdom (Polydor 849558 -- 1991 -- US #94)
* A Night at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Polydor/Threshold B0002602-00) (1993 -- US #93)
* "The Best of the Moody Blues" (Decca/Polydor) (1996)
* Strange Times (Universal 153565 -- 1999 -- US #93)
* Hall Of Fame - Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Ark 21) (2000)
* Journey Into Amazing Caves (IMAX movie soundtrack) (Ark 21) (2001)

Band becomes a trio with Thomas's departure
* December (Universal TV 15630 -- 2003)
* Lovely to See You: Live (Live concert double album) (Image ID2851RQ) (2005)

In 2006 and 2007, the seven 1967-1972 albums were re-released on SACD with bonus material.

Original lineup (Denny Laine, Clint Warwick, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, & Graeme Edge)
* 1964 August - "Lose Your Money"
* 1964 November - "Go Now!" (Famously used many years later on an episode of Spitting Image when pressure grew on Margaret Thatcher to resign as Prime Minister.) - UK #1 / US #10
* 1965 February - "I Don't Want To Go On Without You" - UK #33
* 1965 May - "From The Bottom Of My Heart" - UK #22 / US #93
* 1965 October - "Ev'ry Day" - UK #44
* 1966 March - "Stop!" - US #98
* 1966 July - "This Is My House (But Nobody Calls)" - US #119
* 1966 October - "Boulevard de la Madeleine"
* 1967 January - "Life's Not Life"

Laine & Warwick replaced by Justin Hayward & John Lodge
* 1967 May - "Fly Me High"
* 1967 August - "Love And Beauty"
* 1967 November - "Nights In White Satin" (3:06 edit)/"Cities" - UK #19 / US #103
* 1968 - "Tuesday Afternoon" (2:16 edit)/"Another Morning" - US #24
* 1968 - "Voices in the Sky" - UK #27
* 1968 - "Ride My See-Saw" - UK #42 / US #61
* 1969 - "Never Comes the Day" - US #91
* 1970 - "Question" - UK #2 / US #21
* 1971 - "The Story in Your Eyes" - US #23 (UK release of the single was cancelled, at the band's request)
* 1972 - "Isn't Life Strange" - UK #13 / US #29
* 1972 - "Nights In White Satin" (4:26 edit)/"Cities" (reissued) - UK #9 / US #2
* 1973 - "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock 'n' Roll Band)" - UK #36 / US #12
* 1975 - "Blue Guitar" (Justin Hayward & John Lodge) - UK #8 / US #94
* 1978 - "Steppin' In a Slide Zone" (3:29 edit) - US #38
* 1978 - "Driftwood" - US #59

Mike Pinder replaced by Patrick Moraz
* 1981 - "Gemini Dream" - US #12
* 1981 - "The Voice" - US #15 (#1 Album Rock hit)
* 1981 - "Talking Out of Turn" - US #65
* 1983 - "Blue World" - UK #35 / US #62
* 1983 - "Sitting At the Wheel" - US #27
* 1986 - "Your Wildest Dreams" - US #9 (#1 Adult Contemporary hit)
* 1986 - "The Other Side Of Life" (4:49 edit) - US #58
* 1988 - "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" - UK #52 / US #30
* 1988 - "No More Lies"

Band becomes a quartet with Moraz's departure
* 1991 - "Say It With Love"/"Lean on Me (Tonight)"
* 1991 - "Bless the Wings"
* 1999 - "English Sunset" =>>>>>>>>>>>

============ prog-rockers ============

============ prog-rockers ============

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