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Moody Blues' Website



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Biography


The Moody Blues have been a driving force in popular music since their formation in 1964. Their hit songs and rich, thoughtfully crafted albums are known to millions of fans worldwide. The Moodies are generally credited with developing and popularizing "orchestral rock," mostly on the strength of their 1967 album, Days of Future Passed, and through the use of the Mellotron, a keyboard instrument that allowed the group to replicate orchestral sounds live and in the studio. Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound psychedelic albums and singles, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B based combos of the British Invasion.

The Moody Blues originated in Birmingham, England. At the time, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder were El Riot & the Rebels, a popular band. Pinder left to join the army, but then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats and had moderate success. The pair recruited Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick, appearing as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. All were accomplished musicians with experience in local bands. The Moody Blues quickly earned the notice and later the services of manager Tony Secunda. A major tour was booked, and the band landed an engagement at the Marquee Club, which resulted in a contract with England's Decca Records less than six months after their formation. The group's first single, "Steal Your Heart Away," released in September of 1964, didn't reach the British charts.

Their second single "Go Now," released in November of 1964, fulfilled every expectation and more, reaching number one in England. In America, it peaked at number 10. After touring Britain with Chuck Berry, the Moody Blues traveled to the United States, supporting The Kinks. Finding a second hit was easier said than done. Despite their fledgling songwriting efforts and the access they had to American demos, this early version of the Moody Blues never came up with another single success.

By the end of the spring of 1965, the frustration was palpable within the band. The group decided to make their fourth single, "From The Bottom Of My Heart," an experiment with a different sound. Unfortunately, the effort only reached number 22 on the British charts following its release in May of 1965. Ultimately, the grind of touring coupled with the strains facing the group, became too much for Warwick, who exited in the spring of 1966, and by August of 1966, Laine had left as well. Warwick was replaced by John Lodge, also once a member of El Riot. His introduction to the band was followed in late 1966 by the addition of Justin Hayward, formerly of The Wilde Three. The band soon realized that their original style of American blues covers and novelty tunes was not working for them, and they determined to develop an original style. Their new style featured the symphonic sounds of the mellotron (an early analog sampling keyboard; Pinder had worked for its manufacturer) and Ray Thomas' flute, with the performance organized around a concept--one day in the life of everyman.

The Moody Blues contract with Decca Records was set to expire, and they owed the label several thousand pounds in advances. The reconstituted Moody Blues set about keeping afloat financially, mostly playing in Europe, recording the occasional single. Their big break came from Deram Records, an offshoot of their Decca label, which in 1967 decided that it needed a long-playing record to promote its new "Deramic Stereo." The Moody Blues were picked for the proposed project, a rock version of Dvorak's "New World Symphony," and immediately convinced the staff producer and the engineer to abandon the source material and permit the group to use a series of its own compositions that depicted an archetypal "day," from morning to night. Using the tracks laid down by the band, and orchestrated by conductor Peter Knight, the resulting album Days of Future Passed became a landmark in the band's history. The mix of rock and classical sounds was new, and at first puzzled the record company, but eventually the record was issued.

The album propelled the group to stardom. It stayed on the Billboard charts for over two years and marked a milestone in rock history as one of the very first concept albums, recorded not only with a symphony orchestra but also in stereo, both uncharted territory at that time. Thanks to the singles "Nights In White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon," the record went gold, reaching No. 3 in the charts. The album and the two singles became massively popular, as was the 1968 followup, In Search of the Lost Chord. The top-40 single from this album, "Ride My See-Saw," was the first single to be mastered using eight-track recording technology. 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. After that, the group decided to record only albums that could be played in concert, losing some of their bombastic sound for their next album, A Question of Balance (1970). This album, reaching No. 3 in American charts (No. 1 in British charts), was indicative of the band's growing success in America. For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) and Seventh Sojourn (1972) (which reached No. 1 in both the UK and the US) the band returned to their signature orchestral sound, which, while difficult to play in concert, had become the band's trademark.

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After that, the group took an extended break--originally announced as a permanent break-up--to recuperate from a heavy touring schedule. Hayward and Lodge released a duet album, the very successful Blue Jays (1975) and the members each released solo albums. In 1977, the group reformed and after a tempestuous recording session, 1978's Octave was released. However, Pinder refused to tour and was replaced by former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz. In spite of these difficulties, the album was a hit, as was 1981's Long Distance Voyager. On these albums the Moody Blues embraced a more modern and less symphonic sound, although synthesizers were still a strong part of their composition.

The band's popularity waned through the release of The Present (1983). But in 1986 they enjoyed renewed success with their album The Other Side of Life, in particular with the track "Your Wildest Dreams," a top-40 hit which garnered a Billboard "Video of the Year" award after being frequently featured on MTV. 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."

Moraz left the band in 1990, prior to the recording of Keys Of The Kingdom, but the Moody Blues marched on into the 90s, with the comforting knowledge that they still had the ability to fill concert halls. The band had begun to reinforce their concert sound in the later 1980s with the addition of a second keyboardist and female backing vocals, and they decided not to hire a permanent replacement in the keyboard chair, but instead to tour as a quartet with extra hired musicians. Keys of the Kingdom (1991) had but modest commercial success. However, a heavy touring schedule kept them among the highest-earning concert acts, and a series of video and audio versions of their Live at Red Rocks concert enjoyed great success, particularly as a fund-raiser for American public television. In 1994, a four-CD set called Time Traveller was released. In the spring of 1997, PolyGram released re-mastered and upgraded versions of all seven of the group's classic late 1960's/early 1970's albums, with dramatically improved sound and new notes featuring recollections by the group members.

The Moody Blues have remained active in recent years, both in the studio and in live performance. In 1999, the Moodies released Strange Times, their first new studio album since 1991's Keys of the Kingdom. In 2001, the Moodies contributed heavily to the IMAX soundtrack, Journey Into Amazing Caves. Founding member Ray Thomas left the band in 2002, but the remaining members -- Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge -- pressed on with new projects. The band's most recent studio album is 2003's December, a collection of Christmas-themed originals and standards. The Moodies toured extensively in 2004 to the praise and adoration of millions of fans around the world, including the U.S. this past summer and returning to their home soil this past fall for a series of U.K. concerts. The band is returning to the U.S. for a January - February 2005 California Tour.


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(From left to right):

Graeme Edge  (drums, spoken word, poet extraordinaire, and onstage cheerleader)
Justin Hayward  (lead guitar, lead vocalist)
John Lodge  (bass guitar, lead vocalist)
Ray Thomas  (flute, lead vocalist)







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The Moody Blues

My family and I recently witnessed one of the very best concerts that we have ever seen - by far!   The Moody Blues are the completely consummate and professional band.   They deserve all of the praise and every accolade they have received over the past forty years.   Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge, John Lodge and band mates Paul Bliss (Keyboards), Gordon Marshall (Drums & Percussion), Bernie Barlow (Backing Vocals & Keyboards) and Norda Mullen (Flute, Guitar & Backing Vocals) put on a show that had every single member of the sold-out audience on their collective feet screaming, pleading and begging for more during the two-hour plus extravaganza that was both musically and visually stunning.   The legendary band could not have been better vocally, unforgettable!   And their instrumentation...  let's just say their musicianship and musical skills set them apart from all of the other pretenders to the throne in regard to ALL of the other bands from the sixties.   If you have never seen this band perform live, do yourself a huge favor and seek them out at all costs.   They are every bit the legend that you have heard about since 1964, and they are every bit as good and vital today as they were over forty years ago.   If you see this band perform live just once, you will immediately and clearly see the vast gulf between those who belong in the "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" and those who do not...  the Moody Blues truly belong there, so we can only hope and pray that it happens very soon!





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Moody Blues 2004 World Tour Program
Moody Blues 2004 World Tour Program







Moody Blues Tour Dates


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For Concert Dates:
(Click Here)







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Discography:


Days of Future Passed
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In Search Of The Lost Chord
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On The Threshold Of A Dream
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To Our Children’s Children’s Children
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A Question of Balance
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Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
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Seventh Sojourn
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Octave
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Long Distance Voyager
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The Present
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The Other Side Of Life
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Sur La Mer
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Prelude
(Import)
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Voices in the Sky
Best of The Moody Blues
(Import)
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Keys Of The Kingdom
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The Story Of The Moody Blues
Legend of a Band
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A Night at Red Rocks
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Caught Live + 5
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Time Traveller
(Box Set)
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The Best Of The Moody Blues
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Anthology
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Magnificent Moodies
(Import)
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Strange Times
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Hall Of Fame
(Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000)
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20th Century Masters
The Millennium Collection:
The Best of the Moody Blues
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Very Best of
Live at R.A.H.
(Import)
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Journey Into Amazing Caves
(IMAX Sountrack)
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Say It With Love
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December
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Don't Need a Reindeer
December Snow
In the Quiet of Christmas Morning (Bach 147)
On This Christmas Day
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
Winter's Tale
Spirit of Christmas
Yes I Believe
When a Child Is Born
White Christmas
In the Bleak Midwinter





One of the TRULY great bands to have
come out of the sixties or any other decade!









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