About The Moody Blues
For over thirty years, The Moody Blues have been musical mainstays on concert stages, recordings and the airwaves. Their remarkable consistency has generated the sale of over 55 million albums and created a standard for classic rock music which has brought them numerous awards including the NARM Number One World Group Award 1972, 18 platinum records, The Playboy Vocal Group of the Year Award, the Golden Ticket Award for the sale of 100,000 tickets at Madison Square Garden, as well as ASCAP and Performance Awards, the Ivor novello Statue (1984 Outstanding Contribution to British Music), and a priceless place in rock history.
The Moody Blues’ first full studio album, Days Of Future Passed, was released on November 11, 1967 and stayed on the Billboard charts for over two years. Featuring the soon-to-be classic “Tuesday Afternoon” and one of the biggest-selling singles of all time, “Nights In White Satin,” the album became a milestone in rock recording. It was one of the very first concept albums and set the style for many others to follow.
The band toured consistently in Great Britain and Europe and followed Days of Future Passed with the August 1968 release of In Search of The Lost Chord. Riding the success of the album’s hit singles “Ride My See-Saw” and “Voices In The Sky,” The Moody Blues began their first concert tour of the USA in October of that year and quickly developed a devoted and fanatical following there, which endures to this day.
On The Threshold Of A Dream, which contained the hit “Never Comes The Day,” was released in April 1969, followed in November of that year by the first release on the newly formed Threshold label, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, which featured the single “Gypsy.” Both albums went to number one on the British charts.
In August 1970, Threshold’s second album was released, A Question Of Balance, which featured the international number one single “Question” and firmly established the Moodies as one of the emerging mega-groups of the time.
Other artists, such as Timon, Trapeze Nicky James, Sue Vickers, Providence and Asgard, were signed to and recorded with the new Threshold label, with members of the Moodies acting in various roles as producer/backing vocals/instrumentalists.
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour followed in July 1971 and included their rock hot “The Story In Your Eyes.”
Almost five years after their original appearance on the charts, “Nights In White Satin” and Days of Future Passed were re-activated in the States in 1972. Their return to the charts was amazingly successful with both album and single hitting the number one position – and Days remaining on the charts for another two-year run. In the UK “Nights In White Satin” has charted three times for the group = in 1968, 1972 and again in 1979.
Seventh Sojourn was also launched in October 1972 and, with the momentum of the smash single “I’m Just A Singer (in a Rock ‘N” Roll Band)” and “Isn’t Life Strange,” the album held the number one spot in the US charts for five consecutive weeks, giving the band two albums in the US top ten simultaneously.
After the resounding international success of Seventh Sojourn, the Moodies once again took to the road, launching the world tour which would travers three continents. It was to be the last time that The Moody Blues were to appear together on stage for the next four years.
The break allowed band members to focus on projects outside the group. Justin Hayward and John Lodge collaborated on the Blue Jays album in 1975. Graeme Edge made two solo albums with Adrian Gurvitz – Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ballroom – before departing for an ocean-going trip around the world. Ray Thomas produced two solo albums – From Might Oaks and Hopes, Wishes and Dreams. John Lodge recorded Natural Avenue. Justin Hayward recorded his solo album Songwriter and worked with Jeff Wayne on The War of The Worlds project, which produced for Justin the beautiful world-wide hit “Forever Autumn.”
In 1978 the Moodies returned to their group format and released Octave, which shot to the top of the charts with singles “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone” and “Driftwood.” This proved that their fans had remained loyal despite a four-year absence. The Moody Blues are one of the few groups in the world that have toured extensively with every album released.
Long Distance Voyager, a massive hit released in May 1981, held the number one spot on the album charts and introduced the singles “Gemini Dream” and “The Voice.” This was followed by The Present in September 1983 which included the hits “Blue World” and “Sitting At The Wheel.”
The Moodies’ next album release was The Other Side Of Life in 1986, and when the single “Your Wildest Dreams” became a top-ten hit, yet another generation of fans was introduced to the Moodies’ music. In addition, “Your Wildest Dreams” was voted Video of the Year by Billboard Magazine.
Sur La Mer followed in June 1988, containing the sensational “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” This track, another hit for the Moodies, continues the saga of lost love first begun in “Your Wildest Dreams.”
The legend continued with the album Keys Of The Kingdom in July 1991, which included the hit single “Say It With Love,” and was a return to the soaring melodies and lyrical emotions of the band’s roots. The track “Hope and Pray” completed the trio of searching/seeking songs.
In 1992 the album and video A Night At Red Rocks was recorded in Denver with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. This was the first ever Moody Blues video of a live performance and has been on the video charts since its release. The video was aired several times on PBS TV in the USA, through which the band has gathered an ever greater following. This concert recording set the scene for the next two hugely successful years when the band toured the USA and Europe, accompanied by a full symphonic orchestra.
In September 1993 the band were presented with a historical audio cassette by one of the space shuttle astronauts, Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson, which he had carried with him on all four of his space missions. Thus Days Of Future Passed and Seventh Sojourn had travelled over 10 million miles, circles the earth more than 420 times, spent 26.5 days in space, and travelled 26 times the speed of sound. The plaque containing the cassette was displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe in Beverly Hills (where it was presented to the band) until it was brought back to the UK to take its place in the Threshold Records gallery. “Hoot” has since carried the CD of Legend Of A Band on further missions.
1994 was the year that saw the Moodies inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame where the band’s hand prints and signatures are now pemanently on display. This was also the year that the promised box set was released. Entitled Time Traveler and including 5 CDs, this most comprehensive Moody Blues collection ever chronicles the band’s rich history from their 1967 singles through their ground-breaking recording, to their current concert successes. In addition, during their resoundingly successful orchestral tours of the USA, The Moody Blues made a triumphant return to Red Rocks, two years after their first concert with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
In 1995 the band also achieved one of their long-time ambitions, which was to perform concerts in South Africa. They were very appreciatively received and look forward to being able to make a more extensive tour there in the future.
Late 1996 saw the release of The Very Best of The Moody Blues. After entering Music Week’s Top 75 Albums chart at number 13 in the week following its release, the album achieved Silver status in the second week and after only five weeks had earned the Gold award. This was followed in 1998 by the double-cd Anthology album.
Heading for the millenium The Moody Blues released their aptly named studio album Strange Times. Self produced and recorded in Italy, this is only the second time that a Moodies’ album has emerged from a studio outside the UK.
During the band’s 2000 tour of the UK they were presented with a Platinum Sales Award by Universal Music to recognize the sale of more than 300,000 copies of The Very Best of The Moody Blues. There couldn’t have been a more fitting setting for the presentation than London’s majestic Royal Albert Hall.
Hall of Fame: Recorded Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2000, which is available on CD, video and DVD, features all their greatest hits performed with The World Festival Orchestra. Also filmed and recorded for television broadcast on over 70 American Public Television pleadge specials.
In the spring of 2001 the Imax film Journey into Amazing Caves, narrated by Liam Neeson and featuring a soundtrack with songs and performances by The Moody Blues, was released. Apart from the new arrangements of more well known Moody Blues songs Justin and John co-wrote two new songs, “Water” and “We Can Fly,” for the soundtrack which is available on CD, video and DVD.