Friday, February 01, 2008

The Moody Blues

2/1/2008

Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by the January - February blues. Is it me or is everyone "done" and "depressed"?

The Moody Blues created themselves in 1964. I won't bore you with names and dates and record titles and chart toppers. They didn't initially call themselves The Moody Blues. First, they started with El Riot and the Rebels (that sure describes their sound doesn't it - Rebellious Flamenco?), then the Krew Cats (so lame). They finally decided upon The Moody Blues after the M&B Brewing company that was currently sponsoring them.

The Moodies have released 17 studio albums between 1967 and 2003. Interestingly enough (for all you Classically Trained Symphony Buffs) one of those albums was a rock 'n roll version of Dvorak's New World Symphony which somehow morphed into their Days of Future's Past album.

The early Moody Blues sound is instrumental psychadelia illuminated with harmonizing vocals. It's kind of a Beach Boys meets Iron Butterfly (not to be confused with Iron Maiden but I'm sure the Maiden's were influenced somehow by the Butterflies). These Illum-Instrumed-Harmonies can be found in: Nights In White Satin (OOOoooh how I love you!) and Tuesday Afternoon (hey my mom loves that store!) and Question (I was lookin' for some one to change my life too! How 'bout Jesus?) and Ride My Seesaw. I could do this all day. (Link to Moody tunes that is, not Ride My Seesaw 'cause I don't have a seesaw but if I did it would be covered in eight feet of snow.)

Later The Moody Blues developed a cheesy pop sound that was welcome mostly in rest homes (a step beneath elevators). I'll bet you remember Your Wildest Dreams from the Other Side Of Life album released in 1983. Then again that was a cheesy time for pop so let's cut 'em some slack, shall we?

The Moody Blues have since redeemed themselves with an awesomely different Christmas album titled "December" (released 2003, Don't Need a Reindeer, A Winter's Tale, The Spirit of Christmas). I suggest you download this one now... it'll be the best $9.99 you've spent in a while. But then again, Christmas won't be here for a lotta months. Maybe that $9.99 would be better spent on anti-depressants or a trip to a tanning salon.

9 comments:

The McMillans said...

Anti-depressants for 9.99? Who is your hook-up? That's cheap, my neighbor sells me four for 5.50...I MEAN, my doctor prescribes them for 40 dollars a month? HE HE!

Mandee said...

tanning... totally.

Vera said...

Ahhh, an excellent post today! I would be a flashback except it was my Sunday morning musical choice (cuz I'm old enough to have a flashback).
Some of the best music ever and some of the best words. Now I have to go to bed
I can see it all
From this great height.
I can feel the sun
Slipping out of sight;
And the world still goes on
Through the night.

Nice!

rabidrunner said...

Stuff happens whilest I'm sleeping? You can't be serious.... I wear ear plugs!

Lisa said...

Great choice - I've missed flashback Friday. I'm singin' the blues too. I've got some of their stuff on vinyl (why? I don't know, I still think vinyl is cool even if I have nothing to play it on and the sound quality is awful!)

Winder said...

You could better spend the $9.99 or more at a trip to the "Yarn Barn"! How was it?

Lois said...

I can't listen to the Moody Blues because the beginning part of "Nights in White Satin" gives me the willies.

Nigel said...

Moody Blues trivia--Like many bands, they were signed to their label during the whole Beatles/mersey beat/British invasion frenzy. They had some hits in England, but that minor fame didn't last long. So, they were under contract but weren't being used.

The label approached them about making an experimental recording that would highlight stereo high-fidelity sound. The record was going to be used in record shops and appliance/furniture/department stores (there were no electronics stores in those days...)that sold stereo hi-fi systems.

They were granted practically unlimited (and unsupervised) access to studios,equipment, musicians, and personnel. They were told they could do WHATEVER THEY WANTED, as long as it highlighted the better quality of stereo hi-fi. This was unprecedented access, especially for a practically unknown band.

Somewhere during the process, the record company realized the band was making a marketable record. The final result was "Days Of Future Passed", the LP that included "Nights In White Satin". It's considered by many to be the first audiophile quality recording. It's also considered the beginning of "progressive rock", along with being one of the best-selling albums of all time.

For me, it's a reminder of church dances when I was a youngster. The D.J. (thank-you Charlie Bernheiser, wherever you are...)would end the dance with Free Bird/Stairway To Heaven/Nights In White Satin, three looong songs in a row. Over twenty minutes slow dancing with that special girl I met at the volleyball tournament earlier that day. When you're fifteen and Mormon,well,that's about as fun as it gets.

rabidrunner said...

Hence the violins, harps and cellos... thanks Nigel!