Exposé Online banner

Ray Thomas RIP

On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76.

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-01-05

Ray ThomasRay Thomas and Mike Pinder were the core founders of The Moody Blues in 1964, having worked together in a number of earlier bands. With Days of Future Passed, Thomas began contributing his own songs, notably "Another Morning" and "Twilight Time." His flute became one of the band's distinguishing trademarks. On later albums, several of Thomas's compositions became Moodies staples, including "Legend of a Mind," "Dr Livingston, I Presume," "Nice to Be Here," and "For My Lady."

During the Moodies' hiatus, Thomas released two solo albums, From Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes Wishes and Dreams (1976). After the Moodies resumed activity, his songwriting contributions were much less frequent, though he did pen "Veteran Cosmic Rocker," which serves as a sort of theme song for both the band and for Thomas himself. He continued to sing lead vocals on a number of the band's songs, though his contibutions tended to diminish as the albums relied more on synthesizers.

In 2002, his declining health led to his retirement, and revealed in 2014 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the illness which claimed him in the end.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): The Moody Blues

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Seven That Spells - The Men from Dystopia – Who is the King of the Endless Riff? This Croatian band makes a credible case for their royal status on this release. The five tracks here, named simply with Roman numerals, flow without much...  (2009) » Read more

Vidna Obmana & Alio Die - Echo Passage – Both Vidna Obmana and Alio Die are masters of dark ambient drone music. Echo Passage, a reissue of their 1999 release on Musica Maxima Magnetica, is one long track roughly 68 minutes in duration that...  (2007) » Read more

Patrick Broguière - Brocéliande – Another complete surprise from the folks at Musea! Broguière is a young composer and musician from Paris, and Brocéliande is his debut album — a very strong entry for a new musician who shows...  (1995) » Read more

Incandescent Sky - Paths and Angles – Since their second release Glorious Stereo (reviewed in #28), Incandescent Sky has further carved out an identifiable niche for themselves in the guitar-driven jammy instrumental progressive style....  (2006) » Read more

Trigon - Emergent – This amazing psychedelic rock dynamo from Germany (now a trio of guitars, bass, and drums – by brothers Rainer and Stefan Lange, and Tihomir Lozanovski respectively, with former keyboardist Udo...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues