The Moody Blues — The Magnificent Moodies
(Repertoire REP5077, 1965/2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01In December '64 The Moody Blues first hit the U.K. charts with a cover of U.S. soul singer Bessie Banks' "Go Now," with its expansive harmonies sounding a bit like a British take on the Righteous Brothers' sound — the single scraped the bottom of the U.S. top 10 in January '65. With a certified hit behind them, the band continued releasing singles using the same basic formula (covers of U.S. R&B hits) but were unable to reproduce their earlier success. By late-summer '65 the LP at hand was released in its mono version, 12 songs, selling modestly in the U.K. In the states, an LP titled Go Now was released, with a slightly different track listing. Both LPs featured a handful of tracks co-written by keyboardist Mike Pinder and guitarist/singer Denny Laine, a songwriting team that would become more important as they moved beyond covers and concentrated on original material; this is where things begin to get interesting, as the Pinder/Laine material recorded in the post-LP era (all included here among the 14 bonus tracks) is far more sophisticated and engaging than most anything on the LP. The band continued to record new songs up through August '66, when Laine and bassist Clint Warwick decided to abandon ship; Decca kept releasing this material as singles right up through early '67, even after Justin Hayward and John Lodge had joined up. This is good stuff, but don’t expect Seventh Sojourn... this is clearly the music of an earlier era.
Related artist(s): The Moody Blues
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
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more