Monday, 25 November 2013

The Archivist - The Moody Blues - Octave


There are some songs that reach 'Classic' status. Songs such as YMCA (Camp classic), Sweet Child of Mine (Rock classic) & There She Goes (Indie classic). There are also songs which reach a point where they are Real Classics Bohemian Rhapsody, Yesterday, A Whiter Shade Of Pale and a song by the Moody Blues called  Nights In White Satin.
Now it can be a curse that a band get such a hit so early in their career. Actually on their first album with new songwriter Justin Hayward called Days of Future Passed. From Days.. in 1967 to Seventh Soujorn in 1972, The Moodies produced some of the best symphonic rock to ever grace an LP. They were HUGE in the USA and continue to tour successfully to this day with sell out shows all over the world. But in 1972, the Moodies decided to take a break. This saw the band recording solo albums and Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge formed a very successful duo as Blue Jays.
But in 1977, the Moodies had reformed to produce the album that became OCTAVE. It was quite an event in Rock circles at the time. Bear in mind that in the UK, Punk had just exploded and Disco was at it's height. But the album performed really well in the UK and perhaps more importantly for the Band, in the USA.
It contained some of Hayward's most enduring songs such as Driftwood and Had To Fall In Love. John Lodge even had a hit song on the album, Steppin In A Slide Zone. It turned out to be one of the strongest albums the band ever produced and considering it was made with a lot of tension within the band at the time, it was a triumph.
The band continued to make albums and as before, they ended up selling far more albums in the USA than the UK. Now consisting of just Justin Hayward, John Lodge & Greame Edge, with session musicians as required, the band continue to tour and perform all over the world. But for me, Octave will always be their best album.
The band has a fascinating history and if you would like to hear and learn more about the Moody Blues, there are some excellent documentaries out there which are worth a view.
In 1986, The Moodies came back with a song, In Your Wildest Dreams which won video awards and was loosely based on their early days and is well worth a view.
And in 1988, they completed the story with I Know You're Out There Somewhere.
Twitter - @MoodyBluesToday

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