Isn’t life strange – the way once huge bands fade from the public consciousness as the years pass? Some of the first prog/rock LPs I owned were by the Moody Blues, and this book is a welcome reminder of their music. The albums they produced from 1967’s Days of Future Passed, one of the first recordings to pair a rock band with an orchestra, through to 1972’s Seventh Sojourn were all in my collection, along with 1978’s comeback effort Octave. I was drawn in by the combination of great melodic songs, vaguely proggish leanings and wonderful cover art. At times they got a little too whimsical and mystical for their own good, but overall the quality of the music generated a big worldwide following for the band, especially in the US, where they were greeted with almost messianic zeal. I must confess that in the eighties I lost touch with the band, and until now had never heard their latter day albums that appeared at increasingly irregular intervals and, despite a couple of big US singles, with diminishing commercial success. Having just caught up with them in conjunction with reading this book, I don’t seem to have missed too much, as their vital creative spark seems by and large to have faded and been replaced by quite nondescript and anonymous soft rock tunes. Nonetheless, the peak albums, although being somewhat of their time in places, are still worth another listen, as borne out by the expanded versions issued in recent years. Well, with global album sales of over seventy million, they must have been doing something right, perhaps the right band at just the right time to capture the spirit of that age!
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Reminiscing about the music of the late sixties and early seventies, surely one of the pivotal eras in modern music.
One thing you’ve learned
This is a book of two halves really, pre and post 1972 – the band’s core eight albums appeared in the space of just eight years – the next eight took a further twenty five years! It’s a good résumé though of this often overlooked and forgotten band that came up with some great music in their prime, and that still tours successfully today, albeit with only three of the five core members remaining, and was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.