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The two-disc set (CD+DVD) has special triple-fold packaging.
A vinyl edition of the album has also been released, but it was not available for sale at the concerts yet.
There are some differences between the booklets included with the different versions of John's album. I'll include separate scans of these pages.
TOP: Standard CD
BOTTOM: 2-disc set
TOP: Standard CD
John Lodge, the Moody Blues singer, songwriter and bassist, has released his second (and his first since 1977's Natural Avenue) solo album 10,000 Light Years Ago,
an eight song mélange brimming with style, nostalgia and versatility.
The distinctive guitar talents of Chris Spedding, along with Moody Blues
touring keyboardist Alan Hewitt and drummer Gordon Marshall, provide
the backbone of a very solid album. I attended the album’s U.S. record
release party at the legendary Joe’s Pub in New York City. It was played
in its entirety and Lodge shared tales of his life. He was moved by the
intimate crowd’s reaction to the music, took to audience questions with
self-depricating humor, and was nearly brought to tears by video
greetings from former Moody Blues mates Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas.
Lodge’s deep vocal drives the progressive opener “In My Mind,” while
the more mainstream “Those Days In Birmingham” relates the bassist’s
early life and his love for early rock and roll. At the release party,
Lodge said he actually saw Buddy Holly when he was 13 and this song
reveals the man’s love for his influences. “Simply Magic” is an acoustic
guitar-based ballad Lodge wrote for his grandson, a tune he seemed very
connected to. He even played a snippet of it live at the party. This is
one that both Pinder (playing Mellotron) and Thomas (on ‘C’ flute and
bass flute) appear on — something the Moody Blues fans at Joe’s Pub took
to with relish and deep applause.
“Love Passed Me By” features Mike Piggott’s violin in a 1920s-like
love song, while “Lose Your Love” is a more serious piano ballad, very
sad actually, with Lodge talking through the lyric, sounding very much
like Roger Waters. Spedding’s bends lend just the right touch of
melancholy to this one. The title track ends the CD. It’s a mini prog
epic with a spoken word intro very much in the style of the Moody Blues
and a mid-tempo beat that captures a theme what Lodge describes as a
biographical account of where he’s been and where he is looking forward
to going. With a possible solo tour behind 10,000 Light Years Ago after the Moody Blues complete their 2015 tour, John Lodge is intent on being around for the immediate future and beyond.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.
Esoteric Antenna [Released 05.05.15]
By his own admission ‘10,000 Light Years Ago’ could have been the
beginnings of a new Moody Blues album. As it is, the album clocks in at
little over half an hour and sounds as if it became a different project
full of impressionist impulses with not quite enough substance to
fulfill the original idea.
John Lodge tops and tails this mini album with his most arresting
songs. He almost pulls of a sleight of hand, as by the end it you feel
like you’ve been on a coherent musical journey, though in truth there’s
so much variety here that you can’t divorce yourself from the feeling
that its an aggregation of thinly related songs that don’t always link
That’s not to say the album isn’t good, as the best moments make for
further exploration, but the lack of stylistic consistency hampers the
He opens with the very big sounding ‘In My Mind’, which envelops us,
but ultimately wrongly gives the impression that it’s going to lever us
into a very big sounding album. The resonant guitar-led motif builds
over a subtle synth and flute backing, on a spacious arrangement that
would satisfy any Pink Floyd fans let alone Moody Blues followers.
Guitarist Chris Spedding who also appeared on John’s last solo album
in 1977, cuts through the melodic track eloquently with an ascending
bluesy attack to paint sonic pictures, while John adds a breathy vocal
bathed in the kind of echo reverb arrangement that would make Dave
It’s an impressive, spacey and rock driven style that John doesn’t
revisit until the good- time rocking of ‘You Drive Me Crazy’ and the
title track resolution.
As a result, ‘10,000 Light Years Ago’ is a pleasant mini album,
underscored by nice ideas that are ultimately subsumed by too much
On ‘Those Days In Birmingham’, he settles for an autobiographical
reminiscence through rosy tinted spectacles of his early years in Brum,
over chiming guitars and weighty bv’s.
The acoustic train-time feel of ‘Simply Magic’ was written about his
grandson and radiates positivity, as he teams up with former Moody Blues
members Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder. There’s no denying the veracity of
the song’s feel on an arrangement that makes great use of Thomas’s flute
and Pinder’s melloron.
‘Get Me Out Of Here’ is full of Spedding’s harmonics, on another
strong melody with more Beatles style bv’s, but with a rather
‘Love Passed Me By’ is more problematical. It works well enough as a
Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt inspired hot club outing full of
violin and accordion, but it feels completely unconnected to the rest
of the album and sounds like a filler. Given the brevity of the album as
a whole, it suggests he was perhaps short of material.
That’s said, ‘Lose Your Love’ is quite the opposite, being a
heartfelt song on which John adopts a Mark Knopfler meets Johnny Cash
style spoken-word vocal, before momentarily slipping into falsetto mode
to capture a lyrical meaning.
Finally, the closing title track could be a Moody Blues outtake in both its philosophical bent and symphonic arrangement.
Chris Spedding’s guitar line is very reminiscent of New Order’s
Bernard Sumner, before the song veers into an uplifting faux orchestral
arrangement which would stir even the most recalcitrant of souls. It’s
in moments like this when he thrillingly combines feel with uplifting
music that John Lodge makes a real connection with his listener.
He tops and tails his album as if delivering an opening and closing
statement, while the rest of the album concentrates more on the minutiae
of the lyrics and doesn’t carry as much substance.
When your dealing with concepts like ‘10,000 Light Years Ago’, you
are entitled to expect something with a little more substance to flesh
out the rest of an enjoyable, but only partly realized album. ***½
Published on 28th August 2015
Article by: Tony Colvill
When you’ve been in the music business from before I was even
born, you’re pretty much entitled to make the album you want to, and if
others are pulled along in its wake, then so be it. This is an album
that reflects on fifty-plus years of musical participation, part
nostalgic, part reflective and just a little forward thinking. It’s John
Lodge’s second solo album, the first being Natural Avenue in 1977.
As you might expect, it exhibits elements of the multiple facets of
The Moody Blues, and I suspect just a little of his own persona. It is
not a long album, at least by today’s standards, clocking in at around
30 minutes, but it is a full album and certainly not bland.
In terms of prog, I honestly could only say that the first and last
tracks apply, but as a range of styles from a long musical career it
balances the modern with the nostalgic, In My Mind combining
The Moody Blues and Pink Floyd with a sumptuous bass line, easily my
favourite from the album, after a long intro before the vocals appear. I
wish I could sing this well now, let alone at John’s age – 70 in July
2015. Age is not an issue, why should it be when the product is good?
From John’s own website he comments:-
“Back in the 60s, when the dreams of a ‘new generation’ were
being born, The Moody Blues wrote a stage show which became the album Days of Future Passed. The theme encompassed the past, present and future experiences of our lives. With the new album and In My Mind
I have continued this theme of constant evolution. Everything in the
future remains in reach, and although the past is behind us, it once was
The tracks in between the first and last revisit his past, vocally
strong and possibly stronger than the similarly aged Paul McCartney.
There is enough here, it is good popular music, and 30 minutes of varied
entertainment but 30 minutes is what often passes for an EP these days.
In those terms it is probably not value for money, possibly more of an
album for Moody Blues fan than general consumption but I have actually
enjoyed it. With those caveats, I would say it is worthy of a hearing,
as Rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll or gentler MOR it has some merit but is
definitely one for the completist. Worthy of a dip for the browser, not
an essential purchase.
A track by track breakdown? I think not this time, but I won’t change channels if I hear a track on the radio.
01. In My Mind
02. Those Days in Birmingham
03. Simply Magic
04. Get Me Out of Here
05. Love Passed Me By
06. (You Drive Me) Crazy
07. Lose Your Love
08. 10,000 Light Years Ago
John Lodge – Bass, Vocals, 12-string Acoustic Guitar
Chris Spedding – Guitars
Ray Thomas – Flute
Mike Pinder – Mellotron (3)
Alan Hewitt – Keyboards
Gordon Marshall – Drums
Record Label: Esoteric Recordings
Country of Origin: U.K.
Year of Release: 2015
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