2017-01-29 The Moody Blues at the Hollywood Bowl
The Moody Blues
Saturday, June 17, 2017
As The Moody Blues embark on the 50th Anniversary tour of their iconic, landmark album, DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED, the band reflects back on five decades of some of the most well beloved music in pop culture history. Performing their epic album that marked the first time a rock band had fused their sound with a symphony orchestra, The Moody Blues will bring to audiences, a first-ever live experience of the full album, onstage, when they hit the road in 2017. The special show brings the live excitement of seeing DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED performed in the first half, plus Moody Blues greatest hits in the second half.
Fans will have waited 50 years to experience this moment in time, as in1967, the band’s first full-length studio album, DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED, was a ground-breaking concept album. So unique in its approach, the recording of their first studio album became a landmark moment in time. Their record label, Decca Records, had requested that the band record an album to test “stereo recording,” which was in its infancy at the time. Being primarily a classical label, the band was asked to record a rock version of Dvorak's 9th Symphony. The band complied, but wanted to record it on their own terms. Behind closed doors, they came up with the concept of fusing classical music with rock, but written to their own soundtrack. The result was DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED, an album that today is considered a masterpiece.
From DAYS, the song “Tuesday Afternoon” became a massive worldwide hit, and “Nights In White Satin” marked one of the first four minute songs played on the radio, going on to become one of the biggest selling singles in history, and hitting #1 three separate times on Billboard. The ultimate result: one of the greatest-selling albums of all-time.
Since they first hit the rock scene The Moody Blues have continued to produce music that bridges the gap between rock, classical and pop-rock genres without ever wavering in their integrity and commitment. Featuring the altruistic inflections of guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, bassist/vocalist John Lodge, and drummer Graeme Edge, The Moody Blues’ sound has held its ground with exquisite harmonies over and over again, in a genre of music that is ever-changing. Since their formation in England, The Moody Blues have created music time and time again that offers rock music a depth that is unprecedented and inspiring.
The Moody Blues have sold in excess of 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded an astonishing 14 platinum and gold discs. Their incredible roster of hits include: “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Ride My See Saw,” “The Story In Your Eyes,” “Isn’t Life Strange,” “Question,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name a few. The Moody Blues’ No. 1, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 40, Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums and singles, have generated sold-out tours on a consistent basis over the course of several decades, making them one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence.
The Moody Blues have distinguished themselves through five decades as that shimmering jewel vindicating rock music and as a substantial artistic contribution to Western culture. Says Rolling Stone: “The Moody Blues are still the Sistine Chapel of popular music.” Since the 60’s, as a part of the historic original British invasion of Supergroups, The Moody Blues have lit up the hearts and minds of millions of rock fans with inspiring anthems like “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” which express universal themes of love, compassion and peace. The band’s unique style of music consistently finds airplay on radio stations globally, and continues to illuminate concert arenas around the world. From being immortalized on The Simpsons to having their music featured in movies, television and in national advertisement campaigns, The Moody Blues are embedded in not only music history but in pop culture.
Throughout the 60’s and 70's, the group released a string of concept albums including DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED, IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD, ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM, TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN, A QUESTION OF BALANCE, EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR and SEVENTH SOJOURN, which can be listened to from beginning to end like turning the pages of a novel telling the story of our lives. The albums garnered the band respect and acclaim that would place them in that unusual distinctive category as pioneers of concept-rock with a message.
In 1979, the band released OCTAVE, and stepped away from the concept theme by exploring new musical elements which spawned two hits “Driftwood” and “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone.” In the 80’s, while punk rock, power-pop and new wave were dominating the charts, The Moodies showed their resilience against the changing tides of trends and released the album LONG DISTANCE VOYAGER. The album went straight to the top and landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with two hit singles: “Gemini Dream” and “The Voice.” The Moody Blues then released THE PRESENT in 1983 with the hits “Blue World” and “Sitting At The Wheel”; followed by another album that would win over a new generation of young fans in the mid-late 80's entitled THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE, which gave birth to the hit song “Your Wildest Dreams”-- one of their biggest selling singles of their career to date. The next two albums continued their momentum with the hit single, “I Know You're Out There Somewhere” from SUR LA MER, the counterpart to “Your Wildest Dreams” and 1991's “Say It With Love” from KEYS OF THE KINGDOM.
The 90’s marked yet another phase of the band’s illustrious career. The Moody Blues had reached a milestone in 1992 –– their 25th anniversary of the release of DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED. With this concept in mind, the band performed live in concert with a symphony orchestra. The event was filmed at the Red Rocks concert venue in Denver, Colorado, for a PBS special, home video and album titled THE MOODY BLUES – A NIGHT AT RED ROCKS WITH THE COLORADO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. The response from the broadcast, video and album was so successful, that the band took the symphony concerts on the road to sold-out audiences nationwide.
During this time period, The Moodies released their Gold-selling boxed set collection entitled TIME TRAVELLER, a greatest hits package in 1997 entitled THE BEST OF THE MOODY BLUES, and a double-CD ANTHOLOGY album. The group welcomed the new Millennium with the release of the appropriately titled STRANGE TIMES, which was their first studio album in eight years, charting yet again in the Top 100 on Billboard. Recorded in Genoa, Italy, the band took on the role of “producers” of the album, another first for the The Moodies.
The band then released a second PBS special and live album in 2001 titled HALL OF FAME: RECORDED LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL; and THE MOODY BLUES: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, respectively. The performance re-visited the excitement of their live performances with a symphony orchestra, recorded and filmed in England's famed Royal Albert Hall. The live concert, available on video, marked the first live Moody Blues performance released on DVD.
Also in 2001, The Moody Blues were featured in the highest grossing giant screen production of the year in the IMAX film entitled JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES. Featuring two new Moody Blues songs, “We Can Fly” and “Water”; and their classics “Nights in White Satin” and “Ride My Seesaw,” the film was awarded IMAX’ “Soundtrack of the Year Award,” which was simultaneously released on CD.
In 2003, The Moody Blues released the first holiday album of their career on Universal Records titled DECEMBER. Produced by Hayward and Lodge, DECEMBER featured five original songs, five cover songs, and one newly arranged traditional tune with additional lyrics.
The Moodies released the Image Entertainment DVD and CD THE MOODY BLUES: LOVELY TO SEE YOU, LIVE in 2005, recorded at the historic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. This recording marked the first live performance recorded sans orchestra, since their historic 1969 live release THE MOODY BLUES LIVE +5.
In 2008, Universal Music Enterprises re-released the group’s first seven albums, containing the band’s legendary chart-topping singles. Each re-release by UMe featured exclusive bonus tracks, alternate versions, radio sessions and outtakes; telling a story about the progression of rock & roll, while diving into further detail with the inclusion of live BBC recordings and bonus tracks.
In 2012, the band celebrated the 45th Anniversary of DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED. That summer, “Nights In White Satin” was the lead track in the movie and on the soundtrack of the Johnny Depp film, “Dark Shadows.” Universal Music Enterprises also released a Moody Blues greatest hits collection in two editions titled ICON and ICON 2 -- single disc and double disc formats.
In 2014, Universal Music Enterprises released two box sets titled TIMELESS FLIGHT, THE MOODY BLUES, a definitive, career-spanning collection, in both 17-disc and four-CD configurations.
More recently, Justin Hayward and John Lodge have recorded solo albums and embarked on solo tours. Hayward released a 2014 solo album on Eagle Rock Entertainment titled SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN SKY – his first since 1996’s THE VIEW FROM THE HILL; and a 2013 live performance DVD based on his solo tour titled JUSTIN HAYWARD’S SPIRITS…LIVE – LIVE AT THE BUCKHEAD THEATRE, ATLANTA. Hayward’s live DVD aired on PBS stations in 2015, hitting the Top 20 PBS revenue raising specials of the year. In 2016, Hayward released ALL THE WAY, a recording with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, solo live performances and unique versions of classic Moody Blues tracks; and the new song, “The Wind Of Heaven.”
In 2015, Lodge released his first solo album since 1977’s Natural Avenue on Esoteric Antenna titled 10,000 LIGHT YEARS AGO. The album reunited Lodge with special guest contributions from former MOODY BLUES bandmates - flutist Ray Thomas and keyboardist/mellotron player Mike Pinder on the song “Simply Magic.” Lodge embarked on a 2016 U.K. solo tour, with U.S. dates to come in 2017.
With the 50th Anniversary tour approaching in 2017, The Moody Blues have never slowed down, and continue to bring their legacy to the forefront -- to the hearts of millions of music lovers who have adored their music for five incredible decades.