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Fifty years ago, the Moody Blues pulled a fast one on their record label. The newly regrouped band was commissioned to record a rock version of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” Instead, they came back with “Days of Future Passed,” an album that opened up a new world for the band.
“We were young, feeling no boundaries and to be honest, we
didn’t care what the label thought,” singer/bassist John Lodge recalled
this week ahead of the band’s show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on
Monday. “And they almost rejected it because it wasn’t what they were
looking for, but the head of the classical department got it right away.
Hearing it now, what’s interesting for me is the chances we took. The
songs are all different from what was going ’round AM radio at the time,
which was sort of bubblegum. We decided that was not where we wanted
to go; we wanted to explore different music and a different way of
To celebrate the anniversary, the Moodies are doing the full album as the second half of their current show. While the hits “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” are permanent fixtures in their live set, some of the deeper cuts haven’t been played since the album was new. The special guest (on video) is Jeremy Irons, who recites the poetry between songs.
When Lodge and singer/guitarist Justin Hayward joined the Moodies in late 1966, it was still an R&B band.
“That really wasn’t going anywhere, it felt like more of a facsimile. We were still wearing the same colored suits and playing American songs, and Justin and I hadn’t even been to America. The blues is really about people growing up and what their influences are, so we decided to do that from an English point of view, to write about what it was like to be us.” Lodge said the theme of the album, with songs tracing the course of a day, came about by accident. “It was a coincidence, but the songs started fitting together really nicely. A lot of promoters said, ‘Hold on, this is not who you were.’ But lucky for us, college radio was just starting.”
While Lodge, Hayward and drummer Graeme Edge remain from the album lineup, flautist Ray Thomas and keyboardist Mike Pinder departed the band a long time ago. Lodge dismissed rumors that the full band was to reunite for the anniversary tour.
“Mike and Ray send all their love, and I keep them informed of what’s going on. But people come to different places in their lives, and neither of them wants to go on the road. We’ve been friends forever, so we have to respect that.”
And though he and Hayward have both made solo albums lately, Lodge said there probably won’t be another Moodies album.
“The record industry isn’t what it used to be, and you need to have people who really believe in your music. We wouldn’t want to make a Moody Blues album just because we’re them.”
The Moody Blues at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Monday. Tickets: $40.50-70.50; livenation.com.