Guide to British Music of the 1960s

 

The Moody Blues

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Denny Laine - guitar/vocals, Mike Pinder - keyboards, Ray Thomas - horns/vocals, Graeme Edge - drums, Clint Warwick - bass

Denny Laine, real name Brian Hines, had previously been in Denny & the Diplomats before forming the Moody Blues during 1963. After starting a residency at London's Marquee in 1964 they were signed by Decca records. The first single Lose Your Money was not successful but its follow-up Go Now reached the number 1 position. This was a cover of a track by soul singer Bessie Banks. However, the band was unable to repeat this feat with subsequent singles, either reaching the lower limits of he chart such as the cover of Buddy Holly's Everyday or missing out altogether. Despite an album called The Magnificent Moodies and a tour of America where Go Now had been a big hit supporting the Beatles, success continued to elude the band. Even the appointment of Brian Epstein as manager failed to deliver the magic touch.

Laine and Warwick, real name Clint Eccles, left the group in 1966 and were replaced by Justin Hayward and John Lodge. Hayward had previously been a solo artist with a Parlophone recording contract. However, this failed to change the Moody Blues' fortunes until 1967 when the group dramatically changed direction, adopting an almost classical theme.

Days of Future Passed was the first release in the new style. Recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, the album yielded a massive hit in Night in White Satin. This was the band's first top twenty hit for three years and it reached number 19 in the UK although a 1979 re-release went as high as 14. In Search of the Lost Chord carried on the style and provided another hit with Ride My See-Saw.

The group split in 1974 with Lodge and Hayward, in particular, completing successful solo projects. Justin Hayward worked on Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds and this gave him the solo hit Forever Autumn. The group reformed in 1978 and recorded the album Octave. A series of new albums then followed keeping the group going through the 1990s.

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