The Moody Blues

The lengthy career of the Moody Blues has come in two distinct phases. The first from 1963-67, when they were a tough R&B-influenced unit, and the second from 1967 to the present, where they are regarded as rock dinosaurs performing a blend of pop utilizing symphonic themes which has been given many labels, among them pomp-rock, classical-rock and art-rock. The original band was formed in 1964 by Denny Laine(b. Brian Hines, 29 October 1944, Jersey; vocals/harmonica/guitar), Mike Pinder (b. 12 December 1942, Birmingham, England; piano/keyboards), Ray Thomas (b. 29 December 1942, Stourport on Severn, England; flute/vocals/harmonica), Graeme Edge (b. 30 March 1941, Rochester, Staffordshire, England; drums) and Clint Warwick (b. 25 June 1940, Birmingham, England; bass). During their formative months they established a strong London club following, and soon received their big break, as so many others did, performing live on the influential television show READY STEADY GO. A few months later their Bessie Banks cover, Go Now topped the UK charts, complete with its striking piano introduction and solo. Although the single made the US Top 10, their commercial fortunes were on an immediate decline, although their following releases were impeccable.
Their splendid debut THE MAGNIFICENT MOODIES failed to sell as anticipated. Warwick and Laine departed in 1966 to be replaced by Justin Hayward (b. 14 October 1946, Swindon, Wiltshire, England) and John Lodge (b. 20 July 1945, Birmingham, England). So began phase two, which debuted with Hayward's classic, Nights In White Satin. The accompanying DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED was an ambitious orchestral project with Peter Knight conducting the London Festival Orchestra and Tony Clark producing. The album was a massive success and started a run that continued through a further five albums, all involving Knight and Clark. The increased use of the mellotron gave an orchestrated feel to much of their work, and while they became phenomenally popular, they also received a great deal of criticism. During this period they founded Threshold Records, their own record label, and in 1973 reached the UK Top 10 with a re-entry for Nights In White Satin.
The band parted company in 1974 to allow each member to indulge in spin-off projects. Hayward and Lodge became the Blue Jays, with great success, Thomas released FROM MIGHTY OAKS and Edge teamed with Adrian Gurvitz for KICK OFF YOUR MUDDY BOOTS. The group reunited for OCTAVE, which became another huge hit, although shortly after its release Pinder decided to quit the business; he had been the only band member not to release a solo project. Further discontent ensued when Clark resigned. Patrick Moraz from Yes and Refugee joined the band as Hayward's Forever Autumn hit the charts. This track was taken from the Jeff Wayne epic, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Each subsequent release has met with predictable glory both in Europe and America. The Moodies march on with the comforting knowledge that they will fill concert halls and sell vast amounts of records until the days of future have passed.

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