Five Moody Blues Songs You Must Have In Your Music Library
On Aug. 1, The Moody Blues will launch their “2014 Timeless Flight Summer Tour.” The trek keeps them on the road through Sept. 5.
Fans of the band are already showing their excitement on The Moody Blues’ Facebook page and other similar sites. As sad as it sounds, this may be the last time they tour. The three remaining Moody Blues members are a combined 208 years old.
For those who have never heard of The Moody Blues, or their music, please excuse us for saying so, but what is wrong with you? They are one of the great bands to come out of the 1960s. Furthermore, The Moody Blues of today are not a nostalgic act. They don’t whisk hippies back to a woebegone era; they take fans of all ages on a musical journey.
Now, to really appreciate The Moody Blues you need to listen to their music on vinyl, via large speakers, while sitting on beanbags, under a black light, with maybe some “other stuff” there too. That’s a huge commitment to make for a band you’ve never heard before.
Instead, Musicology-101 has compiled a list of five Moody Blues songs you must have in your music collection. These five songs are a great introduction to their catalog as well as proof that they’re not your traditional old fogey band. After all, you’d probably love these songs if you thought they were originally crafted by Wilco or The National or Phoenix or Passion Pit or…
What good ever happens on a Tuesday afternoon? It might be the dullest part of the week, but it’s definitely not a boring Moody Blues song. The album version, from the Days of Future Passed, clocks in at 8:21. The single version, released in January of 1968, is only 2:16. Get the longer album version. It’s a baroque pop masterpiece.
Moody Blues’ lead singer, Justin Hayward, wrote this song on his guitar while sitting in a field on a sunny afternoon. He claims the tune just came to him. The orchestra part of “Tuesday Afternoon” is performed by the London Festival Orchestra and arranged by Peter Knight.
“Nights In White Satin”
“Nights In White Satin” is probably the Moody Blues’ most famous song. Like “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Nights In White Satin” comes in multiple varieties. There are two singles versions and another one from the album. Once again, download the track that appears on the album (Days of Future Passed). It’s 7:38 but contains all the great orchestra parts and the poem (“Late Lament”).
The song was written by Hayward when he was 19 after a girlfriend gave him a gift of satin sheets. Graeme Edge composed the poem and it’s spoken by keyboardist Mike Pinder. Graeme is still a part of The Moody Blues and their concert tours, Pinder is not.
The string parts during the main body of the song are not from an orchestra but from Pinder’s keyboards. The string sound he produces is known as the “Moody Blues sound.” The symphonic part in the second half of the song was performed by The London Festival Orchestra.
“The Story In Your Eyes”
The Moody Blues released “The Story In Your Eyes” in 1971. It’s found on the studio album Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. This is an upbeat tune with a pronounced guitar riff. Still, the song employs that famous Moody Blues sound. In fact, it’s the last Moody Blues single to use a Mellotron.
Of all the songs on this list, “The Story In Your Eyes” sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. In fact, Fountains of Wayne covered the song in 2010. It was written by Justin Hayward.
“Ride My See-Saw”
“Ride My See-Saw” was the first U.K. rock single to be made on an 8-track tape multi-track recording machine. The song, from the album In Search for the Lost Chord, was written by John Lodge. It was released in 1968.
Often, you’ll hear this song coupled with the track “Departure,” a short spoken-word/soundscape. “Departure” begins the album and leads right into “Ride My See-Saw.” A hardy laugh overlaps the end of one and the beginning of the next.
“Ride My See-Saw,” with its thick vocal track, sounds a little dated, but it’s so unique and innovated we had to include it. They don’t write songs like this anymore. The Moody Blues often end their live shows with “Ride My See-Saw.”
“Lovely To See You”
“Lovely To See You” is the only song on our list that was not released as a single. Don’t worry, you can still download it from iTunes. The track is from the 1969 album On The Threshold of a Dream and is widely considered the LP’s most popular song. It too was written by Justin Hayward.
“Lovely To See You” is a fast-paced, feel-good tune that will get stuck in your head (in a good way). It’s also one of the group’s most straight-forward songs. By that we mean it doesn’t need a 50-peice orchestra. The band uses this song to kick off most Moody Blues concerts. You need it to kick off your Moody Blues music collection.