Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Moody Blues

If you have been listening to, and buying, music for more than 50 years then there are bound to be some bits that, in retrospect, leave you feeling a bit unsure of your taste and judgement. The Moody Blues were a band that I listened to a lot between around 1968-1972 - when I was in my late teens.
They were the perfect group for young men of a certain disposition. Musically essentially 'safe' but clever enough - in their pioneering use of the mellotron and their apparent multi-instrumentality. Lyrically they mixed the romantic with concerns about our inner-lives and our relationship with the planet we exploit for our own pleasure.
The Moodies were often called 'pretentious' (though Procul Harum seemed to escape that criticism). They would reply to such complaints by saying "We're not pretending. We're sincere." It was this apparent sincerity that appealed to their followers I think. There could undoubtedly be a certain pomposity about their music and manner.
Here are a couple of links which illustrate (visually and aurally) what the Moody Blues were all about. This shows them at their best and worst probably.
"New Horizons" was written and sung by guitarist Justin Hayward (who also wrote "Nights In White Satin"). There is a dreaminess about the sound and the lyrics which you have to take seriously - otherwise they are pretty embarrassing.
From the same album came Mike Pinder's "Lost In A Lost World". Pinder seemed to be the most spiritual member of the band and clearly struggled to make sense of worldly materialism. A vague Green, anti-capitalist element was always evident in his songs.
I can't imagine spending much time listening to this music in whatever years I have left. I know it pretty much note-for-note and as such it may be comforting in the way that sedatives can be. I don't really want that sort of medicine just yet, thank you nurse!