The Contributions of the Moody Blues

The Early Days

The Moody Blues debited their act in 1964 and they have toured longer than almost any other band in the history of music. The band was founded in when Michael Pinder, Graeme Edge, and Ray Thomas decided to form a band with Denny Laine. John Lodge nearly became one of the original Moody Blues, but he decided to finish college and Clint Warwick was chosen as bassist. The band was originally a rhythm and blues ensemble that wore blue suits at their performances. "Go Now" was the first hit of the band, featuring Denny Laine's somber and distinctive voice. In 1966 Clint Warwick and Denny Laine decided to leave the band, so John Lodge decided to join the band since he had just completed his engineering degree. The band placed an advertisement in The Melody Maker and Justin Hayward was the lucky man who got the job. Justin became the lead vocalist and guitarist of The Moody Blues, thus changing the direction and the shape of the band.

I love the Moody Blues.
I love the Moody Blues.

The Moody Blues Music:

Nights In White Satin: Only Writers Can Think of Titles Like This!

When Justin joined the band the Moodies continued to perform their regular rhythm and blues songs without much success. One night a concert goer came back to the dressing room and the Moodies were excited and thought he wanted an autograph. However, he proceeding to tear the Moodies apart and told them that he had wasted his money taking his wife to their concert. From that point forward the Moodies decided they needed to only perform songs they wrote, which put the band on an entirely new path. Gradually the band gathered a niche following by only writing and performing their own material.

After the fall of Disco in the early eighties, few people realized that the Bee Gees were responsible for writing many famous songs for other performers. Unlike many bands who use other people's work, The Moody Blues have always wrote their own songs and perform what they truly believe in. Some of their critics accuse them of being bombastic, but at least we know the Moodies are who they are and not anyone else. Justin Hayward, the lead guitarist and singer, has mentioned in interviews that he admires other bands, such as Foo Fighters, who write write and perform their own songs. Justin Hayward penned one of the most famous song Nights In White Satin when he was only 19 and sitting on his bed one night. Hayward said this song was about the end of one great love affair and the beginning of another, but he also admits that the words truly only have meaning to him. In many interviews Hayward has said that songs come to him when he is just sitting around and playing with his guitar.

Mike Pinder was also a prolific writer for the Moodies and his songs tended to have more of a other worldly feel to them, such as Melancholy Man and The Voyage. Ray Thomas and John Lodge have also tried their hand at writing some songs that have gone on to be very famous. Ride My See-saw was one of the most famous songs for John, and Timoth Leary is Deadis one of the most famous songs written by Ray Thomas. Thomas joked in an interview that Timothy Leary said the song made him much more famous than he had ever wanted to be. Graeme Edge has written several poems that have been recited by Mike Pinder and himself on several of the Moodies albums, but for the most part he has played drums and not contributed to the writing process. Many people may love or hate The Moody Blues, but they are truly gifted men that always perform material they write and believe in.

The Pinder/Moody Split

Mike Pinder claims that The Moody Blues have changed their style since Michael Pinder left the band in 1978, which has resulted in the release of more poppy songs such as In Your Wildest Dreams, English Sunset, and I Know You Are Out There Somewhere. In 1974 the Moody Blues had taken a performing hiatus and each of the musicians recorded some of their own work. During this time period Mike Pinder moved to the United States and married a Californian woman. When the band reunited to record Octave in 1978, there was one disaster after another, resulting in Pinder not wanting to continue with the band. Pinder says he has no hard feelings and that he is sorry if he hurt Graeme Edge's feelings with a remark he once made, but Pinder has never reunited with the band. Pinder claims their style has become more poppy over the years, and we can see the difference in the pre and post Pinder songs. Pinder and the other Moodies are all great performers and gentlemen, so one can see it was more creative differences than overblown egos that created the split. The Moodies are one of the few bands that have weathered the loss of members as well as they did. The Moodies are magical to watch and I suggest you check out some of their music.

Touring in America:

The Moody Blues have retained a popular fan base by touring in America. The Moodies enjoy touring and have remained true to their roots, and many people look forward to their concerts each year. They are the type of band that you can listen to on the radio, CD, or at a concert. Over forty years of touring and performing has proved that the Moody Blues have a wonderful track record and continue to have a large fan base. Hayward has always been known for his lead voice and guitar, but one can only truly have experienced The Moody Blues by hearing Ray's flute and John's bass in concert. Both of these men are tremendously talented and have shaped music in their own ways.

A Night at the Red Rocks concert was broadcasted on PBS back in 1992. This concert included The Moody Blues using the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which allowed them to recreate many of the songs heard on earlier albums, such as Days of Future Past. This concert was so popular and resulted in the Moodies being asked to perform many other concerts with other orchestras in the United States. This lasted for about seven years, but the Moodies have returned to just performing on their own.

The Moody Blues Today

Ray Thomas left the band in 2002 because he wanted a break, and was replaced by Norda Mullen. Mullen is one of the most accomplished flutist in the rock business, and she is a joy to watch in concert. Thomas's deep tenor voice is deeply missed and no one will ever be able to perform Legend of a Band, but Mullen makes a beautiful and magical addition to the band.  Ray Thomas fans will be happy to know he has created a new website and is selling his remastered solo album From Might Oaks.

The Moody Blues are still going strong and have completed another tour here in the US and and have an upcoming tour in Britain and Europe this autumn. Here is a clip from The Moodies playing at Pechanga thanks to the wonderful fans posting at youtube. In June 2008 The Nights In White Satin-The Trip debuted at the Hard Rock Park at Mrytle Beach in South Carolina, which was a commemoration of this classic hit song. The Moody Blues have remained true to their roots by always writing songs they truly believe in and their hardcore fans will love them for this a hundred years after they play their final concert.

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Comments 29 comments

Birdie 8 years ago

Very nicely done site! Two thumbs up!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for the comment Birdie! :)


DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

My dear I've been waiting for you to preach the Moody Blues over at my RnR Hall of fame HUB!!!!  http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Artists-Most-Eligible-...

This is so great!

Your Wildest Dreams was when i was in HS!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks DJ Funktual! This hub has been here for a few weeks, but just today it is beginning to get comments.


DJ Funktual profile image

DJ Funktual 8 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

Friends helping friends.   no biggie.

I must admit I thought you were gonna make a much bigger argument at the Hall of fame one.

Our last convo about them was classic.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes that last conversation was really fun and thought provoking for me.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

It seems that some awesome bands like the Moody Blues were often overshadowed by other, more popular bands. What really makes me a fan is their staying power. 40+ years in Rock & Roll is something to admire. That is a Hard life to live through, let alone hang so long. Thanks for remembering this great group.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for leaving a comment C.S. Alexis. The Moody Blues have been my favorite band every since I can remember because this is the music my mother listened to. My sisters are vaguely familiar with it because my mom listened to them all the time, but they prefer modern bands, whereas I love the Moody blues. My favorite band of all time and I do want them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

One of my favorite bands, sweetiePie! Versatility, and longevity are hallmarks of a great band.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I am glad to hear from someone who also appreciates the Moody Blues. I admire them because they write their own songs too, which is not something many band can say. Thanks for commenting rmr.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

I realize I'm a couple years late commenting here, but the Moody Blues always were the most important band in my life. From the time I was a teenager, they were the soundtrack to my life. A few years ago my brother died of cancer, and a few months before he died, we got on the front row of a Moody Blues concert and he had a blast!

If it weren't so late, I would pop in a MB CD right now.

Thanks for remembering this overlooked band that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Mike,

It is never to late to comment on any article or hub in my opinion :). I love the Moody Blues, and I am always happy to hear about others who enjoy it too!


Fab Al 6 years ago

All I can say is: In Search of the Lost Chord


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Fab Al,

That was a great album!


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 6 years ago from MA, USA

I haven't been around hubpages for awhile SweetiePie because of other commitments but today is a special day for I am a year younger :) and the gifts I give myself on my birthday are some of the things from my past which I truly love and one of them are "The Moody Blues" so it is no doubt that this hub popped up just for me. "Isn't Life Strange". Thank you very much for this gift SweetiePie as I listen to this wonderful music.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Happy Birthday Dottie, and I am glad you enjoy the Moody Blues on this very special day. I wrote this hub two years ago, but I am glad it still receives a few nice comments now and then.


Phyllis Ellsworth 6 years ago

Hi SP,Super article!

I've adored The Moody Blues since I first heard them as a child in the 1960's and I am now 50 years young.

Saw them once in Concert and up front in the mid 1990's and hoping to see them again.Major Love them!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you enjoy the Moodies too Phyllis!


wilbury4 profile image

wilbury4 5 years ago from England I think?

Watched them a couple of weeks ago in Liverpool, England. Still brilliant....


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

You are lucky you were able to see this lovely group Wilbury4!


kerats profile image

kerats 5 years ago

I am a new fan of the Moody Blues and I can't believe what I have been missing out on all of these years! I love them. I can't believe that a band as inovative as the Moody Blues in constantly snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a disgrace! Thank you for a very informative article. :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Kerats,

I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just enjoys nominating people they like and such. I love the Moody Blues, so even if they are never nominated, the real fans such as us will continue to enjoy their music :).


Kezzy  5 years ago

Thanks also for your website. I don't know too many people who really dig the Moody Blues so being able to read others loves has been great. I am 54 and have just spent the morning listening to my Moody Blues LP records including In Search of a Lost Chord, Octave, Long Distance Voyager, and my very favourite and always has been, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. These I have had since before I was 17 and some from 15 years old and still play them on my Wintec turntable (I must say the only original part of the sound system) which I also purchased at that age. They have always been among my most prized possessions. I find The Moody Blues music very spiritually fulfilling and love everything about them.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Kezzy,

There are several online forums for people who enjoy listening to the Moody Blues. Mike Pinder even has a forum on his website, where he talks to fans from time to time.


Claire 4 years ago

I am listening and watching the Redrocks concert from 1992. I loooove the Moody Blues. Have since the 60's. They are a significant part of my spiritual evolution


jem 4 years ago

Been listening to the MB's since I was 10 back in the age of dinosaurs! Really, since '67. They touched my heart and soul way back when, and I still get goosebumps when I listen to them. Never been lucky enough to see them in person, but since their albums are so great, I'd probably have a coronary if I did see them. Hope they come back to the U.S. soon. If they'll come, I'll come. Just hope it's close to home here in Oklahoma. Missed them at Tulsa, and nearly cried myself to sleep! Less than 100 miles between us and I couldn't go! C'mon back guys, and let us Okies show you how much we appreciate a REAL band. Love to all.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hope you can see the Moody Blues one day as well Jem! However, there are always their concerts on video to watch and listen to. It might not be as nice as being there, but you can buy several of their best concerts on DVD, and this is almost the next best thing.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 4 years ago from West Virginia

I love The Moody Blues!! Knight's in White Satin is one of my all time favorites! Thanks for writing this.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Lady Guinevere,

Nights in White Satin will always be one of my favorite songs. I love Justin Hayward, such a beautiful voice. John Lodge, Ray Thomas, Mike Pinder, and Graeme Edge are great too, but there is just something about Justin Hayward's singing and guitar playing.

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