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Life before Justin H and John L,
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This review is from: The Magnificent Moodies (Audio CD)
With future Wings man Denny Laine on guitar and lead vocals and the late Clint Warwick on bass, the first incarnation of MBs were a part of the first British blues boom. Though not as effective as the Stones, Animals, etc, they were clearly one of the most musically proficient bands of the era. By the time they made this album (1965/6), most of the band were in their mid-twenties and had done their bit around Hamburg.
Most of these recordings seem to utilise Mike Pinder's piano as the focal point, especially their sole major hit, 'Go Now'. There are a handful of Laine/Pinder songs on the album, plus several more among the fourteen bonus tracks culled from single releases. While the album is quite strong, especially 'I'll Go Crazy', 'I Don't Mind', 'Let Me Go' and 'Go Now', the bonus tracks are mostly bland. It isn't hard to see why they needed a makeover. What isn't in doubt is the quality of the recordings or the band's performances. Worth a listen if you like the genre.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Nov 2010 11:56:06 GMT
Christopher Nash says:
Although for my tastes, this is the least interesting of the Moodies' albums, this is unquestionably the finest CD presentation of ANY of them. It contains EVERYTHING the Go Now Moodies recorded. A real treasure trove.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 May 2012 13:28:30 BDT
Actually it doesn't. They also recorded "You Better Move On"n in 1964, which is rather nice but was not released at the time due to the Hollies getting their version out first. The Moodies version has since been released in a limited way but is not on this CD.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2012 13:16:58 BDT
Christopher Nash says:
Thanks for the update - I stand corrected! It's still a wonderful CD though.
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2014 16:48:22 GMT
James Mcintyre says:
the new release does contain....You better move on
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2014 17:18:05 GMT
And various other tracks recorded at the same time but never released. I am excited. My copy has been on order for months. Due this week!
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2014 19:47:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Dec 2014 21:41:46 GMT
I can't agree the bonus tracks were 'mostly bland' !
'From The Bottom of My Heart (I Love You)' was an extraordinary piece - note the 'surging' wailing banshee like vocal harmonised conclusion (anticipating the vocal backing on 'Nights in White Satin') which gets louder and louder, incredibly this complex (for 1965) single with it's stark contrasting quieter and louder passages, and interplay between lead and backing vocals, charted in the UK
The complexities of their precise vocal and instrumental work we admire so much in the 'core seven' period & thereafter was first fleshed out in these early sixties Denny Laine days...
we know their pals The Beatles certainly rated the original Moodies highly...
Their Lane-Pinder songs were always interesting - 'Boulevard de La Madeleine' (also 1965) proves 'Seventh Sojourn' & 'Sur La Mer' were not their first French titled works...and is another facsinating imaginative single with Mike Pinder anticipating his later mellotron sound here on a more folky wistful song that you could imagine a young Justin Hayward singing...
Ray Thomas flute work on 'I've Got A Dream' pointed ahead too (The Moodies along with Manfred Mann one of the first groups to feature a flute player, and later on a mellotron on their records)
Title wise it's latterly 'Life's Not Life' (not Live) which was one of the very last Denny Laine era recordings,and many of these tracks have for the era some most imaginative arrangements (probably chiefly by Mike Pinder) essentially based around the keyboards, Denny's soulful voice & those amazing wailing harmonies (already there in place even pre Hayward-Lodge as Mike, Ray, & Denny each had a vast vocal range) plus there are some intricate solos and a few unexpected tempo changes with a jazzy style approach to first R & B then later their interesting Pinder-Laine original songs
'This is My House (But Nobody calls)' is another unusual style song too, while 'You Don't (All The Time)' - a most odd title - is almost 'big band' in arrangement, note how many of their original songs are merrily upbeat in style but decidedly downbeat in lyrics re loneliness and loss - 'You Don't', 'He Can Win', 'And My Baby's Gone' (with it's strange solo - listen to this then Justin's 1967 'Fly Me High' and see the musical similarity ),'This is My House', 'Madeleine', 'Life's Not Life' etc (all pointing towards; 'Lonely man cries for love and has none'...? and the often cosmic angst of the later Moodies when Hayward came in on; 'What Am I Doing Here ?', 'Gypsy', 'Watching And Waiting', 'You Can Never Go Home' etc)
while 'Everyday' (someone finds a love THEY say...) again an odd lyric (that single charted too !) looks at the human condition - as later did 'Days of Future Passed' & many later gems (notably Ray's 'Dear Diary' etc)
their singles and 'B' sides - like; 'Lose Your Money (But Don't Lose Your Mind)' were always interesting, often very 'offbeat' indeed 'Go Now' & 'I Don't Want To Go On' (their two biggest UK hits) were probably two of the more straightforward tracks they cut during this era...
An underrated version of the band (without whom....??) The original Moody Blues were a very interesting band, vocally & instrumentally who cut some imaginative unusual songs, got the DECCA Records (UK) / London (USA) recording contract established the famous bandname (in USA & Europe too which was very important after 1966)...and first got Mike Pinder into songwriting and arranging.
....and They STILL are the only Moody Blues to have had a UK chart topping single !
all in all....a firm foundation for later glories that was quite magnificent.
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