by Robert Wilkinson
Today is another in the string of remarkable birthdays in October! From Bruce Springsteen, Mahatma Gandhi, and Groucho Marx to John Lennon, Paul Simon, and Mister Chuck Berry, Libra rocks! Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the truly remarkable musical talents of the 20th century.
Though they haven't produced a chart hit in many years, the Moody Blues created an amazing body of work in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Justin Hayward was the guitarist and songwriter who gave the world some of the most beautiful songs in the history of music.
Need a hint? "Your Wildest Dream." Need another? "Nights in White Satin." Today features a lot of videos of this amazing guitarist and songwriting engine of The Moody Blues.
A treasure trove of some of the most magnificent music ever made follows. The Moody Blues created an amazing sound unlike anything before or since. Mystical and melodic, profound and playful, this band made some of the greatest music on Earth for over 20 years. If you don't know who they were, or even if you do, today is a special treat!
(For those eagerly awaiting the second New Moon in Libra article, it'll be posted tomorrow. For now, enjoy the musical party!!)
And now, the phenomenal songs and musicianship of the great Justin Hayward!
The originals! Here’s a very early video of the Moody Blues lip synching (as was the fashion of the day) Justin Hayward's "Nights in White Satin" in 1967. From the radical experimental album "Days of Future Passed," the Summer of Love was something to experience!
From the next year comes another lip synched performance of "Nights in White Satin" from Prague, 1968, during a time of revolution in Eastern Europe.
This is very live and fantastic! Here the Moody Blues give us a great live performance of ”Nights in White Satin” from the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival.
If you want more from this legendary performance, here’s the entire 1 hr 19 min set of The Moody Blues at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival
"Tuesday Afternoon" (From "Days of Future Passed")
Justin doing a solo acoustic version of "Tuesday Afternoon" from the 1990 video, "Legend of a Band.
A live b/w performance of "Gypsy"
A b/w performance from 27 June, 1969, at Kremlin-Bicentre of the Moodies doing "Never Comes The Day"
Here's the Moody Blues performing a haunting piece of music in Jazz Bilzen-Belgium, 1969. Written by Mike Pinder, it's the final suite of "On the threshold of a dream:" "Have you heard"/"The Voyage"
A few more live performance gems:
Another live performance by Justin, not with the Moodies, of "The Actor." (From "In Search of the Lost Chord")
"Voices in the Sky" (From "In Search of the Lost Chord")
Om A live 1968 video on "Colour Me Pop" (From "In Search of the Lost Chord," written by Mike Pinder)
"Never Comes The Day," a live 1969 French video performance (From "On The Threshold of A Dream")
Ray Thomas singing "Legend of a Mind" from The Other Side of Red Rocks.
"Voices in the Sky" from the TOSORR dvd
I found several classics from the Moody Blues performing at Wembley Stadium in 1984:
Here are the Moodies in a live 1991 video performance in Montreux of “Nights In White Satin”
Here's an audio-only Rare version of "Slide Zone" by the Moody Blues live in San Diego
And now, a couple of original music videos of the last hits of this timeless band, both written by Justin:
"Your Wildest Dreams" (A short ad precedes the video)
"I Know You're Out There Somewhere" (A short ad precedes the video)
In a peculiar turn of events, I found a 1970 Paris "concert" that features their early hits. I thought it was lip synched, but found out they really did play, with the assistance of a backing track (since re-creating their studio sound would have been all but impossible given the technology of the day. No mellotrons on the road!!)
These are very close to the original studio versions of their early albums, with them looking young and beautiful, so I suppose these performances work. All these songs were written by Justin Hayward except where noted.
"Legend of a Mind." From "In Search of the Lost Chord," written by Ray Thomas. "Timothy Leary's dead, no no no no he's on the outside, looking in..." This album was the first to feature the Mellotron, which would later become one of rock's standard instruments.
"Ride My Seesaw" (from "In Search of the Lost Chord," written by John Lodge)
"Lovely To See You" (From 1969's "On The Threshold of a Dream")
"Lazy Day" (from "On The Threshold of a Dream," written by Ray Thomas)
"Are You Sitting Comfortably" (from "On The Threshold of a Dream," written by Justin Hayward and Ray Thomas)
"Gypsy" (From 1969's "To Our Children's Children's Children")
"Candle Of Life" (From "To Our Children's Children's Children" written by John Lodge)
I hope you have as much fun watching these as I did in assembling them. A truly unique band, an extraordinary talent, and a timeless joyous music unlike any other.
Happy Birthday, Justin. You're a beautiful man with a magical gift. I’ve been a fan of your music since 1967. May you live a long, long time!
© Copyright 2013 Robert Wilkinson