Saturday, December 16, 2017

On the Moodies reaching the RnRHoF

Well, it's about time!
This was really overdue.
I would have jumped on this faster, but when I read on Facebook a couple days ago that The Moody Blues had FINALLY been voted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame ... well, all I could think are the two sentences above.
I don't usually follow too closely who gets into the RnRHoF. I think it's a useless, stupid institution, since the "history" of rock and roll gets added to every day. The "Rarnhof" should be a big beer-drinking pub in Germany or Switzerland.
But I'm glad for the Moodies. I never thought they got their due, back in the day. Once upon a time, their "Classic 7" albums meant way more to me than The Beatles, or anyone else. I still think if the Moodies had been signed to a hipper, more with-it record label, they would've had more hits and sold more albums.
Don't get me wrong -- I thought Decca was great. Decca at least had enough taste to offer a home to Caravan and Camel, among others, not to mention The Rolling Stones (after turning down The Beatles). But Decca was way uptight and old school, never even as "progressive" as EMI, and nowhere near as adventurous as Vertigo, Virgin, or Harvest. Not to mention Island.
But give the Moodies credit -- they stuck with Decca, even when they could have gone elsewhere. When Decca was bought by Polygram late in the '70s, the Moodies stayed on.
The Moodies were important to me because they were the first "strange music" I ever heard, and back in high school I spent way more hours stuck under headphones listening to the Moodies than to anyone else. Because Moodies albums were trips that you could got lost in -- for hours. I many times played their "Classic 7" albums all the way through one after another, back in the days when I had time to burn. When the radio got boring, the Moodies never disappointed me.
That doesn't mean I love ALL their stuff. I think IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD is mostly dated psychedelic crap. I think most of the orchestral sections on DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED sound like bad movie-soundtrack music. I think one of their hits, "Isn't Life Strange?," is fourth-rate Bee Gees. And for most of their stuff after 1983 -- don't get me started.
But the Moodies could rock ("Story in Your Eyes," "Question," "Eyes of a Child Part 2"), or they could space you out ("Have You Heard?/The Voyage," "My Song"), or they could boggle you with a cosmic mix of the two ("You and Me"). Their later albums like LONG DISTANCE VOYAGER and THE PRESENT were at the very least good polished pop music for their time.
I know that without the Moodies and how strong their albums were, it would have taken me longer to get hooked on "strange music," and I would have been way less likely to stray from listening to the radio, no matter how bored I was. They deserve to be in the RnRHoF just for expanding my mind a bit.
Besides, when's the last time you heard any of these great overlooked Moodies songs on the radio?:
Peak Hour, Evening: Time to Get Away, Twilight Time, Simple Game, Voices in the Sky, The Actor, Lovely to See You, Send Me No Wine, Never Comes the Day, Eyes of a Child Part 2, Out and In, Gypsy, Watching and Waiting, Don't You Feel Small?, It's Up to You, Minstrel's Song, Dawning is the Day, Our Guessing Game, After You Came, One More Time to Live, You Can Never Go Home, For My Lady, You and Me, Land of Make-Believe, In My World, Meanwhile, Nervous, Veteran Cosmic Rocker, Blue World, Meet Me Halfway, Running Water, Sorry, No More Lies.
This was a choice for enshrinement in that silly, useless building in Cleveland that, for once, was well deserved.

1 comment:

R S Crabb said...


I think this year's batch of inductees might have been one of the better ones (Bon Jovi voted by their fans is the odd ball out). Sister Rosetta Tharpe one of the finest slide guitar players ever although she was more gospel than rock and Nina Simone's Phillips and RCA sides showcase some paranoid rock and roll to her tin pin alley balladry.

For the most part The Moody Blues' 7 classic albums should have gotten them in sooner had Jann Wanner got ran over the rails. Hardly anybody remembers the early Moodies when Denny Laine led them into so so r and b territory. I tend to get bored with Peter Knight's melodies to Days Of Future Passed and while In Search Of The Lost Chord might not be your favorite, it does have Ride My See Saw and Thinking Is The Best Way To Travel although Om is goofy. Thereshold Of A Dream has Lovely To See You and To Share Our Love, which the Moody Blues could rock with the best of them. Their best albums were To Our Children's etc etc etc and A Question Of Balance, the latter slips up with Melancholy Man.

After that, the cracks were beginning to show although Every Good Boy has The Story In Your Eyes and the mind blowing After You Came, to which I love the one chord jam at the end of song and You And Me off Seven Sojourn.

Octave, kinda left me cold, Mike Pinder was dropping out of the band and they were getting more into ballads although I like Had To Fall In Love and the underrated Driftwood. But side 2 had nothing of value.

The Comeback album long distance Voyager was a surprise hit despite a change of producers (Pip Williams in for Tony Clarke) and the songs blending into the next one disappeared. They were more polished (Gemini Dream Talking Out Of Turn) and Justin Hayward and John Lodge were writing most of the songs but Ray Thomas's Veteran Cosmic Rocker steals the show. In our talks, you mentioned a liking for The Present better than L.D.V. and it was probably their last good album. Never really bothered much to hear The Other Side Of Life and Sur La Mur was awful. December was a off the wall christmas album but Strange Times put me to sleep.

Still, they should have been inducted a long time ago simply of the fact that no other band sounded like them prior with Days Of Future Past. And Mike Pinder did admit one thing, he was a fan of Mantanvoni, the guy that was the inspiration for Muzak, to which if you listen closely, Pinder did echo some of Montavoni's style in songs like Enterity Road and Watching And Waiting. You might not notice it, but I do.