I was very excited to see, much to my surprise, that the upcoming live concert release from the Days of Future Passed Live tour will include a vinyl release. (Amazon here). I was holding out a little bit of hope the video would see a 4k/UHD release as previous Eagle Rock titles had been out ahead of the Blu-Ray HD wave with the Lovely to See You title, but that’s ok.
It made me think that there’s a curious vinyl gap in the Moodies catalog. Over the last few years, new items have seen LP releases, including the Isle of Wight (clear vinyl!) and Collected releases. There have been a number of re-releases as well, including a million of Days (to varying degrees of quality) and even The Other Side of Life.
But after Keys of the Kingdom, vinyl fell out of favor, leaving what to me are three obvious gaps in the catalog of major releases:
- Live at Red Rocks
- Strange Times
I’ve skipped a pair of other live albums, specifically: Hall of Fame and Lovely to See You as they weren’t as “big” as Red Rocks although HoF did get the PBS treatment.
Even Keys was a limited international release, but by now if you really wanted one, you probably were able to secure a copy. So why not new releases of these catalog items on vinyl? Especially Strange Times – arguably the only complete studio album of original material never to see vinyl. Even as I hate to suggest it, a massive box set of Moodies albums on vinyl that had these 3 titles as exclusives would make me go out any buy it. Others are selling these massive catalog sets to great success, like Weird Al’s sold-out Squeeze Box.
Now that I think of it… HoF, unlike LTSY was missing a number of songs we knew were performed such as Strange Times which has never seen an official live release. So let’s get the whole Hall of Fame show as a an extended edition, too!
It seems like the Rock Hall induction might be a great opportunity to promote such an item… just sayin’.
I intend to keep this post somewhat up to date with new or upcoming releases of interest that can be had new and are not the standard usual catalog items, or are new enough folks might not be aware of them. There were definitely times in the past where I let things go by assuming I’d pick them up later – usually due to being a poor student – and then either couldn’t find them again or only by paying a lot more for them. As long as they remain available as new items they may stay on this page. Some won’t stay around for long!
New Live Album
Days of Future Passed Live [video] [CD] [LP]
Filmed in Toronto over two nights (I was at one of them and can just barely be spotted!)
Long Distance Voyagers – The Story of The Moody Blues Volume 1 (1965 – 1979) – by Marc Cushman
Norda’s Second Solo Album
Has been announced – not available yet
New single from Denny Laine
Meant to Be / Over the Horizon
An appearance by Justin
Burt Bacharach: Life in Song – Justin performs What the World Needs Now
John’s Live Album
Live From Birmingham: The 10,000 Light Years Tour – While the Pledge Music site is no longer available, the album and video are available via Amazon
My 9th grade english teacher told me, way back when, that some day, The Moody Blues would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band was still churning out the occasional new album back then, and it seemed more relevant. I’ve visited the museum in the past and it really is a pretty cool place. I was totally surprised that they were put on the list right around the same time as the 50th anniversary of DoFP, but I was so much more surprised when they were listed as an inductee. I’m happy for them, for everyone, and that’s one more off the future lists of “why on earth aren’t they in the Hall?” With luck, I’ll be there to see it happen, mostly because the whole thing sounds like a fun experience and won’t really conflict in my mind with what I think was my last Moodies concert in 2017. This isn’t a Moodies concert, it’s something else.
But I don’t believe it’s actually fair in the end to omit Patrick Moraz from the inducted lineup. It made sense to me when Denny was not initially listed. The Hall had selected a particular lineup, and if one had to select just one lineup, they had the obvious one. Including Denny, however, means a broader view of who made the Moodies the Moodies. I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s right to include Denny. But I also think it would then be right to include Patrick. He had a lot to do with their sound from Long Distance Voyager through Keys. In particular the sound of the band that “relaunched” them (for the second, third, time?) both in LDV and The Other Side of Life. If you don’t think he was a big influence I encourage you to listen to his solo works prior to joining the band. You’ll hear it, all the way down to specific synth types. I suppose one could argue that Denny helped to set up the lineup that they selected, and the Hall is ignoring the work after Seventh Sojourn. (I’m doubting you say yes to Octave if you’re the Hall but not LDV). Or, maybe it’s the nasty lawsuit. Of course, Mike has sued as well but it didn’t seem to have the same animosity from the outside. I would hope the Hall would actually sit outside the politics of any band, though. So I’m guessing it’s the former and not the later. Which I think neglects not just a large portion of the band’s output, but some of it’s most famous and endearing, depending upon your age.
In some ways it’s a little too easy to collect Moody Blues items in the internet era. Finding an official pressing of Moving Mountains was once a little tricky and meant digging around. Now of course you can take your pick of a number of them on eBay. But I don’t mind at all – some things that would have been out of reach or hard to find simply wouldn’t have come my way.
I watched the Nights In White Satin documentary (thank you, internet, for pointing me to the DVD release) and it was the first I heard of the story about the Patricia version of the song being out ahead of their own! Some quick eBay looking for a very reasonable price, a 45 was on its way from France to my door. It arrived with a post-it note signed “bonjour de France”. A simple pleasure in connecting with another music lover in another part of the world.
More often than not now the Moodies items I find worth my interest come from abroad – France, Japan, Australia, of course, the UK. I definitely get an added smile when something comes with a nice little note of thanks or sharing of an interest!
Almost unbelievably, The Other Side of Life celebrates its 30th anniversary. To “celebrate” there is a vinyl release from Friday Music. I would call it “ok.” It’s nice to have a clean stamping on a heavy piece of vinyl, but it doesn’t sound any better than the 1986 vinyl if you find one that’s in tip-top shape, so no special remastering. I find it strange that TOSOL, which did so much to bring attention and revival to the band, never got an upgrade at the 25th anniversary or now. It should be ripe for it – it was the band’s first DDD release on CD, meaning it was recorded digitally.
I would have expected it would get an SACD or similar release given the import it has in the band’s portfolio. The Core 7 got the SACD treatment, though one could argue that SACD is out of fasion. Still, in the Mobile Fidelity days, everything up through Long Distance Voyager saw the gold disc and remaster treatment, but not TOSOL.
We do have the too-expensive box set, The Polydor Years which is almost an update if you imagine TOSOL along with the live concert CD from the accompanying tour, but it’s not truly an update to TOSOL.
So, not one to raise problems without offering solutions – how about a high resolution download? I would love a high bitrate download of a FLAC or similar file. This is often the high-end solution these days in place of physical media, and it should be relatively cheap and quick to produce. And surely there’s an unreleased track or two kicking around, yes? And if I really had my wish, it’d come with that original painting with the child that was nixed by the band!
Current catalog and available merchandise
Music and Videos
www.amazon.com or any other major retailer
Mike Pinder‘s store
Tour t-shirts, mugs, etc.
http://johnlodge.com/store for 10,000 Light Years Ago merch
https://shop.justinhayward.com/ for Spirits of the Western Sky merch
Padding out the collection
I’ve used eBay for quite a while – back when if ordering from the UK I had to get a money order from the post office, send it overseas and wait for my item. Things are much different today and it’s a great way to find rare (or not!) items.
Other places to search around: