Did You Ever Realize…

Did You Ever Realize…

Video of the Week: ‘Shape of You’–How Ed Sheeran Made 2017’s Biggest Track


best moodies

If you’ll pardon a little subjective “homerism”…my favorite band of all will be 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and, well, I’m very pleased about it.

My now-deceased oldest brother passed the music of the Moodies on to me at a formative age, as he did so many other works of music and literature. I owe the love of my favorite band and my favorite book–The Lord of the Rings–to brother Jim.

And somehow the two intertwined in my fertile child’s imagination and have remained that way ever since. The pastoral, flute-and-mellotron infused progressive rock of the Moodies’ halcyon days (1967-72) is strewn with a beauty, a very English sensibility and a wide-eyed wonder that spoke to my innocent heart, and seemed somehow to conjure the same fantasy worlds as the imagery of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

“Voices in the Sky” (1968)


When I read years later that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were major inspirations for the band’s music of this period, I knew for the first time that it wasn’t just my imagination. It was theirs. My favorite band was inspired by my favorite author. It wasn’t coincidence that I found echoes of one in the other.

Whether huddled in a quiet corner of the house or front porch absorbed in the adventures of the Fellowship, or lying on my bedroom floor poring over wondrous album artwork and lyric sheet while amazing music swirled in the headphones, these kindred works of otherworldly beauty and wonder formed the bedrock of my taste in both music and literature. I have measured so much of what I’ve discovered since by the imaginative standard set by Tolkien and the Moody Blues.


I’m glad they are finally receiving this overdue honor, and while they are all still with us.

Additionally I’m excited at the prospect (although I’ve heard no discussion in this regard) of the classic lineup reforming to perform at their induction. Flutist Ray Thomas retired at the end of 2002 due to illness and keyboardist Mike Pinder, who gave the band its trademark symphonic rock sound with his Mellotron wizardry, hasn’t performed with the group since the 70’s.

“Are You Sitting Comfortably” (1969)

If they indeed take the stage together once more, a fragment of my childhood will be restored for a moment, even as I witness with sadness my heroes in the sunset of their performing years–always, always the bittersweet experience of the dedicated long-time fan; always an essential part of the epic. Just like the epilogue of The Lord of the Rings.

“You Can Never Go Home” (1971)

From the Moodies website:

Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 13, 2017)—The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced this morning that rock legends The Moody Blues will be inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.  Current members Justin Hayward (lead guitar, vocals), John Lodge (bass guitar, vocals) and Graeme Edge (drums);  will receive the honor alongside former members Ray Thomas (flute/vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboard/mellotron/vocals).  The Moody Blues are one of five 2018 Inductees including Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits and Nina Simone,.  Award for early Influence goes to Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  The 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Klipsch Audio, will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Induction Ceremony will be televised on HBO, and a radio broadcast on SiriusXM.

Says Justin Hayward:  “I’m extremely grateful to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, first for creating the supreme temple to all that has brought endless joy into my life since I was a small boy, and now, after all these years, for including us.  It’s a privilege to be celebrated in the same building, on the same street even, as my own heroes – Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers – and now, at last, with us, my heroine Nina Simone.  But all the thanks must go to The Moody Blues fans for giving us a wonderful, wonderful life in music – our induction has now validated the music they so love, and I’m so, so pleased, for us all. Yippee!”

Says John Lodge:  “The fans are the heart of the Moody Blues — their faith, support and love have moved mountains. Their voices have been heard, and I am proud to say, “we have been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”  Thank you to American Radio for keeping the faith in the Moody Blues, and to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame for our induction.”

Says Graeme Edge:  “I want to thank all of my peers who bestowed the honor of voting us in.  Most of all, I’d like to thank all of our fans who have supported us over the years, and have steadfastly stood by us.  I would also like to thank the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame foundation for putting a cap on my career;  one that continues to astonish me with its gifts.

A limited number of pre-sale tickets are available for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in advance of the public sale date. To be eligible for the member pre-sale opportunity, you must be an active Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member by December 31, 2017. Supporters of the Donor Circle by December 31, 2017 can access VIP packages and premium balcony tickets immediately. Additional public ticket details and pre-sale offers will be announced in January.

Fans can pre-order exclusive 2018 Inductee t-shirts now at rockhall.com/store and receive 18% off their order. The Rock Hall store is also offering fans 10% off regular items and free shipping for a limited time.

The Moody Blues recently announced upcoming 2018 dates of their special live tour celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their iconic, 1967 landmark album, DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED.  The tour begins on January 10 in Hollywood, Florida, continuing through January 31 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the band will complete a run of four shows at the Wynn Las Vegas.  Titled DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED – 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR, the tour kicked off earlier this year, and features the band performing their greatest hits in the first half, and DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED performed in the second half.

PBS also premiered The Moody Blues’ “Days of Future Passed Live” nationwide on November 25 recorded at Toronto’s Sony Centre during this year’s DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED – 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR (check local listings);  and Ume released The Moody Blues’ DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED 50TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION on November 17.  The 2CD/DVD and digital audio deluxe edition features the album’s newly restored original 1967 stereo mix, which makes its CD debut.

The Moody Blues have been creating music that bridges the gap between rock, classical and pop-rock genres for the last five decades.  Their sound has held its ground in a genre of music that is ever-changing, and has sold in excess of 70 million albums worldwide.  The band has been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs, and their roster of hits include:  “Nights In White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Ride My See Saw,” “The Story In Your Eyes,” “Isn’t Life Strange, Question,” “I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band),” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” to name a few.

The Moody Blues’ No. 1, Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, Top 40, Multi-Platinum, Platinum and Gold albums and singles, have generated sold-out tours on a consistent basis over the course of several decades, making them one of the top-grossing album and touring bands of all time.

Songs You May Have Missed #624

Golden Smog: “Cure for This” (2006)

Golden Smog, the alt-country supergroup made up of members of Wilco, the Jayhawks, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum among others, enjoyed a nice decade-and-a-half run beginning in the early ’90’s.

By the time of the release of Another Fine Day, the Jayhawks band members were doing most of the heavy lifting. The gentle “Cure for This” was contributed by that band’s bassist, Marc Perlman.

If you’re the parent (or grandparent) of a young child, this one should hit that special spot for you.

The Five Best Music Videos Of 2017, Ranked

(via Uproxx) by

Music is an audio-based medium (duh), but the associated visual elements also form a big piece of how we understand it. Album covers are very often our first look at an record, so they better at least start to tell the story of the album, or give listeners some inkling of what they’re in for. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Similarly, songs try to tell a story or express a feeling, so if you’re going to forever tie it to an accompanying video, the audio and the visual better mesh in a way that makes both profoundly and undeniably better. Credit where it’s due: There were plenty of videos that accomplished that in 2017, which led to a long list of candidates for this list, which, in case the headline wasn’t descriptive enough, breaks down the five strongest music videos that came out this year. There were a few that stood out among the others, though, and these are them…

Read more:

The Five Best Music Videos Of 2017, Ranked

Video of the Week: Score Your Next Horror Film with the Apprehension Engine

Songs You May Have Missed #623

Todd Snider: “Beer Run” (2003)

Todd Snider’s live albums, with their combination of stoner-fied storytelling and folk songwriting chops, call to mind Arlo Guthrie. This version of “Beer Run”, recorded on the Bob and Tom show, is good inebriated fun.

Songs You May Have Missed #622

Supergrass: “Seen the Light” (2002)

3-chord punk pop was a thing in both Britain and America in the 90’s. The difference is that, whereas bands like the Clash, the Jam and the Sex Pistols may have influenced bands on both sides of the big pond, British pop punks of the 90’s additionally had a strain of Madness in their DNA…along with some Kinks and Small Faces. And Supergrass is the result. Sort of the English Green Day. Sort of.

Songs You May Have Missed #621

Moby Grape: “8:05” (1967)


1960’s San Francisco band Moby Grape were the epitome of a perfect democracy–or perhaps a hippie commune. Every member sang. Every member contributed material. And that material was more diverse than their pigeonholing as a psychedelic band would suggest.


Their catalogue shows off a variety of influences: blues, folk, country and straight-ahead three-guitar rock, often ornamented by four-part harmonies. “8:05”, from their much-hyped 1967 debut, shows their acoustic country rock side.

The band were short-lived due to personal issues and poor management. Like the innocence of hippie 60’s San Francisco, they basically washed out by the end of the decade; their chapter in rock history is perhaps a perfect microcosm of the story of the summer/bummer of love.

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