Archive for Graeme Edge

Your Big Sister’s (Record) Rack: “In Search Of The Lost Chord,” Moody Blues

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by 30daysout
Chick with record player

Nobody's big sister, that's for sure.

That’s not my big sister up there … I don’t have a sister and in fact I was the eldest child in my family.  Growing up in the 1960s, and hitting my teenage years in the summer of 1968, I was in a position to be the big brother who was knowledgeable about music.  And in fact my younger brothers did indeed “borrow” my albums – my first hope is that they learned something, and my second hope is that one day they will return them.

Ha, ha.  A little levity is in order, because today we’re talking about the Moody Blues.  Just their name implies gloominess – or at least moodiness – but in fact these guys were quite enjoyable and upbeat back in the day.  In 1968 everything was pretty heavy: that was the year of RFK, MLK, the Watts riots, etc.  The Beatles were trying to make it In_search_of_the_lost_chordbetter for Jude, the no-longer-Young Rascals were saying people got to be free and the Jefferson Airplane’s newest album (Crown of Creation) pictured the group in an atomic fireball.   The Moodies were sort of psychedelic Lite – their breakthrough album (from ’67) was Days of Future Passed, with an orchestra no less.  “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights In White Satin” from that LP got played enough on the radio to hook us all on the Moody Blues.

When In Search Of The Lost Chord came along in 1968, they just gave us more of the Moody sound – only without that pesky orchestra.  The Moodies were their own orchestra, overdubbing their voices and instruments using a device called a mellotron, a keyboard instrument that plays back pre-recorded sounds from tape (now that job is done by a synthesizer).  British musician Mike Pinder worked for the company that made these instruments, and after he introduced it to the Beatles (who used the mellotron on Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Pinder joined the Moody Blues.

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