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Hayward & Lodge - Blue Jays CD (album) cover

BLUE JAYS

Hayward & Lodge

 

Crossover Prog

4.15 | 74 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The years 1967-1972 produced seven classic albums of THE MOODY BLUES and had not given much time to have a break. After The Seventh Sojourn the band didn't exactly break up, but the members felt the need to have some distance from each others. (An anecdote tells how they used to give numbers to their jokes: -"Number eight." - "Hahahaha...") The most prolific song-writer Justin Hayward however started to feel the urge to get back into the recording studio, so he stayed at Mike Pinder's home in Los angeles hoping to make some music together. Soon also John Lodge and the producer Tony Clarke wanted to join, which made Pinder to withdraw from such re-grouping. The long and winding process resulted in an album that definitely deserves its place in the MB legacy.

Additional musicians were hired from groups of the Moodies' own label Threshold, dor example string players from the American Providence. The one thing that clearly separates Blue Jays from the MB output is the absence of Pinder, Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge. Clarke is again a master as the producer, and the orchestrations for three songs were written by Peter Knight, the man they worked with on Days of Future Passed.

Over half of the songs are by Hayward whose song-writing pen was in good shape. The duo shares credits for two songs, of which 'Remember Me (My Friend)' Clarke edited down to 3½ minutes from the original nine minutes. Lodge's own compositions are 'You', ''Saved by the Music' and 'Maybe', all rather romantic songs but in my opinion slightly from the better end of his output. No, nothing as gorgeous as e.g. 'Candle of Life' (1969) but at this time the vintage Moody Blues magic was of course more or less left behind.

The whole album's atmosphere is soft and emotional, but not commercially sentimental as the latter day Moody Blues tend to be. The oroginal album release was followed by the single 'Blue Guitar'. Hayward's basic track is a collaboration with the 10cc musicians, dating from 1973. That laid-back, dreamy song is naturally included in the album's CD release. Even with the absence of the original quintet's synergy and many-sidedness in song-writing, Blue Jays beats almost anything released as the Moody Blues since their comeback album Octave (1978). Before Octave each member released solo album or two. Only Justin Hayward has made a considerable solo career, starting with a good album Songwriter (1977).

Matti | 4/5 |

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