Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Moody Blues - The Magnificent Moodies (1964-66 uk, awesome beat rhythm and blues, 2014 anniversary deluxe double disc edition)

An album of scruffy gumption and R'n'B grit, The Magnificent Moodies doesn’t sound anything like the symphonic prog that hurtled the Moody Blues to fame. Instead, it reflected an up-and-coming five-piece still coming into their own, playing a selection of smart covers and not-quite-fully formed originals that reflected the Moody Blues’ stage show at the time.

Ray Thomas, John Lodge and Mike Pinder – the nucleus of the Moody Blues for years to come – were members of an earlier teen outfit called El Riot and the Rebels. That group disbanded when Lodge went to college. Pinder and Thomas then recruited future Wings star Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and the late bassist Clint Warwick to form the initial lineup of the Moody Blues, after a brief stint as the Krew Cats.

The Moody Blues appeared for the first time on stage in 1964, and released their debut, The Magnificent Moodies, in July 1965. Produced by ex-Decca A&R man Alex Wharton, the project was preceded by a scorching update of Bessie Banks’ 1964 single “Go Now,” which launched the Moody Blues to the top of the U.K. charts and a Top 10 Billboard finish.

Not that the band had those kind of lofty designs at first. “We were going through these singles, there were all sorts, and we came across ‘Go Now,'” Ray Thomas said in 2013, after an expanded reissue of Magnificent Moodies was announced. “It had Bessie Banks singing on it, which was a lot slower, a lot lighter, but we thought it was the right song. The Marquee [in London’s Soho district] was just starting to build their studio in the back of the club, and we said, ‘Can we go in and record it?’ and they said, ‘The studio is not finished, the control room is, but the builders are still in there.’ There were bags of plaster; there was ladders, spades, shovels, picks, scaffolding – you name it. So we said, ‘Oh, we’ll go in after the workmen are finished for the day.’ And so we went in at night and recorded it. If you saw us climbing out of the bloody building material to get to the microphone and all this – but you know, it worked out.”

In fact, “Go Now” remains the Moodies’ lone chart-topping smash, but it couldn’t hold the group together. The Magnificent Moodies, which was rounded out with covers of songs by James Brown, the Gershwin brothers and four new originals by the team of Laine and Pinder, didn’t perform very magnificently at all. While it reached No. 5 on the New Musical Express chart, the album was completely ignored in the U.S.

A string of similarly unsuccessful singles followed, as the U.K.’s R&B craze faded. Within the year, both Denny Laine and Clint Warwick had departed, leading to the arrival of Justin Hayward and a return by John Lodge. By 1967, they’d rebuilt their sound, too. The platinum-selling Days of Future Passed placed the Moody Blues at the leading edge of the looming progressive-rock movement. “Justin is a good ballad singer,” Thomas said. “I don’t think we would have had the success that we ended up having if we hadn’t changed.”
by Nick DeRiso
Disc 1
1. I'll Go Crazy (James Brown) - 2:11
2. Something You Got (Chris Kenner) - 2:52
3. Go Now (Larry Banks, Milton Bennett) - 3:12
4. Can't Nobody Love You (Phillip Mitchell) - 4:02
5. I Don't Mind (James Brown) - 3:27
6. I've Got A Dream (Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry) - 2:52
7. Let Me Go - 3:13
8. Stop - 2:06
9. Thank You Baby - 2:29
10.It Ain't Necessarily So (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) - 3:21
11.True Story - 1:45
12.Bye Bye Bird (Sonny Boy Williamson) - 2:53
13.Lose Your Money (But Don't Lose Your Mind) - 1:59
14.Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker) - 2:14
15.Go Now! (First Version) (Larry Banks, Milton Bennett) - 3:49
16.It's Easy Child (Gene Redd, Milton Bennett, Sue Sandler) - 3:13
17.I Don't Want To Go On Without You (Bert Berns, Jerry Wexler) - 2:46
18.Time Is On My Side (Jerry Ragovoy) - 3:03
19.From The Bottom Of My Heart (I Love You) - 3:26
20.And My Baby's Gone - 2:22
21.Everyday - 1:49
22.You Don't (All The Time) - 2:22
23.Boulevard De Madelaine.2:55
24.This Is My House (But Nobody Calls) - 2:35
25.People Gotta Go - 2:35
26.Life's Not Life - 2:35
27.He Can Win - 2:24
All songs by Denny Laine,  Mike Pinder except where noted
Tracks 1-12 Original Album
Disc 2
1. Go Now! (Second Version) (Larry Banks, Milton Bennett) - 3:53
1. Lose Your Money  (But Don't Lose Your Mind)  (Early Version) - 2:04
3. Steal Your Heart Away (First Version) (Bobby Parker) - 2:20
4. I'll Go Crazy (First Version) (James Brown) - 2:11
5. You Better Move On (Arthur Alexander) - 3:59
6. Can't Nobody Love Me (First Version) (Phillip Mitchell) - 3:31
7. 23rd Psalm (Denny Laine,  Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick) - 2:33
8. Go Now (Larry Banks, Milton Bennett) - 2:33
9. I Don't Want To Go On Without You (Bert Berns, Jerry Wexler) - 2:44
10.I'll Go Crazy (James Brown) - 1:57
11.From The Bottom Of My Heart (I Love You) - 3:25
12.Jump Back (Rufus Thomas) - 2:42
13.I've Got A Dream (Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry) - 2:42
14.And My Baby's Gone - 2:16
15.It's Easy Child (Gene Redd, Milton Bennett, Sue Sandler) - 3:06
16.Stop - 1:57
17.Everyday - 1:40
18.Interview With Ray Thomas And Graeme Edge/ You Don't (all The Time) - 3:25
19.I Want You To Know - 1:52
20.Coca Cola Commercial 1965 (Denny Laine,  Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick) - 1:04
21.Sad Song - 2:20
22.This Is My House (But Nobody Calls) (First Version) - 2:46
23.How Can We Hang On To A Dream (First Version) (Tim Hardin) - 2:16
24.How Can We Hang On To A Dream (Remake) (Tim Hardin) - 2:21
25.Jago And Jilly - 2:44
26.We're Broken - 3:12
27.I Really Haven't Got The Time (September 1966 Version) (Mike Pinder) - 3:17
28.Red Wine - 2:59
29.This Is My House (But Nobody Calls) (Stereo Mix) - 2:25
All songs by Denny Laine,  Mike Pinder except where stated
Tracks 1-7 Previously Unreleased Sessions 1964-1966
Tracks 8-17 "Saturday Club" Sessions
Tracks 21-29 The 1966 Denny Cordell Sessions

The Moody Blues
*Denny Laine – Guitars, Harmonica, Vocals
*Mike Pinder – Piano, Vocals
*Clint Warwick – Bass, Vocals
*Ray Thomas – Maraccas, Flutes, Harmonica, Tambourine, Vocals
*Graeme Edge – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Rod Clark - Bass, Vocals (Disc 2, Tracks 24-28)

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