CLEARWATER - The Moody Blues, still rocking in 2014 with original members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge, have announced a major national tour in conjunction with the recent release of Timeless Flight (UME).
The tour includes a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Tuesday, March 25, at 8 p.m. A complete list of tour dates and more information are available at www.MoodyBluesToday.com.
Timeless Flight, the definitive, career-spanning collection was released in 2013 in both 17-disc and four-CD configurations. The 17-disc set is housed in an LP-sized hardbound slipcase and includes 11 CDs of digitally re-mastered album tracks, previously unreleased mixes as well as outtakes and complete concert recordings. The four-CD boxed anthology culls audio highlights from the larger collection, including standout album tracks, singles and B-sides, previously unreleased mixes as well as concert and radio performances.
The band has released 24 albums in a career spanning nearly five decades. They have sold more than 70 million albums, earning 18 platinum discs and all manner of awards including Playboy “Group of the Year”, the “Golden Ticket” award for selling the most tickets at Madison Square Garden and an Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music; the band has even appeared in an episode of The Simpsons.
Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, England, The Moody Blues came from the same gene pool that would give the world Traffic, the Move, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Slade. The band’s original line-up of Denny Laine, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder scored a global No. 1 hit with Go Now, but was unable to follow up on that success. Warwick and Laine left the group, to be replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward, respectively, in 1966. For the next few months, the band crafted a new set of original compositions that would change their fortunes.
Drastically re-thinking their musical approach, the band began to compose new material in a uniquely different style. Eager to recoup some of the money they had invested in the band, Decca asked The Moody Blues to record a rock version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony to demonstrate a new stereo system they were launching known as ‘Deramic’ sound.
Instead, the Moodies, along with producer Tony Clarke, used the orchestral settings for a suite of their own songs, which resulted in Days Of Future Passed, featuring the signature song Nights In White Satin. The groundbreaking album heralded the era of the concept album and detailed sleeve artwork that would epitomize the Progressive Rock movement that followed.
This proved a turning point for the band and they soon became acknowledged masters of lushly orchestrated psychedelic rock and trailblazers in the use of the mellotron, which they used both live and in the studio to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra.
Era defining albums such as In Search Of The Lost Chord, On The Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question Of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Sojourn followed. The Moody Blues have continued to release albums and tour through the years, thrilling audiences with their live shows all over the world.
“I suppose that it is our songs, and the way we interpret them, that has seen us travel so far,” said Justin Hayward. “It means so much to us that some of our recordings have really meant something to people.”
Tickets are priced at $125, $85 and $65 and available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office, by calling 727-791-7400 and online at www.RuthEckerdHall.com. Pre-show dining is also available. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and one hour prior to show time.