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Why Aren’t The Moody Blues in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

I was surprised when one YouTube comment bemoaned the fact that The Moody Blues are not in The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I checked and it is so. It’s a travesty. They were a great and important band.

Experts may scoff at my ignorance, but I always thought of them with Pink Floyd: A bit over the top, great lyrics and a deep,lush and instantly recognizable sound.

This long excerpt is from Bruce Eder’s terrific profile of The Moody Blues at AllMusic. I highly recommend the entire piece, though Bruce could use a refresher course in paragraph construction:

In contrast to America, where home stereo systems swept the country after 1958, in England, stereo was still not dominant, or even common, in most people’s homes — apart from classical listeners — in 1966. Decca had come up with “Deramic Stereo,” which offered a wide spread of sound, coupled with superbly clean and rich recording, and was trying to market it with an LP that would serve as a showcase, utilizing pop/rock done in a classical style. The Moody Blues, who owed the label unrecouped advances and recording session fees from their various failed post-“Go Now” releases, were picked for the proposed project, which was to be a rock version of Dvorák‘s New World Symphony. Instead, they were somehow able to convince the Decca producers involved that the proposed adaptation was wrongheaded, and to deliver something else; the producer, Tony Clarke, was impressed with some of the band’s own compositions, and with the approval of executive producer Hugh Mendl, and the cooperation of engineer Derek Varnals, the group effectively hijacked the project — instead of Dvorák‘s music, they arrived at the idea of an archetypal day’s cycle of living represented in rock songs set within an orchestral framework, utilizing conductor/arranger Peter Knight‘s orchestrations to expand and bridge the songs. The result was the album Days of Future Passed. (Continue Reading…)

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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