The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick.
They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. After some early lineup changes, the band settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge, which would stay together for most of the band's "classic era" through the late 1960s-early 1970s. Their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established the band as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock. Days Of Future Passed has been described as a "landmark" and "one of the first successful concept albums".
The Moody Blues became known internationally by recordings of songs including "Go Now", "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Question" and "Your Wildest Dreams". The band has been awarded 18 platinum and gold LP’s. The band sold 70 million albums worldwide. The Moody Blues were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Moody Blues formed in 1964 in Erdington, a suburb of Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Ray Thomas, a young John Lodge and (occasionally) Mike Pinder had been members of El Riot & the Rebels. They disbanded when Lodge, the youngest member, went to technical college and Pinder joined the army. Pinder then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats. Back from a disappointing spell in the Hamburg region a few months later, the pair recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine and band manager-turned-drummer Graeme Edge. Pinder and Thomas initially approached their former El Riot bandmate John Lodge about being the bass player, but Lodge declined as he was still in college. They instead recruited bassist Clint Warwick. The five appeared as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. The name developed from a hoped-for sponsorship from the M&B Brewery which failed to materialise, the band calling themselves both "The M Bs" and "The M B Five", and was also a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song "Mood Indigo". In an interview it was revealed that the band was named "Moody Blues" because Mike Pinder was interested in how music changes people's moods and due to the fact that the band was playing blues at the time. Around this time the band were the resident group at the Carlton Ballroom, later to become rock music venue Mothers on Erdington High Street.
The Moody Blues' "rich symphonic sound" influenced groups such as Yes, Genesis, the Electric Light Orchestra and Deep Purple. They also helped make synthesizers and philosophy "part of the rock mainstream".
The Moody Blues are members of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2013, readers of Rolling Stone Magazine voted for them as one of the ten bands that should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ultimate Classic Rock called them "perennial victims of an unaccountable snubbing" and inducted them into its own Hall of Fame in 2014.
Writing for The Guardian in 2015, Rob Chapman described the band as "psychedelia's forgotten heroes". He stated: "Despite their success, rock critics rarely took the Moody Blues seriously, a pattern that continued for the next 45 years." He also wrote: "Despite the critical disapproval, the best of the Moody Blues music between 1967 and 1970 possessed grace and beauty. Like The Beatles, they understood how pop songs worked as ensemble pieces. None of them were particularly virtuosic or showy as musicians and their music is refreshingly free of the noodling longeurs that characterised the output of their more self-indulgent contemporaries."
In December 2017, the band were announced as inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On 14 April 2018, they were inducted as part of the 2018 class. During his acceptance speech in Cleveland, OH, Justin Hayward said, "If you didn't know already, well we're just a bunch of British guys, but of course to us and to all British musicians, this is the home of our heroes and we all know that…" acknowledging the inspirational role of America's rock and roll icons. During the ceremony, Ray Thomas was included as a star that was lost in the past year.