Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

In Search of the Lost Chord – Moody Blues [#625]

Drugs are bad, or so South Park’s Mr Mackey says. But as anyone who really remembers the sixties will tell you, drugs make the music go weirder and In Search of the Lost Chord pretty much demonstrates this.

The third Moody Blues album. A mix of proto-prog and fully-fledged prog laced generously with that British pop sound synonymous with the late 1960s as heard on contemporaneous bands like the Kinks and The Lemon Tree. Though many will deny they did, young, up and coming youth influencing popsters at this time were experimenting with LSD and other psychedelics, indeed, the music these artists produced was much more multidimensional than the offerings we receive from present-day artists. Moreover, music from the time often made reference to historical and literary characters, furthermore, contemporary popular ideologists and figureheads like Timothy Leary featured prominently and, indeed, hidden, within the lyrics and art produced at the time.

These days the most we can expect from popular music artists is a reference to whichever corporation they’re sponsored by and the mere mention of anything semi-political will just kill your career. Indeed, expecting a teenager these days to have a teaspoon of cultural knowledge is often as ridiculous as expecting a bus full of clowns to pull up outside your house on a rainy day in July.

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Guitar Legends – Various Artists [#563]

Guitar Legends The guitar. Some would say it is a crucial instrument in modern music. “Without guitar” they might say, “All you have is some bloke singing with drums and a keyboard.” Which is true, but as we have already heard with the likes of Morphine and Matt Howden, the guitar is merely a tool in the production of great music. However, one cannot ignore the guitar completely, especially when presented with a compilation such as today’s album.

This two disc 41 song Capital Gold compilation features some interesting choices. It starts off quite promising with songs by Queen, Derek & the Dominos (guess which song), Rainbow and even Motorhead. But by the mid-way point it drifts into a sort of smokey late eighties blues nightclub (the proper sort where you go to listen to live music and smoke not to get pissed and/or laid) where Skynrd, Frampton, Santana and Lee Hooker have been placed on the bill with later guest appearances by John Lodge & Justin Hayward, Nick Drake and the Shadows.

If, for some reason, you’ve been living in a guitar free world and you’re interested in finding out what can be done with the instrument, I suppose this is a good way to find out.

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Days of Future Passed – Moody Blues [#344]

440px-TheMoodyBlues-album-daysoffuturepassedWhen I listened to this album in its entirety for the purpose of the Music Project, I couldn’t help  but imagine some sort of Raymond Briggs style animation to accompany it. Something like The Snowman or maybe When the Wind Blows. 

Justin and his chums released this, their second album back in 1967. It is a concept album about the passage of a day culminating in the famous Nights in White Satin. 

Because of this album, some say that the Moody Blues sparked off the whole Progressive Rock movement, a questionable statement that many still argue about. Still, it’s a good starting point for anyone wanting to embark on a historical prog filled journey.

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Blue Jays – Justin Hayward & John Lodge (#206)

Blue Jays - Justin Hayward & John LodgeBlue Jays – Justin Hayward & John Lodge

Now this is more like it. Former Moody Blues members Lodge and Hayward meet, play and record this album which has all the feel of a Moody Blues album but with a kind of Bryant and May kind of folk sound undertone.

I was given this album when it failed to sell in a jumble sale at the church club I used to work at. I’m still grateful.  Such an amazing album. Prog with a message. The message? Don’t piss your fellow band members off.

Great stuff.

 

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