Music » Livewire

The Moody Blues

Sunday, July 22, at the Plain Dealer Pavilion at Nautica.

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I'm attached to the Moody Blues. I studied the violin throughout childhood. The first nonclassical album given to me was the Moodies' 1967 opus, Days of Future Passed. An appropriate gift, it's the first record to meld rock music with a symphony orchestra in an interdependent way -- and quite successfully. The LP spawned two massive hits: "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon." Both are radio mainstays.

Prior to the LP's release, the Moody Blues were just another English beat group copping riffs from Motown and American R&B. Afterward, heads considered them progenitors of prog rock, psychedelia, and concept albums.

When those things turned stale in the '70s, the Moodies fell silent for several years, only to stage an unexpected comeback in the mid-'80s with pop hits like "Your Wildest Dreams" and "I Know You're Out There Somewhere."

An equally successful third act has so far eluded the group -- now down to the trio of singer and guitarist Justin Hayward, bassist John Lodge, and drummer Graeme Edge. But they seem content to tour the States every summer, performing all their hits for boomers, classic-rock junkies, and maybe a few orchestra nerds who grew up studying the violin.

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