Friday, July 26, 2013

in search of the lost chord

The Moody Blues broadened their musical horizons with the cosmic mysticism of this exploratory concept album.  After their fusion of rock and classical music on 'Days of Future Passed', the band decided to record their next album 'In Search of the Lost Chord' without outside musicians.   Mike Pinder remembers:    "When I was very young I heard a piece of music by Duke Ellington called 'Mood Indigo'. I really liked the music, but I liked the name of it even better, and it just stuck with me. Something like that I'll just always remember. Another piece of music that I heard when I was about five was by Jimmy Durante, and it was called 'Tin The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord'. That stuck with me too. That became an album for us in 1968 called 'In Search of The Lost Chord'. So you have that early childhood memory that stuck with me and the whole idea of the myth of the Lost Chord." 

Every member of the band wrote songs for the album. As with the previous album, the sessions were produced by Tony Clarke at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London for Deram Records and featured Justin Hayward on vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, sitar, harpsichord, piano, mellotron, bass guitar, percussion, and tablas; John Lodge on vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, cello, tambourine, and snare drum; Graeme Edge on vocals, drums, piano, timpani, tambourine, tablas, and spoken vocal; Ray Thomas on vocals, C flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone, oboe, french horn, and tambourine; and Mike Pinder on vocals, mellotron, piano, harpsichord, acoustic guitar, cello, autoharp, bass guitar, and tambura.   John Lodge reveals:   "What happened the recordings were going along, and it’s very difficult to imagine this today...we recorded 'Days Of Future Passed' on a four track machine. The whole album was done on a four track machine. 'In Search Of The Lost Chord', except for the vocals on “Ride My See Saw”, all that was done on a four track machine as well. We had an eight track machine come in at the very end of the sessions and we did all the vocals on an eight track machine."

'In Search of the Lost Chord' found its way to number thirty-seven in Canada, thirty in Germany, twenty-three in the US, and number five in the UK.  Hayward considers the album a turning point for the band:  "I suppose I remember being part of something that I thought was going to last forever and get bigger and bigger and bigger and take over the world -- the fact that we were musicians in such a place. Looking back now, it just seems incredibly fortunate to be the right age at the right time at the right place, in that time, in that part of London. I know that most groups then were looking to America. The British rock and roll scene was very, very strong then. The Beatles were always our leader. They were streets ahead of the rest of us.  It was fortunate for us that we went to America in 1968. You had Bill Graham, FM radio was starting, and we were making the kind of music that was kind of non-commercial. We weren’t making hit singles like a lot of people still tend do, all the time, in the UK. We kind of rejected that. And in the end that turned out to be the best move we ever made, quite unconsciously. We just wanted to make albums. With the first album, we developed a taste for it, and from then on, we just wanted to make albums. We were very lucky that our integrity set us in good stead in the UK and then America."

'Ride My See-Saw' floated to number sixty-one in the US, forty-two in the UK, thirty-three in Canada, and number sixteen in the Netherlands.

'Voices in the Sky' floated to number twenty-seven in the UK.

'Legend of a Mind' was inspired by counter culture guru Timothy Leary.  This promotional video was filmed  at Groot-Bijgaarden Castle near Brussels in Belgium.

'A Simple Game' was a non-album b-side that was included on subsequent re-issues.

'In Search of the Lost Chord'

full album:

Side A
(Writers) Lead vocals
1. "Departure"   Graeme Edge Graeme Edge (narration) 0:44
2. "Ride My See-Saw"   John Lodge John Lodge, Ray Thomas, Justin Hayward, Mike Pinder 3:38
3. "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume"   Ray Thomas Ray Thomas 2:58
4. "House of Four Doors"   Lodge John Lodge 4:13
5. "Legend of a Mind"   Thomas Ray Thomas 6:37
6. "House of Four Doors (Part 2)"   Lodge John Lodge 1:42
Side B
1. "Voices in the Sky"   Justin Hayward Justin Hayward 3:30
2. "The Best Way to Travel"   Mike Pinder Mike Pinder 3:12
3. "Visions of Paradise"   Hayward, Thomas Justin Hayward 4:15
4. "The Actor"   Hayward Justin Hayward 4:39
5. "The Word"   Edge Mike Pinder (narration) 0:49
6. "Om"   Pinder Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas 5:47

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