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And even today, when my music collection is so much more than just Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and A Question of Balance, I still really love these guys. In particular, primary (at least, in the sense that the band's greatest hits were mostly done by him) vocalist Justin Hayward could make a legitimate claim to being the greatest male rock singer for about fifteen years.
Of course, Rolling Stone hates them with a passion, but that's all the more reason for me to dislike Rolling Stone. High notes, low notes, and everything in between, he had force and power that simply could not be approached by any other.
I would approach it with this sense of fear and forboding, not knowing what sound would come out of it when I played it; could be strings, could be a trumpet, maybe an oboe ...
over time moisture would buildup in it and the tapes would get warped and stretched ..." You get the idea.
It's not that Hayward was at all bad on his guitars (he's actually pretty great for what he does, and his tone was one of a kind) or Lodge on his bass (his playing, btw, is pretty underrated - listen closely to the pulsating licks in "Story in Your Eyes" and tell me there's not goodness there), and Edge was very solid on drums.
It's just these were not the primary catalysts of the group's sound.
Before I go onto the actual albums, I would like to be fair and say something negative about the band, perhaps to convince you, the reader, that I am not a totally blind devotee.
The main weakness of the Moody Blues was that their work was extremely formulaic and most definitely had a set style.
Yup, Ray might have contributed his own fair share of high falsetto harmonies, but John always sounded better at it.
I will admit that they had their share of stinkers, yes, but more often than not, they all demonstrated a total, intuitive comprehension of what a great melody should sound like.
Their 'core seven' are all filled with phenomenally beautiful songs, and even when the band changed many parts of their original style as the 80's came along, they were still able to make music which was, well, terrific in spite of itself. The arrangements were almost always gorgeous and always very different from what others were doing (more on that in a bit) and the lyrics were always profound, bombastic (if you prefer, 'overblown') and memorable.
On the other hand, though, I don't think that's a completely bad thing.
Sure, diversity is nice, but I'm not a stickler about change for change's sake. PS: Many years after writing this introduction, I've found that, while I agree with what I originally wrote, there are a couple of extra points I wish to include here (without disturbing my original ramblings).