Moody Blues/Octave

Advertisement


Moodyjoe wrote at 2014-11-30 11:17:16
Tracy has it pretty much spot on



Decca Records had more or less 'ordered' the band back together after 'Caught Live Plus Five' had sold well, thus the band was not really in any proper shape to reform - Mike was least keen.



The troubles that befell them, studio fire, landslides, etc seemed a portent of doom re the project, plus Tony and Mike's marital problems too...



the songs were only partly new - Mike's one contribution dated back to 1976 around the time of 'The Promise' solo album, while Ray's two songs sound very 'solo' efforts, and Justin's 'Top Rank Suite' also seems very much a 'solo' type song as opposed to one of his 'Moodies songs'



For me the last three songs on each side of the album 'flow' beautifully but the first two on each side sound somewhat disjointed as if the album is partly 'thrown together' with the band only properly finding it's feet part way through the project



Mike dropped out of the sessions midway through, tho' probably he is on; 'Steppin in A Slide Zone' (the intro sounds very much like Mike), 'Driftwood' (he is credited as playing on that track), 'I'll Be Level With You'(the instrumental climactic ending sounds very much like Mike's work), 'Survival', 'The Day We Meet Again' (which was cut first) & of course his own song...



Mike probably was involved with Justin's 'Had To Fall in Love' even tho' he had difficulty putting any keyboards to it (some subliminal keyboard work is featured) so later talk of his contribution to the album being minimal is probably incorrect.



Tony Clarke's majestic production work gives the finished product a 'Moodies sheen' that helps unify a rather disjointed in places work



The album sold exceedingly well, slicing effortlessly through punk's (supposed) domination in the UK to chart highly even though all was not well in the group at the time



Mike later said 'Octave' was an album he just didn't believe in...however with the Moodies classics; 'Driftwood', 'The Day We Meet Again', 'Survival', and Mike's superb swansong; 'One Step Into The Light' plus John's 'Slide Zone' the album IS in truth very strong on excellent songs


Moody Blues

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Tracy Zimmermann

Expertise

I’m pretty confident that I can answer just about any question about the band or their music you may have. I’ve been a fan since 1972 and have followed their careers (collectively and as solo artists,) closely ever since. In addition, I've amassed a vast database on all things Moody - from "completest" discographies for the band and all of their solo projects, to extensive bibliographies, videographies, posterfiles, etc. I have an extensive collection of memorabilia; both group and related solo projects. My collection includes vinyl, CDs, tapes (cassette, 8-track, and reel,) posters, shirts, sheet music and songbooks, back stage passes, magazines, books and other publications, equipment, and video. If I don’t know it, I know where to find it. All you have to do is ask!

Experience

I’ve been a fan of the band since 1972. I was a contributing editor to "Higher and Higher", the Moody Blues Magazine 1994, to the magazine’s untimely demise in 2007, writing the Videography Department.

Publications
As noted previously, much of my writing has appeared in “Higher and Higher” since 1994, but I also wrote a piece that appeared in issue #1 of Mike Pinder’s newsletter “Have You Heard”.

Education/Credentials
Though I haven’t yet finished, my educational focus is on a Journalism degree.

Awards and Honors
I've also had the good fortune to have traveled to England to catch the end of the Band's Spring 2000 concert tour; a trip I've always wanted to take. I’ve supplied research information on the band to a number of sources, including the July 5, 2004 English Quiz Show “Mastermind” which featured a contestant whose expertise was also the Moody Blues. I also participated in the UK Channel 4 presentation of the “Top Ten” program's episode on Progressive Rock, that featured the Moody Blues at #3 on their list. That program aired on March 3, 2001.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.