Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Gemini Dream" by The Moody Blues

Song#:  0629
Date:  06/06/1981
Debut:  66
Peak:  12
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  In 1972, the Moodies had their highest peaking LP in the US with "Seventh Sojourn" hitting #1. It featured the #12 single "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)." But success had its toll and with all the touring, running their own label, and other issues weighing down the band, they decided to take a break. They returned to recording in 1977 and the following year issued their return LP "Octave." The album was successful, reaching #13 and going platinum. It wasn't a smash hit, but did hint at changes in the group's direction. During the recording, one of the founding members of the group quit. Mike Pinder was the person who developed much of the group's concepts and orchestral arrangements. His absence allowed the group to evolve their sound and they began to move away from the orchestrated concepts. Their next LP, "Long Distance Voyager," was a more focused effort and it put them back in the #1 spot, becoming one of their most successful albums. It featured this lead single that just missed out on the Top 10.

ReduxReview:  As much as I like a lot of their concept/orchestra LPs and epic songs, this is one of their best tunes. It's just a solid, straight-ahead rocker and a good jam. Some balked that this was the beginning of the group heading down a synth-pop road and I do recognized it is not the sound of the earlier Moodies, but it is the sound of a group evolving and adapting. While other group's of their era like Chicago were struggling in their old, dated ways, the Moodies laid down the gauntlet with this tune and greatly succeeded. It sounds a bit dated now, but I still love it.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Formed in 1964, the early version of the Moodies was basically a blues cover band. They had success early on with the #10 "Go Now" (1965), but they didn't really like their direction and wanted to perform their own songs. An idea was presented to them to do a rock version of Dvorak's "New World Symphony." They took the project on, but ended up evolving that idea into an album of their songs done conceptually with orchestral interludes and accompaniment. The result was "Days of Future Passed" (1967) and on initial release, it wasn't a significant hit. But after they started getting hits, attention went back to the LP and a reissue in 1972 brought it back to life with the single "Nights in White Satin" hitting #2 and the album reaching #3. It's now considered a classic and it helped pioneer the use of orchestral music in rock.


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