Friday, April 1, 2016

"Sitting at the Wheel" by The Moody Blues

Song#:  1598
Date:  09/03/1983
Debut:  56
Peak:  27
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The Moodies grabbed two Top 20 hits in 1981 after being missing from the Pop Top 20 since 1973. "Gemini Dream" (#12) and "The Voice" (#15), from their LP Long Distance Voyager, were comeback singles for the band and they helped push the album to #1. With the spotlight back on the band, they set out to record the follow-up titled The Present. This first single got them into the Top 30 at Pop and #3 Rock, but it just didn't have the same allure as the singles from Long Distance Voyager. The lack of a significant out-of-the-box hit hurt the new album and it peaked at #26. It failed to even sell at gold level, which was a big disappointment coming on the heels of a #1 platinum album.

ReduxReview:  It's disappointing that this song did not do better. I find it very exciting and even though it is steeped in 80s keyboards, it's still a great track. Maybe it was just a tad too old-school rock 'n' roll for the early new wave 80s. Not sure, but I think folks missed out on this one. Yes, it is not as indelible as the singles from Long Distance, but it has a lot to offer. I still love to play this while cruising in the car on a warm spring day with the windows down. Highly enjoyable.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The cover of The Present uses a variation of the famous 1922 painting by Maxfield Parrish titled Daybreak. One change from the original painting is that the standing child seems to be handing an X to the other child. The X is interpreted as a Roman numeral and is most likely a nod to The Present being the Moodies tenth album since its 1967 incarnation that kicked off with their classic album Days of Future Passed. Parrish's Daybreak was his most famous painting and it has been considered the most popular and best selling art print of the 20th century. At one point, it was estimated that one in four US homes owned some version of the print. It even outsold Da Vinci's The Last Supper.



  1. I thought "Sittin' On A Slide Zone" was a minor Top 40 hit for the Moody Blues in 1978

    1. Yup - mistype. Meant to say "Top 20", not "Top 40." Indeed "Slide Zone" made it to #39 in 1978. Great song.