Big 95 Music News: Moody Blues, Elton John

THE MOODY BLUES:  50th anniversary of Days of Future Passed

This Saturday, November 11th, marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Moody Blues' landmark album Days of Future Passed.

The album signaled the start of the band's classic era, with Justin Hayward and John Lodge joining Graeme Edge, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder, replacing founding members Denny Laine and Clint Warwick. It's also considered to be one of the first concept albums. But the original plan was to do a rock version of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony so Decca Records could test out the possibilities of a stereo (as opposed to mono) recording.

Justin Hayward talked about the original plan for the album that became Days of Future Passed

"It was meant to be a demonstration stereo record and it was [conductor and arranger] Peter Knight who came to see us at the 100 Club in Oxford Street [in London] and said, 'Your songs are great. Let's do it the other way around."

John Lodge recalls when he knew that Days of Future Passed was special:

"We had the playback and we put all the lights out and we had all our friends and a few people from the record industry with us. And when the album finished I think we all just sat there, dumbfounded, quiet, 'cause we hadn't realized what had actually happened. And the emotion of having that shiver down your back going, 'What have we done?' That will stay with me forever."

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, an expanded Deluxe Edition will be released next Friday, the 17th. It features the 1972 stereo remix along with a restored version from the original master tapes. The bonuses begin with nine BBC Radio session performances, as well as a DVD in 5.1 surround sound, plus previously unreleased 1968 video footage of three key tracks, done just eight weeks after the album’s release. The set also includes a poster designed by Ray Thomas.

The complete Days of Future Passed show the Moodies filmed in Toronto this past July should be out in December.  And in January, they'll do another Las Vegas residency, performing the album in its entirety at the Wynn Hotel.

ELTON JOHN:  50 years of songwriting with Bernie Taupin

Elton John's new hits collection, Diamonds, is out today (Friday). It coincides with the 50th anniversary of Elton’s songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin.    Elton John explains why he has never written a song in the same room with Bernie Taupin:

"Initially I was given a pile of his of his lyrics by Liberty Records in England when I went for an audition and I said I couldn't write lyrics, but I could write melodies and they said, 'Well, take these home.' And I wrote a lot of songs before I even met him. And it just stayed that way and it's kept the relationship very fresh because it works very very well. It's kind of very Twilight Zone - we've never been in the same room when we've written a song. But that's why I think we've stayed together. We've never had an argument or a bad word with each other, certainly not over songs. And that's so joyous for me. It's just an amazing relationship."

Diamonds is available as a single, double or triple CD; a two-disc vinyl set and digitally. The three-disc box has 34 tracks and adds 17 more selected by Elton. It also has a 72-page hardback book of notes about each song plus a set of five postcard illustrations of Elton.


Look for Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers to tour together next summer.

The Rolling Stones are looking to tour the U.K. next year. Mick Jagger tells The Sun, “We were disappointed not to perform in the U.K. on our recent jaunt and we're looking forward to getting plans in place to do so next year."

After a summer of bashing his Journey bandmates on social media, guitarist Neal Schon has unplugged. He says, “Due to recent hacking of my cell phone, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I’ll be closing down for now. If anyone is receiving any direct messages from me it is an imposter, not me.”

Janis Hansen, who shared lead vocals with Lani Hall in Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, died October 4th, six days before she would have turned 75.

Chuck Berry's classics of the '50s, '60s and '70s will be reissued in deluxe vinyl sets. A limited run of The Great Twenty-Eight: Super Deluxe Edition comes out December 15th on blue LPs; the black vinyl pressings will be out January 26th. One of the bonuses is Oh Yeah!: Live in Detroit, an October 1963 concert.

Alice Cooper has commented on the death of Whitey Glan. He says, “Rest In Peace Whitey! I picked Whitey Glan as the drummer for my Welcome to My Nightmare Tour because he was simply the best drummer around, not knowing he could drink me under a table! He was just a great guy. Everybody who’s worked with him considered him one of their best friends. He was one of rock’s premier drummers, but in my opinion he was very underrated and under publicized - he was certainly a drummer's drummer! Canada is less one world-class musician...”

Axl Rose has commented on the death of string arranger Paul Buckmaster, writing on Twitter, "I feel very fortunate to have met him n' have his involvement in GNR. My deepest condolences to his friends, fans n' loved ones." Buckmaster worked on the band’s Chinese Democracy album.

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