Moody Blues on threshold of Rock Hall

Moody Blues 1960s

Psychedelic classicists the Moody Blues have made the short list for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This is the first nomination for the long-running English band, first eligible for the Hall way back in 1989. The Rock Hall’s lack of recognition for the Moody Blues had long been perceived as a snub similar to those of leading progressive rock acts Yes (inducted in 2017) and King Crimson.

Also making the list for 2018 were the Zombies, whose “Odessey and Oracle” is considered a landmark album of the psychedelic music era. This is the third nomination for that British band, best known for the hits “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season.”

Other acts of interest among the 19 nominees include the Detroit radical combo MC5 (“Kick Out the Jams”) and British art rocker Kate Bush.

The Moody Blues first found fame as an R&B-influenced pop group, hitting with the bittersweet “Go Now.” In the psychedelic era, the band transitioned into a seminal progressive act drawing on symphonic music, the then-novel sounds of the mellotron and the mid-1960s fascination with Eastern philosophies. Its sound was lush; the lyrics knowing and often whimsical.

The band’s influential concept albums include “Days of Future Passed” (1967), “In Search of the Lost Chord” (1968) and “A Question of Balance” (1970). Despite their length and psychedelic veneer, radio took to singles such as “Days in White Satin,” “Question” and “Tuesday Afternoon.”

The Rock Hall’s longtime dismissal of the Moody Blues continued a history of critical negativity toward the band, whose works were sometimes derided as pretentious and overblown. This despite its history as a seminal prog act that was among the first to incorporate synthesizers into rock.

The critical broadsides never seemed to hurt the outfit’s popularity, and the Moody Blues continue to tour after a half century.

Greg Harris, CEO of the Rock Hall, told USA Today that “the passion that fans have for the Moody Blues is pretty remarkable.”

A 50th anniversary multidisc rerelease of the group’s second album, “Days of Future Passed,” is set for Nov. 17. It includes the original 1967 stereo mix of the album, which had been damaged and has never been heard on CD.

The eclectic 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees list released Oct. 5 also features Bon Jovi, the Cars, Depeche Mode, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, the J. Geils Band, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, the Meters, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Rufus Featuring Chaka Kahn, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Sharpe and Link Wray.

Inductees are scheduled to be unveiled in December. The induction ceremony will be in Cleveland in mid-April.


Comments

  1. Bill McGuire says:

    well, it indeed looks like the cards are stacked against LOVE; I fear that Jann Wenner is never going to let them appear on the ballot nor gain entrance. Holding tight to that grudge from 24 yrs ago.

  2. Greg Williams says:

    Even if Jan Wenner comes down from his mountain of self-elected pretense, holding stone tablets of proof that his musical opinion is any more valid than Bill McGuire’s, mine, or any of the millions of people that wore the grooves off of a Moody Blues (or Love) LP. … l will continue to be unconvinced of his credibility.

  3. The idea of a “hall of fame” gave me the heeby-geebies from the start. It smacks of the Oscars and the Emmys and these sort of elitist establishments, self-appointed to determine who gets a prize and who doesn’t always get corrupted by politics and personal feelings. There are bands in that Hall of Fame that did very little to deserve being there in my estimation, and others, like the Moody Blues who would seem to be a no-brainer for induction.

    Who cares? We don’t need a panel of critics to tell us what’s good and what isn’t. All we need is our ears. Let the number of albums on our own shelves determine for us what’s good. Music is a matter of taste after all and we each have our own preferences. A museum where we can go see artifacts of the music we love is a great thing, but this hall of fame game seems to me a bit, plastic.

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