Something old and new for 1981 Moody Blues
June 26, 1981: Flutist Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues in concert at the Forum.
Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn reported in the June 29, 1981, Calendar section:
I scoffed, too, when the “Worth the Wait” slogan went up on the Sunset Strip billboard advertising the Moody Blues’s first album in three years.
Sure, the English band which headlined the Inglewood Forum on Friday night, did some trailblazing things in albums like “Days of Future Passed” way back in–when was it: 1968?
But the group’s mix of classical influences and cosmic messages grew stale in the mid-’70s, a point acknowledged by the group’s five members when each embarked on solo projects.
When the ventures fell far short of spectacular, the Moodies got back together for another album in 1978, but it didn’t do much, so the end for the band was at hand. Or, so it seemed. None of my friends, at least, were holding their breath for another LP.
But the group’s “Long Distance Voyager” album, which is light on the cosmic and heavy on mainstream commercial pop-rock textures, has jumped into the national Top 10 and there was nearly a full house on hand at the Forum for what was the group’s second appearance here in seven years.
For these fans and the ones who bought tickets for the Moodies’ show Sunday night at the Long Beach Arena, the wait certainly seemed worth it.
When the quintet went into the elegant “Nights in White Satin,” the 20-year-old behind me shrieked, jumped excitedly from her chair and grabbed her boyfriend’s binoculars.
Felicia Boss, Westchester, was still in elementary school when “White Satin” was recorded, but she has listened to it for years on FM radio, where the lush, romantic tune rivaled Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as the most played track of the 1970s.
Like many Friday, Boss was seeing the Moodies for the first time. Mentioned another fan: “It’s like a part of history.” …
The photo above by staff photographer Iris Schneider accompanied Hilburn’s review in the June 29, 1981, Los Angeles Times.
June 26, 1981: The Moody Blues in concert at the Forum. They performed both their old classics and many songs from their new — in 1981 — “Long Distance Voyager” album. Credit: Iris Schneider/Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA
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