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Hayward & Lodge - Blue Jays CD (album) cover

BLUE JAYS

Hayward & Lodge

 

Crossover Prog

4.11 | 105 ratings

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Natty Naggart
3 stars I absolutely adored this album when it was released in 1975. It had been three years since "Seventh Soujorn" and three years is half a lifetime when you are a teenager. Almost Fifty years later, I am a little more circumspect.

"This Morning" is the opener, and it is a fine dramatic song, it really sounds like a Moodies number, one does not even notice that it's rather long. But the next number, "Remember me, my friend" is nothing special. Hayward & Lodge did not write together during the Modified classic album era, and this rambling song shows us we did not miss much.

The third song "My brother" is a nice little poignant number, slightly bittersweet. It's followed by John Lodge's best number on the album,"You", an interesting song with a shared lead vocal.

Then things start to go downhill. Side One closes with the orchestra backed "Nights, Winters, Years", and for me Justin Hayward goes OTT, it's like a song from a musical rather than a prog rock number. Usually Zi like his dramatic numbers, but this is frankly, overblown. Worse is to come, though. Side Two opens with "Saved by the Music", the worst track on the album. The problem is not the song itself, it's the production. John Lodge wrote a difficult vocal line which is obviously out of his range, and the song is over long, and overcomplicated, with frequent tempi changes. To make it worse, somebody tries to play the flute, and makes a mess of it. The ultimate impression is of an unpolished demo recording.

Then it gets better,with "I dreamed last night". Hayward is back on form with a fine romantic number, and this time the orchestral backing adds to the ambience of the song, rather than overpowering it. His next song, "Who are you now"? is a sad little introspective number reminiscent of "Dawning is the Day". I find both numbers to be rather dull, but I appreciate others will have different taste. The penultimate song "Maybe" half works, Lodge wrote an ambitious tube + listen for his cello playing), but lets himself down with some weak lyrics. But the final song, "When You Wake Up" is a superb and moving number, with a powerful climax that will bring a tear to your eye, and is as good as anything that the Moodies ever recorded.

So, in conclusion. Half the album is great, but the other half just sounds like forty per cent of The Moody Blues. Yes, it has its moments, but for me, it's not as good as the real thing, which is all five Moodies together.

Natty Naggart | 3/5 |

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