Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Moody Blues: Blue World

“The Present,” the 1983 album by The Moody Blues, was the final LP on the band’s label Threshold Records. It was the tenth album to feature the team of Justin Hayward and John Lodge who were not part of the original band and were not present on their first LP “The Magnificent Moodies” in 1965.

It is interesting to note that the first album, which is radically different from their later material, is not really counted in the scheme of things.  The later version of the band preferred counting the albums from 1967's “Days of Future Passed.”

The eighth album by the band was called “Seventh Sojourn” and the ninth as “Octave.” The information that this, the eleventh album (not counting the compilation) is subtlety identified on the cover as the tenth album.

The album’s artwork is inspired by Maxfield Parrish’s most famous painting “Daybreak”; however, the young lady standing has her arms crossed in an “X” pattern for the Roman numeral for 10.

The author with Patrick Moraz, 1986

This was the second LP to feature Patrick Moraz who was credited as a full member of the band, but was denied rights to future sales royalties under the premise that he was not actually a member of the band, but rather a sideman. This is despite crediting as such and fully participating in the band’s tours for over 13 years.  His work is all over today's feature cut.

US Promotional 12" Maxi Single

“Blue World” was the first of three singles to be released from this album; however, while it performed better on the Mainstream Rock chart at #32, it failed to crack the Top 40 and peaked at #62. Released in August 1983, the song also crossed over to the clubs, but failed to chart on the dance charts.

While the single was released in blue vinyl elsewhere in the world, it was not in the US. “The Other Side of Life,” released in 1986, would have that honor in the US. “Blue World” is a great tune that should have done better, but alas, there must have been a reason for its poor charting performance.

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