Monday, August 27, 2012

The Moody Blues: Emily's Song

Unless I get a number of folks requesting that I continue, I plan to end this blog in 30 posts on September 26, 2012. If you would like to see it continue after that, let me know by registering your feelings in the survey found at http://tinyurl.com/8juv863.

The other day I discovered that YouTube is now the home of complete albums and on Friday I was in a prog rock mood. I listened to a classic Genesis album, Nursery Cryme, which was followed by “Fragile” by Yes. I noticed that while Yes was playing, YouTube suggested some Moody Blues’ albums.


The Moodies were always one of my favorite bands and I listened to “In Search of the Lost Chord,” “A Question of Balance,” and finally “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.” While listening to the latter, one particular song caught my ear – a John Lodge composition “Emily’s Song.” Lodge composed the tune in honor of his daughter Emily’s birth.

The author with John Lodge

While I have this album, I didn’t remember this song; however, it resonated with me on Friday. Along with singing lead and playing bass on this cut, Lodge plays ‘cello and celesta. Justin Hayward plays guitar and sings harmonies with his longtime friend.

Mike Pinder’s contribution on Mellotron extends Lodge’s ‘cello to a full orchestra. He also plays harpsichord on the track, but it is buried in the mix and only surfaces in some of the quieter moments of the song.

While the similarities are ever so slight, I believe that portions of this song were influenced by Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.” Graeme Edge’s percussion is very similar to Jerry Allison slapping his legs on “Everyday.” Lodge’s use of the celesta evokes an instant connection to Vi Petty’s work on “Everyday.” While Lodge’s lead on this keyboard instrument is not note-for-note the same as “Everday,” there are definite similarities.

Because the song was complicated, it was not played live by the Moody Blues until their memorable “Live at Red Rocks” concert in 1992 – twenty-one years after the song was recorded in 1971. Lodge played acoustic guitar in this setting. “Emily’s Song” is not one of their classic tunes, but it is worth of another listen or three.



4 comments:

  1. Like you I bought all the Moody Blues albums as they came out. Loved them at the time and spent hours listening to them - years later went to see them at the Royal Albert Hall. Did not enjoy it at all - not their fault - just that unlike Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull - to me their music did not last over thirty years. Does for some bands but not for others - it is a matter of how our tastes change and what we always like and what we grow out of.

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  2. Paul: I certainly understand the changing of one's tastes, as I have experienced this as well. I still find much of their music relevant to my ears - not in the same way as Fairport and Tull - two of my other favorite bands. Thanks for visiting and posting your comments.

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  3. Steve:

    You vote is registered.

    Jim

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