Saturday, January 25, 2014

Moody Blues: Driftwood

It’s cold outside – the perfect day to stay inside and stay warm. No chance on that, as I have to take the kiddos to work. Here’s a medium tempo “almost hit” by one of my favorite bands: The Moody Blues. Released as the second single from their 1978 album “Octave,” “Driftwood” only made it to #59. Since the term “Driftwood” is not part of the lyrical content of the song’s hook (it is, however, found elsewhere in the song), I wonder if it had been named “Time Waits for No One” would it have had better chart performance?

Besides the title and its overall peak on the Hot 100, “Driftwood” is one of their masterpiece songs. It was the last single on which keyboardist Mike Pinder performs. In the video, Pinder’s replacement Patrick Moraz is playing the keyboards – but not so on the recording. The vocals are primarily handled by Justin Hayward with help from bassist John Lodge.

Although Ray Thomas is shown as playing a tenor sax in the video, the song actually features several alto sax tracks by Los Angeles studio musician R.A. Martin. The sax parts add a nice counterpoint to Hayward’s lead guitar. Martin also plays the French horn primarily heard during the song’s intro and is not keyboard generated as the video implies. Although it wasn’t one of the bands biggest hits, it is one of their most beautiful ballads.

The Promotional Video (in mono)

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