ARTIST: The Moody Blues
TITLE: The Magnificent Moodies (Go Now – The Moody Blues #1 in the US)
YEAR RELEASED: 1965
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Go Now (#10 US, #1 UK), I Don’t Want to Go On Without You (#33 UK), From the Bottom of My Heart (#93 US), Stop! (#98 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You probably know all but a few, since they did a lot of covers (as usual)
LINEUP: Denny Laine, Mike Pinder, Clint Warwick, Ray Thomas, Graeme Edge
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Moody Blues start as a typical UK Beat group, with one big single, a bunch of other stuff, and what seemed to be a short, forgettable career.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Um, let’s cut this short. This is a quick LP job to support a hit single. It’s by a version of the Moody Blues that has really no connection, sonically, to their later material. Warwick and Laine both quite the group in 1966, and they were in a jam until Justin Heyward and John Lodge joined, and they ultimately scrapped this style (for the better).
“Go Now” is a nice hit. The rest is a no-go for me. Their originals aren’t anything special, and they really aren’t a band that can cover US R&B.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Laine, of course, was Paul McCartney’s foil in Wings in the 70’s.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, combining the UK and US versions with other singles and tracks. Listen to their version of “Time Is on My Side” versus the Stones’ version and see what you think. Some of the bonus tracks are decent, like a re-mastered version of “Go Now”.
GRADE: D+: This is the way albums used to be made for groups with their first hit. I wouldn’t even have reviewed this, except I know people may be interested because it’s the “Moody Blues”. I just wanted to warn folks. The bonus cuts would have made this a C-, but no better.