When you’ve been in the music business from before I was even born, you’re pretty much entitled to make the album you want to, and if others are pulled along in its wake, then so be it. This is an album that reflects on fifty-plus years of musical participation, part nostalgic, part reflective and just a little forward thinking. It’s John Lodge’s second solo album, the first being Natural Avenue in 1977.
As you might expect, it exhibits elements of the multiple facets of The Moody Blues, and I suspect just a little of his own persona. It is not a long album, at least by today’s standards, clocking in at around 30 minutes, but it is a full album and certainly not bland.
In terms of prog, I honestly could only say that the first and last tracks apply, but as a range of styles from a long musical career it balances the modern with the nostalgic, In My Mind combining The Moody Blues and Pink Floyd with a sumptuous bass line, easily my favourite from the album, after a long intro before the vocals appear. I wish I could sing this well now, let alone at John’s age – 70 in July 2015. Age is not an issue, why should it be when the product is good?
From John’s own website he comments:-
“Back in the 60s, when the dreams of a ‘new generation’ were being born, The Moody Blues wrote a stage show which became the album Days of Future Passed. The theme encompassed the past, present and future experiences of our lives. With the new album and In My Mind I have continued this theme of constant evolution. Everything in the future remains in reach, and although the past is behind us, it once was our future.”
The tracks in between the first and last revisit his past, vocally strong and possibly stronger than the similarly aged Paul McCartney. There is enough here, it is good popular music, and 30 minutes of varied entertainment but 30 minutes is what often passes for an EP these days. In those terms it is probably not value for money, possibly more of an album for Moody Blues fan than general consumption but I have actually enjoyed it. With those caveats, I would say it is worthy of a hearing, as Rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll or gentler MOR it has some merit but is definitely one for the completist. Worthy of a dip for the browser, not an essential purchase.
A track by track breakdown? I think not this time, but I won’t change channels if I hear a track on the radio.
01. In My Mind
02. Those Days in Birmingham
03. Simply Magic
04. Get Me Out of Here
05. Love Passed Me By
06. (You Drive Me) Crazy
07. Lose Your Love
08. 10,000 Light Years Ago
John Lodge – Bass, Vocals, 12-string Acoustic Guitar
Chris Spedding – Guitars
Ray Thomas – Flute
Mike Pinder – Mellotron (3)
Alan Hewitt – Keyboards
Gordon Marshall – Drums
Record Label: Esoteric Recordings
Country of Origin: U.K.
Year of Release: 2015
John Lodge – Website