Saturday, August 28, 2021

EGBDF – The Moodies 50 Years Ago

Every Good Boy Deserves Favour took its title from the mnemonic for the EGBDF lines of the treble clef. It was the album that contained Justin Hayward’s impressive “The Story In Your Eyes,” a Top 30 U.S. single that was withdrawn from sale in Britain at the band’s request. But that didn’t stop the album from going all the way to the top. The Moodies had reached No.1 in the UK with On The Threshold of a Dream in 1969. To Our Children’s Children’s Children was stopped at No.2 by The Beatles’ Abbey Road, but they were not to be denied with 1970's A Question of Balance, which had three weeks at the summit.

Then came Favour, which featured solo compositions by each of the five members of the band, as well as the only Moody Blues song to carry credits for the whole quintet, the opening “Procession.” Even more democratically, Messrs Hayward, Lodge, Thomas, Pinder, and Edge also shared lead vocals on the track.

The album entered the UK chart at No. 2 and moved to the top on August 14, 1971. That was the only week at No.1 for the Moodies’ album, but it proved its staying power by spending the next four weeks at No.3, and a total of nine in the Top 10. In the US, by October 1971, it went gold, continuing an impressive run in which all of their albums had achieved RIAA certification. Cashbox observed that the group and producer Tony Clarke had, in securing that sequence, “created music which has won them a wide and devoted following.”

On this day, 50 years ago, “The Story in Your Eyes” a stunning rock-based track by the band's guitarist Justin Hayward, was released as a single with "My Song" on the B-side. The track was the last by the Moodies to feature the Mellotron as it would be supplanted by the Chamberlin on Seventh Sojourn. While many consider EGBDF to be the least of the “Classic Seven,” it remains for this writer a very sophisticated moment for an eleven-year-old who saved for six weeks just because I was captured by the album’s cover. Sometimes you can tell a good [album] by its cover.

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