Graeme Edge - drums, vocals; Justin Hayward - guitar, vocals; John Lodge - bass, vocals; Patrick Moraz - keyboards, vocals; Ray Thomas - flute, percussion, vocals
This show features The Moody Blues showcasing most of their biggest hits, but only about half of the entire show is presented on this night at Chicago's Poplar Creek.
While the U.K. band had been enormously popular in the late 1960s and in first half of the '70s, they had not toured extensively in the U.S. and didn't work at all between 1974 and 1978. The much ballyhooed "Octave" reunion tour in 1978 re-established the band as one of premier classic British rock bands and started a cycle of almost yearly U.S. summer tours, which continues to this day.
The classic line-up of Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Ray Thomas and keyboardist Mike Pinder all participated in the '78 reunion LP, but Pinder was so upset with the outcome of the record he left the band before the tour. He was replaced by former Refugee keyboardist Patrick Moraz (a Swiss musician very much in the style of Keith Emerson), who remained in the Moodies through the end of 1990.
The Moody Blues began as an R&B/pop act out of Birmingham, England in May, 1964. The original line-up only included Thomas and Edge from this 1981 version, and the sound was completely different from what they became in 1967. With charismatic singer/guitarist Denny Laine on lead vocals, the band had a massive Top 10 hit in 1965 with a soulful cover of "Go Now," a song originally recorded by American R&B singer, Bessie Banks. The success of "Go Now," got them a label deal with Deram Records, a division of London Records (original home of The Rolling Stones). A tour opening for The Beatles followed, and hopes were high for The Moody Blues to be The Next Big Thing.
Unfortunately, the band could never come up with a successful follow-up single. By the fall of 1966, Laine (and original bassist Clint Warwick) were gone, replaced by Lodge and Hayward. With the advent of the psychedelic era (and the use of mind altering drugs), The Moody Blues purchased one of the very first Mellotrons (the forerunner to the modern synthesizer) and changed their sound to a dreamy, progressive blend of rock, folk and classical.
They re-emerged in 1967, with Days Of Future Passed, the first album to feature a rock band and full orchestra. From that came the smash single, "Nights In White Satin," which was followed by a string of popular LPs and singles, that included "Question," "Ride My See Saw," "I'm Just A Singer In A Rock N Roll Band," "The Voice" and "The Story In Your Eyes," all of which are faithfully executed at this show, originally recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour.