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    Patrick Moraz as a member of the Moody Blues

    What does anyone think of Patrick's contribution to the Moody Blues - did he revitalize that band, was he wasting his talent with them, or a little bit of both? You can clearly hear his influence and style on a number of things the Moody Blues did when he took over from Mike Pinder, the original mellotron maverick. There are some tasty bits where you know its him, especially on The Present, the most Yessiest MB album if you think about it. Sitting At The Wheel reminds me of Going For The One song a bit. Even hits like Wildest Dreams - the synth intro wouldn't be out of place on a Yes album. There are Moraz moments, you just have to dig for them a little on the few albums he was on. I rank them thus:

    1) The Present - especially on side two, some real Moraz moments. Hole In The World and Sorry come to mind. This album must have flopped, I don't ever recall anything from The Present in the setlist of any later MB concert I ever saw. The band dropped this album from their memory banks like Yes did with Talk. It's an underrated record.

    2) Long Distance Voyager - spacey synths on Talking Out Of Turn, and some real identifiable playing on the two big hits from the album. Probably the most liked album by that version of the Moody Blues. He made them more futuristic, something they never had before. Sure they could be psychedelic and adventurous before, but never really futuristic. To me, they were more inner space than outer space.

    3) The Other Side Of Life - some good 80's playing with intros and such, but some cheese too. The title track has some good enough Moraz moments throughout. He's using some of the 'boards you hear on some of his solo albums of the same era like Time Code. Wildest Dreams seems mostly centered on Moraz and Hayward. Nice intro.

    4) Sur La Mer - I saw this tour. This album has a little less Moraz elements, though you hear it in spades on I Know You're Out There Somewhere and maybe a few other subtle bits. He's a little toned down for this album.

    5) Keys To The Kingdom - by this album in 1991, Moraz was out. We may have heard about all the legal rigamarole surrounding that. He only appears as a guest on a couple of spots here and his contribution isn't really noticeable on this somewhat pleasant but middle of the road MB album, so naturally I rank this last.

    Any thoughts?

    #2
    The rest of the band did him dirty. Moraz was in the band for well over a decade, appearing on album covers, promotional materials, and credited with being a member.

    But they short-changed him, and were under-utilizing him anyway. He bitched about it, and was not just sacked, but erased. You cannot find any mention of him at all on the official MB website.

    But that's how they roll, you cannot find any mention of Pinder either, and barely any mention of Thomas.

    Go ahead, check it out for yourself: https://www.moodybluestoday.com/

    You'd pretty much never know those three were ever in the band. They also incorrectly pretend that DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED was their first album, and don't acknowledge that Lodge and Hayward weren't on their REAL first album, The Magnificent Moodies (they didn't join until late 1966), nor that their first hit was in 1964 with GO NOW (sung by Denny Laine), and not NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN in 1967.
    Last edited by pianozach; 06-23-2022, 09:05 AM.

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      #3
      Moraz was both a blessing and a curse for the Moodies. He brought their sound into more modern times, but sometimes his parts sounded cheesy. I guess that was his interpretation of the Moody Blues sound. It could be particularly bad on the old stuff in concert. Some of his own stuff on the new songs sounded good, though, like his work on The Voice and Talking Out of Turn. Moraz himself expressed frustration with them on at least one topic. he said that after he introduced them to sequencers, they wanted to assemble everything note by note and it took forever to assemble an album.

      The Moodies did do him dirty, though I didn't think that was meant to be the point of this thread. Not in any way to justify their actions, but at the end of the day Moraz wasn't a good fit for them stylistically, even though he was very talented. The shows I saw with touring keys players after he was out of the band were generally better than the shows I saw with him, as the hired guns tried to stick closed to how things sounded on the albums. That's a big deal when part of the appeal was their distinctive 60s/early 70s vibe.

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        #4
        I haven’t listened to enough of the Moody Blues albums with Patrick to have a well-informed opinion, but I’ll comment anyway haha.

        What I’ve heard sounds more like synth pop than anything resembling prog or fusion. Patrick’s collaborations with Bill Bruford are more interesting. And I say this as a casual fan of the Moody Blues.

        Hopefully the pay was good, because they really screwed him over in the end!

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          #5
          Wonder if the Judge Judy episode is still on youtube?

          Got nasty! 😮


          Sorry. Just looked . "Court TV". 2 hours worth.If you can stomach it.
          Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 06-23-2022, 05:06 PM.

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            #6
            Seeing Moody Blues live in 1988, the pre-show house music as people were filing into the arena was Patrick Moraz' Human Interface album (1987). I suppose the pay was decent and got him money to release things like that and Future Memories 2. And the two albums he did with Bruford were excellent. Maybe he was trying to up the instrumentation side of the Moody Blues, though he was partially successful.

            I don't like how he was airbrushed out of their history which includes silly stuff like chopping him off of vintage 1986 promo shots and stuff. Like you can tell it's not the whole photo - I might have seen one where someone actually left part of his arm visible, it was such a half-assed thing. And saying he never was a member - he did make a mark on that music. Some of it was cheesy, but as I do like 80's sounds it doesn't bother me too much. There is one song at the end of side one of Other Side Of Life that is rather hokey. But in general I liked his contribution to the Moody Blues. Despite a few decent cuts like Driftwood and Steppin In A Slide Zone, Octave was a little lackluster and made them sound a little out of place in 1978. Octave was a bit of a false start. Moraz helped bring the band closer to the comeback they were after with Long Distance Voyager a couple years later.

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              #7
              Yes politics have been pretty awful at times, and Patrick knows all about it, but at least they haven’t erased anyone of their past members.
              Love The Moody Blues music from, say, ‘67 to mid 70s. After that not so much. I think the last one of theirs in my collection is a song called Running Water. Very trade mark melancholy there. Is Patrick on that one? There are some nice keyboard bits on it.

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                #8
                Running Water is from The Present from 1983, and Patrick is on that album. The Present is the closest maybe to an earlier Moody Blues album of any of the 80's ones and also the most 'Yessiest' with synth solos and such. It also features a bit of that trademark melancholy with Runnng Water and Going Nowhere. The Lodge song 'Under My Feet' reminds me of ELO. A decent Ray Thomas moment towards the end of the album too. And 'Meet Me Half Way' is a nice one. If you go no further with the Moody Blues, at least get the Present. I assume it bombed and the band disowned it, I never heard any material from it on the radio, though I believe Blue World was released as a single. Moraz sounds more noticeable on this album. It's my favorite of their 80's albums, though Long Distance Voyager is the most popular.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                  Running Water is from The Present from 1983, and Patrick is on that album. The Present is the closest maybe to an earlier Moody Blues album of any of the 80's ones and also the most 'Yessiest' with synth solos and such. It also features a bit of that trademark melancholy with Runnng Water and Going Nowhere. The Lodge song 'Under My Feet' reminds me of ELO. A decent Ray Thomas moment towards the end of the album too. And 'Meet Me Half Way' is a nice one. If you go no further with the Moody Blues, at least get the Present. I assume it bombed and the band disowned it, I never heard any material from it on the radio, though I believe Blue World was released as a single. Moraz sounds more noticeable on this album. It's my favorite of their 80's albums, though Long Distance Voyager is the most popular.
                  I also felt it was more old-school Moodies than either Long Distance Voyager or the later albums. I don't know if it bombed but it certainly did not have the success of Long Distance Voyager or The Other Side of Life, and was excoriated by the critics (who always loved to do that to the Moodies anyway). I also particularly liked Blue World and Meet Me Half Way.

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                    #10
                    I love Pat and I love the Moodies, but really only a handful of the songs where they are together resonate for me. I really just like the hits from the 80’s MB, and much prefer the stuff from Magnificent Moodies through Seventh Sojourn.

                    Glad they worked together, but being a Yes fan before I got into the Moodies probably set me up for disappointment as far as the Moraz era of Moody Blues goes.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Chrisklenox View Post
                      I love Pat and I love the Moodies, but really only a handful of the songs where they are together resonate for me. I really just like the hits from the 80’s MB, and much prefer the stuff from Magnificent Moodies through Seventh Sojourn.

                      Glad they worked together, but being a Yes fan before I got into the Moodies probably set me up for disappointment as far as the Moraz era of Moody Blues goes.
                      I can understand that. When I saw that Moraz was in the Moody Blues, I knew it wasn't Yes and would be a little disappointed but was willing to try to pick out the Yessy or at least spacey/synthy parts of the MB albums he was on to enjoy. Fortunately both The Present and the current at the time Other Side Of Life were on sale for rather cheap at the time at the local Waxie Maxies record store. But as an entity, moody Blues were probably at their best from 1967-1973 - the 'Core Seven' as those albums are often called. Octave was a false start, though the Octave tour is where Moraz joined their ranks. Hearing him on the live Octave bonus tracks makes me wonder how that album would have sounded like with Moraz. You either have Mike Pinder's mellotron or Moraz' synths, but the album in between those eras with neither is kinda odd.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                        Running Water is from The Present from 1983, and Patrick is on that album. The Present is the closest maybe to an earlier Moody Blues album of any of the 80's ones and also the most 'Yessiest' with synth solos and such. It also features a bit of that trademark melancholy with Runnng Water and Going Nowhere. The Lodge song 'Under My Feet' reminds me of ELO. A decent Ray Thomas moment towards the end of the album too. And 'Meet Me Half Way' is a nice one. If you go no further with the Moody Blues, at least get the Present. I assume it bombed and the band disowned it, I never heard any material from it on the radio, though I believe Blue World was released as a single. Moraz sounds more noticeable on this album. It's my favorite of their 80's albums, though Long Distance Voyager is the most popular.
                        Thanks. I never delved into the band that much. Time to catch up.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post

                          I can understand that. When I saw that Moraz was in the Moody Blues, I knew it wasn't Yes and would be a little disappointed but was willing to try to pick out the Yessy or at least spacey/synthy parts of the MB albums he was on to enjoy. Fortunately both The Present and the current at the time Other Side Of Life were on sale for rather cheap at the time at the local Waxie Maxies record store. But as an entity, moody Blues were probably at their best from 1967-1973 - the 'Core Seven' as those albums are often called. Octave was a false start, though the Octave tour is where Moraz joined their ranks. Hearing him on the live Octave bonus tracks makes me wonder how that album would have sounded like with Moraz. You either have Mike Pinder's mellotron or Moraz' synths, but the album in between those eras with neither is kinda odd.
                          In defense of Octave a bit, I think Driftwood, Slide Zone, and Had to fall in love are really good… but yeah, Pinder was kind of there and not there at the same time. The album might have benefited overall from Patrick’s playing.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Chrisklenox View Post

                            In defense of Octave a bit, I think Driftwood, Slide Zone, and Had to fall in love are really good… but yeah, Pinder was kind of there and not there at the same time. The album might have benefited overall from Patrick’s playing.
                            Octave is the Moody Blues' Tormato (and I love Tormato). It's an unusual album - their first album in 5 or 6 years. They were slightly floundering. The early 70's when they were very popular and the late 70's where they had to compete with the triple threat of punk, disco and their own past were quite removed from each other. Pinder's mellotron is largely absent and you don't hear the spacey synths that Moraz wouldn't supply till later. Instead you get some strings/orchestral embellishments and I believe the Chamberlain string synth which I like the sound of. It's an anomaly in the catalogue.

                            That said there are, I agree, some very good tracks on there. Slide Zone predates the ELO sound of Gemini Dream and is very cool. I'm glad Lodge played it live on the Yes tour in 2019. Driftwood is lovely - one of Haywards best ever, actually. And Ray Thomas' soulful I'm Your Man is cool, though his vocals seem out of place - the song probably needs an actual R&B singer to elevate it, but I like it nonetheless. Octave has its moments, but is a transitional album.

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