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The Moody Blues

Best known for their lush orchestral productions, the Moody Blues were originally one of a host of R&B-oriented British Invasion bands, launched in Birmingham in 1963 and best known for their UK chart-topping single "Go Now." However, they were unsuccessful in replicating that record's success, and several of the founding members, including guitarist Denny Laine (later to work with Paul McCartney in Wings) drifted away in frustration, while new members, including guitarist Justin Hayward, came on board. Success, and a complete paradigm shift, came in 1967, when Decca imprint Deram Records asked the group to record a rock version of Dvorak's New World Symphony; the group convinced the label to let them write their own music instead. The resulting album, Days of Future Passed, recorded with the London New World Symphony and spawning the hit singles "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon," became a huge smash and set the tone for the band's future work, in which they experimented extensively with overdubbing and other studio effects before paring their sound down to something that could be played live on tour. By 1972 the band, worn down by incessant touring and recording, went on hiatus; they've reunited periodically. They continue to be enormously popular with the fans, though panned by critics, who tend to see the group as a nostalgia act.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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