The Moody Blues – Caught Live + 5 (1977)

FrontCover1The Moody Blues were an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. They made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge, who stayed together for most of the band’s “classic era” into the early 1970s.

Their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music which established the band as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock. It has been described as a “landmark” and “one of the first successful concept albums”. The group toured extensively through the early 1970s, then took an extended hiatus from 1974 until 1977.

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Founder Mike Pinder left the group a year after they re-formed and was replaced by Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz in 1978. In the following decade they took on a more synth-pop sound and produced The Other Side of Life in 1986, which made them the first act to earn each of its first three top 10 singles in the United States in a different decade.[10] Health troubles led to a diminished role for founder Ray Thomas throughout the 1980s, though his musical contributions rebounded after Moraz departed in 1991. Thomas retired from the band in 2002.

The band’s last album was the Christmas album December (2003), after which they decided to forgo recording any further albums.However, they continued to tour throughout the 2000s and later reunited periodically for events, one-off concerts, short tours and cruises, until Edge’s retirement in 2018.

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The Moody Blues’ most successful singles include “Go Now”, “Nights in White Satin”, “Tuesday Afternoon”, “Question”, “Gemini Dream”, “The Voice” and “Your Wildest Dreams”. The band has sold 70 million albums worldwide, which includes 18 platinum and gold LPs. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

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Caught Live + 5 is a live album by The Moody Blues, consisting of a 12 December 1969 live show at the Royal Albert Hall and five previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967 to 1968.

The band’s performance was a popular and critical success at the time. In his newspaper review of the event, music critic Jack Scott called the concert a “knockout victory for progressive pop,” having a “rich, full sound that combined sensitivity with sheer popular punch.”

… [B]eautifully controlled waves of volume kept excitement high … They’re not slaves to volume. Power was used judiciously with splendid effect, producing a clean-cut, undulating sound…

The “+5” studio tracks were re-released on their 1987 album Prelude.

The 8-track tape version of this album has the distinction of being one of the few 8-tracks that is arranged exactly like the album, with no song breaks.

While Caught Live + 5 managed to reach #26 during its American chart run, it missed the British listings completely, the first time this had occurred for The Moody Blues since their 1965 debut The Magnificent Moodies (although that album had reached number 5 on the NME album chart).

This is the first Moody Blues album since Days of Future Passed not to feature cover artwork by Philip Travers. Decca Records instead used British art design group Hipgnosis. (wikipedia)

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Due to interpersonal strife, the Moody Blues called it quits between 1972’s Seventh Sojourn and 1978’s Octave. Presumably attempting to satiate hungry Moodies fans, Threshold released this vintage concert recording from a 1969 Royal Albert Hall show. The band was young and at the peak of its popularity, and they sound full of promise and ambition. Most of the songs come from their classic concept album Days of Future Passed and its two successors. Having not yet settled into a more comfortable ballad mode, the group was at the peak of its psych/prog powers. Mike Pinder’s Mellotron is unleashed in all its faux-string section glory on “Tuesday Afternoon” and the evergreen “Nights in White Satin,” and Ray Thomas’ pixie-like flute presence colors pretty ballads such as “Are you Sitting Comfortably?” The most impressive thing about Caught Live + 5 is that the Moodies, whose reputation was made on their larger-than-life studio achievements, proved more than up to the task of reproducing these achievements live. As a bonus, there are five tracks included with Caught Live, studio rarities from the same time period. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Graeme Edge (drums, percussion)
ustin Hayward (vocals, guitar)
John Lodge (bass, background vocals)
Mike Pinder (mellotron, background vocals)
Ray Thomas (vocals, flute, harmonica, tambourine)

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Tracklist:
01. Gypsy (Of A Strange And Distant Time) (Hayward) 4.04
02.The Sunset (Pinder) 4.33
03. Dr. Livingstone, I Presume (Thomas) 3.23
04. Never Comes The Day (Hayward) 5.40
05. Peak Hour (John Lodge) 5.13
06. Tuesday Afternoon (Hayward) 4.51
07. Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Hayward/Thomas) 4.22
08. The Dream (Edge) 0.58
09. Have You Heard (Part 1) (Pinder) 1.22
10. The Voyage (Pinder) 3.37
11. Have You Heard (Part 2) (Pinder) 2.33
12. Nights In White Satin (Hayward) 5.56
13. Legend Of A Mind (Thomas) 7.05
14. Ride My See-Saw (Lodge) 4.30
15. Gimme A Little Somethin’ (Lodge) 3.13
16. Please Think About It (Pinder) 3.44
17. Long Summer Days (Hayward) 3.12
18. King And Queen (Hayward) 3.56
19. What Am I Doing Here? (Hayward) 3.34

Tracks 1–14 are live while tracks 15–19 are studio recordings.

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