Has a group ever fallen more off the critical radar than The Moodies?
NME's (OK, so it was bound to be lousy) latest 'Top 500 LPs of all time' poll doesn't contain one Moody Blues' LP.
I've a theory on this - they're too nice, and they're too successful.
If Justin Hayward had been born ugly (he categorically wasn't!) and had made a living by being surly to the press, arrogant towards his fan-base, and not sold a bean, they'd have about five entries in that list!
Their early Decca 45s are terrific, with 'Go Now', sung by original vocalist Denny Laine, even getting to No.1 (not a mean feat in '65), but they were unable to follow up on this success.
Ironically, if they'd put the b-side out as a follow-up (the brilliant 'It's Easy Child'), they may have rivalled The Beatles and Stones in the mid-60s.
They toured with The Beatles in '65 (presumably when Paul met Denny?) and put out great 45 followed by great 45, but most flopped.
Denny left to make the INCREDIBLE 'Say You Don't Mind', and the group finally got back on track when an LP, made by Decca to test out their stereo equipment, ('Days Of Future Passed') hit pay dirt, and introduced the world to the sublime, though not as good as 'Say You Don't Mind', 'Nights In White Satin'.
'Fly Me High', 'Love and Beauty', 'Tuesday Afternoon', 'Ride My See-Saw', 'Watching and Waiting'.....The Moodies are a wonderful group, but destined to always be by-passed, in the UK at least, by the greats (Beatles, Stones etc.) and, more bafflingly, those perceived to be edgier.
Next.....The Spencer Davis Group.