Of course, getting away from that is a large part of the reason that their late 80's work is really bad, but that's for the reviews themselves.
Finally, we have the general sound of the group; suffice it to say, this was not a normal rock band, and if you're in the market for "kick ass rock and roll tunes," look elsewhere.
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Now, while I've spent most of my adult life trying to forget all of the awful experiences I had with regards to my teenage loves (mostly of my own doing, of course), I would say that this statement is 100% true in the realm of music.
Indeed, the Moody Blues were the first group to put me under the "these guys are awesome, I need all of their albums" spell (I'm quite sure that my friends and associates remember quite well my obsession, devotion and compulsive desire to get other people into the group during my last year and a half in high school). And their individual voices weren't any slouch either.
And even today, when my music collection is so much more than just Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and A Question of Balance, I still really love these guys. In particular, primary (at least, in the sense that the band's greatest hits were mostly done by him) vocalist Justin Hayward could make a legitimate claim to being the greatest male rock singer for about fifteen years.
Of course, Rolling Stone hates them with a passion, but that's all the more reason for me to dislike Rolling Stone. High notes, low notes, and everything in between, he had force and power that simply could not be approached by any other.
Basically, there are three things which attracted me to this band from almost the beginning. And even when he started to get older and his range was cut, he never really sounded bad; rather, he reinvented his voice as a beautiful, lovely, and ultra-syrupy pop sound. Anyways, the other four (well, actually, three, since drummer Graeme Edge didn't really sing a whole bunch) weren't horrid on their own either.
The first is the singing voices of all of the guys. Ray Thomas, with his trembling, childish tenor, was in many ways one of the primary trademarks of the group, and the amazing thing is that he got better as he got older.
With the possible exception of the Beatles, I can honestly say that no group has ever amazed and enchanted me harmony-wise than this quintet/quartet. Compare his voices on the original "Legend of a Mind" and the version from the Red Rocks concert and you will be absolutely astounded at how deep and lush his voice became in the last years of the band.
Next, John Lodge has always had a very sad, mournful tone to his singing, but this never hurt his songs and often enhances them.
And he also had perhaps the finest falsetto in all of pop music for about ten years (another band trademark).
Yup, Ray might have contributed his own fair share of high falsetto harmonies, but John always sounded better at it.
Finally, we had the heart and soul of the group, the man who put the Moody in Moody Blues, Mr. The deep, bass foundation of all of the group's vocal togetherness, great tunes such as "I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band" could not sound as classic without his anchor.