The most romantic album to come out of the Moody Blues' orbit, and the biggest success of their five-year hiatus. Hayward has the more distinctive body of songs, but their strength as a unit lies in their vocal pairing, which is as strong here as it ever was with the group. The pair play the guitars and basses, backed by a group that includes members of the Threshold-signed band Providence. Hayward wrote or co-wrote seven of the original album's ten songs, and most of it is fairly impressive as soft romantic rock, although "Nights Winters Years" is a little bit too melodramatic. Lodge has one of the better rockers to come out of the group's orbit, however, in "Saved By the Music," which is also a surprisingly spiritual song. The production by Tony Clarke echoes the best Moody Blues sound. The bonus track, "Blue Guitar," is an added attraction to the CD.
Performance CreditsJohn Lodge Primary Artist,Bass
Peter Knight Conductor
Kirk Duncan Piano
John Hayward Guitar
Tom Tompkins Viola
Graham Deakin Drums
Tim Tompkins Cello
Jim Cockey Violin
Technical CreditsJustin Hayward Composer
John Lodge Composer
Tony Clarke Producer
Derek Varnals Engineer
Dave Baker Engineer
Phil Travers Illustrations
Mark Powell Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Reissue Research
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blue Jays [Bonus Track] based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
This album should be in every Moody Blues fan's collection. When I got this album back in 1975 it really filled the space between Seventh Sojourn and Octave. Everyone got the play on words in the title, the two Moody Blue Jays being Justin & John. And contrary to the impression given by Bruce Eder's All Music Guide review, Blue Jays is not a Justin album with John tacked on. It is a genuine collaboration, with Moody Blues producer Tony Clarke at the helm. (See the notes in the booklet for the 1987 CD release.) Check out the mid-70s solo efforts by the other Moodies too, there's some good stuff there!
The Moody Blues were one of the great influences of my life in the early 70's. From Days of Future Past, to our Children's Children, Question of Balance, and concluding with Seventh Soujorn, the last of first 7 albums produce when Justin joined the band, the Moody's rich use of instrumentation set them aside from all their contemporaries. Hours and hours were spent listening to the rich intricacies of sound and the weaving of mystical lyrics. Mike Pinder's influence on the mystic side of their music resonated deep within each track whether or not Mike contributed. When the band broke up, John Lodge and Justin Hayward cut this fine album. Although Mike Pinder did not contribute, his influences in prior works must still have been fresh in the psyche of John and Justin. For nothing this rich has been produced by either or the Moody's since. Yes, they have from time to time cut a single with some depth. But the albums as a whole have been simple, juvenile, and unimaginative. I agreed with Patrick Moran who took Mike Pinder's place when he said that the ''band ceased to take any risks'' upon his departure. That some of the cuts from this album are included in the Time Traveler compilation is a testiment to the richness of these tracks while illustrating the dearth of worthy songs on subsequent titles.
This album from Justin & John, released during the Moodies temporary break-up from 1974 to 1977 has been my all-time favorite Moodies album. Since it came out in 1975, I have not been able to put it down. The opening track ''This Morning'' immediately grabs the listener from the start into a beautiful journey thru tight luscious harmonies, emotionally riveting string arrangements, well-crafted lyrics, and of course, Justin and John's recognizable guitar work. The minor hit single '' I Dreamed Last Night'' reunites Justin & John with Peter Knight and his orchestra, bringing back wonderful memories of listening to ''Days of Future Passed'', and the song soars with brilliance and beauty. I have been a solid Moodies fan since ''Tuesday Afternoon'' was a hit single in 1968, but if I were to be stranded on a deserted island, and only had one album to choose for my CD player, Justin and John's ''Blue Jays'' would have to be my pick....hands down. It's a definite ''must have'' for any devoted Moody Blues fan!
This album (now CD) was made in 1975 with Justin Hayward and John Lodge after the first break-up of the Moody Blues. That said, much of the album sounds as good as any other album they have done. The rich sound and quality lyrics are still there. If you enjoy the Moody Blues, this little known CD is worth the purchase.