The Moody Blues always had a good ear for a hit single, but the turn of the 1970s witnessed their transition into an albums band. With a great succession of loosely conceptualised and highly sophisticated productions, they served notice of that evolution in the summer of 1971, as they topped the British charts with an album that contained no chart singles at all.
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour took its title from the mnemonic for the EGBDF lines of the treble clef. It was the album that contained Justin Hayward’s impressive ‘The Story In Your Eyes,’ a top 30 US single that was withdrawn from sale in Britain at the band’s request. But that didn’t stop the album from going all the way to the top.
The Moodies had reached No. 1 in the UK with On The Threshold of a Dream in 1969. To Our Children’s Children’s Children was stopped at No. 2 by The Beatles’ Abbey Road, but they were not to be denied with 1970’s A Question of Balance, which had three weeks at the summit.
Then came Favour, which featured solo compositions by each of the five members of the band, as well as the only Moody Blues song to carry credits for the whole quintet, the opening ‘Procession.’ Even more democratically, Messrs Hayward, Lodge, Thomas, Pinder and Edge also shared lead vocals on the track.
The album entered the UK chart at No. 2, and moved to the top on 14 August, 1971, replacing the Hot Hits 6 collection of soundalike versions of recent hits, a popular series in the days when compilations were welcomed into the main UK album countdown. That was the only week at No. 1 for the Moodies’ album, but it proved its staying power by spending the next four weeks at No. 3, and a total of nine in the top ten.
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour can be bought here.