The Moody Blues hit No. 1 on the UK album chart three times. When they achieved the feat in the States on 9 December 1972, it was with an LP that only reached No. 5 in their home country. But Seventh Sojourn was a record full of classic Moodies songs, and it was America’s favourite album for five weeks, all the way into early 1973.
Produced as usual by Tony Clarke for the band’s Threshold label, the band’s seventh album (eighth if you include their 1965 debut in their original line-up, The Magnificent Moodies) was the follow-up to the UK No. 1 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, which had made runner-up spot in the US.
The new album had been nicely previewed by the John Lodge song ‘Isn’t Life Strange,’ and another of his compositions, ‘I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock ‘n’ Roll Band)’ would be a subsequent hit. Both songs showed the superb interplay between Lodge and Justin Hayward, and remain a key part of the band’s live shows to this day. But the strangest aspect of the Moodies’ singles year of 1972 was that they ended up effectively competing against themselves.
A reissue of the 1967 classic ‘Nights In White Satin’ became a bigger hit than even the two new singles, and a top ten success on both sides of the Atlantic (having never charted in the US on first release). Some newcomers, perhaps unaware of the band’s history, may have expected ‘Nights’ to be on the new studio record, but either way, the name of the Moodies was all over the singles charts, and Seventh Sojourn reaped the reward.
The album also included one of flautist Ray Thomas’ finest hours, ‘For My Lady,’ and the powerful cohesion within the group was amply demonstrated by the fact that all five members wrote for Seventh Sojourn. Hayward contributed ‘New Horizons’ and ‘The Land Of Make-Believe’ and co-wrote ‘You And Me’ with drummer Graeme Edge, while keyboard maestro Mike Pinder offered ‘Lost In A Lost World’ and ‘When You’re A Free Man.’
Seventh Sojourn can be bought here.
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