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 bestsellers 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 It was the album that contained Justin Hayward’s impressive “The Story In Your Eyes,” a Top 30 US single that was withdrawn from sale in Britain at the band’s request.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.
A brief summer run at No.1
The album entered the UK chart at No.2, and moved to the top on August 14, 1971, replacing the Hot Hits 6 collection. Featuring soundalike versions of recent hits, this was 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 10.
In the US, by October 1971, it was gold, continuing an impressive run in which all of their albums had achieved that RIAA certification. Cashbox observed that the group and producer Tony Clarke had, in securing that sequence, “created music which has won them a wide and devoted following.”
Buy or stream Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.