This Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of The Moody Blues‘ chart-topping 10th studio album, Long Distance Voyager.
Long Distance Voyager was the British band’s first album without founding keyboardist Mike Pinder, who was replaced by former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz.
The album was hugely successful, spending three weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 during the summer of 1981 and yielding two top-20 hits in the U.S., “The Voice” and “Gemini Dream,” which peaked at #15 and #12, respectively. It’s gone on to sell over a million copies in the States.
“It was a great, great creative time for me and The Moody Blues,” singer/bassist John Lodge tells ABC Audio. “And suddenly, we’re back in the charts and number one with the album…Who can say more?”
Lodge notes that Long Distance Voyager was the only album The Moody Blues made at their own Threshold Studios in London. The band recorded the album with producer Pip Williams, who previously had worked on a couple of John’s solo tracks.
Recalls Lodge, “We went into the studio with Pip Williams, and I think ’cause we’d just be on tour, we were really in empathy with each other as musicians.”
John says the first song he worked on for the project was “Gemini Dream,” which he co-wrote with Moody Blues singer/guitarist Justin Hayward.
“I think that sort of set the standard for the album for me,” he maintains.
Reflecting on Moraz’s contributions to the group, Lodge says, “Patrick fell in really nicely with the band. And he was into the electronics, all the latest keyboards. So, when we wanted a particular sound or particular part played, Patrick seemed to know what we wanted and gave it the sound.”
Here’s Long Distance Voyager’s full track list:
“Talking Out of Turn”
“In My World”
“Veteran Cosmic Rocker”
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