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John Lodge

B Yond - The Very Best Of

Review by Gary Hill

This is unusual as "best of" sets go. For one thing, many of the tracks are not John Lodge solo numbers, but rather numbers he wrote for and recorded with The Moody Blues. Of course, they are his songs, so that's a perfectly legitimate concept. A number of the pieces are live recordings of his tunes. Others are remixes. There is one brand new song. All in all, this set works quite well. I should mention that I previously reviewed two of these songs on another of his albums. For the sake of consistency, those two track reviews are adapted from that review for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) (Live)
This classic Moody Blues tune gets a killer live telling here. They capture the energy and vibe so well.
Summer Breeze, Summer Song (2019 Remix)
There is a real 1960s folk meets psychedelia vibe to this cut. It's a classy number and works quite well.
In My Mind
Roughly the first two and a half minutes of this are purely instrumental. This starts off quite mellow, but builds out to a real rocker. In a lot of ways this song makes me think of Pink Floyd. The guitar sound and general arrangement definitely feel like that.
Street Café (2019)
This is a bouncy little tune. It has a lot of that folk, psychedelic vibe to it. It's very much a 1960s styled thing.
(Evening) Time to Get Away (2019)
A new take on a classic Moody Blues song, I really like this so much. It has a bit more of a mysterious tone in this arrangement. It's so powerful here. In fact, I think I actually prefer this to the original Moodies version of the cut.
Saved By the Music (Live)
I like this song a lot. It has a bit of a Moody Blues vibe, but also plenty of folk rock in the mix. This live recording works really well. There is a catchy, energetic groove to the piece. It has a nice, but short, drop-back mid-track.
Legend of a Mind (2019)
Another intriguing reworking of a classic Moody Blues tune, this is so classy. I'm not sure if I like this more than the original, but I like it at least as much. If you've ever enjoyed the song, give this a try. It brings a freshness to it while preserving all the magic.
Say You Love Me (2019 Remix)
I like this tune quite a bit. It has a bit of a dreamy element. It's perhaps more of an adult contemporary piece with pop rock edges. It has some Moody Blues like leanings, but only a bit. It's a fairly slow and measured piece.
Get Me Out of Here
I can hear a lot of modern Moodies in the mix on this number. It’s a catchy cut with some great guitar and accessible vocal hooks. I love the guitar soloing, too. It definitely has a bit of Beatles vibe at times, as well.
Gemini Dream (Live)
Another live performance of a Moody Blues tune, I like this a lot. It's perhaps closer to the original version than some of the others are.
Isn't Life Strange (Live)
Here is another Moodies tune. This one is so close to the original for much of its run. I love the guitar sound on the powered up movement. That lends a more modern texture.
Ride My See-Saw (Live)
The guitar sound brings a modern angle to this classic Moody Blues number. Beyond that, this runs pretty close to what you expect. It rocks out well.
 
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