Okay, request time here at the Laptop Sessions. This one’s going out to my longtime friend Drew Kingsley.
“Question” is a great tune by the Moody Blues off of their (you guessed it) “Question Of Balance” album.
I hope you’ll all like my acoustic-ized version of the song. Of course the strumming isn’t as insane as Justin Hayward’s is- I can actually play it at that speed, but have a bit of trouble keeping time when I do. So, I chose the safe route for this version. I think the effect is still there because of the dynamics used.
There will be many more Moodies songs to come, as well as many request fulfillments in the coming weeks- I’m loving this every third day schedule, as it really allows me to pick some tougher songs and practice them until they’re perfect for internet posting!
Okay, better late than never! I just forgot to post this video and even though I kept reminding myself, I’ve been very burned-out lately, so I just couldn’t go through all the motions. Thankfully I recorded this video a few weeks ago when I was in slightly better spirits. Not that anything is particularly wrong- I just feel a tad bit overworked, in general. But, that feeling comes and goes. I hope that, after a day finishing up yard work and such outside on a beautiful day, that we’re entering a calmer time soon.
I tried making plans today to hang out with 0ne of my best friends, but when I looked at my calendar, it was all booked up every weekend until Thanksgiving. It’s all fun stuff- concerts, parties, get-togethers at our house- but, it was a pretty sad feeling to say to him, “Sorry, man, I’m booked.” It’s tough juggling a new marriage, new house, a website, three jobs, and the massive amount of projects and ambitions I have. When all these things are working at full-tilt, I feel great- like I can rule the world. But then, I slowly start to realize that I cannot rule the world and then everything gets overwhelming. So, it stinks for a few days and then I’m back to sorting things out again.
Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I felt it necessary considering that I take this Laptop Sessions project very seriously and don’t want it to become a “whenever I get the chance” thing. I don’t work that way- when someone says, “I’ll get to it when I get a chance,” they really mean that it’s never going to get done. And for those that are currently enjoying the last Masters of the Universe album, “Homestead’s Revenge,” well then, you’re probably happy that I don’t for people to finish things “whenever they get a chance”.
Onto tonight’s video:
“I Dreamed Last Night” by Blue Jays is simply one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. Other than a guitar solo and harmonies (two things I love, but aren’t necessary in this song), this is a PERFECT song. If you haven’t heard the original, do yourself a favor and download it. This is a great story for me because of the way I remembered this song:
I was in Northampton, MA for a day trip and went into this small record store. In the top section above the rest of the albums, they had a Moody Blues Starter Pack. There were four records for eight bucks and they were in amazing condition. In fact, the copy of “Long Distance Voyager” (one of my all-time favorite albums) was never played. To this day, I don’t have the heart to play it- it’s over 30 years old now and is brand new! Anyway, inside the set was a copy of “Blue Jays”, which was a one-off album for Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues. There’s a cool story behind that album, too:
Justin Hayward and Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues decided to work on a project together after the Moodies broke up after the “Seventh Sojourn” album. But, Mike Pinder (like Gene Clark of the Byrds) is a notorious homebody and backed out of the project after a while. So, Justin Hayward called in John Lodge to collaborate and to add a few of his own songs. The album was titled “Blue Jays” because they’re the two members of the Moody Blues with names that start with “J”- get it? Blue-J’s?
Well, I fired-up the turntable and put the album on. I instantly loved it. Here I had a brand-new (to me) “Moody Blues” album! I knew all the rest of their albums, but we never got this one on CD, so I never heard it growing-up. I knew “Remember Me, My Friend” from a Moody Blues compilation I got recently and loved that song. So I knew I’d love the rest of the album. There’s something about the sound on “Blue Jays”- it’s very “classic rock” sounding with great guitars and a wonderfully full production. The songs themselves, for the most part, are some of the best Hayward ever did. Lodge’s songs were good, too, but I liked some of his earlier work, including “I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock’n’Roll Band)” and “Ride My See-saw”.
Then, as I was listening to the album, “I Dreamed Last Night” crackled onto my speakers. I instantly remembered it. It must’ve been on a compilation set my father played a lot. My brother remembered the song, too. And when I heard it, I instantly ran over and played it again. I called my wife upstairs and embarrassingly sang it to her at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t stop talking about it for days- this song has one of the best tunes I’ve ever heard. It has slow parts and fast parts. It’s sad and yet triumphant. In a word, it’s amazing.
So, when it came time to do the new season of the Laptop Sessions, this was near the top of the list. Even though I don’t play the song in the same guitar tuning as Justin Hayward does, it’s still in the same key and I think it gets the sentiment across very well. I hope you’ll love this song as much as I did and will check out this album- it’s a lost gem if I’ve ever found one.
Have a great one and I’ll be back on time for my video on Thursday, October 28th. Enjoy tonight’s cover song acoustic version of “I Dreamed Last Night” by Blue Jays!
Welcome, welcome to another version of Jim Fusco Tuesdays here on the best music video blog ever created: the Laptop Sessions!
My special guest is coming, I promise, but we’ll have to wait at least another week. But, it’ll be a great performance and I’m really looking forward to it.
So, I had to do an impromptu video tonight. I have been practicing this song for many months now, but I always had other Moody Blues songs cued-up so I never got to it. But, I had to do this video tonight up in my room because it’s just simply too cold in the studio now and I don’t wanna wait for the heat to kick in.
So, the video doesn’t look that great, but the sound is there, and that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?
Tonight, I bring you a great song by the Moody Blues from their album “The Present”. This might be considered the last great Moody Blues album, because they were still popular, relevant, and had all four members contributing in a significant way. I, of course, love the “Strange Times” album, but I definitely feel like I’m the only person in Connecticut (other than people I know personally) that knows of that album.
“Blue World” is a well-done song and has a classic Justin Hayward sound to it. I love the chorus and I even love that over-the-top Pat Moraz keyboard/synth work.
The only problem with this song is the introspective lyrics that Hayward is so accustomed to writing. He’s like the Mike Love of the band. I mean, in this song, Hayward mentions his songs “The Voice” and “Fly Me High”. He’s done this in other songs, as well. But the thing is that “The Voice” was from the PREVIOUS album! It’s not like he had a lot of time to reflect on the message of that song…
Well, I hope you enjoy tonight’s entry into the Laptop Sessions’ catalog. Chris and I are going to have a battle to the death to find out who’s stuck with Original Wednesday tomorrow, but I may guilt him into it, seeing that I’ll be away on business for the first time! I may be back in time and I’ll have stories to tell. I’ve never been to New York City alone before, so tomorrow should be interesting! Have a great one and I’ll be back sooner than you think!
Hello and welcome to another all-new edition of the Laptop Sessions. To kick off another full week of new material, I’ve reached into the Moody Blues catalog of songs — specifically from their 2003 album December — to bring you a cover song version of their cover of the Mike Blatt and Tim Rice song “A Winter’s Tale.”
Now, although I am an English teacher, this is not to be confused with the William Shakespeare play “The Winter’s Tale.” Not only is there a notable difference in parts of speech (namely the indefinite – “a” – versus the definite – “the” – articles), but there is also a big difference in tone. Still, “The Winter’s Tale” is quite a trip. Consider, for instance, that this play contains one of Shakespeare’s most infamous stage directions: “Exit, pursued by a bear.” What I find the most interesting is that there is contention over whether he used an actual bear for the original productions, or simply a man dressed in a bear costume.
I would assume the latter, but the former is just so much more fascinating…
But this is all beside the point.
“A Winter’s Tale” is one of those songs that is indisputably beautiful, sung perfectly by Justin Hayward. For those who have seen them in concert recently, you may have noticed my apparel is a nod to Hayward’s typical onstage wardrobe. That wasn’t too difficult to arrange, as I simply removed my tie and jacket and voila! Of course, this is also one of those songs that, upon playback, forces me to remember I’m a rhythm guitarist hammering away at what is such a subtle, pretty song at heart. During our MoU Christmas concerts, Mike would front the band on this one, fingerpicking and taking the lead — and for good reason!
The reason I’m standing up is because the song simply didn’t sound right when I played it sitting down. I found I was having trouble getting comfortable as I played it.
Of course, the majority of the song being played on barre chords didn’t help either…
Several takes and several strained ligaments in my hands later, you’ve got yourself a new Laptop Session.
As a final note about the song, I found it very interesting that this song, originally written by songwriters Mike Batt and Tim Rice, hit #2 on the UK charts back in 1982. Batt teamed up with Rice to write the song for performer David Essex. Another interesting bit of trivia is that Batt went on to produce Justin Hayward’s solo album Classic Blue between 1988 and 1989 at Abbey Road Studios in London. Classic Blue, ironically, is an album of covers. The track listing includes three songs written by Batt, as well as classics from Brian Wilson, Lennon/McCartney, and Led Zeppelin.
I hope that you enjoy this installment of the Laptop Sessions, and I encourage you to hurry back for more very soon. In addition to your regularly scheduled (yuletide?) cover song music video tomorrow, there may be a brand new Guest Session on Friday, as well as another edition of the Weekend Review. If you missed last weekend’s music review, you should know that I just kicked off a top five albums of the decade countdown. Each weekend between now and January 2nd, 2009, I will reveal another album on the list, as well as a full review. Then, on January 2nd, I will post my full “Top Thirty Rock Albums of the Decade” list, along with my review for the number one rock album of the decade.
Thus far, the Barenaked Ladies’ Maroon (2000) has cinched the #5 slot. Which album will rank as the fourth best album of the decade?
You’ll have to tune in to the Weekend Review to find out…