“Tuesday Afternoon” (Moody Blues Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-21 18:01:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Wow, “Tuesday Afternoon” posted on a Tuesday afternoon!  Okay, well, a Tuesday evening, but still.  I swear I didn’t even plan it and even just realized as I was beginning to type my post.  But, it fits so well!

I love this song and the Moody Blues, of course.  “Tuesday Afternoon” is the afternoon section of the Moodies’ first album with their second lineup (after the addition of Justin Hayward and John Lodge and the subtraction of Denny Laine and Clint Warwick).  The album is “Days of Future Passed” and stands as one of the classics.  It has reached classic status because it’s one of the first true concept albums.  It also is the first real fusion of a rock band with a classical orchestra.  It’s almost surreal listening to the album.  This album alone (not to mention the ten great albums they did AFTER this one) should’ve given them a one-way ticket into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s so stupid that they’re not in.  I heard that the Hall doesn’t consider them a “rock” group.  Are you serious?  Have they ever even heard “Story in Your Eyes”?  Or, I don’t know, “I’m Just a Singer in A Rock’n’Roll Band”????  That doesn’t give it away?   My God, and they’re discounting the fact that the Moody Blues had some of the best musicians ever in Justin Hayward on guitar, John Lodge on bass, Graeme Edge on drums, Mike Pinder on piano and mellotron (which he truly pioneered as an instrument rather than just an effects machine), and Ray Thomas, who played a brilliant flute.  This issue always makes me so angry.  The Hall of Fame uses the same argument for not letting Chicago in.  Are you freakin’ serious?  Those guys had more hits than Muhammed Ali!  I just don’t get it.

Anyway, this song falls in the mid-point of the album, as the album takes the listener on a trip throughout an entire day.  I love that concept.  It’s so original.  Of course, the album ends with one of the all-time great songs in “Nights in White Satin”, but “Tuesday Afternoon” was a big hit in its own right.  In fact, I even heard it today while waiting in line at Subway for lunch.

By the way, in case anyone’s being keeping track, I got a new job.  It’s great: a nice atmosphere, professional collegues (what a change from my last job), and I’m getting paid 33% more than I ever have.  It took me three long months to land it, and I know I won’t let anything screw it up this time around.  I have a nice outlook now, especially because it’s good to be a part of a company that’s actually hiring in these economic times.  That’s a good sign for me…and for getting my loved ones Christmas presents, too!  I’m looking forward to a nice holiday season now.

I hope you enjoy this video as another Tuesday afternoon passes us by.  I’ll be back on Friday for yet another acoustic cover song from the Beach Boys, whom I haven’t covered in a very long time.  This song is from a composer, though, that I haven’t covered yet!  So, I’ll keep you guessing on that one for a couple days and to pacify you in the meantime, I present Chris and Jeff tomorrow and Thumpin’ Thursday (TM).  I’ll also be back (hopefully sooner than Friday) to announce yet another big milestone, so stay tuned!



“The Voice” (Moody Blues Cover)

Originally posted 2008-01-27 23:00:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

And now, pinch-hitting for an under-the-weather Jeff, is Jim Fusco!  I’m sitting in to bring you yet another great acoustic cover song music video here on the best music blog around: The Laptop Sessions!  Tonight, I bring you one of my favorite songs from the Moody Blues, “The Voice”, from their #1 album, “Long Distance Voyager”.

Actually, this tune is climbing up my all-time favorites list as it has all the criteria for a song I would love: a catchy tune, faster paced, that glorious late 70’s, early 80s sound that’s not too overdone, and a great guitar solo.  Of course, I’ve stripped all of that out in my version here, except for the tune and the tempo, but I think it gives a different take on the song as a whole.  And that’s what you should expect from all of my cover songs- a different take on my favorite songs of all time.  And, if you like the same songs I like, you’re sure to love my original music, as well!  Visit my website at http://jimfusco.com and take a listen!

I actually recorded a full version of this song a few weeks ago, complete with synthesizers! I think it sounds just like the original and was a lot of fun to try recreating the sounds.  There’s something about that synthesizer sound that the Moody Blues used.  They hired Yes keyboardist Pat Moraz and updated their sound for the late 70s.  Of course, they didn’t have Mike Pinder’s mellotron anymore, so they had to have something to replace it.  I know the songs probably sound very “80s” to everyone now (“The Voice” is very heavily based on synthesizers), but to me, the music has worn pretty well.  There are some 80s songs that I can’t even listen to.  The synthesizers sound so fake and dated.  But, the music of the Moody Blues during the Pat Moraz years doesn’t sound embarrassing like those other songs from the same time period (like the synths the Beach Boys used on “Love You”).

But, again, my acoustic cover song versions take away the synthesizers (and everything else, for that matter) and give you the song in its raw form.  I want people to know what the song really sounds like.  It’s interesting, though- you’ll actually hear all of the other parts in your head as you listen to my cover video.

By the way- if you haven’t heard “Long Distance Voyager” yet, please get a copy!  It’s an amazing album and features some of my favorite songs of all time in “The Voice” and “Gemini Dream”.  Plus, there are great contributions from drummer Graeme Edge (“22,000 Days”) and Ray Thomas (“Veteran Cosmic Rocker”).

Okay, look for a new cover song music video from Jeff tomorrow and again on “Original Wednesday”, as no matter the circumstance- you’re getting a Session a Day in ’08!


“I Dreamed Last Night” by Blue Jays (Justin Hayward & John Lodge of the Moody Blues) Cover

Originally posted 2010-10-17 23:35:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

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!

“Nights in White Satin” (Moody Blues Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-07 16:46:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Well, in the world of Moody Blues songs, it doesn’t get much more popular than “Nights in White Satin”, written by the great Justin Hayward.

I wanted to do this classic song for the Laptop Sessions music video blog because I thought it would translate well to a solo acoustic performance. I hope you like my whistling flute solo! :-) I wasn’t gonna do it, but Chris and Becky egged me on, and I think I nailed it!!

I love the vocal exercise this song presents and I’ve always thought that Justin Hayward has one of the best singing voices ever.  He’s also one of the greatest songwriters ever and can play an amazing guitar.  As with most of my favorite musicians and songwriters, Justin Hayward doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his incredible talents.  His acoustic guitar work on songs like “Question” haven’t been reproduced since.  And his electric guitar work gets almost no attention, even though it’s amazing.  Have you heard the guitar on “Story in Your Eyes”?  It’s face-meltingly awesome!  The tone he gets and his style of playing belie the calm and proper British personality he portrays.  Well, even if Justin Hayward (or the Moody Blues as a band, for that matter) doesn’t get the credit he/they deserves, I’m still glad I can share some of his greatness with you, my loyal Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song watchers.

So, this is a high bar to rise above, but I’m such a big Moody Blues fan that I know the song backwards and forwards.  It would be great to record a version of this someday, but honestly, how can I improve upon perfection?  I think I’ll stick to classic songs like this on solo acoustic guitar for my posts here on the music blog.

Enjoy today’s Session and make sure to come back for a Super Saturday appearance from Chris!