By Jim Fusco:
Hello everyone- tonight’s session is a Moody Blues song that’s always been a favorite of mine. I’ll be the first to admit that most of the Moodies songs aren’t exactly “rockers”, but when they do come out with one, it’s AWESOME. “Story In Your Eyes”, “Ride My Seesaw”, and “I’m Just A Singer in a Rock’n’Roll Band” come to mind as great songs with a rock sound and some amazing lead guitar playing by Justin Hayward. I honestly believe that Justin Hayward is one of the most underrated rock guitarists out there. The man can absolutely shred on the guitar and he plays it perfectly every time- even in concert. Have you heard the beginning to “Question” on 12-string acoustic guitar? Even playing that half-speed on acoustic guitar is difficult. Hayward is the man, and that’s all there is to it.
The Moody Blues song I’ve chosen for tonight’s cover song music video, “It’s Up To You”, has a great guitar riff, classic Justin Hayward introspective lyrics, and just a great melody. “It’s Up To You” my favorite song off of the “Question of Balance” album. That album, to me, is a bit faster paced than any of the other “first seven” albums they did. But, I think the songs aren’t nearly as good (as a whole) as the songs on albums like “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” and “To Our Children’s Children’s Children”.
One thing about Justin Hayward’s lead guitar playing I love is his double or even triple-tracking of the lead guitar. It’s so unique. George Harrison used to do it with his famous slide guitar solos. But, Justin Hayward is a fan of more distortion on his guitar solos and riffs. So, it’s a different sound. Hayward triple-tracks the lead guitar for two reasons, in my opinion. First, he wants to make the part sound more powerful. You have to imagine that little thin high E string on a guitar. Now, strum it with a piece of plastic. It’s going to need a lot of power to cut through drums, bass, and a synthesizer. So, triple-tracking the lead guitar (that’s recording it three times) is a great way to make it stand out from the rest of the sounds in the band. Another reason why Hayward did it is the reason why I think it’s so cool: harmony! He would take the lead guitar part and then play it three times. Except, each time he’d play a different note of a chord. Played all together, you get a great sound that’s full and unique. I did that on some of my songs, too. For instance, on “Give and Take” from my album “What About Today?”, I did a three-part lead solo. Listen to that song online on my website at http://jimfusco.com.
I hoe you enjoy tonight’s Moody Blues cover song! Keep checking back for more music videos because we are determined not to miss a day in 2008! We’ll see how long it lasts, but let’s just say I’ve already got enough cover song videos for the next couple weeks!