For Moody Blues chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
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…
See you next session!