PS 708 Octave
Produced by Tony Clarke
Released on June 1978
UK CHART POSITION #6 . . . US CHART POSITION #13 . . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
PS 708 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 11.0: HELLO GOODBYE. The Moody Blues, like many of their prog peers, returned from a mid-70s summer of solo albums and re-assembled. However, rather than writing a new beginning, Octave instead marks the end of an era. The last album to feature Michael Pinder and producer Tony Clarke, Octave is a continuation of the spiritual, orchestral balladry that defined their earlier success. Pinder does utilize spacier keyboard sounds on songs like “I’ll Be Level With You” and “Steppin’ In A Slide Zone,” though they only hint at the giant electronic leap made on Long Distance Voyager. The real achievement of Octave lies in the new material from Justin Hayward: “Driftwood,” “Had To Fall In Love,” “The Day We Meet Again.” It’s some of the prettiest music Hayward has written, a sigh away from Heaven. As I mentioned, Octave is also an overtly spiritual work, referenced directly in Ray Thomas’ “Under Moonshine” and Pinder’s “One Step Into The Light,” intimated in the dreamy and elegiac tone of the album. Surprisingly (given the waning interest in progressive rock), Octave became the first Moody Blues album to go platinum in the US. Clearly, there was still a market for the band’s Beatlesque arrangements and soothing songcraft. If I hesitate to rank this alongside the acknowledged Moodies classics, I will concede that it’s my favorite album since On The Threshold of a Dream. The songs from Hayward and key contributions from Thomas and John Lodge (“Survival”) prove worth the wait; something fans would learn to do as the band entered a less frequent recording phase.

PS 708 inner gatefold PS 708 back cover
PS 708 inner gatefold PS 708 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. STEPPIN' IN A SLIDE ZONE    (John Lodge)    5:28
  2. UNDER MOONSHINE    (Ray Thomas)    5:00
  3. HAD TO FALL IN LOVE    (Justin Hayward)    3:38
  4. I'LL BE LEVEL WITH YOU    (Graeme Edge)    3:47
  5. DRIFTWOOD    (Justin Hayward)    5:02
  6. TOP RANK SUITE    (Justin Hayward)    3:40
  7. I'M YOUR MAN    (Ray Thomas)    4:20
  8. SURVIVAL    (John Lodge)    4:09
  9. ONE STEP INTO THE LIGHT    (Mike Pinder)    4:28
  10. THE DAY WE MEET AGAIN    (Justin Hayward)    6:18

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  11. STEPPIN' IN A SLIDE ZONE (LIVE)
  12. I'M YOUR MAN (LIVE)
  13. TOP RANK SUITE (LIVE)
  14. DRIFTWOOD (LIVE)
  15. THE DAY WE MEET AGAIN (LIVE)

CREDITS

GRAEME EDGE --
JUSTIN HAYWARD --
JOHN LODGE --
MIKE PINDER --
RAY THOMAS --
Jimmy Haskell -- string arrangement & conductor (8)
Dr. Terry James -- string arrangements, conductor (2,7)
R. A. Martin -- saxes, horns, horn & sax arrangements (5,6)
Garry Ladinsky, Chris Brunt, Richard Kaplan, Pete Carlsen, Dennis Hansen -- recording engineers
David Alexander -- photography
Kosh -- design & art direction
Richard Roth -- cover co-ordination

return to THE MOODY BLUES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/AUS'L/SWE June 1978 Decca LP/CS TXS/KTXC 129 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US/CAN June 1978 London LP/LPBLU/CS/8T PS/PS5/PS8 708 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve,
5,000 copies made on blue-swirled vinyl
BEL 1978 Decca LP/CS 163054Y/DKC-211001 gatefold cover
FRA 1978 Decca LP 211 001  
GER 1978 Decca LP 6.23482 gatefold cover
JPN 1978 London LP GP-1097 gatefold cover, lyric insert
NET 1978 Decca LP 6376 125 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
TUR   Melodi/London LP 1009  
YUG   Jugoton LP LSDC 73088  
JPN   London LP K18P-38 gatefold cover, lyric insert
JPN 1982 London LP L20P-1012 gatefold cover, lyric insert
WW 1986 Decca/London LP/CD 820 329  
UK 2008 Universal CDX 5312790 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN 2008 Universal CD UICY-93719 SHMCD remaster

 

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