829 179-2 The Other Side of Life
Produced by Tony Visconti
Released on May 1986
UK CHART POSITION #24 . . . US CHART POSITION #9
Find it at GEMM
829 179-2 cover  

C laire Rosemary Jane was once again kind enough to give us her side of the Moodies, including the review below, scans and track information. She can be reached for comment at clairerosemaryjane@yahoo.co.uk.

"By this time, 1986, I really think that the Moody Blues had run very low on creative steam. It is very much emphasised here just by looking at the composing credits on the album, for there is not one Ray Thomas song, not even in a collaboration, and his distinctive voice is once again hardly evident on the album, even though he appears listed as one of the band members. Now I really like Justin Hayward as a songwriter, he is probably my all-time favourite songwriter, but what made the Moody Blues special was that this band not only had used an interesting number of instruments, often regarded as classical ones in their earlier albums, but also had not just one but five singers, not just one but five songwriters, and five instrumentalists as well. But by now they had lost the often melancholy songwriting that I always felt was the writing of Mike Pinder, had to all intents and purposes lost Ray Thomas as a songwriter, and were more or less relying on Justin Hayward and John Lodge to churn out the songs. And by now this was taking its toll on the two of them. They would go on to produce a few more very good songs, but other than the first track, not on this album.

"The album opens with a Justin Hayward song "Your Wildest Dreams", which is probably about the strongest track on the whole album. It contains some lovely synthesiser work by Patrick Moraz, has a steady beat and some nice harmonies, and was certainly the only track really worthy of being pulled off the album for a single. The next track "Talking Talking" is one of the now fairly standard Justin Hayward and John Lodge collaborations. It has a nice heavy beat with Justin and John singing close harmony with one another, but otherwise there is little to distinguish it from many other similar collaborations. "Rock'n'roll over you", the third track, is a typical John Lodge song and reminds me very much of some of his earlier songs. By now they were tending to sound very similar. At the end it includes an attempt to be trendy with the words stopped and run on auto repeat, to produce a sort of stutter. "I just don't care" is a slow ballad by Justin Hayward with synthesised strings, about a lovesick schoolboy; harking back to his teenage years maybe? "Running out of Love" is another John Lodge and Justin Hayward compilation, it has synthesised strings, and is actually reminiscent of some of Mike Pinder's earlier work. "The other side of life", the album title track which was also lifted for a single, mistakenly in my opinion, is an interesting enough song with a different and rather more interesting back beat and a throbbing bass. It also has electric drums on it that are very reminiscent of the drums at the beginning of "Eastenders", for any readers who are aware of the British soap of that name. But for once this track does have mood, in fact it oozes moodiness, and made me think of a dark, sinister, wet night. "The spirit" is the only song on the whole album written by anybody other than either John Lodge or Justin Hayward. It is in fact a Graeme Edge/Patrick Moraz collaboration. To me it is stilted, and I could not my make up my mind either as to who was actually singing it, it certainly did not appear to be Graeme Edge, more like a combination of Justin and John again. But it does at least have a few sounds at the end of the track reminiscent of the Moody Blues as they were in their heyday. "Slings and arrows", the penultimate track on the album, has a steady back beat with a swing, and a driving riff. It is another Justin and John compilation. The last track on the album is "It may be a fire", and is one of John Lodge's better songs. It is a slow gentle ballad, with some nice lead guitar slightly reminiscent of some of Eric Clapton's guitar work. It makes a pleasant enough finish to an otherwise fairly ordinary album.

829 179-2 inner sleeve
829 179-2 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. YOUR WILDEST DREAMS    (Justin Hayward)    4:50
  2. TALKIN' TALKIN'    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    3:50
  3. ROCK 'N' ROLL OVER YOU    (John Lodge)    4:50
  4. I JUST DON'T CARE    (Justin Hayward)    4:25
  5. RUNNING OUT OF LOVE    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:25
  6. THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE    (Justin Hayward)    6:50
  7. THE SPIRIT    (Graeme Edge/Patrick Moraz)    4:14
  8. SLINGS AND ARROWS    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:29
  9. IT MAY BE A FIRE    (John Lodge)    4:56

CREDITS

GRAEME EDGE --
JUSTIN HAYWARD --
JOHN LODGE --
PATRICK MORAZ --
RAY THOMAS --
Barry Radman -- additional programming and sampling
Tony Visconti -- engineer
Gordon Futter, Sam Smith, Andy Llewellyn -- assistant engineers
Alwyn Clayden -- art direction, design
Bruce Gil (Green Ink) -- design
Karl Lloyd -- illustration

return to THE MOODY BLUES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US/GER May 1986 Polydor LP/CD/CS 829 179/
POLD 5190 (uk lp)
lyric sleeve
CAN 1986 Polydor LP/CD/CS PDS/PDS4-16428  
JPN 1986 Polydor LP 28MM-0499 picture sleeve, lyric insert

 

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