835 756-2 Sur La Mer
Produced by Tony Visconti
Released on June 6, 1988
UK CHART POSITION #21 . . . US CHART POSITION #38
Find it at GEMM
835 756-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A modernization of the Moodies, with Tony “busy fingers” Visconti at the boards and Ray Thomas in absentia. To their credit, Justin Hayward and John Lodge don’t let the new production environment impact their songwriting or vision, delivering wistful and sometimes epic portraits of a man looking for love and meaning in life. Patrick Moraz, who would leave by the back door after this album, shines in these surroundings, returning from the shadows of The Present. His keyboards prop up these simple ballads, giving them substance and resonance, while the rest of the band takes a step back musically (though they were never a “flashy chops” act). Personally, I enjoy Sur La Mer more than I expected to; the melodies are occasionally gorgeous and seldom less than pretty, the vocals subdued but in balance with the arrangements around them, the modern effects actually refreshing at times. In fact, the programming on “Deep” finds the Moodies making a move on Genesis’ “Mama.” “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” is the standout track, following a strategy of strong opening drives begun with “The Voice” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” Sur La Mer doesn’t really have a second single on it; “No More Lies” is pleasant enough, but it just doesn’t grab your attention the way a single should. If the hits are missing, Sur La Mer makes up for it with smooth sailing from beginning to end. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, but the melodies are graceful, the arrangements active and interesting (thanks mostly to Moraz and Visconti), and the final product is unmistakeably the Moodies’. It doesn’t warrant the heroes’ welcome of Long Distance Voyager, but Sur La Mer finds the band safely in port with another pleasant adventure to boast of.

835 756-2 picture sleeve
835 756-2 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE    (Justin Hayward)    6:37
  2. WANT TO BE WITH YOU    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:48
  3. RIVER OF ENDLESS LOVE    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:45
  4. NO MORE LIES    (Justin Hayward)    5:13
  5. HERE COMES THE WEEKEND    (John Lodge)    4:13
  6. VINTAGE WINE    (Justin Hayward)    3:38
  7. BREAKING POINT    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:56
  8. MIRACLE    (Justin Hayward/John Lodge)    4:56
  9. LOVE IS ON THE RUN    (John Lodge)    5:00
  10. DEEP    (Justin Hayward)    6:50

CREDITS

GRAEME EDGE -- acoustic drums
JUSTIN HAYWARD -- guitars, keyboards, vocals, additional keyboards & drum sequencing
JOHN LODGE -- bass, keyboards, vocals, additional keyboards & drum sequencing
PATRICK MORAZ -- keyboards
TONY VISCONTI -- programming, engineer, mixing
Nicolas De Stael -- cover painting (Le Fort d'Antibes, 1955)

return to THE MOODY BLUES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US/CAN/GER June 6, 1988 Polydor LP/CD/CS 835 756 lyric sleeve
UK 1988 Polydor LP POLH43 inner sleeve
YUG   RTB LP ST220370 inner sleeve

 

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