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Hayward, Justin: All The Way

Justin Hayward celebrated his 50th year with The Moody Blues in 2016, however with All The Way it is the other side of that long career in music which is celebrated, Justin's solo work the focus. Between 1966 and 1974 The Moody Blues had gone from strength to strength, a jobbing band paying its dues and evolving into rock stars. However as was the case back then, the band were worked hard too hard and agreed to take a four year sabbatical (something almost unheard of at the time). Hayward and his Moody's band mate John Lodge teamed up to create the Blue Jays album, which proved to be quite a success. With the pair's record label, Decca, desperate for a single to further promote the album, they came across a recording Hayward had made of a song called "Blue Guitar", which they added strings to and released. The song broke into the top 10 in the UK singles chart and from there Hayward was in demand as a solo artist, releasing his Songwriter album in 1977.

From there The Moody Blues once again became the main focus, but a further 6 solo albums have appeared across the years, songs from which appear here. As does Hayward's biggest smash hit single "Forever Autumn" from Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds concept piece, which even now is probably the most recognisable track in this collection. Always keen to distinguish between the Moody's sound and his own, what Hayward presents in his solo guise is less progressive, if no less immersive. Although even with that in mind, it's still unmistakably him, a voice that has always proved to be Hayward's calling card given more room to shine in these 'simpler', more heartfelt songs. A perfect example of that would be "It's Not Too Late", where strings and strummed guitars lay a gentle bed for Hayward's voice to reveal its full, rich tone. Something that can also be said for "The Western Sky", a beautifully poised song still managing to hold great depth. However with the honed soft rock of "Broken Dream" and upbeat good time country vibes of "Troubadour" raising the spirits, there's also a good amount of variety on display, while "One Day Someday" still proves a favourite.

Never afraid to reappraise his Moody Blues work in a solo setting, we are also treated to a live version of "Nights In White Satin", while a string laden "The Story In Your Eyes" adds even more grandeur to a track that never lacked for it in the first place. However for Hayward fans, the real prizes here come in the shape of something old and something new. The new being "The Wind Of Heaven", a song Hayward co-wrote for a film of the same name; which it has to be said is genuinely one of the highlights of this collection. The old track that should prove most exciting is a 'naked' look at the song that first broke Hayward into the charts as a solo artist, "Blue Guitar". The original version he recorded in 1974 with members of the band 10CC presented here and not disappointing one jot.

Justin Hayward is still as active as ever with both The Moody Blues and as a solo artist, to experience what all the fuss has been about for 40-plus years, put on this collection and let him take you All The Way.

Track Listing
1. Blue Guitar
2. Forever Autumn
3. Broken Dream
4. Troubadour
5. The Best Is Yet To Come
6. One Day Someday
7. One Lonely Room
8. In Your Blue Eyes
9. Vincent
10. Nights In White Satin
11. Raised On Love
12. It's Not Too Late
13. The Story In Your Eyes
14. The Western Sky
15. The Wind Of Heaven

Added: January 14th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Justin Hayward online
Hits: 1321
Language: english

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