One Track Mind: Moody Blues, “Gemini Dream” from Live at Montreux (2013)

Share this:

While much has rightly been made of the Moody Blues’ prog-defining successes around the turn of the 1970s, a newly released concert performance contextualizes later hits like this one — which in its own way broke new ground.

“Gemini Dream,” originally part of 1981’s Long Distance Voyager, wasn’t their biggest hit but it marked a turning point, both for the Moodies and for the emerging new sound of legacy progressive bands like themselves. The version on Live at Montreux doesn’t rely so much on the then-recently departed Patrick Moraz’s original, very forward-thinking synth work, retooling instead with guitars, but even that remodeling job can’t distract from the song’s fizzy new-wave inspired sensibilities.

In another year, Asia would emerge with its celebrated prog-pop debut. In another two, a reconstituted Yes would top the charts with “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” All of that, for good or for ill, started right here — with a song that just missed the Top 10 in the summer of 1981.

Elsewhere on this sprawling CD/DVD set, the Moodies — in their only Montreux performance to date — mix and match tunes from across their career, including “Tuesday Afternoon,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” “Question,” “The Other Side of Life,” “I’m Just a Singer” and, of course, “Nights in White Satin.” The film also includes bonus versions of “Bless the Wings” and “Lean On Me (Tonight)” from Keys of the Kingdom, their then-new 1991 effort.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00C7O8HF2″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00AU15HPC” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000001F5Y” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00C7O8E50″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B001C3I4UM” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Eagle Rock paired the release of ‘Live at Montreux’ with a classic-era performance at the Isle of Wight festival, before an audience of some half a million fans. Included on the ‘Threshold of a Dream: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970’ DVD/CD release is the band’s full setlist, plus additional archival footage and new interviews with Moody Blues stalwarts Justin Hayward, Mike Pinder, John Lodge and Graeme Edge.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close