The Moody Blues’ John Lodge, “10,000 Light Years Ago” (2015): One Track Mind

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John Lodge isn’t exactly a prolific solo artist, having last issued his own album away from the Moody Blues nearly four decades back. At the same time, the public perception of the Moodies is dominated, as is typical for most bands, by its frontman – Justin Hayward.

It’s difficult, then, to get a handle on John Lodge as a separate entity outside of his well-loved original hits like “Ride My See-Saw,” “I’m Just A Singer” and “Gemini Dream.” Until now. “10,000 Light Years Ago,” the title track from Lodge’s forthcoming May 5, 2015 solo project for Esoteric Antenna, begins drawing a road map for listeners — even as it harkens back to one of the Moody Blues’ best-known eras. In that way, “10,000 Light Years Ago” is the perfect (re)introduction to John Lodge.

Powered by a smartly modern feel, the track takes us on a soaring journey to the edge of imagination, and then beyond. Our hope for the future becomes intertwined with shimmering memory, as Lodge reminds us of the cyclic nature of our fates on “10,000 Light Years Ago.” The past ends, he seems to be reminding us, at the exact same spot that the future begins.

It’s a big idea, one that traces thematically back to the Moody Blues’ 1969 concept project On the Threshold of a Dream — to say nothing of the title of their 1967 classic Days of Future Passed. That’s not the only connection. John Lodge also works with two former Moody Blues members on “Simply Magic,” which features Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas.

But Lodge principally collaborates with a new voice in guitarist Chris Spedding on his first recording since 1977’s Natural Avenue. Together, and you certainly hear this on the title track, they underscore a welcome willingness to build a bridge to the future from a well-known foundation of the Moody Blues’ past.

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
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