(NewsNation Now) – Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of Moody Blues, has died, his family confirmed to NewsNation. He was 80.
The Moody Blues delivered the soundtrack to much of the ’60s and’ 70s, though their biggest hit, “Your Wildest Dreams,” came with help from the MTV era of the ’80s.
The English musician was a member of the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame for his 50 years of work with the rock band, where he delivered their imaginative rhythms and memorable spoken words.
Edge retired from touring in 2018 and was the only founding member continuously in the band since the mid-1960s. 2018 was also the year the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In an interview on the red carpet at the induction ceremony, Edge said that Moody Blues had “the most loyal and the best fans on earth. I would probably push the daisies up without them.”
And now, three years after retiring from the tours and arenas filled with fans, he has left us.
Asked about his great influence in getting into rock and roll, Edge credited his grandfather, a singer who toured “almost in the days of stagecoach” to encourage him to try the music world. He said his grandfather would always see him play in London’s Palladium Theater, and four months before he died he did just that.
The orchestral background, which was at the core of the band’s sound, shed a wide network of influence in the 70s and 80s, nurturing the bands Yes, Genesis during the Peter Gabriel years and the Electric Light Orchestra. Listen to Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and you may be forgiven for confusing it with a Moody Blues tune.
There are ongoing debates between Pink Floyd and Moody Blues fans about who influenced whom, but it’s likely they simply drank of the same creative spring.
As production costs have been trimmed and the character of the music industry has changed, Moodies’ influence has diminished, but audiophiles still use their early works to test new sound systems to ensure they capture every single note correctly.
The band’s first album, “The Magnificent Moodies”, did not make much of an impact, but their 1967 hit “Days of Future Passed” is still on many music fans’ “best of” lists. Their biggest hit came late, with “Your Wildest Dreams” from 1986, driven by an iconic music video, but the song most fans recognize them for is “Nights in White Satin”, a feature from the 70’s, with dreamy synths and long instrumental passages.
Funny fact: “Nights in White Satin” was one of the first songs that were more than four minutes long to get wide radio playback. Radio programming was based on songs that were 2-3 minutes long, and longer songs broke the established plans.
The band took a break from 1974-77, but the members were still together at the time of Edge’s death. No statements have yet been released from Justin Hayward and John Lodge, the other band members.
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