JUSTIN HAYWARD/Moving Mountains (reissue) reviewed!

While not the only lead vocalist in The Moody Blues, Justin Hayward is the most recognizable. His silky smooth voice can be heard on nearly all of their hits including “Nights In White Satin,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” “The Voice,” and many others. One of Rock’s finest front men, Justin Hayward has also released a handful of fantastic solo albums over the years that have come and gone without much notice by commercial audiences. That is definitely a shame since Hayward always has something interesting to say and he has a lovely way of saying it.

MOVING MOUNTAINS (1985) was his third ‘solo’ album (fourth if you count the BLUE JAYS project with fellow Moodies member John Lodge) and features a fine batch of Hayward tunes that recall his past, present and future. The album, released a year before The Moody Blues made their big commercial comeback with THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE, definitely sounds like the same work of the man who penned so many fab tunes in the ‘60s and ‘70s yet the production is rooted firmly in the ‘80s. Not as wonderfully bombastic as the Moodies’ albums of the era, the album doesn’t sound far off from what Chris Rea and other like-minded artists were attempting to do at the time – write great songs and present them in a way that would appeal to a larger audience.
Some have written that MOVING MOUNTAINS sounds dated. In all actuality, the album is not as slick as some of the albums released in 1985. More importantly, the album’s production never interferes with the excellent songs on display. The majestic “Silverbird” was co-written by Jeff Wayne, who some might remember as the man responsible for “Forever Autumn,” the Hayward-sung hit from WAR OF THE WORLDS. “One Again” stands as a fine album opener. “Moving Mountains” is a wonderful tune. “Lost And Found” possesses a lovely melody and a great vocal from Hayward. (Have I already said that this guy is one of Rock’s finest vocalists?) “Is It Just A Game” is cut from the same cloth as “Your Wildest Dreams” and “The Voice”. Etc. Overall, the album is relaxed and uncluttered. Anyone wanting to hear the Moodies should
buy a Moodies album. However, if you want to experience Justin’s singular musical vision, MOVING MOUNTAINS is just one of many places to start.
MOVING MOUNTAINS has long been out of print on CD and has changed hands for top dollar on the
interwebs. Thankfully, Gonzo has reissued the CD and it is now currently available at a very affordable price.
So, why haven’t you ordered it already?

Keep on truckin’,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee