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Monday, 26 May 2014

‘We had to really rethink some things’: Justin Hayward and Patrick Moraz on the Moody Blues’ influential ‘Gemini Dream’

“Gemini Dream,” released on May 19, 1981, certainly wasn’t the Moody Blues’ biggest hit. Heck, it wasn’t even the highest-charting song from Long Distance Voyager. That would be second single “The Voice,” which topped Billboard’s mainstream rock charts.
Still, it marked a turning point, both for the Moody Blues and for a slew of legacy proggers who — like the Moodies — were trying to make their way into the uncertain 1980s. Powered along by these forward-thinking synthesizer lines from Patrick Moraz (who had just joined after the departure of original keyboardist Mike Pinder), “Gemini Dream” possessed a fizzy new-wave sensibility that proved incredibly influential.
“We had to really rethink some things,” Moodies leader Justin Hayward tells me, in an exclusive SER Sitdown. “Patrick Moraz, who had just joined us a few months before, his contribution was very good on that. His sounds were very much well-planted in the 1980s. I think there was a desire by those of us who were left in the band after the Octave album to try and do something special. It meant a huge amount to us that Long Distance Voyager did so well.”
Moraz, a member of the Moody Blues from 1978-90 who was then coming off a stint with Yes, arrived with a can-do attitude — and, he tells us, an array of new toys like nothing that Moody Blues had ever seen.
“My motto has always been: ‘Have keyboards, will travel,” Moraz says, laughing. “But it had been about a year to a year and half since I left Yes when I got that call asking me if I wanted to join the Moodies, at least for a couple of tours. Having done that, and having also been able to keep the instruments I had — as we moved from Mellotron to a new array of keyboards — before touring with the Moodies and recording Long Distance Voyager, I was able to record my synthesizer sounds with all of that technology. These were the most modern instruments of the time, and the sounds which I brought could be considered ahead of their time, within the context of the Moody Blues.”

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