Press Release: “All The Way”
Eagle Records are delighted to announce the release on 30 September 2016 of the brand new album “All The Way” [Cat No. EAGCD653] a compilation from Justin Hayward’s solo career. “All The Way” includes Justin’s solo songs, a recording with The London Philharmonic Orchestra, solo live performances and unique versions of classic Moody Blues tracks and the brand new song “The Wind Of Heaven.” Justin Hayward will be touring around the UK in September in the lead up to the release of this album, Tickets for the tour are on sale now from www.livenation.co.uk or www.ticketmaster.co.uk.
Justin Hayward is the possessor of one of the finest and most distinctive voices in melodic rock. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for The Moody Blues since 1966 Justin continues to perform with the group, and alongside his work for The Moody Blues he has developed an acclaimed and successful solo career. “All The Way” brings together many of his best loved tracks from his work outside the group. From his top ten hit song “Blue Guitar”, included here in its original version recorded with members of 10cc, through his global smash “Forever Autumn” from Jeff Wayne’s musical version of “War Of The Worlds” and on through tracks from solo albums “Songwriter,” “The View From The Hill”, “Classic Blue”, “Moving Mountains” and “Spirits Of The Western Sky” before concluding with the brand new track “The Wind Of Heaven,” written for the film of the same name “All The Way” is the perfect collection for any fan of Justin Hayward.
“ALL THE WAY” TRACKLISTING
1) Blue Guitar 2) Forever Autumn 3) Broken Dream 4) Troubadour 5) The Best Is Yet To Come 6) One Day Someday 7) One Lonely Room 8) In Your Blue Eyes 9) Vincent 10) Nights In White Satin 11) Raised On Love 12) It’s Not Too Late 13) The Story In Your Eyes 14) The Western Sky 15) The Wind Of Heaven
‘STAGE DOOR’ SEPTEMBER TOUR 2016
Friday 9th: Truro— Hall For Cornwall
Saturday 10th: Christchurch— Regent Centre
Sunday 11th: Cardiff— St. David’s Hall
Wednesday 14th: Chatham— Central Theatre
Friday 16th: Stevenage— Arts & Leisure Centre
Saturday 17th: Guildford— G Live
Sunday 18th: New Brighton— Floral Pavilion
Tuesday 20th: St. Albans— Alban Arena
Wednesday 21st: Gateshead— Sage
Thursday 22nd: Perth— Perth Concert Hall
Saturday 24th: Wolverhampton— Grand Theatre
Sunday 25th: Isle Of Wight— Shanklin Theatre
Mr. Locey of the Ventura County Star has shared a great write up of Justin Hayward’s history with the Moody Blues, just before his performance of the Canyon Club in Agora Hills. Fans and newcomers of his music will appreciate the focus on the story of the band, as well as an interview to cap it all off!
Justin Hayward Performs at L.A.’s Rose Concert Club
Steve Smith of the Los Angeles Daily News covered Justin’s June 11 performance at the Rose, in Pasadena. The show, which was part of the Stage Door Tour, was well received. Hayward was accompanied by other inspiring talents that included guitarist Mike Dawes and vocalist/keyboardist Julie Ragins, a longtime member of the Moody Blues touring band. The set included familiar favorites like “Knights in White Satin” and a contemporary nod from Dawes, who performed the Gotye hit “Somebody That I Used to Know”. Check out Smith’s full review on L.A. Daily News.
Peter Roche, Examiner
Justin Hayward’s had many milestones in his fifty year career. The prolific singer-songwriter sold over 60 million albums and notched a handful of unforgettable hits with legendary rockers The Moody Blues, including “Question,” “Tuesday Afternoon,” and “Your Wildest Dreams.” He also sang on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds in 1978 and issued a string of acclaimed solo projects from 1977-1985 without wandering too far from the Moodys, who remain a premier live touring act.
Now the iconic voice behind “Nights in White Satin” is back with his first disc in over fifteen years, Spirits of the Western Sky.
Featuring lush orchestration by Academy Award-winning composer Anne Dudley and the songwriting chops fans have come to expect of Hayward, Spirits finds the Wilshire, England native channeling his creative muse vis-à-vis romantic Genoa, Italy and sunny Nashville, Tennessee. A decade in the making, Spirits is the first true testament of what’s been on Hayward’s mind since View from the Hill (1996), a pastiche of night birds and skylarks, gardens and groves—a musical postcard of summer haze and still shadows lingering beneath breeze-brushed trees.
Thematically, Spirits is a reflective rather than nostalgic album, a celebration of rebirth, love, and forgiveness from a sexagenarian singer who’s been there, done that. At least half the cuts have the Moody balladeer taking stock of intimate relationships, reveling in the beauty of interpersonal connections that click and reexamining ones that don’t. Hayward’s narrators keep their chins up and hearts open even when something’s amiss. Throughout, Hayward maintains a cheery optimism and warm, “we’ll overcome” determination that sees his lovelorn characters through every obstacle—or at least tides them over until the cosmic tumblers click into place, sending good fortune their way.
Easy-listening opener “In Your Blues Eyes” is a valentine ornamented with bright chords, gently loping drums, swirling strings, and one of Hayward’s tasteful electric guitar solos. The wistful “One Day, Someday” bounces over a hiccupping acoustic riff and triggered drums, gaining altitude courtesy a few decorative keyboard swells and Hayward’s patent vocal harmonies. The song finds his repentant, “repeatedly defeated” narrator trying to reconcile with an aggrieved paramour, contenting himself with “the music keeping [him] sane” until past sins are forgiven.
“We put our faith in God and Man, and one of them betrays us every chance he can,” he croons.
Yet Hayward allows his Romeos and Lotharios to believe tomorrow things will change and that past wrongs will be righted. He doesn’t entertain despair. “I’m still here, still rollin’ on, trying to get I love you into every song,” he confesses.
The cinematic, slow-build title cut clings to love as an ideal—a “beautiful adventure” worth taking even when circumstances (here, a couple contemplating “what might have been”) suggest otherwise. Acoustic guitars and electric piano create a lulling rhythm as artificial harmonics cascade between the chords and timpani punctuates the verses. Hayward’s lead guitar tone hasn’t changed much from his Songwriter and Night Flight days. His attack is clean, his solos uncluttered excursions of forlorn midrange that serve the song rather than call attention to themselves. Sister track “The Eastern Sun” (our personal favorite) is a lovely finger-style guitar study wherein Hayward delves into “life’s mercy” while Dudley’s violins and cello softly billow. It’s easily the most poetic lyric on the album, a Walden guidebook of picturesque meadows and streams juxtaposed by the sounds of children at play and his own earnest, let me be plea to a seemingly noncommittal partner. It’s also Hayward’s most impassioned delivery; despite the singer’s heavenly hums, his voice cracks imaging a world “with no sorrow and no shame.”
The album’s second half commences with its liveliest offering: “On the Road to Love” pits flower power against pop rock in an upbeat indictment of time as the illusion, the game that we all play. And if the song sounds not unlike something Kenny Loggins might’ve penned in the Eighties, it’s only because the chart-topping “Footloose” auteur co-wrote the ditty with Hayward after a chance meeting on the road and sang backup for Hayward in-studio.
“Lazy Afternoon” finds the uncertain singer second-guessing himself to the sound of soft piano and hollow impact of a repetitive rim shot. I’d have given you the world if I had known just what to say, Hayward surmises. “In the Beginning” examines the flip side of the same coin; the singer acknowledges that to get you’ve got to give. Organ percolates behind urgent acoustic strums in a gospel-like crescendo as twangy guitars wail over stuttering percussion. The Moody guitarist fully embraces his country side on “Cold Outside of Your Heart” and indulges bluegrass on “What You Resist Persists,” working banjo, fiddle, and mandolin into the mixes. Shucks, “Broken Dream” even features pedal steel; it’s as if the Englishman temporarily traded his pastoral-psychedelic roots for the fricasseed fields of the American rural South. Strangely, it works.
Hayward’s back on familiar ground with “Captivated by You,” a sweeping that has a “mesmerized, hypnotized, sanctified” admirer doting over his lover in catchy verses that beguile with sharp rhythm guitar—but lead to a haunting, minor-chorded bridge that’ll have listeners wondering where’d that come from. It’s clever how the songwriter veers from one end of the spectrum to the other so seamlessly.
Spirits of the Western Wild is something of a throwback with its decidedly non-cynical appraisal of love and human attachment—but that makes the music that much more delightful. It’s a road journal by one of rock’s most well-traveled troubadours, a soundtrack custom-made for mid-winter nuzzles by fireside, summertime cocktails on the patio at dusk, and Sunday drives in October.
If Sir Paul is king of “Silly Love Songs,” Hayward is prince—a fastidious, silken-gloved curator of gushing, unabashed pronouncements and melodious musical phrasings that underscore the inherent goodness in people. Few others can distill such complex sentiments into ear-pleasing sound bites and make it seem this effortless (Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, and Bernie Taupin come to mind). Hayward’s characters don’t hold grudges even when their partners do. The pursuit of happiness isn’t always successful, but life’s too short to not let go and move on when the chase doesn’t pay off.
Hayward and friends relieved tension in the studio by cueing up a dance remix of “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” By the end of sessions for Spirits, the club version of the 1988 Moody hit—which pairs Hayward’s Yamaha DX7 synth with percolating beats—couldn’t be excluded from the finished product. Indeed, “Out There Somewhere” appears twice at disc’s end—first as a three-minute bass laden club track, then as Raul Rincon’s eight-minute Latin-flavored reduction looping Hayward’s familiar hear my voice refrain with pulsating rhythm and hypnotic keys. Rave-ready electronic samples Doppler across the stereo plane as snare and cymbal dictate a furious tempo.
James Christopher Monger, All Music
Spirits of the Western Sky, Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward’s first solo outing since 1996’s View from the Hill, offers up a well-stocked selection of songs that pay homage to all eras of his meal-ticket band while introducing elements of rural folk and country into the mix. Lyrically simple, yet warm and soulful, songs like the gently fingerpicked “Eastern Sun” and the expansive title track should please “Watching and Waiting”-era Moody fans, while twang-tinged, dobro-propelled ballads like “It’s Cold Outside of Your Heart” and “What You Resist Persists” retain the autumnal sentimentality that always resides in the heart of a Hayward composition, despite their folksy, Nashville trappings.
Jeb Wright, Classic Rock Revisted
Justin Hayward is back with his first solo album since 1996. While he is best known as one of the lead songwriters/vocalists/guitarists for the legendary Moody Blues, Justin has, after a long break, released some songs that showcase his creativity in ways that the Moody’s would never approach, including a stab at bluegrass.
“What You Resist Persists,” “Broken Dream,” and “It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart” were recorded in Nashville with bluegrass musicians. The music is not totally authentic bluegrass as Justin spins it all in his own style.
Hayward also co-wrote the tune “On the Road to Love” with Kenny Loggins, “He and I were both on the road and staying in the same hotel,” states Justin. “We had a great day playing guitar together and we came up with ‘On The Road To Love’. Kenny plays and sings on the track with me. This album is a labor of love. It’s been my whole life for the last few years. I know we all have many choices nowadays and I thank everyone who gives my album a listen and brings these songs into their collection. Every track is truly from my heart.”
The album is orchestrated by Anne Dudley, a very in demand musical talent and former member of Art of Noise. Hayward remarks, “Anne is one of the true greats, in the same rarefied class of orchestrators as Peter Knight, who was such an inspiration in my early Moody Blues days. I’ve worked with Anne on different projects over the years and it’s always a joy (when she is arranging, all the studio musicians know it’s going to be wonderful).”
Moody fans will love this album as it is yet another honest release from one of the most special songwriters in the world. Even the slightly bizarre remake of “I Know Your Out There Somewhere” works…the song, titled “Out there Somewhere (Raul Rincon Remix) is very electronica and pretty out there itself. Yet, it is honest and is obvious that Justin enjoyed the remake.
This one is not breaking down any musical walls, but it is a very personal and honest album filled with insightful and thought provoking music.
Kevin Wierzbicki, Antimusic
As the lead singer for the Moody Blues Justin Hayward not only helped shape the direction of prog rock’s most important era (late ’60s/early ’70s), he also literally became the voice of the generation through such hits and underground standards as “Nights in White Satin,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and “The Story in Your Eyes.”
The good news is that Hayward’s voice is still strong and instantly recognizable and while Spirits of the Western Sky is more aptly described as folk-y pop than it is as rock’n’roll, there’s still plenty here for fans of past works to like.
“On the Road to Love,” performed with guest Kenny Loggins on guitar and background vocals, rocks a little and includes an aah-and-ooh section that makes it very Moody-ish but most of the album, like “It’s Cold Outside of Your Heart” and standout tracks “The Western Sky” and “The Eastern Sun” are much gentler and full of the thoughtful lyrics and heartfelt delivery that are hallmarks of Hayward’s work.
With that in mind two appended remix versions of late Moodys hit “Out There Somewhere,” both jacked-up to beat-happy dance club numbers that downplay Justin’s voice, seem out of place here even though they are definitely cool. Otherwise, one of the new tunes here is called “Lazy Afternoon” and indeed Spirits of the Western Sky is a perfect soundtrack for mellowing out, any time of day.