From Justin: Delivering ‘December’Posted on 09/01/2003
On Friday 22nd August I finally delivered the Moody Blues new album, the masters and the artwork, to Universal records in London. It’s called “December” and as you may already know, it’s a Christmas album. An even mix of original new songs and traditional melodies, some you will know, others may not be so familiar. I spent the couple of weeks before delivering ‘December’ mixing and sometimes re-mixing, and then mastering the record. I am of course pleased with the way it turned out, and like all albums it has become very dear to me, and to know that it is finally finished and now out of my hands as it were, is happy and sad at the same time. The front cover artwork is very reminiscent of early Moodies sleeves, and I’m sure many will recognise the influence.
Why a Christmas album? When it was first suggested to me, not by anyone in the group I might add, my reaction was to say ‘Oh no, not that old scenario”, but as I thought more on it ,I knew that there were within me emotions and experiences that resonate at that time of year, as well as being a celebration that is dear to me. Also, it gives us an angle within an industry that really is saying to most artists like us at this moment “another new album, so what?” And, I like the theme idea that I was so comfortable with when writing for our early records. I hope it gives us an opportunity to come back next year, maybe with a Christmas tour and promote the album again. Maybe it can come round every year as many records do in the Christmas season. That is my hope anyway.
We are on tour again in October and the way the band played on the Summer gigs I can’t wait. Whether you like the Moodies music or not is subjective, but you can’t deny that it is a good band. It was great this Summer to see a few other acts too at the festival type gigs we played. I get so used to us being the only group on the bill, that I hardly ever get to see anyone else play, unless it is around my home here at the local gigs.
I had a meeting recently with Universal about the re-release of my early solo records ‘Songwriter’ and ‘Night Flight’, and it was decided to put back their release until the New Year, when I will have some time to promote
them, with maybe a radio tour and a few solo appearances etc. In the same meeting we discussed whether there was some ,or any unreleased Moodies material. I didn’t believe that there was much, but then I remember that a couple of solo recordings I had completely forgotten about turned up, out of the Decca archives, and are on the reissues. I shall look forward to the search!
I’m putting together a DVD of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame appearance I did last year with David Spiro, and I am adding in some footage shot in a studio in New York that seems to work quite well. I’m also going to have a go at updating the website over the next few months.
Maybe I can find some new old pics! Anyway, thank you for your patience, those of you who visit regularly.
See you on the road.
P.S. Some dates have been provisionally booked for a U.K. tour in October next year. Off we go again.!!
Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
You said,’Through glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old….”And when we die
All’s over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers, other lips,’ said I,
‘Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!’