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Rock Flashback: The Moody Blues’ “December”

Earlier this month, we mentioned The [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jethro Tull[/lastfm] Christmas Album and how well the band’s folk-inflected style lends itself to holiday music. Find out about another holiday album that’s a perfect match for the band performing it.

By 2003, the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Moody Blues[/lastfm] were well into a second decade of existing mostly as a touring band playing their greatest hits with orchestras around the country. They were down to a trio — [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Justin Hayward[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lodge[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Graeme Edge[/lastfm] — and had released only one studio album since 1991. For many bands, this combination of circumstances leads to a Christmas album, and it did for the Moodys. And like it did for Tull, a Christmas album proved to be the best Moody Blues album in years.

December has everything that old-school Moody Blues fans love — rich instrumentation, gorgeous melodies, and lyrics that communicate how life, in its best moments, can be a beautiful thing. It’s short on traditional songs, although it does include versions of “White Christmas,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and “When a Child Is Born,” the latter a song better-known in Europe than in the States. There’s a version of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” too.

The two best tracks on the album may be a bit sugary for non-Moodys fans, but those people have probably stopped reading by now anyhow. There’s “A Winter’s Tale,” which was a big UK hit for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]David Essex[/lastfm] in 1982.

Best of all is “December Snow,” a song about love and memory that leaves me wrecked every time I hear it.

December is the kind of warm, peaceful record you want to put on at this time of year. Who knew?

Experience more Rock Flashbacks.

  • RainbowRay

    Merry Christmas to you and all your listeners from RAINBOWRAY. Still BELIEVING in MIRACLES and NEVER giving up on my dreams. Yes, alone for Christmas again for the third year in a row, but NEVER alore, reallY!

    “Sharing is caring and caring is sharing; living is giving and giving is living”
    Be resolved, get involved
    Don’t Be Shy, give it a try
    Optimistically Achieving
    Positively Persevering

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