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I Have Got The MOODY Blues

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  • I Have Got The MOODY Blues

    MOODY "The Gentle Rain" (Polydor Circle Of Sound, 1973, UK)


    A conversation regarding this legendary UK album filled a car journey as Wuggsy and I completed our recent Charity Shop Challenge. It was still at the back of my mind when the "Top 10 albums..." thread started and a number of plussers included the Moody album within their selections.

    So, I'd like to share my story with this album and invite you all to share yours. I might ask a couple of questions along the way.

    Right, let's get the money shot out of the way. I own an original copy. There you go, I said it. However that isn't a story, more of a statement. I've owned a copy for around 4-5 years now, but my story begins over 15 years ago...

    I first became aware of this album in around 1994-5 when a list from CASHBAH RECORDS (I believe the dealer's name was Oliver, operating out of Glasgow at this time - did he move onto Barcelona..?) dropped through my letterbox, offering a copy of The Gentle Rain for sale priced at £200. It was positioned in the Library section of the sales catalogue, which piqued my interest as I was fiending over De Wolfes and KPM's, what with it being the mid 90's and the pinnacle of the "could it be Hawkshaw" library/easy renaissance. I remember reading the sale pitch for the album and - being a penniless student - feeling deflated that I could never afford a copy. The real trouble was, it being 1995 and the internet in it's infancy, I had no idea what the album looked like. There wasn't any information or pictures to be easily sourced.

    Anyone I mentioned Moody "The Gentle Rain" to hadn't heard of it either. It assumed mythical rare status in my mind immediately.

    I moved to Glasgow in the autumn of 1995 and a record shop in the West End on The Great Western Road became my regular lunchtime hang out. To quote Spinal Tap "don't look for it, it isn't there anymore". In fact it only opened for about 12-18 months as it was closed by the time I left Glasgow in 1997. I digress. Anyway, the shop was a cool place to hang out - they had lots of jazz, funk and soul for sale, lots of OST's. I recall this was where a guy called Marc used to hang out - think he had something to do with the Dealer's Choice bootlegs and the some of the other comp's that came out around that time. The young cat Blue Boy ("Remember Me") used to call in to buy records.

    Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to buy that copy of the Incredible Bongo Band off the wall, all my budget would handle was a £5 outlay on the Nuggets 3 "Diggin' Deeper" bootleg. Mind you, what a compilation that was - Holy Thursday! Ripped open By Metal Explosions! You've Come This Way Before! A mystery version of "Get Out Of My Life Woman" (that would later be revealed as being ripped from John Schroder's Working In A Soul Mine).

    Wait a minute, what's this..?

    "I Can Feel The Earth Move" by Gentle Rain.

    Could that be the Moody album that I'd read about earlier in the year..? I could only assume it was; the Casbah Records listing mentioned that "The Gentle Rain" track-list included a cover version of the Carole King classic. Included on a bootleg compilation, I was not surprised there appeared to be some subterfuge regarding the artist name - there always was.

    So, my quest for a copy of Moody began. The write up in a dealer catalogue and the subsequent inclusion of a track on a bootleg comp was my hook.

    Q1 - Do you own a copy of this record..?

    Q2 - When and how did you first hear about it..?
    If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

  • #2
    My story moves on to the late 1990's and now living in the north east of England I become friends with a guy called Neil who would later be know to you all as Towny.

    Neil and I used to spend at least one evening per week together playing records, comparing collection rares and recent finds in equal measure, and then follow-up with buying records over both days of the weekend - especially on Sunday when our car boot antics would fill both morning and afternoon.

    We both knew about the Moody album and we reckoned we'd both known about it since the mid 90's. I think to was Neil that told me that there was an original composition on the album called "Lonely Jelly". He played it to me, although I am not sure of the source. Could it have been from a bootleg album..? I really can't remember.

    Here is Lonely Jelly for those of you that do not know it. A brilliant jazzy easy beaty affair, I'm sure you'll agree.





    Every weekend Neil and I were both out actively looking to find a copy of this album. I don't think that we knew what it looked like, but we were driven to find a copy.

    No joy.

    Ever.

    We'd hear ourselves saying "there's got to be a copy in this pile!" as we drilled through another seam of endless Easy Listening records. We thought we would find a copy nestled with it's peers, but to no avail.

    By now, Chris and I had Vinyl Vulture up and running, I'd started to meet some of you guys and talk of Moody was rife across our new message board. It was our mythical rare to rival the US and "Stark Reality".

    Q3 - How long did you spend looking for a copy..? Are you still looking..?
    If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

    Comment


    • #3
      In the early 2000's, I'd met Sermad and he became part of the VV set-up, helping host the VV website for us. He was the only person I knew with a copy of Moody and I believe he bought it from eBay. I was insanely jealous, I remember calling by his flat and him passing me the album for inspection. I returned back to the north east and told Neil that I'd finally held a copy in my hands.

      "One day I'll find a copy in the wild, there's got to be some out there" he remarked. We made a pledge to never buy a copy online and to keep it real by finding one for no more than 50p or a quid.

      Q4 - Did you buy your copy online, or find it "in the wild"..?

      We would reminisce about how many records we had each looked through that weekend and - go further - and calculated approximately how many records we'd both looked through trying to find a copy. We'd laugh as the estimate increased and increased. I think the last time we did the count we drunkenly boasted "a quarter of a million!", but that's probably wrong.

      Maybe it wasn't far off the truth, we'd now both been looking for close to a decade, it now being 2004.
      If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sometime during 2006 or 2007 I was speaking to a friend and he told me he had found a copy of Moody in a Norfolk charity shop. Again, I switched to insanely jealous mode. After congratulating him through gritted teeth, I taunted him with "well, if you ever find a second copy, you know who to talk to!".

        About 9 months later, my phone did ring. Lightning had struck twice and he now had a copy for trade. A deal regarding a library album was done, and a copy of this elusive album was at last mine. I sent Neil a text, I can't recall his response but I bet it would have involved the words "bastard", "lucky" and "still gonna find one in the field".

        Obviously this silly little story has a sad ending as Neil passed away in 2010. He had found many other amazing records, but not Moody.

        So, I'll finish with:-

        Q5 - Do you quantify or measure your record buying experiences with reference to Moody, or any other rare want i.e "I've been looking for a copy of that album for X number of years"..?

        Because I know for many years I did..!

        If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

        Comment


        • #5
          I suppose a post-script to that little monologue is this - I've still not stopped my Moody clock. I still count the years that I've been looking for a copy and still hope to find one in the wild - a shop, charity shop, boot fair or market.

          I'll keep looking and keep counting.

          There'll be a copy out there, somewhere.

          If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

          Comment


          • #6
            That was like reading an 'our tune'

            1. I do own a copy. I got it as an Xmas present from my wife when reasonably priced copy popped up on the net. Like you many years of fruitless searching finally wore me down! I still want to find one in the wild though.
            2. I first heard 'lonely jelly' on one of those dodgy Mighty Mellow comps (probably where Neil had it too). I just thought...blimey!!!
            3. Many years - not a sniff and still looking. I know Mr Divine has found at least 2 and Fuz found one! Swines.
            4. See above.
            5. Yeah. Sort of. I've found rarer records in the strangest of places but if I copped a moody in a charity I think I'd swoon! I still have trouble understanding why a UK record on a major label which was probably sold in Woolies is so hard to find!
            "..hole...road...middle thereof"

            Comment


            • #7
              'Our tune' ...

              Thanks Lee, brilliant reply..!
              If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had it on the same comp as Neil, which I got at the time. I remember Kool Keith sampled about that time.

                Never seen a copy in the wild, would love to find a copy in the real world. I know Towny saw it as a personal challenge and wanted to get one in the wilds cheap instead of pulling the loot out for one, I'm sure he would have eventually turned a copy up!
                "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Meaty!

                  1. I have a copy of the bootleg, purchased from Flashback around 2007. (Good sound on it. Well pressed).
                  2. Heard about it first here on the old Vinyl Vulture site.
                  3. Not desperately seeking because the naughty copy sounds great.
                  4. Found it in Flashback and it was two times
                  5. No. I definitely do not quantify my experience in reference to looking for a Moody or any other 'trophy' style records. I was thrilled for Hayden when he pulled the Downer / Hendrie record a few weeks ago and would be equally thrilled to find that myself or any one of a large number of other records I view as special ( including trophy ones). It is however, more of a thrill to me to find great music unexpectedly. The only records I'm desperately looking for now are the ones I don't know anything about at all.

                  Private Burns ( private press artist CDrs) have given me the most pleasure this year despite not having found anything utterly WOW yet. I have found plenty of tunes that make me go 'love it' and play them repeatedly and that's what it's all about for me right now.

                  My Inspiration / Heroes are Fuz and Peter Sundae:
                  Fuz:
                  I love Fuz's continuing quest for Redeeming Features on crap-looking LPs from genres other people flick past ( ballroom records / UK country). I also loved a post he made once along the lines of 'Pink Floyd and U2 sell plenty of records and plenty of people listen to them so I don't need them and they don't need me.'. It was actually much better than that, but you get the idea. The notion of seeking to find something for yourself.

                  Peter Sundae
                  In his interview for Forumusic Julian said this:

                  My mum used to go to jumble sales where there’d be loads of 60s records for 5p a pop. There was always this excitement for me like when you’re a child and you’re looking at your presents under a Christmas tree and you want to know what’s under the wrapping. ‘What am I going to find on here? I’ve got one on a label like this already. Is it going to be similar? What kind of music is it?’


                  I love that and that's the kind of buzz I get from Private Burns and the reason I pick them up regardless of what the sleeve art suggests. As with private press lps the cover images are occasionally wildly at odds with the content. (Think Chico Lopez - South Of The Border). Plus there are often inserts, strange back stories, claims for the music inside and even advice on what tracks to listen to first and why!

                  I have lots of long drives at the moment and the journeys are made much shorter by the box full of private burns (the equivalent of Julian's wrapped Xmas presents) that I have absolutely no idea about. And yes. 99% are crap. But the thrill when something is good is the biggest buzz of all.
                  <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This sounds a lot like my quest for Fantastic Party - I did end up finding 2 in the wild and 1 for naught online. And two of those are now in Scotland. But...

                    1. Bootleg
                    2. Here
                    3. Still looking but passively
                    4. N/A (if we're talking OG)
                    5. Not any longer - over the years I've developed a kinda zen attitude: you buy what you find for a price you can afford at the time when you buy it. There's just too many good records out there - you'll never have them all anyway. Plus - actively looking for certain items and (almost) never finding them is quite depressing in the long run. Nowadays I think like this about charities and bootsales: maybe I find something that looks interesting to buy, and maybe it will even sound good but probably not. Maybe I can at least find a DVD or book or something. Or just go down the smallboat harbour close by and enjoy an icecream by the ocean - and that will be nice too. To actually find something is quite rare, but I think like: if I had been really focused on a couple of specific records maybe I wouldn't have brought home that Alan Trajan I found the other week to try out? And the pleasure from such littel discoveries is worth way more than being disappointed for 10 years until you find that elusive item on your list. By which time it'll just be a matter of crossing it off the list and maybe not even enjoy it that much.
                    "Only one thought left, that makes me come alive,
                    and that is you and me side by side, on the licorice ride"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ian Townsend View Post
                      I would be equally thrilled to find that myself or any one of a large number of other records I view as special (including trophy ones). It is however, more of a thrill to me to find great music unexpectedly. The only records I'm desperately looking for now are the ones I don't know anything about at all.
                      I believe that those worlds co-exist. Most of the people that post regularly on this forum - myself included - drop down into a box of records and look for (a) records they know and want and also (b) unexpected new sounds. I get a buzz off both.
                      If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brainbomb View Post
                        This sounds a lot like my quest for Fantastic Party
                        I don't know that album - is there an story to tell..?
                        If you're looking for a pristine copy then this isn't the one for you. The vinyl looks like someone has polished their brickwork with it and the label has been ruined by some fool with a pen.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nice thread Si.

                          I remember when I started using the old VV board many years ago. All the talk of said legendary LP made me want to hear it.
                          When I did though I was a bit underwhelmed. I started to seek out other Circle Of Sound LP's and managed to find most of them for pence in the wild like August Alguero's 'Laugh Laugh' and the Certain Lions And Tigers, Bones Galore and Xylos Inc LP's which in fairness, I liked much more than 'Moody'.
                          I never have seen one in the wild but am always haunted by the fact that I may have skimmed past it pre-VV knowledge.
                          I know I did skim past many a VV 'hard to find' classics becuse I can vividly recall the disticntive Peter Thomas LP on Polydor with the Bird in the sunglasses on the cover and leaving it in a charity shop in Epsom in the early-mid 90's.
                          Like evryone else, I'd love to find one in the wild but would probably trade it with someone who really wanted a copy as there are thousands of other records I'd probably rather have.

                          'Moody' is probably the iconic VV equivalent of the holy Grail, brave knights riding out to all corners of the earth in search of the elusive treasure, preparing to do battle at unreasonable hours of the day in dank cardboard boxes, on freezing cold/very warm mornings at godforsaken car boot sales and in the back of moulding charity shops.
                          I swapped me horse for a Fait Panda a long time ago though.....
                          Fleas the size of rats suck on a rat the size of a cat....



                          Not As Great As His Very Best, But Pretty Much As Great As Most Anyone Else's.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Q1. Yes I own a copy of the original
                            Q2. First heard about it in the small shop in Camden Market, the part near the bridge, I think it might have been owned by Jazzman Gerald.
                            Q3. Mentions on here kept it in my mind, not necessarily the type of music I look for, but I was interested in hearing it.
                            Q4. Found it in Steel Wheels, when they had a closing down clearout in 2010. 10 albums for £1. It had been in the shop for a while, but in a pile of easy listening etc, that wasn't always out for sale, but had been used to keep a door open from time to time!
                            Q5. The fact it was bought after drifting round a record shop in a pile of records, and being seen as being worthless always gives me hope when walking into a charity shop, or being at a boot fair, as albums that aren't 'named artists' are more often than not left, especially here in Cumbria. Nige and Mr. Sayers will tell you how the cheap stock at Steel Wheels was quite chaotic, especially when they had two shops.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sie Vulture View Post
                              I don't know that album - is there an story to tell..?
                              Part of a trinity of related LPs with 'Vampires of Dartmore' and 'Science Fiction Dance Party' being the others. Happy to say one of Mattais' spares lives on my shelves.
                              "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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