JP’s Music Blog


CD Review: Moody Blues’ Mike Pinder Keeps “The Promise” To Release “Among The Stars”

English musician Mike Pinder was one of the founding members of the British rock band The Moody Blues. In the early years of the band, Pinder and leader guitarist/singer Denny Laine became the primary song writers for the band before Laine left the band in the late sixties. Mike Pinder recorded his debut solo album “The Promise” in 1976 during a break from The Moody Blues, which led to his exit from the band in 1978.

After the mild success of “The Promise,” Pinder moved away from music to work for the Atari computer corporation until the mid-nineties. He would return to music to release his second solo album “Among the Stars” almost twenty years after his first album. Since then, he has become one of the most sought after studio musicians and has received praise for his spoken word album for children.

Now, Mike Pinder is once again receiving recognition with the newly released box set entitled “The Promise/Among The Stars.” It was released near the end of last year in Europe and is now available in the U.S. through Esoteric Recordings. The set includes a remastered version of Mike Pinder’s debut solo album “The Promise.” The sound is amazing as you would never know the album was almost 40 years old. Songs like “You’ll Make It Through” and “Someone To Believe In” show Pinder’s talents in front of the mic. The six-minute album closer “The Promise” showcases his keen sense to write great songs.

Also included in the set is Mike Pinder’s second solo album “Among The Stars,” which was only previously available as mail order only release. Now the album is presented here with three new bonus tracks by Mike and The Pinder Brothers. The three bonus tracks were produced by the late Tony Clarke (Moody Blues). While twenty years may have passed between recordings, Mike Pinder still sings with a passion to prove his talents as in the ballad “You Can’t Take Love Away.” He incorporates a little jazz into his sound on “Hurry Home” and gets a little funky on the album closer “The World Today.” The three bonus tracks are some of the real treasures in this set. The mellow rock of “If She Came Back,” which sound like a lost opportunity at a hit single, and “Waves Crash” and “Empty Streets” are performed by The Pinder Brothers and feature Ray Thomas on the flute.

Finally included in this set is a DVD of an interview with Mike Pinder from June 2012. Mike talks about his time in the Moody Blues, as well as his solo career. Also included are solo performances, as well as a bonus interview from 2008. Rounding out the set is a 16-page full color booklet with information and lyrics from the two albums and a newly written message from Pinder himself. To find out more about this great set from Moody Blues keyboardist Mike Pinder, please visit

This entry was posted in Music Reviews Articles Etc, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to JP’s Music Blog

  1. jcarruth says:

    A Question of Vision

    The issue of the Moody Blues not being inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame is one that has upset MB fans for some time now. After listening to their core seven albums recently, I have been giving this a lot of thought lately.

    First of all, I think part of the problem is one of categorization. They are really a psychedelic-era band, with psychedelic tendencies that went on past the psychedelic era. I mean, when a folk group or artist comes out today, we don’t call them neo-folk or prog-folk, do we? I think if the category still fits, it should still be used, even though that particular category of music isn’t considered valid anymore. Big band music made today is still called big band music, even though the big band era of the 30s and 40s is long over.

    The next category that came along after psychedelia was Prog Rock, but the Moodies really didn’t fit into this category, by definition of Prog Rock group members themselves, according to the 2009 BBC documentary, “Prog Rock Britannia.” Where are the 20-minute solos, the hyper-virtuosity, the extreme self-indulgence, and the not caring if an album was commercially viable that were the hallmarks of Prog? The Moodies didn’t have any of this, yet I have repeatedly seen them categorized as Prog Rock, or better yet, “crossover Prog Rock,” whatever that means. So, let’s first put them in the correct category. They are, and always will be, a psychedelic band. They are not Prog Rock. Putting them in the same category as King Crimson, Procol Harum, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and early Genesis is ridiculous, because those bands are Prog Rock bands. The Moodies are a psychedelic band. These are two totally different things, with altogether different musical sensibilities.

    The second issue is one of their material, which certain critics love, and others hate. From a review by Phill Marder, “No major band has so relentlessly purveyed nonsense…were it not for their titanic success, in fact, they might easily be dismissed as an odd and overlong joke…it’s the artiness of their symphonic rock that’s truly crass, their self-importance offensive.”

    Some of the same things could easily be said (and have been said by critics) of many of the songs created by the bands mentioned above. Even the Beatles, credited with launching the Prog Rock movement with the release of their Sgt. Pepper’s Album, created music that ranged from old-fashioned British Music Hall to avante-guard psychedelia. The Moodies had five good writers and performers in a band of five, and their diverse sound reflected that. Taken as a whole, I find that their music stands the test of time over repeated listenings, which I cannot honestly say about many of the other bands mentioned in this review.

    Finally, the Moody Blues are universally loved by their fans to this day. You cannot say that about many of the older Prog Rock bands, who are more or less forgotten by their fans today. The fact that they lived their lives as quietly as classical musicians or accountants, without the public embarrassments and breakdowns that other bands suffered from, just showed that they were not good fodder for rock critics and writers, and it is clear to me that these writers resented this.

    When I first started reading Rolling Stone magazine, I noticed that they loved to praise the early works of a band, then tear them down later as they became successful. It was a pattern I saw repeated many times, over and over again. The Moodies never gave these writers a chance to do that, and that is why, along with the other reasons I have cited in this review, they will probably never make it into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. Given the pleasure these five musicians have given me and their fans over a 50-year career span (which again, many of the other bands listed here cannot claim) my feeling is, “Well, that’s their loss, not ours.” The people who induct bands into the R&R hall of fame can continue to nominate lesser groups that had one or two hits, or had less impact on R&R than the Moodies, and still sleep well at night. They know not what they do. So, as Moodies fans, it is up to us to forgive them, so we can sleep at night as well.

    The Moodies knew who they were, and so do their fans. That a few disgruntled choice makers from the R&R Hall of fame can’t see that, again, is their loss. Fortunately, it is not ours.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.