Soundbard.com By Mike MettlerJustin Hayward of The Moody Blues about the surround-sound mixes he supervised for six of The Moodies’ “Classic Seven” albums: Days of Future Passed, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, and Seventh Sojourn. (In case you were wondering, there weren’t any multitrack masters for In Search of the Lost Chord.) All six of those 5.1 mixes, built on the original quad mixes supervised by producer Tony Clarke and constructed by engineer Derek Varnals, appear in Timeless Flight(Threshold/UMC), the band’s mighty, 50-year-career-spanning 17-disc box set. Yes, there is a more economical 4-disc version available, butthe mondo box is the only way to fly in 5.1 — if you can find one, that is. “I think Universal needs to press a few more copies,” chuckles Hayward. After recently speaking with former Moodies keyboardist Mike Pinderabout the band’s surround-sound proclivities, it seemed only natural to check in with their chief songwriter and lead singer to get his take on how the sound-quality threshold has changed over the years. Here, Hayward, 67, and I discuss the birth of FM, his favorite recordings, and his top Moodies-in-5.1 moments. Timeless indeed.
Mettler: Are there a few particular examples of Derek capturing just what you were looking for?Hayward: There’s a song called “It’s Up to You”