Title - 'All The Way' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Justin Hayward
You might not know his name, but you most certainly know his voice for the prolific Justin Hayward is an English musician, best known as songwriter, lead singer and guitarist in the rock band the Moody Blues.
Sure, the legendary lead singer, guitarist and songwriter has released a number of solo albums since the 1970s, but the best selection of songs from all those studio and live albums has never been brought together as a whole - before today.
All The Way is a stunning new compilation, a new best-of CD, if you will, featuring a wide selection of material from the 70's to 2013's acclaimed Spirits Of The Western Sky. Containing 15 delightful tracks, it also features an exclusive-to-this-compilation brand new song, 'The Wind of Heaven.'
1. 'Blue Guitar'
2. 'Forever Autumn'
3. 'Broken Dream'
5. 'The Best Is Yet To Come'
6. 'One Day Someday'
7. 'One Lonely Room'
8. 'In Your Eyes'
10. 'Nights In White Satin'
11. 'Raised On Love'
12. 'It's Not Too Late'
13. The Story In Your Eyes'
14. The Western Sky'
15. 'The Wind Of Heaven'
His 1975 Top 10 hit 'Blue Guitar' gently introduces us to the album. Included here in its original version recorded with members of 10cc it is backed by a song that after only just a few chords, you instantly know all too well, 'Forever Autumn'. The global smash hit from Jeff Wayne's musical version of War Of The Worlds, up next are the pan pipe, flute and acoustic guitar work of the beautiful ballad from The View From the Hill, 'Broken Dream'. That's backed by both his stunning country-tinged 1996 hit 'Troubadour', and then 'The Best Is Yet To Come' from his Moving Mountains album.
Listening to these songs, their depth, their control, their musical history, to overly state that Justin Hayward is the possessor of one of the finest and most distinctive voices in melodic rock is beyond a shadow of a doubt. Having been a member of The Moody Blues since 1966, Hayward continues to perform with the group, but it's within his solo work that he is able to take his foot off the pedal a little more.
Next up is the lush, mid-tempo bounce of 'One Day Someday' ("We put our faith in God and man, and one of them betrays us every chance he can"), which is followed by both the quiet 'One Lonely Room' and the free spirited(no pun intended) 'In Your Blue Eyes' from his Spirits of the Western Sky album. From his Classic Blue album next comes a poignant cover of Don McLean's infamous 'Vincent' which is followed by a live version of his biggest hit, 'Nights In White Satin'.
Next up is the gentle storytelling of 'Raised On Love' from his 1977 Songwriter album, which is backed by another track from his The View from the Hill album, the dulcet tones of 'It's Not Too Late'. The stirring cello work of 'The Story In Your Eyes' brings forth one of my personal favorites on this album. A 1971 hit single by The Moody Blues, it sounds as crisp, as crystal clear perfect today as it ever did back then with Hayward having removed a lot of the original band orchestrations.
The longest track on the album is 'The Western Sky'. Coming in at nearly seven minutes in length, culled from his Spirits of the Western Sky, it is an opus of a song if ever there were. Summed up, and much like a lot of his work, it has that epic sound to it, and deservedly so. The last track is 'The Wind Of Heaven', a brand new song written especially for the film of the same name. Included here for the first time anywhere on CD, it wraps perfectly the listening experience of an homage of timeless hits from Justin Hayward.