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Not Friday on my Mind 49: Legend of a Mind. RIP Ray Thomas

Ray Thomas, who died this week was a multi-instrumentalist not very well-served by most of the time on stage with The Moody Blues merely flourishing a tambourine or otherwise not seeming to do very much. That perception would be to undervalue him greatly.

It was his contribution as a flautist where he really counted, a contribution that only added to the already distinctive sound of the band. As a flautist in a rock band he was for a while unique. (Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull came along later as did Peter Gabriel with Genesis.) That flute embellished mightily the power of Nights in White Satin, the song which became emblematic of the revamped Moody Blues.

A founder member of the band in its first (bluesy) incarnation – Go Now etc – his solid bass voice enhanced the vocal harmonies which were so much a part of the re-incarnated band’s sound.

For some odd reason there seemed to be a regular order of song-writers in those early albums by the “new” Moodies with Thomas always having song three* on side one as one of his spots.

Among his songs were Another Morning*, Twilight Time, Dr Livingstone, I Presume?*, Dear Diary*, Lazy Day, Floating*, Eternity Road, with his collaborations with Justin Hayward, Visions of Paradise and Are You Sitting Comfortably? being especially memorable.

It was song five, side one on In Search of the Lost Chord, though, that was his apotheosis. That song was Legend of a Mind with a lyric about Timothy Leary and supposed mind expansion, “Timothy’ Leary’s dead, No, no, no, no, he’s outside looking in.” Apparently Leary once told Thomas the song made him more famous than anything he had ever done for himself.

But who needed drugs when music itself could be this transportive?

Here’s a promotional film for Legend of a Mind made around the time of its first release. Thomas’s flute solo here is sublime.

The Moody Blues: Legend of a Mind

Ray Thomas: 29/12/1941 – 4/1/2018. So it goes. Thanks for the trips round the bay.

Tull at Christmas: Holly Herald

Not vintage Tull I’m afraid. But it’s that time of year so here’s Ian Anderson’s reworking of several Christmas tunes in the Tull style. From The Jethro Tull Christmas Album released in 2003.

Jethro Tull: Holly Herald

Merry Christmas everybody.

Reelin’ In the Years 140: Up the Pool

I’ve still not caught up with happenings while I was away.

However, following on from yesterday’s post.

For the Lancashire coast’s heritage.

Originally from the Life’s a Long Song extended player then on the compilation Living in the Past.

Jethro Tull: Up the Pool

Reelin’ In the Years 138: Life’s A Long Song

I just love the rhyming in this song’s lyric.

The only slight blemishes in its perfection are the lack of any assonance (rather than rhyme) in song/fill at the end of the first refrain – though song/dawn and song/all in the second and third are fine in that regard – and that in the last line of the first verse fret doesn’t rhyme with fear and cheer.

When you’re falling awake and you take stock of the new day,
And you hear your voice croak as you choke on what you need to
say,
Well, don’t you fret, don’t you fear, I will give you good cheer.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. If you wait then your plate I will fill.

As the verses unfold and your soul suffers the long day,
And the twelve o’clock gloom spins the room, you struggle on your
way.
Well, don’t you sigh, don’t you cry, lick the dust from your eye.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. We will meet in the sweet light of dawn.

As the Baker Street train spills your pain all over your new dress,
And the symphony sounds underground put you under du
ress,
Well don’t you squeal as the heel grinds you under the wheels.

Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. Life’s a long song. But the tune ends too soon for us all.

But the tune ends too soon for us all.

Jethro Tull: Life’s A Long Song
Ian Anderson: Life’s A Long Song, Chamber version

Tull at Christmas: Birthday Card at Christmas

I neglected Tull last Christmas. Must have been busy.

Time to make up for it.

Tull’s main man, Ian Anderson, vocalist, flautist, guitarist, pianist, song-writer, was inspired to write this song as his daughter has a birthday close to Christmas (as do I.) It seemed appropriate, then.

Jethro Tull: Birthday Card at Christmas

Glenn Cornick

I just read today of the death of Glenn Cornick, first bassist for Jethro Tull. This was at the time when the band had a very bluesy sound.

At first I thought of marking his passing with Driving Song, the B-side of the Living in the Past single, but its last line isn’t very appropriate in this context.

Instead I’ve chosen Tull’s first – albeit minor – hit.

Love Story was the first time I’d heard Tull – it wasn’t till a few years later and the Living in the Past compilation LP that I realised there had been two singles before this; their first was credited erroneously as by Jethro Toe!

Jethro Tull: Love Story

Glenn Douglas Barnard Cornick: 23/4/1947 – 28/8/2014. So it goes.

Not Friday On My Mind 22: Sweet Dream

The follow up to Living in the Past. As I recall this was a hit at the back end of 1969 and on into 1970. The group’s second single to reach the top ten.

Jethro Tull: Sweet Dream

Tull at Christmas: Another Christmas Song

Another Christmas song from Tull’s Christmas Album (2003) – called …… Another Christmas Song.

Jethro Tull: Another Christmas Song

Live It Up 9: Coronach

Another song that was used in a TV series – written specially for it – was Jethro Tull’s Coronach, the theme tune for a Channel 4 series on British History called Blood of the British. I liked it so much I bought the single. As I recall Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow was the B-side.

Edited to add:- I just found my original embedding was of a video that had been taken down. I’ve swiched it for a new one which shows views of Scotland – starting with St Andrews Cathedral.

Jethro Tull: Coronach

Tull at Christmas: We Five Kings

From their Christmas Album (2003) this is We Three Kings rearranged into 5/4 time and so (apparently also because there are five members of the band) retitled.

Jethro Tull: We Five Kings

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