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Bill Kopp's -- Pop music interviews, essays, criticism, analysis, news and opinion...and occasional bonus material

Feature: Ray Thomas (Moody Blues)

The Moody Blues made their most indelible mark on pop music with the landmark LP Days of Future Passed. That concept album was one of the earliest successful combinations of light-classical music and rock. Though it was released in 1967 Ė the fertile period that also gave the world Sgt. Pepperís Lonely Hearts Club Band Ė the album-proper didnít make its mark on American charts until 1972. (They did hit the US singles chart a number of times, however.)

And by that time, the bandís pre-Days music had largely been forgotten (if was ever known at all). The earliest music made by The Moody Blues features a significantly different lineup of musicians, and Ė at least initially Ė a sound almost completely removed from the approach used on Days of Future Passed and subsequent albums.... Click for the full interview with Ray Thomas.

About This Archive

In Summer 2009, I (Bill Kopp) began a blog; that blog is updated with new content -- reviews, essays, interviews, features and whatnot -- every business day. And that's been the case for five and a half years; there you will find more than 1500 written pieces. That blog can be accessed here. Go visit!

But prior to the start of the blog, I wrote quite a bit as well. The site you're currently viewing is the permanent archival home for that content. Here you'll find interviews with Crowded House, Flaming Lips, Robyn Hitchcock, Tommy Keene, Los Straitjackets, Andy Partridge (XTC), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Polyphonic Spree, Joe Satriani, Pete Yorn and many others.

You'll also find reviews of hundreds of releases (CDs and music-related DVDs) from the mid- to late 00's, as well as essays and other relevant items. Lastly, you'll find a list -- no longer updated -- of unofficial/ROIO recordings that may or may not be part of my permanent collection. Nobody's saying.

All told, there are countless hours (mainly because no one's counted 'em) of reading to be found in this archive. But for everything post Summer 2009 -- right up to this very day -- visit the Musoscribe blog. You can always come back here later.

Featured New Music Review

Siena Root - Pioneers

I feel that itís my duty to take an unusual approach to this review: instead of some sort of contextual introduction, Iím going to go directly to my main thesis. Here it is. Ready? On Pioneers, Siena Root sound very, very, very much like Deep Purple. There it is. And Iím not talking Book of Taliesyn Deep Purple; no, Siena Root has the Machine Head / Who Do We Think We Are / Burn / Made in Japan sound down pat...

Click for the full review.

The Latest Musoscribe Content...

Let me tell you what I think...

Somebody -- we think it was either Elvis Costello or Frank Zappa; recent evidence suggests Martin Mull...nobody's sure -- famously said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Well, so be it. And speaking of ol' Frank, it really was him who defined rock journalism as "people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." With that in mind, I offer as my own humble addition to that proud tradition.

I've written for No Depression, Billboard, Shindig!, Trouser Press,, Ugly Things,, WNC Magazine, and many other publications large and small. From 2005 until its demise, I wrote for Skope Magazine; from 2006 until the end, I served as Editor-in-Chief of that national music magazine. And for what it's worth, my music collection numbers in the several thousands. And I'm a musician (though the rewards for my being one are decidedly non-monetary).

I hope you find the site entertaining, and perhaps even useful.

Again, the blog contains my work from mid 2009 to present-day, but my older pieces are here Here's what's on:

  • Features - In the last few years -- and continuing still -- I have interviewed some of the most fascinating and influential artists on the music scene. Click into this section to read features on (and interviews with) Yoko Ono, Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips, Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, Neil Finn of Crowded House, bluesman Johnny Winter, and many, many more.

  • Reviews - Here you'll find informed reviews and critical assessments of recent music releases. You'll find some undiscovered gems, and get the lowdown on some really awful albums that should never have been released.

  • Essays - Career-spanning retrospectives on Pink Floyd and Todd Rundgren can be found here, plus interviews and features with important music-related figures. And more, of course, including stories on music-related technology.

  • The "Blast From the Past" column - Everything old is new again; as Edgard Varèse famously said, "The present-day composer refuses to die!" Read reviews of notable and recent reissues.

  • (the collection) - If I had a huge collection of unreleased music (not saying I do, you understand) this is where you'd find a current inventory of it.

  • About - About me, if you care to know a bit more.