Courtesy: Eagle Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment
Justin Hayward has made quite the name for himself throughout the years as the front man for the legendary rock outfit the Moody Blues. For all of his success with the veteran outfit, he has gained just as much success and respect for his solo work as for his work with The Moody Blues. Late this past October, Eagle Rock Entertainment released a new retrospective on Hayward’s solo career in the form of the new compilation record All The Way. The 15 songs that make up the body of the record are the most important piece of the record’s presentation. This will be discussed shortly. They are, collectively speaking, not the record’s only important element. The record’s companion booklet is just as important to note as its songs. That will be discussed later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Together with the record’s songs and its companion booklet, all three elements come together to make All The Way a compilation that all of Hayward’s fans will enjoy “all the way” through.
Justin Hayward’s new solo career retrospective record All The Way is a record that all of his fans will enjoy “all the way through.” This includes fans of his work with The Moody Blues and fans of his solo recordings. That is due in no small part to the 15 songs that make up the body of the record. Hayward has released nine solo albums to date. That is a lot of music. So it goes without saying that yes, each album could have been represented through the record’s songs. The problem however, is that mathematically speaking there is no way each album could have been equally represented here. If each album had been represented by at least two songs, that would have pushed the record’s total tracks to 18. Three tracks each would have pushed the album’s song count to 27. So no, it wasn’t necessarily a good idea to have included each one of Hayward’s albums covers on this compilation’s cover art. That aside, the songs included in the record’s body are still a collectively respectable group of songs. Of course it does serve as even more reason for audiences to order the collection’s new digital presentation, which includes 15 additional songs, bringing the record’s total count to 30 exclusively through that digital release. On that side note, the record’s digital re-issue can be ordered when more copies are available at https://shop.justinhayward.com/products/justin-hayward-all-the-way. Keeping in mind all of this information, audiences will agree that for the uninitiated, All The Way’s song listing is a key component of the record’s presentation. New fans will appreciate the physical record’s 15-song body while more devoted fans will appreciate the limited 2-disc, 30-song presentation. Regardless of which platform one chooses, everyone will agree the record’s featured songs are collectively its most important element. The record’s track listing is just one of its key elements, too. The companion booklet that comes with the record is just as important to note as the record’s track listing.
The track listing featured in Justin Hayward’s new solo retrospective is in its own right, a key component of the record’s presentation. The recording’s single-disc, 15-song presentation is a good start for those less familiar with Hayward’s solo career. Its double-disc, 30-song presentation will appeal more to Hayward’s more devout fan base. At the time of this review, the record’s double-disc presentation is sold out. Hopefully more copies will become available for those more devout fans. As important as the record’s track listing is to its overall presentation, it is only one key piece of the record’s presentation. The companion booklet that comes with the record is just as important to note as the record’s songs. The booklet is so important to note because of the history lesson that it provides audiences. The lesson in question begins with Hayward’s beginnings with The Moody Blues in 1966. From there the story, presented by Mark Howell—a close friend of Hayward’s—follows Hayward’s journey both with The Moody Blues and on his own. Howell’s narrative touches on some of Hayward’s most well-known albums and at least one of the songs featured in this recording, ‘Blue Guitar.’ The story presented here also discusses how Hayward had to balance working alone and with his band mates in The Moody Blues, and how he managed to do so successfully to this very day. It would have been nice to have had a discussion on the songs featured in the record. But the history lesson presented here is still interesting in its own right, again, for fans less familiar with Hayward’s body of work. Just as with the songs themselves, the history lesson presented here makes for its own good starting point for audiences new to Hayward’s work. Even with this in mind, the record’s companion booklet is just one more important piece of the record’s presentation and not the last worth noting. The record’s overall sequencing is just as important to note as its songs and its companion booklet.
The songs featured in Justin Hayward’s new solo compilation and its companion booklet are both key in their own right to the record’s overall presentation. That is because of the role that they play collectively for audiences less familiar with Hayward’s solo career. The songs featured in the record’s double-disc, 30-song compilation is more fitting for Hayward’s more devout fan base. Getting back on topic, the sequencing for the 15-song collection’s body is just as important as the songs themselves and the record’s companion booklet. The record’s sequencing doesn’t run chronologically in regards to the album’s represented. It opens with ‘Blue Guitar,’ which was included in re-issues of Hayward’s 1975 debut album Blue Jays. From there though, the record reaches all the way to his fifth album, 1989’s Classic Blue for its second offering, ‘Forever Autumn.’ ‘Broken Dream’ and ‘Troubador’—the record’s third and fourth songs respectively—both come from Hayward’s seventh album, 1996’s The View From The Hill. Needless to say, there is no specific order to the songs in relations to their albums here. That means the attention should shift to the energy transfer from one song to the next. It is visible through the songs’ respective energies (and emotions) that they were more the focus of the album’s sequencing than the song’s respective albums. The easygoing, laid back feel of ‘Blue Guitar’ is a clear distinction from the more semi-psychedelic vibe of Forever Autumn’ and the more contemplative sound of ‘Broken Dream.’ In the same vein, the moving melodies presented in the record’s closer, ‘The Wind of Heaven’ stands out just as much from the gentle strains of ‘The Western Sky,’ which in themselves paint quite the beautiful picture. That sound stands out just as starkly against the Beatles-esque arrangement presented in ‘The Story in Your Eyes.’ Needless to say, the contrast in each of the noted songs from one another clearly shows how much thought and time was put into arranging the record’s songs. The remainder of the songs and their arrangements serve just as clearly to support that statement. From one song to the next, the record’s energies never stay the same too long. That in itself will keep listeners just as engaged in the record as the songs themselves and the history lesson provided through the record’s companion booklet. When all three elements are joined, they present All The Way as a record that both in its single disc and double disc presentation, audiences will appreciate “all the way.”
Justin Hayward’s new solo career retrospective is a work that his fans will appreciate “all the way.” That is due in no small part to its track listing. The record’s single-disc presentation features 15 of Hayward’s most important songs from his solo career. The double-disc collection doubles that number to 30. It also touches on more of his albums than the 15-song collection. In other words, the track listing presented in each of the record’s platforms will entertain and educate Hayward’s fans, both those familiar with his work and those less familiar. The record’s companion booklet is just as important to note as its songs because it presents a solid introduction for Hayward’s less familiar fans. Even those more familiar with his body of work might benefit from the lesson as they might not be so familiar with the background provided here. Again, it proves that the record could be beneficial to a wide range of listeners. The album’s sequencing is just as important to note here as the songs themselves and the record’s companion booklet. That is because the energy exhibited from one song to the next will keep listeners engaged, too. It never stays the same too long. Keeping that in mind, the record’s sequencing proves to be just as important to its presentation as its featured songs and its companion booklet. Each element is important in its own right to the record’s presentation, as should be clear by now. All things considered, this record is a work that all of Hayward’s fans will appreciate “all the way.” It is available now in stores and online. More information on All The Way is available online now along with all of Justin Hayward’s latest news and more at:
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