All The Way
Eagle Records 2016
Review by David Bowling
Just Hayward has been the heart, soul, and principal vocalist for the Moody Blues for 50 years. In his spare time, he has issued close to a dozen solo albums. His new release, All The Way, provides a 15 song taste of his solo career. Be advised that the MP3 edition of the album contains 30 tracks including his collaboration with John Lodge “I Dreamed last Night” and his Simon & Garfunkel cover of “Scarborough Fair,” which are essential Justin Hayward listening. It all adds up to the MP3 being a superior release.
The CD tends to be more oriented toward his newer material but all periods of his career are represented. The opening “Blue Guitar” with John Lodge and “Forever Autumn” represents a fertile period of his early solo career and hover on the edge of the Moody Blues sound.
He revisits two Moody Blues classics. His live version of “Nights In White Satin” features a smooth vocal. There is also a somewhat sparse acoustic rendition of “The Story In Your Eyes,” which changes the style of the original.
The inclusion of “The Best Is Yet To Come” presents one of his better solo ballads. The album ending “The Wind Of Heaven” is the equal of most of his best work.
The sound, especially on the older tracks sounds better that I remember. Counter-acting the sound quality is a lack of liner notes and information.
After All presents some of the best of Justin Hayward. There is no particular reason or order for the selected tracks but what is there are fine listening but there is a lot missing. It is a CD that should have been more inclusive and in the final analysis much better. If you have not explored the solo music of Hayward, this is a good introduction, but there is a lot more out there.