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Album Review

Justin Hayward's Songwriter was the best of the solo albums to come out from the members of the Moody Blues during their 1974-1978 hiatus, and it has held up better than any of the others, a fact reflected in that it not only managed to stay in print on CD longer than any of the others, but was reissued in significantly upgraded sound with three superb bonus tracks in May of 2004. First and foremost is "Wrong Time, Right Place," a driving electric rocker with a great beat and a wryly ironic lyric, which was recorded for Songwriter but lost before the album was assembled; the follow-up single "Marie," an electric ballad with a rich, dramatic vocal performance by Hayward, surrounded by several layers of electric and acoustic guitars; and "Heart of Steel," an ornate slowie with some intelligent and restrained synthesizer work. The new annotation answers many questions concerning the album and its origins, and the producers have also included the bonus track from the old CD edition, Hayward's surprisingly effective rendition of Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game."


Born: 14 October 1946 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Justin Hayward (b. Swindon, October 14, 1946; full name David Justin Hayward) got his first guitar at age nine. In 1965, he joined pre-Beatles English rocker Marty Wilde as a member of his backing band, the Wild Cats. By the end of 1965, Hayward had four songs that he felt ready to record on his own, which led him to former skiffle king-turned-producer Lonnie Donegan. Released by Pye Records on the last day of 1965, Hayward's solo recording debut, "London Is Behind Me," failed to make an impact on...
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Songwriter, Justin Hayward
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