The Moody Blues – “Question”

This band emerged from the “British Invasion,” and has been an influence on music since making their debut in Birmingham in May of 1964, and were noticed and earned the services of manager Tony Secunda.

Although they’re best known today for their lush, lyrically, and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion. The group’s history began in Birmingham, England with Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), who had played together in El Riot & the Rebels and the Krew Cats. They began recruiting members of some of the best rival groups working in Birmingham, including Denny Laine (vocals, guitar), Graeme Edge (drums), and Clint Warwick (bass, vocals).

Moody Blues guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward wrote this song, which reflected the thoughts of many young people who were questioning the war in Vietnam. He told us: “We’d achieved great success in the United States, and we were playing a lot of student venues and colleges, and the student audience was our audience. We were mixing with these people and seeing how different the problems were for them and the issues in being a member of the greatest nation on earth: The United States. How different they were from British people. I was just expressing my frustration around that, around the problems of anti-war and things that really concerned them, and for their own future that they may be conscripted. How that would morally be a dilemma for them and that kind of stuff. So, it did really come out of that. And my own particular anger at what was happening. After a decade of peace and love, it still seemed we hadn’t made a difference in 1970. I suppose that was the theme of the song. And then the slow part of the song is really a reflection of that and not feeling defeated, but almost a quiet reflection of it, and mixing with a bit of a love song, as well.” (Here’s the full Justin Hayward interview.)

This was the opening track on the Question of Balance album, and at one point it was going to be the title track. The song was recorded several months earlier than the other tracks on the album and its title was shortened from “Question of Balance” to “Question.”

in the liner notes of the 1997 remastered CD, Justin Hayward wrote: “Sometimes, before we taped the album, we (documented) ‘Question,’ which was a song that I didn’t have on Friday night for a session (the next day). But, by the morning, I had it and it was recorded very quickly.” Hayward adds that it was “Recorded live, with no overdubbing or double-tracking, just a bit of echo.”

In the UK, this became the group’s biggest hit for their classic lineup. Before John Lodge and Justin Hayward joined the group in 1966, they had a #1 UK hit with “Go Now.”

The song is a concert mainstay of The Moody Blues, which is fine with Justin Hayward, who tells us he never loses the emotion for it when he performs the tune. It’s also a song that has remained relevant. Says Hayward: “There’s no doubt that it still resonates, the lyrics reflect whichever generation you’re in. Whatever time you’re in, people are experiencing those emotions. And I find that people identify with it at any age.”

Many of the songs Justin Hayward wrote for The Moody Blues don’t have obvious titles – “The Voice,” for instance. This song is another one without a natural title where he chose a word from the lyrics to represent it.

Fish, who is the ex-lead singer of the UK rock group Marillion, recorded a cover version on his 1995 LP Songs From The Mirror.

Song Lyrics –

Why do we never get an answer?
When we’re knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
‘Cause when we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer?
When we’re knocking at the door?
Because the truth is hard to swallow
That’s what the war of love is for

It’s not the way that you say it
When you do those things to me
It’s more the way that you mean it
When you tell me what will be
And when you stop and think about it
You won’t believe it’s true
That all the love you’ve been giving
Has all been meant for you

I’m looking for someone to change my life
I’m looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it’s done to me
To lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me through

Between the silence of the mountains
And the crashing of the sea
There lies a land I once lived in
And she’s waiting there for me
But in the grey of the morning
My mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
And the road that I must choose

I’m looking for someone to change my life
I’m looking for a miracle in my life
And if you could see what it’s done to me
To lose the love I knew
Could safely lead me to
The land that I once knew
To learn as we grow old
The secrets of our soul
It’s not the way that you say it when you do those things to me
It’s more the way you really mean it when you tell me what will be

Why do we never get an answer?
When we’re knocking at the door
With a thousand million questions
About hate and death and war?
When we stop and look around us
There is nothing that we need
In a world of persecution
That is burning in its greed

Why do we never get an answer?
When we’re knocking at the door?

Writer/s: Justin Hayward

credit:songfacts.com

video credit:YouTube.com

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