The Moody Blues: “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)” (1972)

John Lodge famously breaks the fourth wall on this classic Moodies single.

Kronomyth 8.1: I’m just a worrier on this phase of the earth.

I don’t have many memories of the past, but the memories I do have are often tied to music. This single from The Moody Blues has the rare distinction of recalling two separate memories: one of sitting in a dorm room in college while a friend played this song for me on her stereo (it was the first time I had heard it), the other of sitting in a cubicle while a friend would sing “I’m just a warrior on the face of this earth” as our shift supervisor (and amateur singer) walked in and out of her office. I’ve been blessed with some very sweet and funny people in my life. I suspect that music triggers some part of our brain where memories are stored, although it could have something to do with autism.

Anyway, John Lodge’s I’m Just a Singer stands as one of the more self-aware rock songs ever recorded, as he presents the paradox of the rock & roll singer: a human being who needs to both remember and forget that they’re only one voice among many. It doesn’t hurt that the song has a good driving beat behind it and some timeless touches from Mike Pinder. For My Lady is, for my money, the best song Ray Thomas ever wrote. In fact, it may be my favorite Moodies song of all time, hopeless, forgetful romantic that I am. Of interest, the accordion sound on the song is actually the Chamberlin, an instrument that features prominently on Seventh Sojourn.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band) (John Lodge) (4:16)
B1. For My Lady (Ray Thomas) (4:01)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on January 19, 1973 in the UK, Germany and Portugal (Threshold, TH 13), the US (Threshold, 45-67012), Canada (Threshold, TH67012), Japan (Threshold, TH 7), the Netherlands (Threshold, 6101 603), Spain (Threshold, MO 1316) and Turkey (Threshold, 73750) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #36 on the UK charts and #12 on the US charts (charted on February 3, 1973 for 10 weeks).

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in the US (Threshold, THS 67012).
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in the US (Deram, 5N-67012).
  3. Re-released with “Isn’t Life Strange” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in November 1989 in the US (Threshold, 882 120-7).
  4. Re-issued with “Isn’t Life Strange” on B2B hits 7-inch single in 1992 in the US (Collectables, COL 4319).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *