The Moody Blues: “Question” (1970)

The Moodies question the meaning of life, fans respond by nearly making this their second #1 single.

Kronomyth 5.5: All the love you’ve been giving has all been meant for you.

In the between their fifth and sixth albums, The Moody Blues paused to ask this Question. Maybe they were questioning the meaning of life, the meaning of love, or maybe love is the meaning of life. (Hint: it actually is, although it’s what you choose to love that really matters.) This is a different version than what turned up on A Question of Balance. The mellotron, for example, doesn’t make an appearance until the bridge, and the acoustic guitar is more prominent throughout the song.

The B side was an edited version of Candle of Life, which had earlier appeared on To Our Children’s Children’s Children. One of my favorite songs from that album, the single version fades after repeating the first verse (the original repeats both verses) rather than the long instrumental fadeout featured on the album version. I have no earthly idea why they created an edited version for the B side; it’s not something you see done often.

The Moodies would follow the same “advance release” approach again for “Isn’t Life Strange” in the Spring of 1972. Generally, however, the Moodies didn’t release non-album singles like many of their English contemporaries. They were an album band anyway and, honestly, many of their singles didn’t translate well to the radio because they were more refined than the regular rock & roll fare. “Question” at least held its own with its driving rhythm section, but I prefer the album version, which gets an immediate lift from the mellotron’s clarion call.

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Question (Justin Hayward) (4:55)
B1. Candle of Life (John Lodge) (3:14)

Original 7-inch single (French version)
A1. Question (Justin Hayward) (4:55)
B1. Gipsy (Justin Hayward) (3:35)

Original 7-inch EP single (Israeli version)
A1. Question (Justin Hayward)
B1. Voices in the Sky (Justin Hayward)
B2. Candle of Life (John Lodge)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on April 24, 1970 in the UK, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Sweden (Threshold, TH 4), the US (Threshold, THS-67004/Threshold, 45-TH-67004/London, 45-67004), Australia (Threshold, TH-9144), Canada (Threshold, TH-67004), France (Threshold, TH 4 B), Israel (Pax, ISEP.2054), Japan (Threshold, TH-3), New Zealand (Threshold, TH. 4), Spain (Threshold, MO-1005) and Yugoslavia (Threshold/Jugoton, STH-8387) with regional picture sleeve; reached #2 on the UK charts and #21 on the US charts (charted on May 2, 1970 for 12 weeks). Also released as a promotional 7-inch single in 1970 in the US feat. A stereo and mono versions, available in several formats: (Threshold, 45-TH-67004-DJ), (Threshold, THS-67004), (London, 45067004DJ).

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in 1974 in the US (Threshold, 5N-67004).
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in October 1983 in the UK (Old Gold, OG 9348).

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