Isn't Life Strange

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"Isn't Life Strange"
Single by The Moody Blues
from the album Seventh Sojourn
B-side "After You Came"
Released 21 April 1972
Recorded 14 February 1972
Genre Symphonic rock
Length 6:10 (Album/main version)
4:25 (promo version)
5:32 (Compilation edit)
Label Threshold Records
Writer(s) John Lodge
Producer(s) Tony Clarke
The Moody Blues singles chronology
"The Story in Your Eyes"
(1971)
"Isn't Life Strange"
(1972)
"I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)"
(1973)
Seventh Sojourn track listing
Side one
  1. "Lost in a Lost World"
  2. "New Horizons"
  3. "For My Lady"
  4. "Isn't Life Strange"
Side two
  1. "You and Me"
  2. "The Land of Make-Believe"
  3. "When You're a Free Man"
  4. "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)"

"Isn't Life Strange" is a 1972 single by the English progressive rock band The Moody Blues, which was based on Pachelbel's Canon In D. Written by bassist John Lodge, it was the first of two singles released from their 1972 album Seventh Sojourn, with the other being "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)" (also written by Lodge). "Isn't Life Strange" is one of the Moody Blues' longer songs, lasting for over six minutes.

"Isn't Life Strange" opens with a slow duet of the flute (played by Ray Thomas) and a pump organ, otherwise known as a harmonium, (played by Mike Pinder), with John Lodge and Justin Hayward providing vocals. The song's chorus features the band's traditional line-up, and vocals provided by Hayward, Lodge, Pinder, and Thomas.

When the Moody Blues perform "Isn't Life Strange" live, John Lodge uses a double neck guitar with a standard 6-string on one neck, and a 4-string bass on the other. He uses this since he generally plays the 6-string guitar during the verses, and the bass during the chorus since Justin Hayward takes over electric guitar during the chorus. Also, whenever the Moody Blues perform live backed by a full orchestra, the orchestra's brass section performs a solo of the chorus twice throughout the song, once in the middle, and once at the end.

The original version of "Isn't Life Strange" is extended by two minutes and includes a slow instrumental duet of Ray Thomas' flute and Mike Pinder's Chamberlin which was deleted, possibly due to time restraints. For the re-issue of "Seventh Sojourn" this version has been restored and added as a bonus track.

"Isn't Life Strange" is one of the Moody Blues' most popular songs, and has been included in virtually all of their compilation and live albums. In addition, the song was re-recorded (along with "Question") in the studio with an orchestra in 1988, for the Greatest Hits album.


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1972 UK Singles Chart 13
Billboard Hot 100 29

Personnel[edit]