Octave (album)

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Moodies octave.gif
Studio album by
Released9 June 1978
RecordedOctober 1977 – April 1978 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles, Indigo Ranch Recording Studios, Malibu
GenreRock, pop, progressive rock
LabelDecca (UK)
London (US)
ProducerTony Clarke
The Moody Blues chronology
Caught Live + 5
Long Distance Voyager
Singles from Octave
  1. "Steppin' in a Slide Zone"
    Released: May 1978
  2. "Driftwood"
    Released: October 1978
Colored vinyl issue
Limited release edition
Limited release edition
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(unfavorable)[2]

Octave is the ninth album by The Moody Blues, released in 1978, and their first release after a substantial hiatus following the success of the best-selling Seventh Sojourn in 1972. The album proved to be the last for the group with keyboardist Mike Pinder, who departed during the album's sessions, and declined an offer to tour with the group.[3][4] Pinder had just started a new family in California, and found that he was not getting along with his bandmates as he had before. Pinder would be replaced by former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz in time for their 1979 tour,[5] beginning a new era in the band's history. Octave would also be the final studio album from the band produced by Tony Clarke.[6][7]

The album's title is a musical pun: it references both the notion of an octave; and as a word derived from the Latin octavus it refers to this being the eighth album with the then-current band configuration (following on from the previous album title Seventh Sojourn). The abum's cover, showing the band walking through a door from darkness into a bright light, also has several meanings: a reference to both Mike Pinder's song "One Step Into the Light" and the band's record label Threshold (which did not release this album, unlike the preceding and following Moody Blues albums); and the transition into a new phase of the band with the departure of Pinder.

Octave was considered a departure from previous Moody Blues albums, mainly because of the group's use of lounge-style organs and synthesizers in place of a Mellotron or Chamberlin (Pinder's song "One Step Into the Light" references the Mellotron). Real strings were used on three songs: "Under Moonshine" and "I'm Your Man" (both written by Ray Thomas), as well as "Survival" (written by John Lodge).

Released after a considerable break, which saw The Moody Blues returning in an era of punk music and disco, Octave produced a reduced commercial outcome for the band, but reached #6 in the United Kingdom and went platinum in the United States,[8] where the album reached #13. The album produced the hit single "Steppin' in a Slide Zone," which hit #39 in the US, in addition to "Driftwood".

In November 2008, the album was remastered and released on CD, with five previously-unreleased, live, bonus tracks.

Original Track Listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Steppin' in a Slide Zone" (John Lodge) – 5:29 (lead singer: John Lodge)
  2. "Under Moonshine" (Ray Thomas) – 5:00 (lead singer: Ray Thomas)
  3. "Had to Fall in Love" (Justin Hayward) – 3:42 (lead singer: Justin Hayward)
  4. "I'll Be Level with You" (Graeme Edge) – 3:48 (lead singers: Justin Hayward, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, John Lodge)
  5. "Driftwood" (Hayward) – 5:03 (lead singer: Justin Hayward)

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Top Rank Suite" (Hayward) – 3:42 (lead singer: Justin Hayward)
  2. "I'm Your Man" (Thomas) – 4:21 (lead singer: Ray Thomas)
  3. "Survival" (Lodge) – 4:09 (lead singer: John Lodge)
  4. "One Step into the Light" (Mike Pinder) – 4:29 (lead singer: Mike Pinder)
  5. "The Day We Meet Again" (Hayward) – 6:19 (lead singer: Justin Hayward)

The 8-track tape version of this album has the distinction of being one of the few 8-tracks that is arranged exactly like the album, with no song breaks[citation needed]. The original album was released on clear blue vinyl.[9]

2008 CD Expanded Edition tracks (UK)[edit]

  1. "Steppin' in a Slide Zone (Live in Seattle 25 May 1979)" (Lodge) - 4:57
  2. "I'm Your Man (Live in Seattle 25 May 1979)" (Thomas) - 4:51
  3. "Top Rank Suite (Live in Seattle 25 May 1979)" (Hayward) - 4:28
  4. "Driftwood (Live in Seattle 25 May 1979)" (Hayward) - 5:02
  5. "The Day We Meet Again (Live in Houston 7 December 1978)" (Hayward) - 7:16


  • Justin Hayward - vocals, guitars, keyboards
  • John Lodge - vocals, bass, keyboards
  • Ray Thomas - vocals, flute, harmonica, tambourine
  • Graeme Edge - vocals, drums, percussion
  • Mike Pinder - vocals, organ, synthesizer, Mellotron, piano, keyboards
  • Ted Jensen - mastering

Additional personnel[edit]

  • R.A. Martin - horns, saxophones
  • Patrick Moraz - Keyboards on live bonus tracks. [10]

Chart positions[edit]

Album-Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1978 Billboard 200 13
UK Albums Chart 6

Singles - Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Steppin' In a Slide Zone" Billboard Hot 100 39
"Driftwood" Billboard Hot 100 59


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Octave - The Moody Blues | AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (7 September 1978). "The Moody Blues: Octave : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  3. ^ Dowloaded: A Lifetime of Collecting Music. Marvin Miller. pp. 165–. GGKEY:7GQT7H1SXW9.
  4. ^ Marti Smiley Childs; Jeff March (24 October 2011). Echoes of the Sixties. EditPros LLC. pp. 217–. ISBN 978-1-937317-02-7.
  5. ^ Tim Morse (15 July 1998). Classic Rock Stories: The Stories Behind the Greatest Songs of All Time. St. Martin's Press. pp. 215–. ISBN 978-1-4299-3750-4.
  6. ^ Classic Artists, Image Entertainment, 2007.
  7. ^ Octave remaster liner notes, Universal Music, 2008.
  8. ^ Brock Helander (1982). The Rock Who's Who: A Biographical Dictionary and Critical Discography Including Rhythm-And-Blues, Soul, Rockabilly, Folk, Country, Easy Listening, Punk, and New Wave. Schirmer/Mosel Verlag GmbH. pp. 397–398. ISBN 978-0-02-871250-5.
  9. ^ Moody's 'Octave' given big push. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1 July 1978. pp. 96–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  10. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=bYKuiC4Hz2YC&pg=PT215#v=onepage&q&f=false