The Mixtures were one hit wonders in the USA and UK with The Pushbike Song. Back in their native Australia, The Mixtures also had hits with In The Summertime (number 1), Henry Ford (number 29) and Captain Zero (number 5).
Mick Flinn of The Mixtures went on to join Springfield Revival, a trio created to recapture the sound of the Springfields. In 1981 he joined the New Seekers.
The Monkees were created in 1965 by two television producers (Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider) to play a struggling pop group in a forthcoming comedy series. Of over 400 hopefuls, the four chosen to be The Monkees were Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Among those who failed their audition were Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night), Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills and Nash) and singer-songwriter Paul Williams.
The first episode of The Monkees was broadcast in the USA on 16th September 1966. The programme soon became a hit, as did the records that were released as a spin off from the series. The Monkees' first album was a million seller and their first two singles, Last Train To Clarksville and I'm A Believer, both went to number 1 in the USA. I'm A Believer also topped the charts in the UK. By the beginning of 1967 The Monkees were being touted as America's answer to the Beatles.
Although The Monkees were talented musicians and songwriters (Michael Nesmith in particular), they did not play on their early records, nor did they select their own material. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who had written Last Train To Clarksville as well as the theme tune to The Monkees TV series, provided backing tracks, with The Monkees merely being told what to sing and how to sing it. Further material was provided by Neil Diamond, David Gates (later a member of Bread) and Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
The Monkees' music was blatantly commercial. Jim Hendrix reputedly said "Oh God, I hate them. Dishwater!" Michael Nesmith agreed. He described The Monkees' second album More Of The Monkees as "the worst album in the history of the world." However, by the time of their third album, Headquarters, The Monkees were not only playing on their records but writing most of the songs as well. A Mickey Dolenz song from the album, Randy Scouse Git (Alternate Title), became a number 2 hit in Britain.
Peter Tork quit The Monkees at the end of December 1968. The others continued as a trio for a short while but in 1969 Michael Nesmith also left the group. Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones recorded a 'last gasp' album as a duo before The Monkees finally called it a day in 1970.
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues started out in 1964 playing R&B. The original members of the band included Denny Laine (lead vocals, harmonica, guitar) and Clint Warwick (bass). Their first single was a flop but the second, Go Now!, was a UK number 1 in January 1965 and a Top 10 hit in America.
Following a change in line-up in 1966 (which saw Warwick and Laine replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward), The Moody Blues returned to the charts with the single Nights In White Satin and the album Days Of Future Passed. These recordings marked a new beginning for the band, with the Moodies abandoning their R&B roots for a fusion of rock and classical styles. The album set a trend for future releases. It had an epic quality, using lush orchestration and layered harmonies to present songs with soaring melodies and lyrics written around a unifying theme.
Although The Moody Blues had further Top 20 singles in the UK with Question and Isn't Life Strange, the group was more successful with its albums, three of which reached number 1 in the UK - On The Threshold Of A Dream, A Question Of Balance and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
In 1974 The Moody Blues went their separate ways. Justin Hayward and John Lodge were successful as the Blue Jays, having hits in 1975 with the single Blue Guitar and the album Blue Jays. Hayward also had solo success with the single Forever Autumn from Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds.
The Moody Blues reunited in 1978 to record the album Octave. Although the group was deserted shortly after this by one of its original members, Mike Pinder (piano, keyboards), The Moody Blues continued with Patrick Moraz in his place. Moraz stayed with the Moodies until 1990, enjoying the band's more measured success during the 1980s with albums such as Long Distance Voyager (1981), The Present (1983), The Other Side Of Life (1986) and Sur La Mer (1988).
One of the groups influenced by The Moody Blues was Cressida, whose second album was produced by former Bee Gees' producer Ossie Byrne and featured New Seeker Paul Layton on guitar.
The Move formed in 1965. The line-up included vocalist Carl Wayne (who, much later in his career, starred in Willy Russell's musical Blood Brothers) and Roy Wood (who wrote most of the Move's hits).
The Move's début single, Night Of Fear, made it to number 2 in the UK at the beginning of 1967. It began a chart run that lasted until 1972 and included the Top 10 hits I Can Hear The Grass Grow, Fire Brigade, Brontosaurus and California Man.
The group's third single, Flowers In The Rain (a UK number 2), was the first record to be played on BBC Radio 1. Satirical postcards promoting the single prompted the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, to sue the Move for libel. The case was settled when the Move agreed to pay all of their royalties from the single to charity.
The Move's only UK number 1 was Blackberry Way, which topped the charts for a week in February 1969. The New Seekers covered the song on their 1971 album Beautiful People.
When the Move started the band had five members but the pressures of fame took their toll. Bass player Chris 'Ace' Kefford left after having a nervous breakdown. Guitarist Trevor Burton followed soon afterwards, leaving just as Blackberry Way was released. Finally in January 1970, amid mounting tension within the band, Carl Wayne also left the Move. The group continued as a trio (Roy Wood, Bev Bevan and Rick Price) until they were joined by Jeff Lynne.
Lynne wrote the Move's only US chart entry, Do Ya, which brushed the bottom of the Hot 100 in 1972, peaking at number 93. The Move had toured the USA in 1969 and made another brief trip in 1971 - each time without chart success. Meanwhile, the New Seekers, who had already broken through in the States, released their version of the Move's Tonight as their fourth US single. The Move had taken the song to number 11 in the UK but neither they nor the New Seekers could make the song a hit in America.
Even before the Move had split up, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne had plotted their next venture - the Electric Light Orchestra. Within a year, though, Roy Wood had moved on to form Wizzard with Rick Price, leaving Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan to continue with the ELO.
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