On this day in music history: May 15, 1981 – &…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1981 – “Long Distance Voyager”, the tenth studio album by The Moody Blues is released. Produced by Pip Williams, it is recorded at Threshold Studios in West Hampstead, London and RAK Studios in St. John’s Wood, London from February 19, 1980 – Mid April 1981. The bands first new release since “Octave” nearly three years before, it is the first to introduce new keyboardist Patrick Moraz, replacing original founding member Mike Pinder. The project is The Moodies first to be recorded in their own studio (having purchased the old Decca Recording Studios in London) The album in part takes its title from the names of the spacecrafts launched by NASA in 1977, with some of the songs following a theme related to them. Spinning off three singles including “Gemini Dream” (#12 Pop), and “The Voice” (#15 Pop), it is a major critical and commercial success both in the US and the UK. Originally released on CD in 1986, it is remastered and reissued in 1997, with the single edit of “The Voice as a bonus track. It is also issued as an SHM-CD in Japan in 2008, and again in 2014 as a single layer SACD SHM-CD, packaged in a mini-LP gatefold sleeve. "Long Distance Voyager” spends three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number seven on the UK album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.