The Moody Blues originated in Birmingham, England. At the time, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder were El Riot & the Rebels, a popular band. Pinder left to join the army, but then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats and had moderate success. The pair recruited Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick, appearing as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964.
Soon, the band had a contract with Decca Records and released an unsuccessful single, "Steal Your Heart Away", that year. "Go Now", released later that year, became a huge hit in the United Kingdom and less so in the United States. After a series of unsuccessful singles, Warwick and Laine departed, replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward in 1966. Deram Records (a Decca imprint) chose the Moody Blues to make an LP in order to promote Deramic Stereo and the group was assigned to make a rock and roll version of Dvorak's New World Symphony. The Moody Blues convinced the label otherwise and released an original album, Days of Future Passed.
The album plus two singles, "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon" became massively popular, as was the 1968 followup, In Search of the Lost Chord, where the group began using the Mellotron. Their music was progressing more and more in complexity, resulting in 1969's To Our Children's Children's Children. After that, the group decided to record only albums that could be played in concert, losing some of their bombastic sound for their next album, A Question of Balance (1970). For their next two albums, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (1971) and Seventh Sojourn (1972) the band returned to recording very rich sounds, that while difficult to play in concert, had the bands signature lush sound.
After that, the group took an extended break to recuperate from a heavy touring schedule. Hayward and Lodge released a duet album, the very successful Blue Jays (1975) and the members each released solo albums. In 1977, the group reformed and, during a tempestuous recording session, 1978's Octave was released, though Pinder refused to tour and was replaced by Patrick Moraz; the album was a hit, as was 1981's Long Distance Voyager, though the band was quickly losing critical credibility. Despite a few more albums and successful singles, the group has never managed to regain its once massive popularity or critical acclaim.