Justin Hayward

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Justin Hayward
Justin Hayward.png
Justin Hayward performing in 2018
Background information
Birth nameDavid Justin Hayward [1]
Born (1946-10-14) 14 October 1946 (age 74)
Swindon, Wiltshire, England
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1965–present
Associated acts The Moody Blues
Website justinhayward.com

Justin David Hayward [2] (born 14 October 1946, in Swindon, Wiltshire) [3] is an English musician best known as songwriter, lead singer, and guitarist of the rock band The Moody Blues. Hayward became the group's principal lead guitarist and vocalist over the 1967–1974 period, and the most prolific songwriter and composer of several international hit singles for the band.


Hayward wrote singles for the Moody Blues including "Nights in White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Voices in the Sky", "Never Comes the Day", "Question", "The Story in Your Eyes", "Driftwood", "The Voice", "Blue World", "Your Wildest Dreams", "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" and "English Sunset"; in all, writing 20 of the group's 27 post-1967 singles. He also has a solo career. His first album outside the Moody Blues, Blue Jays , a collaboration with John Lodge, reached the UK top five in 1975. The single "Blue Guitar", recorded with 10cc as the backing band, reached the UK top ten in 1975, and his 1978 recording of "Forever Autumn" from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds reached the UK top five. [4]

In 2018, Hayward was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues. [5]

Early life and early career

Hayward was born in Dean Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, England, and educated at Shrivenham School in Berkshire and the Commonweal School in Swindon. [6] He was playing in several bands as early as age 15 when he bought his Gibson 335, a guitar that appears on nearly all of his records throughout his career, [7] and a Vox AC30 amplifier. [8] All previous guitars were "unsatisfactory" and required modification. [9] He performed with local Swindon groups in clubs and dance halls playing mostly Buddy Holly songs. One of Hayward's early groups was All Things Bright, [10] which opened for The Hollies and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. At age 18, he signed an eight-year publishing contract [11] as a songwriter with the skiffle artist and record producer Lonnie Donegan, a move Hayward later regretted, as it meant the rights to all his songs written before 1974 would always be owned by Donegan's Tyler Music. [12] In 1965 he answered an advertisement in Melody Maker [13] and auditioned as guitarist for Marty Wilde and he went on to work with Wilde and his wife in The Wilde Three. [14]

The Moody Blues

In 1966, after answering another ad in Melody Maker, this time placed by Eric Burdon of The Animals, Hayward was contacted by Mike Pinder of the Moody Blues after Burdon had passed on Hayward's letter and demo discs to Pinder. Within a few days, Hayward had replaced departing Moody Blues vocalist and guitarist Denny Laine. Bassist John Lodge replaced temporary deputy Rod Clarke, who had stood in for departed bassist Clint Warwick at the same time.

After beginning by singing the old blues-inspired repertoire of the Moody Blues' 1964–1965 era, Hayward's initial artistic contribution to the Moody Blues was his song "Fly Me High", which was a Decca single early in 1967. It failed to chart, but gave the revised band a new direction forward from the R&B sound they had been largely producing up to that point.

Hayward's driving rocker "Leave This Man Alone" was then used as the B-side of their next single on Decca, backing Pinder's "Love And Beauty" (1967), the first Moody Blues record to feature the Mellotron.

Hayward and Lodge's integration into the Moody Blues along with Pinder's use of the Mellotron sparked greater commercial success and recognition for the band, transforming them into one of pop music's biggest-selling acts.

The 1967 album Days of Future Passed , one of the first and most influential symphonic rock albums, gave rise to the Hayward-penned singles "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin". The latter record went on to sell over two million copies, charting three times in the UK (1967, 1972, and 1979), and has been recorded by many other recording artists. Hayward's B-side song "Cities" was an early ecology-themed item.

In addition to delivering the lead vocals on his own compositions, Hayward took a featured lead or co-lead vocal on other band members' songs, including "Dawn is a Feeling" (Pinder), "Gimmie A Little Somethin'", "Isn't Life Strange", "Candle of Life" (Lodge), "After You Came", "I'll Be Level With You", "The Spirit", and "Nothing Changes" (Edge).

The Moody Blues' attempts to come up with another hit single during 1967–68 had them record three other Hayward compositions; "Long Summer Days", "King and Queen", and "What Am I Doing Here?", all of which were then left unissued, but together with unissued songs by Pinder and Lodge they later formed the 'studio side four' of Decca's 1977 release Caught Live Plus Five which largely comprised a December 1969 live recording of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall (issued against the group's wishes).

Hayward also co-wrote with Ray Thomas album tracks "Visions of Paradise", "Are You Sitting Comfortably", "Watching and Waiting", and, much later, "Never Blame the Rainbows for the Rain", plus he later co-wrote many songs with John Lodge for the Moody Blues, notably "Gemini Dream" (a US chart hit), "Meet Me Halfway", "Talkin' Talkin'", "Want to Be With You", "Once is Enough", "Strange Times", and "Sooner or Later (Walkin' on Air)", among others.

Hayward's songs have opened each of the Moody Blues albums in their 'post-Mike Pinder era' since Long Distance Voyager in 1981, and his songs, both solo compositions and co-written with Lodge, plus his lead vocals, harmony voice, and guitar playing, have been a major overriding factor in the band's work and continued success since 1981.

Their album sales from 1978 to the present total more than 60 million. This is the regularly quoted estimate of their album sales, since the total sales of their albums before 1978 are disputed owing to lack of official record company data, [15] However, the period 1967 to 1974 was when their albums (and singles) were charting highest in the UK and US plus worldwide (album track "Melancholy Man" made number one in France as a single in 1970) - Days of Future Passed topped the US album charts on reissue in 1972, then was followed into the album charts by the new studio album Seventh Sojourn.

Hiatus and Blue Jays / solo work

Hayward in 2007 JustinHayward3.jpg
Hayward in 2007

In 1974, the Moody Blues decided to take what ended up being a four-year break from performing and recording. Hayward continued working with Lodge and producer Tony Clarke, using musicians from the Moody Blues' label, Threshold, and sounding very much like the mother group. Together, they had a hit in 1975 with "Blue Guitar" (a Hayward recording with the band 10cc) and released an album titled Blue Jays .

In 1977, Hayward recorded his first solo album Songwriter . He enjoyed international solo success in 1978 when he appeared on Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds concept album, which yielded his hits "Forever Autumn" and "The Eve of the War". Wayne later contributed to Hayward's 1980 album Night Flight .

Hayward issued a rare non-album single "Marie" backed by "Heart of Steel' (Decca F13834) in April 1979, both sides composed by him, the 'A' side dedicated to his wife. These tracks were later included among the bonus tracks on a CD reissue of his Songwriter solo album in 2004.

During the 1980s, Hayward composed and performed for film and television, including the theme song "It Won't Be Easy" for the 1987 BBC2 science-fiction series Star Cops , "Something Evil, Something Dangerous" for the film Howling IV: The Original Nightmare , "Eternal Woman" for the film She , and music for the animated television series The Shoe People .

In 1989, with producer-arranger Mike Batt, Hayward released Classic Blue , an album of pop standards written by other composers set to orchestration arranged by Batt. Classic Blue included a cover version of Led Zeppelin's hit "Stairway to Heaven". Hayward's solo album The View from the Hill was released in 1996, and a live recording, Live in San Juan Capistrano , followed in 1998.

On 10 March 1997, Hayward was featured on the BBC One's programme This Is Your Life with Michael Aspel.

Hayward contributed vocals to a song on Rick Wakeman's 1999 album Return to the Centre of the Earth .

In June 2003, he gave several performances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [16] Later that year, he sang along with other rock singers on another orchestral album, consisting of Moody Blues songs with the Frankfurt Rock Orchestra, titled Justin Hayward and Friends Perform the Hits of the Moody Blues (alternatively called Justin Hayward and Friends Sing the Moody Blues Classic Hits). Hayward was later involved in a legal dispute, since resolved, arguing he was not paid for his participation on the album.

In April 2006, Hayward took part in the stage tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds , reprising his role in autumn 2007 in Australia and in the UK in December 2007. He did so again in the UK in June 2009 and appeared on the tour in November and December 2010. [17]

The Moody Blues, with Hayward, Lodge, and original drummer Graeme Edge, continue to tour extensively, and in a BBC World Service interview, Hayward and Lodge made it clear they have no plans to stop working, regarding it as "a privilege" to still be working in the music industry. In an interview in 2005, Edge said if he remained in good health, he could go on for 10 more years. [15]

In 2011, Hayward contributed to the Moody Blues bluegrass tribute album Moody Bluegrass TWO...Much Love along with Moody Blues bandmates Lodge, Edge, Thomas, and Pinder. Hayward sang lead vocal on his song "It's Cold Outside Of Your Heart". Many other Hayward compositions are featured on this album as well as 2004's Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues. [18]

On 10 December 2011, Hayward, along with Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, played a concert together at Canterbury Cathedral. [19]

Hayward in 2014 Justin Hayward - Parker Playhouse - Fort Lauderdale - 15622334612.jpg
Hayward in 2014

In February 2013, Hayward released his solo album Spirits of the Western Sky on the Eagle Rock label. He toured solo with this album on the East coast of the US in August 2013, to much acclaim, with Moody Blues keyboardist Alan Hewitt and vocalist Julie Ragins. The opening act and accompanying guitarist in the main show was UK's Mike Dawes. The final show of the solo tour, in Atlanta, was recorded by producer/director David Minasian for a live DVD project and a live CD. Recorded at the Buckhead Theatre on 17 August, the resulting DVD, Spirits… Live (2014), features the full concert along with a one-hour behind-the-scenes documentary titled On The Road To Love depicting Hayward's 2013 American tour, also directed by Minasian. [20] Following its release by Eagle Rock/Universal in August 2014, the DVD immediately rose to the #2 position on the Billboard Music Video charts [21] and would soon be broadcast by the PBS network. [22] Two additional Hayward/Minasian collaborations quickly followed: A concert DVD filmed in Clearwater, Florida titled Watching and Waiting, and The Story Behind Nights in White Satin, an award-winning documentary which chronicled the origins of Hayward's classic 1967 composition. [23]

In April 2015, Hayward was interviewed on BBC Radio 2's Johnny Walker show. [24]

The Spring of 2016 saw another Hayward release from producer/director David Minasian. [25] Titled Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre, the DVD contained a few surprises including the first live performance of "You Can Never Go Home" from the 1971 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour LP. [26] Also featured was a bonus studio recording of a new song titled "The Wind of Heaven", a joint composition between Minasian and Hayward. Intended as the main theme for a forthcoming motion picture, the song, with an elaborate music video directed by Minasian, was released ahead of schedule on the DVD to coincide with Hayward's 2016 US solo tour. [27]

Hayward performed during the "On the Blue Cruise" in February 2019. He postponed some tour dates following the cruise "due to a medical condition that prevents me from doing extensive traveling in the next few weeks." [28]


For the most part, Hayward has used a red Gibson ES-335, though he also uses other guitars in both performing and recording, including a 1955 Martin D-28 "Dreadnought", a James Olson six-string acoustic, a black Guild acoustic, a Squier Stratocaster (essentially an inexpensive Fender Stratocaster, as Squier is a subsidiary of Fender), a Fender Telecaster, a blonde Guild 12-string acoustic (tuned to "open C" for "Question"), and in 1967 a black Gibson Les Paul. Between 1965 and 1968, he was without his Gibson 335 and relied on other instruments, most notably a 1964 Fender Telecaster and a hand-built 12-string he had renovated for Donegan (he eventually bought this guitar from Donegan's widow). However, in an interview included on the Lovely to See You concert DVD (2005), Hayward says the 1963 Gibson 335 has been with him since 1967. Recently, he has played a Collings D3 on stage and on recordings. Among other instruments, Hayward also played mandolin on A Question of Balance and sitar on In Search of the Lost Chord . [15]

Personal life

Written at the end of one love affair and the beginning of another, the song "Nights in White Satin" was, according to Hayward, "in adoration of all women". Hayward married model Ann Marie Guirron on 19 December 1970. His daughter Doremi, who sings on the track "Raised on Love" on Hayward's 1977 album Songwriter , was born on 3 December 1972. [29]

In 2013, Hayward spoke of his learning Transcendental Meditation in 1967, along with other members of the Moody Blues. [30]


Hayward was awarded the first of numerous awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for songwriting in 1974. In 1985, the Moody Blues picked up the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and in 1988, Hayward received the Novello, among other honours, for Composer of the Year (for "I Know You're Out There Somewhere"). In 2000, he was one of a handful of British artists to receive the "Golden Note" award for lifetime achievement by ASCAP. [31] In 2004, Hayward was awarded the "Gold Badge" for Songwriters, Composers and Authors. [15] At the Ivor Novello Awards in London on 16 May 2013 Hayward was given the PRS for Music Award for Outstanding Achievement (presented to Hayward by Marty Wilde).



Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions Certifications
Blue Jays (with John Lodge)
  • Released: 1975
  • Label: Deram Records
  • Released: 11 February 1977
  • Label: Deram Records
Night Flight
  • Released: 1980
  • Label: Decca Records
Moving Mountains
  • Released: 1985
  • Label: Towerbell Records
Classic Blue
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Trax Records
Justin Hayward and Friends Sing the Moody Blues Classic Hits
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Phantom Sound & Music
The View from the Hill
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: CMC International
Spirits of the Western Sky
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Eagle Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

Live albums


Extended plays

Related Research Articles

The Moody Blues English band

The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The group came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music. They made some changes in musicians but settled on a line-up of Pinder, Thomas, Edge, guitarist Justin Hayward, and bassist John Lodge, who stayed together for most of the band's "classic era" into the early 1970s.

<i>Days of Future Passed</i> 1967 studio album by The Moody Blues

Days of Future Passed is the second album and first concept album by English prog rock band The Moody Blues, released in November 1967 by Deram Records. With its fusion of orchestral and rock elements, it has been cited as one of the first examples of progressive rock.

<i>Seventh Sojourn</i> 1972 studio album by the Moody Blues

Seventh Sojourn is the eighth album by the Moody Blues, released in 1972.

Nights in White Satin 1967 single by The Moody Blues

"Nights in White Satin" is a song by the Moody Blues, written and composed by Justin Hayward. It was first featured as the segment "The Night" on the album Days of Future Passed. When first released as a single in 1967, it reached number 19 on the UK Singles Chart and number 103 in the United States in 1968. It was the first significant chart entry by the band since "Go Now" and its recent lineup change, in which Denny Laine and Clint Warwick had resigned and both Hayward and John Lodge had joined.

<i>Blue Jays</i> (album) 1975 studio album by Justin Hayward and John Lodge

Blue Jays is a 1975 album by Justin Hayward and John Lodge. It was recorded and released during the Moody Blues' five-year hiatus.

Ray Thomas British musician, songwriter, singer, flautist for the Moody Blues

Raymond Thomas was an English musician, flautist, singer, founding member and composer in the English progressive rock band the Moody Blues. His flute solo on the band's 1967 hit single "Nights in White Satin" is regarded as one of progressive rock's defining moments. In 2018, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

Graeme Edge British musician

Graeme Charles Edge is an English musician, songwriter and poet best known as the co-founder and drummer of the English band the Moody Blues. In addition to his work with the Moody Blues, Edge has worked as the bandleader of his own outfit, the Graeme Edge Band. He has contributed his talents to a variety of other projects throughout his career. In 2018, Edge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

John Lodge (musician) British musician; bass guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of The Moody Blues

John Charles Lodge is an English musician, best known as bass guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the longstanding rock band the Moody Blues. He has also worked as a record producer and has collaborated with other musicians outside the band. In 2018, Lodge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

<i>Caught Live + 5</i> 1977 live album by The Moody Blues

Caught Live + 5 is a live album by The Moody Blues, consisting of a 12 December 1969 live show at the Royal Albert Hall and five previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967 to 1968.

<i>Prelude</i> (The Moody Blues album) 1987 compilation album by The Moody Blues

Prelude is a 1987 compilation album by the Moody Blues consisting of non-album singles and rarities.

<i>This Is The Moody Blues</i> 1974 compilation album by The Moody Blues

This Is The Moody Blues is a two LP compilation album by the Moody Blues, released in late 1974 while the band was on a self-imposed sabbatical. Though all of the songs were previously released on albums, several of them are heard here in distinctly different mixes. Like the Moody Blues albums of the time – but unlike most compilation albums, including later Moody Blues compilations – the songs on this album segue seamlessly, without silence between tracks. On the original LP, this was true of the songs on each side; when the album was remastered for CD, each disc was also blended, so that "Legend of a Mind" segues into "In the Beginning", and "Watching and Waiting" segues into "I'm Just a Singer ".

Never Comes the Day 1969 single by The Moody Blues

"Never Comes the Day" is a 1969 single by the progressive rock band the Moody Blues. It was written by band member Justin Hayward, and was the only single released from their 1969 album On the Threshold of a Dream. The song was edited from the album version of 4:43 down to 2:42. The single edit omits the second verse and simply goes into the longer chorus after the first verse. A similar edit was done on the Justin Hayward/John Lodge song "I Dreamed Last Night", but that version ends cold. Despite the fact that the album was a number-one hit in the UK, "Never Comes the Day" was a commercial flop as a single, and did not chart in the UK. The single also included Mike Pinder's "So Deep Within You," another track from the same album, on the B-side.

Gemini Dream 1981 single by The Moody Blues

"Gemini Dream" is a 1981 single by the progressive rock band The Moody Blues. It reached number 12 on the US Hot 100, as well as number 1 on the Canada RPM Top 100 Singles chart. It is ranked as the 28th biggest Canadian hit of 1981.

<i>Anthology</i> (The Moody Blues album) 1998 compilation album by The Moody Blues

Anthology is a compilation album by the progressive rock band the Moody Blues. It was released on 20 October 1998 and nearly spans the band's entire career from 1965 to 1991.

<i>Live at the BBC: 1967–1970</i> 2007 live album by The Moody Blues

Live at the BBC: 1967–1970 is a two-disc album by The Moody Blues. Released in 2007, it features forty-one live recordings of various performances for the BBC between 1967 and 1970. The album features multiple recordings of some songs, so they are listed more than once. In 2019 the album was reissued on a numbered limited edition triple-coloured vinyl disk set.

<i>Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970</i> (The Moody Blues album) 2008 live album by The Moody Blues

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Mike Pinder British musician

Michael Thomas Pinder is an English rock musician, and is a founding member and original keyboard player of the British rock group the Moody Blues. He left the group following the recording of the band's ninth album Octave in 1978. He is especially noted for his technological contribution to music. In 2018, Pinder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues.

David Minasian is an American film producer, screenwriter, director, and a musician, singer and songwriter. Since the 1980s, he has worked for various motion picture production companies in the Los Angeles area as a freelance producer/director. In addition to his work on music videos and concert films for artists such as Three Dog Night, English progressive rock band Camel, and Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward, Minasian has produced and directed over 60 documentary films including The Passion Behind the Passion, a behind-the-scenes documentary filmed on location in Rome chronicling the making of Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion of the Christ. Minasian is also a classically trained pianist. His symphonic rock album Random Acts of Beauty was released in 2010 to critical and public acclaim and features a rare guest appearance on the album's 12 minute opening track "Masquerade" by Camel guitarist Andrew Latimer.

<i>Moody Bluegrass</i>

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<i>Days of Future Passed Live</i> 2018 live album by The Moody Blues

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