April 1986: The Moody Blues Come Back Big with "Your Wildest Dreams"

Your Wildest Dreams
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The Moody Blues were going through changes in the mid-1980s. The band was two albums in with new keyboardist Patrick Moraz when it came time to record The Other Side of Life album, which found longtime member Ray Thomas mostly on the sidelines.

With keyboardist Justin Heyward handling much of the songwriting responsibilities, his newfound love of modern synthesizers would play a major role, particularly on the album's first single, "Your Wildest Dreams."

"I discovered the Yamaha DX7 when that came out and it changed my life," Heyward told Songfacts about his synth of choice. "And I still use a DX7. Most of 'Wildest Dreams' - 90% of it - is (producer) Tony Visconti, my DX7, and a guitar synth. The piece at the beginning of 'Wildest Dreams' that sounds like a sort of Theremin, a (humming) 'oooo ooo,' that's a guitar synth. All of that is. So it was just another way of exploring musical avenues. Tony Visconti was very much into that and the first person who really turned the band on to programming in a serious way. And he was very, very good at it, so I enjoyed every moment of that."

Lyrically, "Your Wildest Dreams" would be about a real person, but Heyward is keeping their identity private.

"It was about somebody in particular," Heyward revealed. "And I found with 'Wildest Dreams' that it was a common experience for a lot of people. I never thought this; I thought I was writing a frivolous sort of song. Certainly with "Wildest Dreams." Not with "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," because I knew by then," he added about the "sequel" to "Your Wildest Dreams" that would appear on The Moody Blues' 1988 album, Sur la Mer.  "But I thought 'Wildest Dreams' would be a throwaway thing that people wouldn't really take much notice of lyrically. But I found out that it was a common experience and desire by a lot of people. So that was very revealing."

Released as a single on April 9, 1986, "Your Wildest Dreams" would be big hit, crashing the top 10 to peak at #9 on the Hot 100 for the week of July 12, 1986. The #1 song in America that week: "Holding Back the Years" by Simply Red. It was the band's first top ten song in the US since "Nights in White Satin" hit #1 in 1972.

The song would come with a popular music video, starring actress Janet Spencer-Turner. Played in heavy rotation on MTV, clip would be cited as the "best overall video" at the Billboard Video Music Conference held in Los Angeles in November 1986.

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