Seks dager etter at han fylte 76 år døde Raymond Thomas. Thomas var med i det essensielle og viktige pionerbandet Moody Blues. Han var vokalist, fløytist og komponist. Mange av Moody Blues sine mest kjente låter sto Thomas for. Noen låter skrev han også sammen med Justin Hayword som var gitarist og vokalist i Moody Blues. Moody Blues blir ofte kalt verdens miste symfoniske orkester, og ga ut sin debutskive i 1965. Den var ikke all verden, men fra skive nummer to til nummer åtte kom det virkelig mye bra. Moody Blues er definitivt et av bandene som har stor musikkhistorisk valens.
Thomas once said of his role “I never thought of myself as being very gifted. I was happy, though, to have played a part in bringing out the talents of those around me.
Initially, Moodu Blues sound was predicated on the blues and they had some early success in this vein. However, it was when the classic line-up featuring Thomas, Pinder and Edge alongside Lodge and Justin Hayward came together in 1966 that the band found their musical direction and style.
The release of the album Days Of Future Passed in 1967 set the tone, with its symphonic sensibility, and Thomas was a crucial part of the process, as a confident and creative flautist.
“We really were doing things that were out of our comfort zone,” he said a few years ago. “That made it so exciting. I felt that, as a musician, I suddenly had a blank canvas on which to paint whatever I felt would work.”
One of his finest compositions, Legend Of A Mind, was featured on the 1968 album In Search Of The Lost Chord. It was written about Timothy Leary.
“Actually, I did it as something of a pisstake more than anything else. But Leary did once tell me that song had done more to make him famous than anything else. Imagine that? A silly throwaway song like that having such an impact.”
As the Moodies continued to enjoy success over the next decade, Thomas’ contributions as musician, vocalist and composer was a core part of everything. And when the band went on hiatus in 74, he released the albums From Mighty Oaks (1975) and Hopes Wishes And Dreams (a year later) proved he had the ability to make his own mark away from the mothership.