By: Gary Graff
Justin Hayward releases his first solo album in nearly 17 years, "Spirits of the Western Sky," today (February 26) -- with a surprise for Moody Blues fans.
The end of the album sports two new versions of the group's 1988 hit "I Know You're Out There Somewhere," rechristened "Out There Somewhere" and recast in electronic, dance-oriented versions, one of which was remixed by Raul Rincon.
Hayward tells us it came about when he was contacted by a pair of Swedish producers who wanted to remix the track but couldn't separate his vocal from the original when they tried to sample it. Hayward recorded a new vocal for them and was so taken with the results he decided to put the remixes on his album, too:
"I don't know whether we were that serious about them until we were compiling the record and we put them on every night to finish the session, just to be happy and have a drink or something. And in the end we thought it's just too nice a feeling not to include them on this record, so that's what happened. I really loved with those guys did and how it sounded."
"Spirits of the Western Sky," which Hayward recorded in both Genoa, Italy, and in Nashville, also includes a collaboration with Kenny Loggins on the title track, while Anne Dudley contributed orchestral arrangements.
Hayward hits the road with the Moody Blues again for a North American tour that starts March 8 in New Mexico.
CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.