‘It’s A New World . . .’

One of the more confounding moments of my musical life took place in a used record shop in Columbia, Missouri, during the late winter of 1989.

It was the last day of a brief visit with some friends there, and I was doing some record digging while I waited to meet one of those friends for lunch. And as I dug through the shop’s recent arrivals, I came across an album I’d neither seen nor heard about before:

The Present? By the Moody Blues? When did that come out? In 1983, the jacket told me. But why didn’t I know about it? I didn’t have the answer to that question, but I tucked the record under my arm with a few others I’d found and headed to the counter.

After a stop in St. Cloud to see my folks, I returned to Minot, North Dakota, about a week later, and sometime during my first days back in Minot, I dropped The Present on the turntable. Next week, I’ll write about what I heard and why I hadn’t known about it earlier, but for now, here’s a preview: Justin Hayward’s “Blue World,” the first track of The Present.


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