It was not so much the orchestra that molded the Moody Blue’s sound as it was the Mellotron… a keyboard instrument that essentially has a tape player hooked up to each note of the keyboard. It enabled them to take an orchestra to their live shows. It was an early form of sampling.
Listen to part two of The Moody Blues:
Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder had been playing with a band in Hamburg Germany called El Riot and Rebels… when they returned to England they had both decided that they wanted to become professional musicians and started recruiting the best players from the 250 bands in and around Birmingham to form the Moody Blues.
Their biggest hit and some say Motown’s biggest hit, was initially just an instrumental track created by the Motown recording unit The Funk Brothers. Holland, Dozier, and Holland wanted to experiment with the track and called in the Four Tops first to try some new ideas. They laid down some vocal tracks thinking it was nowhere near complete. Then Berry Gordie heard it and said, no, it was done. The Tops pleaded with him not to release I Can't Help Myself.
The name of the first Mama Papa’s album is Lou Adler’s actual reaction to when he first saw the group. Adler made it habit of not looking at bands who auditioned for him… When the Mamas and Papas were finished… he looked around and said to himself - "If you can believe your eyes and ears…" Wow.