The sixties were long gone and The Moody Blues weren’t young anymore. That’s not to say that they weren’t smart however. They continued to move further and further from their orchestral and classical roots toward a modern eighties sound. Patrick Moraz’s keyboards would be unleashed to create the type of synthesizer pop/rock sound that was so popular at the time. It was polished and sometimes repetitive but it was commercially successful. The Other Side Of Life would reach the top ten in The United States and spawn two hit singles.
Justin Hayward and John Lodge were now the dominant creative force of the group. They would write or co-write eight of the nine songs. Ray Thomas almost completely disappears as he does not receive any writing credit and is only listed as a back-up vocalist. The only non Lodge-Hayward track was “The Spirit” which was co-authored by Graeme Edge and Patrick Moraz and is just average eighties style rock ‘n’ roll.
There are three very good songs on this album. The best is probably Justin Hayward’s hit single, “Your Wildest Dreams.” It has some of the epic grandeur of their past material while retaining a modern sound. It has a wonderful lead vocal by Hayward while the lyrics explore the experience of first love. It would reach the American top ten on Billboard’s Pop Charts plus number one Adult Contemporary and number two Mainstream Rock. It attracted a new generation of fans. Also of note was the second successful single, “The Other Side Of Life,” which is a nice and smooth pop rocker plus John Lodge’s power ballad, “It May Be Fire,” which closes the original release.
The rest of the album has some ups and downs. “I Just Don’t Care” by Hayward is a nice ballad but he has covered that ground a lot better in the past. “Talkin’ Talkin’” is actually danceable which is not what I want from The Moody Blues. Songs such as “Rock “N’ Roll Over You,” and “Slings and Arrows” just don’t measure up with the many superior songs they had created over the years.
The Other Side Of Life is average eighties guitar/keyboards based music which makes it one of the weaker releases in the group’s catalogue. There is nothing terribly offensive but if you plan on listening to some Moody Blues music there are a lot of other albums that are a superior visit. If, however, you are an eighties aficionado or a hard core Moody Blues fan then go ahead.