The first solo album by Moody Blues flautist Ray Thomas together with Nicky James, Trevor Jones, Dave Potts, John Jones and Mike Moran.
The opening and title track, like the opening to the classical-rock fusion Moody Blues album Days of Future Passed, is a symphonic-style overture incorporating themes from various songs on the album. "Hey Mama Life" is a contemplative piece about hard-earned wisdom ("I was once told the streets were paved with gold / Now I know them for what they are"). "High Above My Head" is an up-tempo number featuring a strong brass accompaniment and Thomas's harmonica. "Adam and I" is dedicated to Thomas's baby son. The final track, "I Wish We Could Fly," with sweeping orchestral backing, encapsulates Thomas's trademark unassuming optimism.
Thomas had to wait in line to record his solo album. First, fellow Moodies Justin Hayward and John Lodge had the use of Threshold Studios to record their Blue Jays project beginning in June 1974. When that ran well over deadline into December, Graeme Edge was left with an uncomfortably short period to work on his "Kick Off Your Muddy Boots" album (on which Thomas appeared). To help Edge's predicament, Thomas voluntarily adjusted his schedule so that his former bandmate could finish all his recording sessions. The upshot was that Thomas had time to complete all his songs and full arrangements before his team even entered the studio. This, according to Thomas, "was a real plus. It meant that I wouldn't have to worry about using studio time to write new material and rushing things. I could concentrate instead on perfecting recordings of songs that I had already finished." As a result, "From Mighty Oaks" was wrapped up quickly and ready for release by mid-July 1975, only four months after Hayward and Lodge's album and before Edge's.
Side 1 "From Mighty Oaks" (Ray Thomas, Nicky James) – 3:43
"Hey Mama Life" (Thomas, James) – 5:38
"Play It Again" (Thomas, James) – 4:25
"Rock-A-Bye Baby Blues" (James) – 3:31
"High Above My Head" (Thomas, James) – 3:34
Side 2 "Love Is the Key" (Thomas, James) – 5:16
"You Make Me Feel Alright" (Thomas, James) – 5:02
"Adam and I" (Thomas, James) – 5:42
"I Wish We Could Fly" (Thomas) – 5:28
Ray Thomas – flute, bass flute, harmonica, lead vocals, backing vocals
Richard Hewson – orchestral arranger, conductor
B. J. Cole – pedal steel guitar
Nicky James – backing vocals, percussion
John Jones – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
Trevor Jones – bass guitar, backing vocals
Mike Moran – keyboards
Dave Potts – drums, percussion
Mike Silver – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
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