The Moody Blues
Days of Future Passed


5.0
classic

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
March 11th, 2011 | 198 replies


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An astonishingly overlooked jewel in the history of progressive rock, Days of Future Passed was also an essential blueprint for the development of the genre.

If you are a fan of classic rock, progressive rock, or both, you have almost certainly heard of King Crimson. Their debut In The Court of the Crimson King is frequently cited as the beginning of prog as well as the genre’s best album. While it certainly is a reigning classic in its own right, there are a few facts about that album that are all too often overlooked. Foremost among them is that their producer, Tony Clark, actually worked extensively with The Moody Blues before he even came close to a recording studio with King Crimson. Released a full two years prior, Days of Future Passed wowed listeners with The Moody Blues’ up and coming sound that would later become identified as the “progressive” quality as it pertains to classic rock. Thus, The Moody Blues (and in particular, this record) should at least be viewed as equal partners in the pioneering of the genre, if not the founders of prog itself. However, the point of this review is not to squabble over who should be credited with the berth of progressive rock, nor is it to downplay the importance of King Crimson. The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed is a criminally overlooked album in the genre’s history, one that deserves much more attention than it currently attains.

Days of Future Passed possesses an array of swirling musical styles within its vast scope. From its majestic, classically-influenced beginning to the haunting, poetic closer ‘Nights in White Satin’, the album is neither here nor there in terms of a singular method. An actual orchestra was hired to help record the album, creating symphonic moments that collide perfectly with the music’s classical influences and the band’s flavor for limitless experimentation. The whole thing ends up sounding like one cohesive dream, tumbling gently over waves of strings, horns, and the excellent musicianship of each member of the band. Everyone contributes to the vocals, although Justin Hayward’s and John Lodge’s efforts are the center of focus in that respect. Graeme Edge’s drumming sets the mood for the album’s slow but effervescent progression, while Mike Pinder’s keyboarding lends a soft, delicate touch. In the guitar department, Denny Laine is absolutely brilliant, while masterfully interweaving his performance with duel bassists Clark & Warwick. Essentially, what we have here five highly trained musicians at their best, with the aid of the London Festival Orchestra making Days of Future Passed all the more epic.

So what do The Moody Blues do with all of that knowledge and talent at their disposal? Well, they create a concept album of course! But before you scoff at the notion of something that has, as time elapsed, become a gimmick, remember that a “concept album” need not be over-the-top. Days of Future Passed takes you through one day, from the magisterial horns that open ‘Morning Glory’ to the spoken poem that ends the record like a haunting bedtime story. For as grandiose as these ideas may seem, The Moody Blues’ execution of the concept is flawless, packing enough fresh musical ideas within it to make Days of Future Passed feel like just the beginning of something much greater – which the band’s long and productive career eventually proved to be accurate. The orchestra’s contributions admittedly bridge a lot of the gaps in the concept, but they do so flawlessly and leave the album feeling like one forty minute song, which is essentially what it is. The lush, gorgeous flow over the album’s duration makes Days of Future Passed an absolute pleasure to listen to, whether it is simply in the background or whether you get lost within its intricacies.

Despite its enormous sound and smooth sequence, Days of Future Passed is still incredibly memorable. It has that “stick” factor that lodges music into one’s mind in such a way that it refuses to leave and compels you to return for a second, third, and one hundredth listen (and perhaps beyond). Fans of classic rock radio may be familiar with tunes such as ‘Tuesday Afternoon’ and ‘Nights in White Satin’, both of which anchor the album and hopefully compel contemporary listeners to check out the entire work from which they came. Even the tracks that don’t qualify as “radio friendly” (i.e. the majority of the songs) demand repeated listens due to the sheer beauty with which they were composed, creating a comprehensive work that is in every way accessible, but in no way that has done before.

The positive attributes that could be assigned to this album are nearly limitless. Days of Future Passed is like awaking from a black and white dream to find yourself in a gorgeous, sprawling world of color. If you don’t want to be a part of that world, you are simply denying yourself one of the greatest feelings that can be evoked from a musical experience.



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user ratings (228)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Vrid (4.5)
Och det roligaste av allt är att ni förmodligen inte begriper ett jävla ord....

fsharp (5)
Such a lovely dream......


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy is spent

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her son
Senior citizens wish they were young

Cold hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is grey and yellow white
But we decide which is right

And which is an illusion

Couldn't find a way to work that poem into my review, but I love it and wanted to share it with you guys. It is the poem that the lead vocalist reads at the end of 'Nights in White Satin'

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

BigHans
March 11th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LOVELY TO SEE YOU AGAIN MY FRIEND.

My Dad always used to bang this when I was a kid.

omnipanzer
March 11th 2011


21451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Walk along with me to the next bend.

Dark cloud of fear is blowing away.
Now that you're hear, you're going to stay

'cause it's

Lovely to see you again my friend.
Walk along with me to the next bend.


"On the Threshold of a Dream" is a bad assed album.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah I found out about this album the same way, through my dad's passion for them. I never fully appreciated it myself though until I started exploring all the music that's out there.

omnipanzer
March 11th 2011


21451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not my favorite album of theirs but it was a great introduction to what they were about to do over and over again and do it very very well.

BigHans
March 11th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I saw these guys live back in 97. It wasn't my kind of concert, ie, one where I can rock the fuck out, but I appreciated it nonetheless

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I feel like they would have been pretty washed up by '97. Were they still any good?

Ovrot
March 11th 2011


10494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good good album


BigHans
March 11th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah I mean they played well. Honestly it was a bit boring but I still respect them. They mostly stuck to the hits like "In Your Wildest Dreams," "The Voice," "Tuesday Afternoon," "Ride My See-Saw," and of course "knights in White Satin." Granted, this was 14 years ago, but its one of the few concerts Ive been to sober, so I can remember some of it.

omnipanzer
March 11th 2011


21451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review SS
Pos'd
One of my all time favorite bands rt hur.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Been on a classic album reviewing binge. I'll probably wrap it up with my 100th review, whenever I have time to write that one up.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


28517 Comments


im guessing you're saving deja for your 100th

omnipanzer
March 11th 2011


21451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ you talking csn&y

AggravatedYeti
March 11th 2011


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sowing I think you just became my favorite person.

album is near and dear.

james420
March 11th 2011


200 Comments


Right to the heart of the matter
Right to the beautiful part
Illusions are painfully shattered
Right where discovery starts
In the sacred wells of emotion
Buried deep in our hearts

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


16137 Comments


The Bloody Mues

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Thanks Yeti.

And this band is sooo underrated/unknown on this site...it is surprising considering how much praise King Crimson gets.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15035 Comments


the most dad band ever

AggravatedYeti
March 11th 2011


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah I've never understood it. I'm fairly certain I added this and like 1/2 of their discog to the database. Or at least fixed it. Was a fucking mess.

no respect.

vanderb0b
March 11th 2011


3473 Comments


Nice review, will listen to this ASAP. If you're interested in early prog, check out Procol Harum's debut, it's quite possibly the first in the genre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma4dsoviNSQ



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