Review Summary: Moody Blues' 4th release continued the hot streak the band was on with no signs of stagnation, even if it doesn't match their previous two records.
After reaching the pinnacle of Proto-Prog Rock with their previous two records, The Moody Blues and Tony Clarke sat themselves down again to go full dive into Progressive Rock. On the Threshold of a Dream
is exactly as it implies; an exploration into the edge of the human concept of "Dreams". This is evident in it's ethereal use of guitars and vocals, adding heavy echoes along with Symphonic Rock elements within the first half of the album. Lovely To See You
contains heavy chorus and echos with Justin Hayward going absolutely bonkers on the Electric guitar, creating a beautiful Symphonic application to its dream concept.
utilized a softer tone, with Hayward and Mike Pinder's vocals being distorted through the mellotron and simple percussion base applying a deep, yet dark, tranquility to the track itself. Acoustic Guitars were really the main attraction of the record itself, with Send Me No Wine
and Never Comes The Day
both heavily relying on the instrument in their composition. Hayward's electric guitars were not forgotten however, as To Share Our Love
and The Voyage
both used the Electric Guitar extensively. The Voyage
was an exceptionally complicated and nuanced piece, containing a myriad of instruments from keyboards, mellotron, and hammon organ; to electric guitars, cellos, and the piccolo. It is incredibly in-depth in its instrumentation, but it is paced out to give each section a chance to breathe before fading for another set to begin. It is by far one of the best songs on the album.
One minor criticism I have is that Graeme Edge's drums had taken a massive backseat in this record. Other than Dear Diary
, Edge's drums were not given any time to shine at all, which is disappointing considering Edge's drumming ability was standout at the time. That, however, was not enough to take away from the sheer brilliance of the overall album itself. Tony Clarke showed once again that he was the premier producer of Moody Blues material. In On the Threshold of a Dream
, Tony refines the complex sound that The Moody Blues had been perfecting over four albums, while still continuing his weird obsession with the mellotron. The key in Clarke himself was in how he only slightly changed the band's sound every album, this allowed the band to not drastically change and alienate its fanbase. It also, increased the commercial longevity of the band, as they would be able to make more albums that sound different and fresh.
On the Threshold of a Dream
was a continuation of the dynamic sound that The Moody Blues had been pioneering for the three years before this record's release. Of course, the excellence of this album is overshadowed by the acclaim received for their previous two efforts. Still, one should not discount this album. It is beautiful, in both a commercial, and artistic way. It is simply another example of The Moody Blues finger on the pulse of Progressive Rock, a mantle they would hold until King Crimson would come to dethrone them.