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Thread: FEATURED CD : The Moody Blues : Days of Future Passed

  1. #1
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    FEATURED CD : The Moody Blues : Days of Future Passed

    Credit for this featured CD : Jerjo


    Based on a CD received from the collection bequeathed to Progressive Ears by Chris Buckley (Winkersnuff)


    Jerjo's comments:

    I only had a passing familiarity with this. Compared to my normal fare back in the early 70s, the Moodies seemed a little soft to me and I was only familiar with the hits. "Nights in White Satin" was the theme for my prom when I was a junior in high school (74). The band butchered it. So I come to this with fairly fresh ears and I had to do some research to get a little context and perspective.


    Ostensibly, this was to be a pop album with orchestral interludes. The label, Decca, had experimented with stereophonic sound for classical recordings, and hoped to capture the pop market in the same way, by interweaving classical recordings with the group's interpretation of the same music. The group ended up using some interludes but it went a bit different from the label's plan. The strings are lush and a bit on the sugary side, sometimes veering into Disney territory. I find Mike Pinder's Mellotron bits to be much more interesting. There are only a few passages where it seems to me that the orchestra was utilized with some depth. The band on the other hand, is in fine form. On "Tuesday Afternoon" they even have a little swagger and authority. The vocals are a strong point, full of emotion and heft. The lyrics, well, Bob Dylan wasn't exactly considering this competition. Some of the spoken word stuff is truly cringe-inducing but no worse than some of Jon Anderson's tripping across the celestial heavens.


    I can see why this was a gentle thunderbolt in 1967. The amount of weed and acid consumed while listening to this must have been enough to give parents nightmares. 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
    Regards,

    Duncan

  2. #2
    My 2nd favorite Moodies album, right after Lost Chord. Some truly lovely stuff, and I never really get tired of listening to it.

    Got the deluxe edition with the 5.1 (or 4.1; can't remember which) mix, and spun it quite a bit back when I had a place with surround sound. Yes, the spoken word bits are a quite a bit cringey even by the standards of the late 60s, but the music easily makes up for it IMO.

    Quite an influential record, and I didn't "discover" it until nearly 4 decades later so I was kicking myself a bit. The impact it had on acts like King Crimson (and by extension, Genesis) became apparent after a few spins.

  3. #3
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Terrific debut (I don't count Magnificent Moodies) and beginning of one of the most classic run of 7 albums in rock history. I still love listening to Evening Sunset/Twilight Time.
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  4. #4
    I guess it depends on when you hear lyrics or spoken word parts. As a teenager in the late 70s, the spoken word parts were "deep". Then again, I thought Jim Morrison lyrics were good until I got older and they suddenly sounded embarrassing.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    I guess it depends on when you hear lyrics or spoken word parts. As a teenager in the late 70s, the spoken word parts were "deep". Then again, I thought Jim Morrison lyrics were good until I got older and they suddenly sounded embarrassing.
    They were very much of their time, and I really don't mind them (just feel a little cheesy nowadays). I find a lot of "modern" lyrics to be way more embarrassing honestly.

  6. #6
    I think it's their one -seriously- needed release.

    Their later ones, except for parts of Chord and Threshold, have aged absolutely terribly.

    IMHO.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  7. #7
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    As a much younger listener in the '60s, I thought "Nights in White Satin" was downright eerie, even a touch disturbing, and the poetry about lovers wrestling as one and nursing mothers was pretty daring--hey, I knew a girl at the time who thought "Lady Madonna" was "dirty" because of its reference to breastfeeding--and "Tuesday Afternoon" was a head-in-the-clouds mind excursion. Got my very own copy for Christmas 1970.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I think it's their one -seriously- needed release.
    Actually I might be inclined to agree with you. If you're only going to have one Moody Blues record, it should probably be Days of Future Passed.

    Lost Chord doesn't have the orchestra, which is a plus for me as it sounded a bit saccharine on DoFP, but that's just down personal taste on my part.

  9. #9
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Some great songs but overall I'm a bigger fan of To Our Children's Children's Children.

  10. #10
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Actually I might be inclined to agree with you. If you're only going to have one Moody Blues record, it should probably be Days of Future Passed.

    Lost Chord doesn't have the orchestra, which is a plus for me as it sounded a bit saccharine on DoFP, but that's just down personal taste on my part.
    Lost Chord is my favorite Moodies album by a long chalk. As a pop-psych masterpiece/artifact of the times I'd rank it just behind Sgt Pepper and ahead of Odessey and Oracle.

  11. #11
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Lost Chord is my favorite Moodies album by a long chalk. As a pop-psych masterpiece/artifact of the times I'd rank it just behind Sgt Pepper and ahead of Odessey and Oracle.
    Well Said! I remember it when it came out....older cousin bought it. Still enjoy it as it is all these years later. My old girlfriend played French horn and could play the solo dead on...
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  12. #12
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Great album. The cd version I have has bonus tracks which kind of ruins the experience for me but even that doesn't take away from the fact that it's a cornerstone album in the genre.

    I remember when I worked at a grocery store in the late eighties I was putting groceries in the car of an older woman. She had this playing in her car(on her tape deck I assume). I recognized the music even though what was playing wasn't one of the hits(I already had the tape at that point). I remember her saying something like "and even I can listen to it." Well, of course. I dont remember the rule that says older women can't listen to the Moody Blues.
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  13. #13
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Love this album. I like a lot of Moodies stuff, but this is one I can listen to from top to bottom. I cant say that about any other Moody album. I play two songs off this album when I play on the streets. Tuesday and nights. I think this album really is a complete package, so many fine melodies and beautiful arrangements. It was quite the hit at my teen parties where you waited all night for side 2 to slow dance with the girl you liked. Great memories every time I listen to it.
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  14. #14
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    The Moodies' second album is a radical break in style from the debut released two years earlier. Instead of Rhythm'n'Blues, 'progressive Pop' was the order of the day, which was also integrated into a rather ambitious concept, including the orchestral preludes and interludes, as well as a spoken prologue and epilogue. To these ears, the music on the album is overall like a movie soundtrack.
    The individual phases of the day are presented in a very original way, the somewhat dreamy "Dawn: Dawn Is a Feeling"; the innocent and happy "The Morning: Another Morning", which depicts the anticipation of the day's activities from the perspective of a child; the hectic hustle and bustle "Lunch Break: Peak Hour" (the band's R'n'B past can be heard here a little). Finally, with "The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon" it becomes a little more leisurely again, and the album reaches its climax with the majestic "The Sunset". After the slightly psychedelic "Twilight Time", it ends with the hauntingly beautiful "Nights in White Satin"; it's hard to believe that the long groove that goes with it belongs to then emerging substructure of Progressive rock. Nights in White Satin the song had been released as well as 7" single version that really was groundbreaking back then and the influence of the song one can hear in many later ballad-like prog-rock songs, such as, for instance, "Epitaph" by King Crimson. The "Nights in White Satin" motif appears right at the beginning of "The Day Begins" and is otherwise quoted again and again.
    The listener can bathe in a pleasant sound, it never gets edgy or scratchy, as the melody and harmony are decisive on this record. Anyway, "Days of Future Passed" is the prelude to the creative phase of the Moodies, whose best time should last two years until the album "To Our Children's Children's Children".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    Credit for this featured CD : Jerjo

    The amount of weed and acid consumed while listening to this must have been enough to give parents nightmares.
    Yet Days of Future Passed was one of the very few albums I owned that my parents really enjoyed. I remember one summer vacation in a small lakefront cottage, my parents and I had a total of three cassettes: Beethoven's 6th, Days of Future Passed, and Long Distance Voyager. The Beethoven was dad's pick but on a lot of evenings he would say to me "why don't you put on the Moody Blues?"

    I don't think my parents ever wanted to hear any of my other music.

  16. #16
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Excellent, well written brief review, Jerol. And the xx out of xx stars is a nice touch. Would love to see others follow suit.
    15 Cuban minutes
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  17. #17
    Yes, I guess it was pioneering, but getting there first doesn’t necessarily make you the best. There’s two outstanding songs here, and they’re the ones you’ve already heard. Probably those stand out not just because they’re good songs, but they’re also two of the rare instances where the band and the orchestra are on the same page. Some of the orchestral arrangements on this are just heinous, embarrassingly dated. “Lunch Break: Peak Hour” in particular is just an atrocity, with orchestral parts that suggest the sort of background music you’d hear in a 50s a) classroom educational film, b) amusement park or c) family restaurant (take your pick).

    In the Court of the Crimson King has held up very well. This...hasn’t.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  18. #18
    Member Piskie's Avatar
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    The Moodies had a song writing powerhouse that could live with if not match the Beatles and their run of magnificent albums starts here. I was a huge fan back in the 70s during my 6th Form days, and although this was never my favourite, Tuesday Afternoon is still sublime. The album sounds much more impressive on cd, I think. I wasn't so keen on the orchestral bits when I first bought it - but that was before I became a Vaughan-Williams and Sibelius fan!

  19. #19
    I wish there was a live show from this era of a whole "Days of Future Past" set.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  20. #20
    I've always loved this album. Yes the orchestra is syrupy in places, but there are also many places where it is mesmerizing or powerful.

    My question to all: do you prefer the original vinyl mix or the 1972 remix?

    I think the 72 mix is sonically improved, especially the drums, but there are several parts left off like the harmonies on Evening Time to Get Away" and the low piano on "Sunset". I'm thinking that maybe because they had limited tracks to work with, they recorded those parts " live" while mixing and thus the tracks were never part of the multi tracks. Also the original is more reverb heavy and murky which does have it's charm.
    Last edited by the winter tree; 07-29-2021 at 07:06 AM.

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    ^Yes I prefer the original mix, because of the missing elements you mention on the remix. That mix was lost to time until a few years ago when it was released on CD. I believe there's a true mono mix but I have not heard it. TBH I'm not sure it interests me that much as they and Tony Clarke really prioritised stereo anyway.

    I love this album. The orchestrations work quite well for me because they don't get in the way of the band. They are almost entirely kept separate.

  22. #22
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    I think this is one of those albums where it matters where you were at in life when you met it. For me it was in the late 70s as a teenager, and I was already falling hard for all things symphonic rock and prog. But fast forward and I recently put it on while out driving with the missus and her reaction was "What is this? Boy, it sounds really old." And she's a huge Disney fan so even that didn't make the string parts easier to swallow. But I'll always have a soft spot for this record. I wince a bit at the creakier bits, but overall I treasure its place in prog history.

    For the record, my fave MB is "To Our "Children's Children's Children", followed quickly by "In Search of the Lost Chord". And yes, the original mix is the best.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  23. #23
    I want to add that Mike Pinder has a speaking voice to die for.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

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    The Moodies were at or near the top for me back during the "core 7" period. When a new album came out, it was a big deal. Then came "Octave", which I didn't like at all. Still, in the early 90's, those 7 CD's were among the first CD's I bought, and I now have "Long Distance Voyager" and "The Present", too. As much as I hate to say it, my regard for them has dropped farther than just about any prog-related artist in my collection. This is mostly due to the lyrics. Hayward's songs have aged the best for me.

    However, I recently listened to DOFP for the first time in years, and thoroughly enjoyed it (well, except for "Peak Hour", which I never liked). It sounds wonderful.

  25. #25
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Ray's "Morning" ditty always reminded me of an old TV commercial for carpets that had "fat fibers": "We're fat fibers, fat fat fibers, boy do we wear well!"

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