CD Review: The Moody Blues


The Moody Blues
Days of Future Passed (Deluxe Edition)
Deram/UME
By David Chiu

First released in 1967, the year of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper, Days of Future Passed marked the transformation of the Moody Blues’ sound from R&B-influenced pop to classical-tinged conceptual rock. It was an important album in that debuted singer/guitarist Justin Heyward and singer/bassist John Lodge, who has been with the band ever since. Originally, this new line-up was supposed to have recorded Dvorak’s 9th symphony but that was scrapped in favor for original compositions based on the theme of a typical day beginning and ending with some lighthearted and serious overtones. Recorded with an orchestra, Days is a cohesive set of tunes, from the soulful balladry of Dawn is a Feeling through the rocking “Peak Hour” and the galloping “Twilight Time”; only the chirpy “Another Morning” sounds a bit dated. Days best-known songs are the sublime pop tune “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)” and the majestic and grand finale “Nights in White Satin” with the still-spoken word intro by drummer Graeme Edge. Musically-speaking, Days of Future Passed is representative of its time and in some ways ahead (this was recorded before two magnificent British concept albums Tommy and Dark Side of the Moon). The album would set the template for the Moodies future albums bordering on the conceptual and classical themes. The deluxe edition features a second disc of alternative versions of the album’s songs; the real treats are the non-album 1967 singles “Fly Me High” and “Love and Beauty” featuring the then-new line up, as well as several BBC radio sessions that find the Moodies doing a reading of the perennial classic “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

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