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The Moody Blues

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The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed album cover
4.20 | 943 ratings | 91 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Day Begins (5:49) :
- a. The Day Begins (4:07)
- b. Morning Glory (1:42)
2. Dawn (3:49) :
- a. Intro (0:39)
- b. Dawn Is a Feeling (3:10)
3. Morning (3:55) :
- a. Intro (0:21)
- b. Another Morning (3:34)
4. Lunch Break (5:33) :
- a. Intro (1:53)
- b. Peak Hour (3:40)
5. The Afternoon (8:23) :
- a. Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) (5:06)
- b. (Evening) Time to Get Away (3:17)
6. Evening (6:40) :
- a. Intro (0:38)
- b. The Sun Set (2:39)
- c. Twilight Time (3:23)
7. The Night (7:24) :
- a. Nights in White Satin (5:38)
- b. Late Lament (1:46)

Total Time 41:33

Bonus CD on 2006 Deram remaster:
- Alternate Versions & Outtakes :
1. Tuesday Afternoon (alternate mix) (4:20) *
2. Dawn Is a Feeling (alternate version) (2:19) *
3. The Sun Set (alternate version without orchestra) (2:49) *
4. Twilight Time (alternate vocal mix) (2:27) *
- 1967 Mono Single Masters :
5. Nights in White Satin (4:25)
6. Fly Me High (2:54)
7. I Really Haven't Got the Time (3:07)
8. Love and Beauty (2:24)
9. Leave This Man Alone (2:59)
10. Cities (2:23)
- 1967 Studio Recordings :
11. Long Summer Days (3:13)
12. Please Think About It (3:40)
- BBC Radio Sessions :
13. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (2:23) *
14. Love and Beauty (2:12) *
15. Leave This Man Alone (2:52) *
16. Peak Hour (3:22) *
17. Nights in White Satin (3:48) *
18. Fly Me High (2:45) *
19. Twilight Time (2:08) *

Total Time 56:30

* Previously unreleased

Track 13: Recorded 9th May 1967 for BBC's "Saturday Club"
Tracks 14-16: Recorded 20th September 1967 for BBC's "Easybeat"
Tracks 17-19: Recorded 1st January 1968 for BBC's "The David Symonds Show"

Line-up / Musicians

- Justin Hayward / acoustic & electric guitars, piano & electric piano, sitar, lead vocals (2-b,5-a,7-a)
- Michael Pinder / piano, Mellotron, tambura, lead vocals (6-b), spoken voice (1-b,7-b)
- Ray Thomas / flute, horn (?), piano, percussion, lead vocals (3-b,6-c)
- John Lodge / bass, acoustic guitar (?), lead vocals (4-b,5-b)
- Graeme Edge / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- The London Festival Orchestra
- Peter Knight / conductor & arranger

Releases information

Artwork: David Anstey

LP Deram ‎- SML 707 (1967, UK) Original Stereo mix, only reissued on SACD in 2006

CD Deram ‎- 820 006-2 (1986, Canada) New 1978 remix
CD Deram ‎- 422 844 767-2 (1997, Canada) Remastered by Steven Fallone
SACD + CD Deram - 983 215-0 (2006, Europe) Remastered from original master tapes by Alberto Parodi & Justin Hayward; Surround 5.1 from 1972 Quadrophonic mix by Mark Powell & Paschal Byrne.
Bonus disc w/ 19 bonus tracks remastered by Paschal Byrne.
CD Deram - B0011210-02 (2008, US) Reissue of 2006 remaster Stereo Mix, with only 10 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE MOODY BLUES Days of Future Passed Music

THE MOODY BLUES Days of Future Passed ratings distribution

(943 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE MOODY BLUES Days of Future Passed reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars This album is of definite historical significance as it was the first one to have MELLOTRONS , but also for its full-fledged orchestral arrangements and longer numbers. And I lost count of how many times I got laid in white satin sheets . So a lot of good memories but having re-listened to it after around twenty years , I must say that some passages are quite dated , and let's face it I play this when there are woman ready to fall into my arms - not meaning that I can't get laid without it , you wise arses! Anyway, of historical significance
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A day in the life

"Days of Future passed" really has stood up well to the test of time, due in no small part to the imaginative orchestration. This may not have been the first album to use the orchestra in this way (that is a well worn debate for the forum), but it arguably the most significant.

While "DOFP" was not the first Moody Blues release (many think it was), the band had effectively reinvented themselves since the pop orientated early work of the "Go now" era, the most significant change being the arrival of Justin Hayward. Hayward's unique voice and guitar dexterity immediately gave the band the sound which we now associate so closely with them.

"Days of future passed" came about as a result of the Moody Blues record label Decca wishing to promote their new serious music subsidiary Deram. The idea was to demonstrate how far the recording process had come, with the introduction of such facilities as stereo and hi-fi. The band were afforded a generous amount of latitude to do their own thing, the use of the orchestra constituting a major investment and leap of faith on the part of the record company. It's hard to see such a willingness by a record company, to take a risk of this nature, happening in today's corporate environment.

It's hard now to appreciate just how original this album was at the time of its release. The success of "Nights in white satin" as a single helped to boost sales significantly. Heard within the context of the album though, it makes for a superb finale. The track also contains a wonderful flute solo by the criminally under-recognised Ray Thomas, complemented by some superb bass work by John Lodge. Graham Edge adds one of his captivating soliloquies just before the final orchestral burst. As an aside, the "Cold hearted orb which rules the night" referred to by Edge is a television, the reference to it "removing the colours from our sight" reflecting the fact that the album predates the introduction of colour TV for the masses!

Justin Hayward's vocals are excellent throughout, but especially on the atmospheric "Tuesday Afternoon". The album is best listened to as a complete piece although tracks such as the two mentioned do sound great in isolation.

There's little indication here of the direction the band would follow on later releases. Their instrumental prowess is largely stifled by the orchestra, but this is a superb album by any standards.

Review by loserboy
5 stars If you have this recording then you need to have the re-mastered version..This may represent the best example of a dramatic and proper re-mastering that exists today. I find this re-mastered version much brighter and clearer than previous CD transfer fact there is almost no hiss at all..But enough of the free promotion here. "Days Of Future Passed" is one of the first true progressive rock recordings of all time..not to mention one of the greatest as well. The MOODY BLUES mix heavy orchestral arrangements with some truly amazing song writing. The Mellotron is really introduced to the world here and used throughout sounding just superb with the orchestra led intro's and conclusions. For those who may not be all that familiar with this recording it does contain several big time MOODY BLUES hits including "Night In White Satin". The MOODY BLUES attempted to create one of the first concept like recordings ever having written songs which attemot to reflect the mood of a passing day. In my mind this album works as well as "Sgt Pepper" and early FLOYD offerings. This recording is a true classic and is essential in all good collections.
Review by daveconn
4 stars 1967 was a watershed moment in pop music, as the broad horizons of the post-Pet Sounds landscape beckoned to bands like THE BEATLES, THE MOODY BLUES, PINK FLOYD, THE ROLLING STONES and many others. Each went off in their own directions, PINK FLOYD in pursuit of the ultimate sonic acid splash, THE BEATLES to perfect Britpop in the studio, and THE MOODIES to make a classical pop record. (THE STONES, for their part, tripped and took a noisy tumble down the hill.) While some of the original gilding still shines on "Days of Future Passed", the psychedelic precocity of its intent has left a patina that obscures some of the fine handiwork involved in its painstaking fabrication. The London Festival Orchestra, conducted by PETER KNIGHT, might have been the subtle salting needed to bring these songs a better flavor, but mostly it places THE MOODIES in the middle of Pepperland (though they did arrive there first). The spoken poetry, introduced here for the first time, is the height of pretension, invoking Helios in a Homeric summoning of the dawn as if the sun shined out of their art. And yet, it's this ambitious pretense to music as classical art that makes Days so compelling. Much of what THE MOODIES reach for is simply beyond their grasp; "Dawn Is A Feeling" and "Another Morning" are mawkish attempts to merge classical and pop themes. But no amount of failure can diminish the album's great achievement: "Nights In White Satin." This was, and remains, one of pop music's most sublime victories, invoking a majesty that elevated the medium in an instant from popular voice to artistic expression. Not to be overlooked is "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)," which introduced the mellotron into THE MOODIES music and achieved much the same effect as Nights without the strings. The remainder of the record has its moments, "Peak Hour" (despite its remarkably shrill chorus) and "Twilight Time" among them. At this early stage, JUSTIN HAYWARD's songs carry the day, while JOHN LODGE and RAY THOMAS (whose affection for Eastern sounds here suggests an affinity with GEORGE HARRISON) search for a suitable muse. That would all be in the past, though, as the Moodies looked forward to a new future where each songwriter found their own voice. It was indeed a new day dawning for THE MOODIES and for pop music in general. Not bad for a day's work.
Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With Justin Hayward and John Lodge replacing Laine & Warwick, the MOODY BLUES made a radical shift from a pleasantly forgettable british R&B band to a more free-thinking approach in tune with the lysergic times; whether they singlehandedly started progressive rock or not at this point is debatable but no one can deny that they made musical history. "Days of Future Passed" sits with "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Fragile" as the progressive rock album most likely to be found in non-prog music collections, and is one of the more unique and significant achievements in a decade full of rock firsts.

"Sgt. Pepper" established the concept album, brought an orchestra into the studio, and dabbled with "A Day in the Life"; mere months later, THE MOODY BLUES went several steps 'furthur' by originating symphonic rock and illustrating an entire day from start to finish. While the psychedelic era lured many musicians towards improvisation and general sonic weirdness, the MOODYS actually created quite a disciplined, structured expression in "Days of Future Passed". If the overall sound seems a bit different even from the band's succesive orchestral offerings, it's mainly because the symphonic elements were not quite a band product. The record company suggested the idea that they do a version of Dvorak's "New World Symphony" to showcase Deram's new stereo imaging technology. Luckily, the band (known collectively as 'Redwave' in the credits) took the idea in a different direction and submitted the individual songs to Peter Knight, who then arranged and conducted the orchestra atop the rock material. We'd have to wait until 1992 to see the band and the orchestra play this all together...

I imagine more good trips than bad accompanied the album- the lyrics are full of the characteristic 60s virtues of wonder, optimism and freedom. This is a blessing and a curse; only near the close of the album, in brief lines of "Nights" and "Lament" do we hear any troubles expressed- there is very little 'moody' and no 'blue' to be found. This led many critics to question the depth of the band, often using words like "saccharine" and "breezy" or even "'easy-listening". It's certainly not hard on the ears (unless you're very sensitive to the dated sound) but along with the soundtrack atmosphere and lighthearted vocals comes a pioneering, progressive spirit. Pure opinion follows: I find the band's majestic wonder and naivete (which for the most part endured well into the 80s, if not to this day) genuine and engaging- childlike rather than childish, if that makes sense. And this is the essential example- an album you can listen to without being bothered by world-weariness, as if there were no dark Altamont/ Manson sides to the human potential. It's idyllic and nostalgic, and I can forgive its flaws (Pinder's pretentious poetry bookends, for example) for the unmatched effect. The classical influence is more textural than compositional- occasionally seeming a tad contrived when linking the separate movements, but generally working with the rock instruments and vocal harmonies to create a lush and evocative atmosphere.

My five stars comes with an obvious disclaimer: it rarely rocks and there's no real instrumental dazzle, so if that's your thing, you're out of luck. But you should still own this album, even if you don't end up loving it like I do, because it is the reason we're all here; progressive rock started with this masterpiece. Add this to COMUS' first album and any MOTHERS OF INVENTION release, and you have the essential extremes of the late 60s psychedelic progressive rock spectrum.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Moody Blues were never a progressive band, that's a fact we must understand before reviewing this good album; they had some progressive approach and some distinctive elements of the genre but nothing more.

On the other hand their relevance as predecessors of the genre is absolutely undeniable, especially in "Days of Future Passed" an album that uses many prog' elements like the use of Mellotron the inclusion of an Orchestra and the fusion of genres. None of this elements was absolutely new in rock history but I could dare to affirm that it was one the first times all were used together.

I've not mentioned the idea of a conceptual rock album (about a normal man's day) which is also characteristic of Progressive Rock, because I believe Days of Future Passed is the first album that clearly developed it, mostly because the story of each song is perfectly linked with the next one something that other previous like Sgt. Pepper's by The Beatles (doesn't have a concrete concept) or Little Deuce Coupe (Just a collection of 12 songs with no senses of continuity) and Freak Out (Also not clearly a conceptual album) both by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Uinvention.

It's also important to remember that 1967 was a very important year for rock, British Psychedelia was reaching it's maturity but there was needed a change of direction to turn into Progressive Rock, "Days of Future Passed" is one of this first steps, the aggressive and druggy mood of this era is not as evident as in most albums of the era, "Days of Future Passed" is much more lyrical and ambitious.

The introduction of The London Festival Orchestra conducted by Peter Knight was a good idea, even when The Moody Blues didn't worked it perfectly because most of the time the Orchestra sounds as an alien element to the music, not as a vital part of the composition, maybe also a bit naive and simple but at the same time adventurous and elegant. In other words enhances the music but doesn't totally blend with the atmosphere of the album.

I'm not sure if The Moody Blues were conscious they were helping to create a new genre, but they wanted to do something different and surely they did it.

Justin Hayward's voice is one of the highlights; his voice reaches almost all the ranges and sounds perfect for this soft kind of music. Keyboards are absolutely innocent and that's maybe it's greatest beauty, specially when Pinder sounds absolutely different to anything from the late 60's, it's important to notice that when most bands where using the cheesy Farfisa Organ, The Moody Blues were experimenting with the Mellotron.

If I had to choose a track I would have to go with "Nights in White Satin" because of the importance it has as an all time classic that will pass to history as one of the masterpieces of Rock history, simply beautiful and wonderful song.

It's very hard to rate this album, because the music is too simple to consider "Days of Future Passed" as a masterpiece, but it's relevance in the developing of early prog' is so transcendental that no collection will be considered complete without a copy.

Considering this two aspects I will rate the album with 4 stars.

Review by Watcheroftheskies
5 stars Well this dosen't sound alot like the vein of comtemporary classical music popular for the time period. Also, it was orchestrated by a third party. Still this is undoubtedly one of the greatest albums released... ever. This is a true masterpiece of not only rock but music in general. They took the radio in a whole new direction. The Beatles already had "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" but The Moody Blues not only picked up the ball... they ran it in for a goal. This entire album doaen't have a single bad track on it. You can stick it into the CD player, hit play, and forget while you listen to this gorgeous album. If you like rock... you'll like "Peak Hour". If you like love songs... you'll love "Nights in White Satin". Actually, even if you don;t like love songs you like "Nights in White Satin" it's that good. If you like comtemplative music... you'll like the entire album. As a small child this is one of the first albums I remember and it shaped the way I saw music for my entire life. I just could never get into music without any depth again. I had heard the standard in which I hold artists at that moment. I can't say there are very many albums in this genre that have done that for me. This is absolutely essential to have, that is, if you don't own it already because this album sold alot of copies. Sometimes, over 4 million people truely cannot be wrong. That was how many copies it sold upon it's release. Get this, get it now if you don't have it.
Review by FloydWright
4 stars I got this album shortly after getting into Pink Floyd (starting with Dark Side and The Wall). After hearing PF's excellent work with the concept album genre, I was quite shocked to discover that Days of Future Passed dated all the way back to 1967, when PF was releasing its very first album Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

Although I do not have the same familiarity with the Moody Blues that I do with Pink Floyd, I must say this is a very good concept album indeed. Judging from what some reviewers have said, it seems that the two favourite tracks are probably "Nights in White Satin" and "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)".

While these are beautiful tracks, and probably the ones that best survived the test of time, I am most moved by the absolutely surreal--and achingly short--"Twilight Time". This song absolutely soars...the layered vocals are haunting and hypnotic, and one wants to take flight into the world of dreams and joyous anticipation of the next day's promise. For seven years, the moment when this song is swallowed up by the orchestra has always been one of the most "painful" moments of the album...I never want this song to end, and yet it does far too soon. Often I wish that this underrated tune could be extended to run forever.

One rather annoying thing about the CD that I own is that there's no track break right before "Twilight Time", so the only way to reach the song is to fast forward from the beginning of the Evening suite or back from its end (same problem with "Time to Get Away"). The other drawback of this album, in my mind, is that a few of the songs do become a bit dated. Although I enjoy it, "Peak Hour" is the one that seems the most tied to the 60's pop sound and least able to transfer to the modern day.

I do enjoy the blending between the orchestra and the band, and the quality of the recording itself is shockingly good for its time. As for the poetry that seems to annoy some people--I enjoy it. I give this album four stars...although a few songs seem dated in retrospect, its quality is extremely high for its time, and it is an excellent forerunner to concept albums such as those later produced by Pink Floyd and its individual members Roger Waters and Rick Wright.

Review by Philo
3 stars I have for a long time been of the opinion that the Moody Blues were a band who were neither here nor there. They were not exactly a 60s beat/pop band but neither do I feel that they were a psychedelic band. Though they are certainly caught in the middle there somewhere. Sure in the sixties most of the bands that came out of Britain needed the chart single success to simply exist and that culture was in complete contrast to the scene in the USA at the time where bands and artists were becoming predominately album based. With this album Days Of Future Passed the Moody Blues gave themselves a taste of both worlds and a sense of safe security perhaps with the advent of a very accessible song, more of which later. It's a concept album, one of the first apparently, but the concept is rather loose yet simplistic and even enjoyable and very moody if a little blue at times. While the Moodys run through the day and pin point certain moments including "Lunch Break" (sub titled "Peak Hour") and one of my favorites "The Afternoon" ("Forever Afternoon" and "Time To Get Away" being the sub segments here) the tone of the music is interrupted by the sporadic bursts of orchestration that saturates the album before and after almost every piece some bopping along like a cartoon background but only served as an intermission to the real music and the songs. I read the sleeve notes with some suspicion where (executive producer) Hugh Mendl states that " [The Moodys] Have found the point where pop becomes one with the classics" but in my opinion it does not do that. There is an obvious separation in the classical arrangements and the songs the Moody Blues have composed. Fair enough "Nights In White Satin" sounds tremendous augmented with the orchestra but it is the only place on the album where I feel it actually works in a sympathetic union. What I would like to hear is Days Of Future Passed minus the superfluous and dated poetry and the lush orchestration and simply hear the songs standing on their own. They are good enough to stand alone without the gimmick of overblown and pretentious symphonic orchestrated strings and horns, it is a decent album that spawned a massive song in album closer "Nights In White Satin", worth it for that alone.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a very nice album, but I have a bit mixed-up feelings about it. I heard the single version of "Nights in White Satin" first (actually 15 years before I listened to the long player), and I were of course very impressed of it. Therefore the music around it I now heard felt bit weird to me, and the extra orchestrations over that particular song didn't feel so good to me. Also I guess the music on this record is a bit too light for me, and it lacks some harder edges that would please my ear. Fine historical album still, and the album cover painting on this one pleased me very much. Sadly the content on the LP didn't quite fulfill the psychedelic promises which the album jacket made.
Review by Blacksword
4 stars Its difficult to fault this album, when you consider when it was recorded, how young the band were at the time, and what they had produced previously as an R'n'B act. Arguably, this is the first prog rock album. Recorded the same year as Sgt Pepper and the Floyd debut (1967), TDOFP is an actual concept album. The continuous music is glued together with fine orchestrations, courtesy of the London Festival Orchestra, and although some songs fall into the category of 'sixties pop' the album is host to many classic songs. The Moodies had laid their hands on a second hand Mellotron and Mike Pinder makes fine use of it.

It took me several listerns to get into, in particular 'The Day begins' to 'Lunch break' tracks 1 - 4. However, the 'Afternoon..' section and everything therafter is absolute classic Moody Blues; deeply melancholic, awash with Mellotron, acoustic guitar and Justin Haywards unmistakable and beautiful voice. The concept is a simple but effective one. The albums tells of a day in the life of us all, and begins and ends with some poetry which takes some getting used to, but like all good concept albums TDOFP should be enjoyed from start to finish, and when 'Nights in White Satin' draws to its emotional close, you appreciate the poignancy of the poetry that closes the album.

Considering this albums age, I dont feel it has dated. The production is superb, allowing the clarity of both the bands perfomance and that of the orchestra to shine through. Hi - lights for me are 'Tuesday Afternoon' 'Forever Afternoon' (Haywards 'weepy' voice really lends magic to this section) 'Twilight Time' and 'Nights in White Satin'

This is a very special and very classic album. Its enchanting, timeless, imaginative yet accessable, and beautifully crafted. Its certainly one of my favourite recordings from the 1960's, and fully deserves at least four stars IMO.

Review by Zitro
4 stars While this album is very poppish and is not complex, it takes several listens for it to sink in. It is a classical symphonic pop album of the 60s that on its own created a road towards symphonic rock. It is a concept album ,and all the songs are connected together by Orchestra solo sections.

"The day begins" starts this album and shows in a symphonic introduction all the melodies that will be later heard in the album. "Dawn" is a dark mellow track that melds pop and classical music. The male vocalist is very talented and he sings in beautiful melodies. "Morning" is an upbeat track with a happy and extremely catchy melody played with string instruments." Lunch" is a fast tempo track with great vocal harmonies. "Afternoon" is a highlight, which shows that a song doesn't have to be complex in order to love it. It has great mellotron work, simple, yet effective percussion, and soaring vocals. "Evening" has excellent acoustic guitar work, driving rhythms, and a great chorus, and is separated into three different sections. This is the song that sound closest to the Beatles. "Night in White Satin" is easily the strongest Moody Blues track, and my favourite ballad of all times. It is perfect and accessible. Its lyrics tell of unrequited love making this song melancholic. The verses have great melodies backed by a mellotron, and the choruses of 'I love you!" are some of the best choruses I have ever heard in my life! The instrumental break is gorgeous with a flute solo and the album ends in the same way it started ... dominated by an Orchestra.

1. The day begins (7/10) 2. Dawn: Dawn is a feeling (8/10) 3. Morning: another Morning (6/10) 4. Lunch break: peak hour (6.5/10) 5. Tuesday afternoon (forever afternoon) (8.5/10) 6. Evening: the sun set: twilight time (7.5/10) 7. Night: nights in white satin (11/10) (masterpiece rating)

My grade : B

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I reluctantly give 4 stars to this album, as there is no denying that it is an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

The main reasons for supporting it are fairly numerous, so here are a few;

1) After "Sergeant Pepper..." it was the most progressive album to come out of 1967. 2) It features the London Festival Orchestra, so that's pretty prog. 3) It has a Mellotron. 4) It has Justin Hayward - one of the most achingly melodramatic singers with one of the purest voices ever. Better than Greg Lake. 5) The Moodies fused classical and rock before Keith Emerson did. 6) It's just got that Prog Rock ambience, OK - it's not really prog when you listen hard, but it's got the right attitude and nuances to sit comfortably alongside your Yes and ELP albums - although probably more comfortably next to your Barcly James Harvest collection...

So on to the music;

The day begins is a quickly hacked together overture that introduces the main themes of all the songs on the album. The fading in gong is brilliant, but the rest is Cheesey to the max; it's inoffensive in a kind of MGM films kind of way, with little tinkly bells, harps and piano trills making you feel like you're in an airport waiting lounge.

Suddenly a theme shines through all chirpy and cheeky, sounding like a happy version of part of Orff's "Carmina Burana", but soon all is tinkliness and light again... Then the first glimpse of "Nights..." is exposed, weaving a little darkness into the texture at last, but I wish they'd dropped the harp - the crashing noise would have been highly amusing...

Next, poetry. Well... sort of. Somehow I think of the Small Faces "Ogden's Nut Gone", except that the words just aren't funny - they're just pretentious. But hey, this is proto- prog - it's SUPPOSED to be pretentious!

The orchestra drifts away on a mushy pillow, and gives way to "Dawn...". More orchestral cheddar feeds into a Mellotron and some great melody from Mr Hayward. This is a great, great, song - even the lyrics are comfortable, but it is a standard song structure - no formal fireworks - that wouldn't have been out of place on "Sgt. Pepper", the standard is so high.

An orchestral interlude interrupts - here I feel the fusion is not quite as successful as it could have been.

Then we move into "Morning..." - I must admit I'm not a fan of happy, chirpy mornings, and even less of a fan of that naff riff that seems to have come from "Carmina...". The following song is of a reasonable quality when it moves to the minor key chorus, but I find the upbeat parts remind me of the Small Faces but without the humour.

The next orchestral interlude should have been CUT IMO - it's more horrible than a horrible thing, and repeating Orff's riff doesn't make it work better.

"Lunch Break" starts in a way that reminds me of so many things, and is made even worse by constant repetition of the "Orff riff", for want of a better term. The tempo does kind of suggest the peak hour subject matter, but I wish it had been done differently. I hate it. Your Mileage May Vary.

Then we get a bit of ROCK. Just when you thought you'd been settled into that easy chair, the tempo is lifted, and the song "Peak Hour" sounds like something that might have come from Yes' debut, except with decent vocals and a more sensibly moderated bass.

The central vocal harmony section is interesting for its obvious Beach Boys roots, and the "grow out", with carefully felt guitar and organ solos. The organ / drum outro is a nice surpise, and ends side one of my MONO first press with style :o)

Unlike Sergeant Pepper, No suprises await the vinyl listener in the run-out groove, so straight over to side two we hop for the next stage of this trip.

"Tuesday Afternoon" goes straight in with the proto-Prog, and OH! Those Mellotrons!! Frankly, Mr Hayward could be singing about a mucky Monday morning on the M25 and it would still sound glorious - you just know it! The way he lifts the melody with a semitone, and drops it again is creative genius at work.

This pleasant little number drops into and out of different styles, the influences apparent but not in your face - this is original Moody Blues music, and the high point of the album for me - the closest it really gets to prog. And just because it doesn't stray away from 4/4 doesn't mean it isn't.

Nice flutes and harps with sawing and soaring violins prepare us for "Nights..." before "Evening" has even begun.

The melancholy music is much more worth listening to than the lyrics, which in this song start to grate a little from the precious and patronising podium from which they preach, and the moaning over the loss of morning - but there is a sudden twist to the realisation that evening is "time to get away", which redeems it a little. There are also a lot of changes in this song - which ends up feeling a little like something from an Andrew Lloyd Webber production.

One yucky orchestral interlude later and into awful lyrics zone: "Take a look out there, planets everywhere...", and it doesn't get better, although the backing music is arguably the most interesting on the entire album due to its experimental nature, give or take the odd nasty orchestral interlude. Twilight Time carries this on extremely well, maintaining a wonderfully "moody" feel, and more great proto prog.

More orchestral nastiness with harps and horns, and it's finally into "Nights In White Satin" - without doubt the most famous song on this album. There's no point covering this, as everyone knows it, except Herman the Hermit and his hamster, Hugo. The orchestral intro is so bad that the song stands out in fairly painful relief - as if it's just been crowbarred in any old how, which is a cruel thing to do to such a beautiful song, IMHO.

The other cruel thing to do is continue on with dodgy orchestral music, and round it off with horrendous "poetry" that wanders between the outright naff and the downright pretentious.

Oh, then there's a really nasty orchestral ending.

But you should still own this album because it's historically very important, contains some very, very fine singing, songwriting and proto-prog - even if in small doses - and you can get it in the bargain bins practically everywhere!!

And what about those Mellotrons, eh?

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Here is where HISTORY begins, "Days of Future Passed" is really the first conceptual-progressive rock album, like it or not.

Reformed in 1966 with a new guitar player (Hayward) and a new bassist (Lodge) and also the addition of new instruments (mellotron, the most notable), The Moody Blues recorded this brilliant piece.

There are some dull parts at the first track, "The day begins" and some pretentious moments at the last track, the "Late lament" pseudo-poetry. But the real musical score is fine, the orchestrated parts then doing a good job linking the songs; also singing and playing by band members are awesome.

The story of one day in a person's life is well told and felt:

'Dawn is a feeling' reminds us of that natural indolence when we wake up. Great ballad, soft, almost drowsy. Fine initial orchestrated part. Hayward voice is another instrument here. Ellegant;

'The morning' brings a kind of freshness of beautiful winter days with some funny and happy tunes. Flute intro is awesome and then keyboards enter uplifting the atmosphere. Good lyrics too. Tasteful;

'Lunch break' introduces us inside the frenzy activities of midday hour. Intro is glorious, nervous, it's like being clogged in the city traffic. After a fading moment the song goes to a rocky part delightfully dated in the 60s. Pleasant;

'Tuesday afternoon', almost an epic, the singer's voice decays just like afternoon nearing evening, a marvelous effect. One of the best songs in Moody Blues' roster. Excellent;

'Evening' changes from a posture edging inertia to an optimistic sensation. Many changes and variations, catchy, agreeable. Fair;

'Nights in white satin', probably the most beautiful prog-rock ballad, is candid and gentle, the sadness of a lonely night is perfectly understood. The way the song flows is astonishing and exciting and there's always a background mellotron tune, a kind of registered mark for this marvelous song. Unique.

Really a MASTERPIECE, compulsory for all music fans (not only prog-fans). Total: 5 stars.

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
5 stars Here it is. The first progressive album, IMO. Orchestral arrangments, longer songs, many switches between mood/song structures/instraments, progressive theme, everything here screams progressive. Especially for that time. From this standpoint alone its essential in every collection. The music itself is very good with many flutes, voilins, keybaords, and an overall happy feeling in most of the tunes. Also, i really like the lyrics on many of the tracks. I probably would give this four stars if it wasn't for the fact that i believe it to be the first progressive album. It is debateable however, and again for that reason every prog fan should try so they can form there own opinion.

Hightlights: The Day begins, with its overture-like feel, introducing all the delicious melodies that will appear later (and some good poetry by Graham, i believe). Lunch Break: Peak Hour, starting as an upbeat "classical" piece and switching to a hard rocker (for that time anyway). Excellent stuff! Tuesday Afternoon: Forever Afternoon, from the "hit" single of the first movement to the orchestral stuff of the second and the softer, ominous rock of the third, very well done, and again very progressive. The last huge hitter would be the lamentful Night: Nights in White Satin. I love the melody of this song, melancholy and powerful! Very emotional singing as well, you can feel the pure emotion of what he is singing. Wonderful! All the other songs are very good as well, but these stand out.

All in all, this is a must. The first progressive album which deserves to be owned (or at least heard) by all prog fans. As a plus there are very few lowlights on this album. Extremly recommended! Absolutely essential.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars One of the first prog albums, this was originally supposed to be a rock/orchestral version of Dvorak's 9th symphony designed to show off Deram's new "Deramic" sound system, but the Moodies persuaded the producer to let them record their own songs. It's not a true integration of band and orchestra, as the two recorded separately and the orchestra mainly provides the filling between the Moodies' tracks. I will admit I found these sections a bit "cheesy" to start with (along with the poem at start and finish) but they are much improved in the new remastered edition, and even the poem makes more sense when you know that the "cold-hearted orb" is a television. Having said that, these are the main reasons for the record sounding a bit dated now, as it is hard to believe that songs like the brilliant "Tuesday Afternoon" (or Forever Afternon (Tuesday?) to give it its correct title) are around 40 years old. "(Evening) Time to get away" is another classic, sung with an astonish octave leap by John Lodge. This song has a great chorus, although it fades out too soon on the second one. The album ends with the classic "Nights in White Satin", featuring heavy use of the Mellotron and highlighting Hayward's brilliant vocals. Is this possibly the most well known flute solo in music?

All in all, a classic album and one of the first prog albums ever made. Personally speaking, the orchestral sections date it slightly (a couple of them sound like the soundtrack to a low-budget English film from the 60s) but this still belongs in all serious prog collections.

The new remastered version features alternate versions of some of the songs, some mono single masters, a few rarities and some tracks from BBC radio sessions in late 1967 and early 1968. Sound-wise, it's a big improvement on my earlier version.

Review by ClemofNazareth
5 stars There have been so many words written about this album that it’s unlikely there is really anything new to say, but in the interest of covering all my favorite Moodies releases, I’ll add my words anyway.

I think the most remarkable things about this album aren’t the many arguable firsts – first progressive album; first use of an orchestra in a purely pop/rock album; first use of mellotron as primary instruments in a pop/rock album; first use of spoken-word poems to augment pop/rock songs; etc. etc. The really remarkable things are the reissues of the best-known single “Nights in White Satin” in the 70s that outsold even the original release, and the reemergence of the album on hit charts several times throughout the 70s, indicating both continuing and renewed interest in it. I first heard that song as a young teenager, not realizing that what I thought was a huge new hit was actually more than half a dozen years old. For a midwestern American in the early 70s, this was an incredibly exotic-sounding work, and after hearing the whole album (on 8-track, of course) I was dumbfounded. We didn’t have music like that where I came from.

Even today you can get completely lost in this album. The lushness of the arrangements, over-the-top grandeur of the orchestra combined with the novelty and subtlety of the mellotron tracks (compared to so many later works by cheap knockoff bands) really made this album work. Justin Hayward’s voice, particularly on “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Evening” is so devastatingly mournful and yet beautiful at the same time. All of these combined with the quiet and suave flute just gave this album a much more refined and weighty feel to it than most of what else was available at the time.

Even though the album tells a contiguous story, it’s really the second half that makes the whole thing work. From “Tuesday Afternoon” through the end, the listener is just swept into this surreal world that was at the time so novel, not psychedelic, and not classic orchestral, not folk, but a perfect melding of the three.

I have to wonder if Arjen Anthony Lucassen at least thought about this album when he penned The Human Equation, and if this is the bar he set for himself. If so, he may have bested it, but not by much.

I can’t really say anything else that others haven’t already said – a true classic in every sense. Five stars.


Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a classic that has a very special place at the head of the Prog roll of honour yet Days Of Future Passed is not a masterpiece despite the presence of several excellent songs. It is based around the concept of a 'day in the life', executed not as a narrative story but as discrete episodes illustrated by appropriate music - eg Peak Hour is a fast hurrying-about type of song, while Nights In White Satin is dreamy and sedate. These episodes are separated by lightweight, flowery and incongruous orchestral passages that bear little relation to the music of the band. It was an interesting idea, and at the time it was pioneering, but collectively they failed to create a successful integration of the two elements.

Despite that, it has a certain charm and many of the much loved ingredients essential to the Moodies' later success are already in evidence including their trademark multi-part harmonies impossibly topped by Lodge, Thomas's masterful flute, Edge's poems, Hayward's silky voice and of course the mighty Mellotron of Mike Pinder. Overall it is very much a product of the 60s, but it still sounds fresh and at least three songs have stood the test of time: Dawn Is A Feeling, Tuesday Afternoon and of course Nights In White Satin. Too flawed to be a masterpiece but no Prog collection is complete without it.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars When you're talking about "Days of Future Passed" you're going back about as far as you can possibly go in the history of progressive rock. Whether or not it's the first true prog album is somewhat subjective and not an argument I'm disposed to get into. What I do know is that in 1967 Deram Records signed this struggling little group mainly because they wanted a "mod" combo to record a hip version of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (bad idea). Evidently the group and more reasonable minds were able to find a compromise with the label and, as the notes on the back of the LP announce, create a "fusion of pop composition and classical writing." I feel that I'm walking a thin line in this review. In no way do I want to demean this album or in any way diminish the huge significance of its impact. On the other hand, I don't want some 16 year old to buy this thinking they're getting something along the lines of Pink Floyd's psychedelic "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" or the Beatles' revolutionary "Revolver." All three were on the shelves in 1967 but there the similarity ends. Compared to those two "Days of Future Passed" was as conservative as Barry Goldwater's politics.

As the album begins you get the feeling that you've somehow landed in the front row of a Broadway musical as the orchestra plays the glossy overture, "The Day Begins." Then Graeme Edge delivers his famous Shakespearean-like soliloquy that is still majestic and lofty even today. "Dawn is a Feeling" is a featherweight tune heavy on the orchestration but it is Justin Hayward's unmistakable voice that fits the song well. This is where the music starts to get really dated in a hurry. The flute beginning of "Another Morning" is very, very old school, downright corny and Ray Thomas' song is almost laughable in its naiveté. "Lunch Break" features an extremely contemporary orchestral score that sounds like it was borrowed from a syrupy Mantovani record. When the band starts up John Lodge's "Peak Hour" it reminds you of something from an Austin Powers movie. I'm not being disrespectful here, I'm just giving you the facts. But now we come to one of the reasons this album became so popular. The next segment features Hayward's excellent "Tuesday Afternoon" and the introduction of the magnificent Mellotron. This new device didn't really sound like a string section or an organ or anything else. Listeners didn't know what it was but they liked it. It added a unique sound to the proceedings and symphonic progressive rock may have truly been born because of it. Following that the orchestral score resumes and a dramatic piano leads us to a sort of acoustic guitar singalong, "Evening Time." The next section is the strangest. Starting with the strings performing something that would be more appropriate on a Christmas album, it moves into an Indian raga motif complete with tabla and flute for Thomas' "Sun Set." It's almost surreal. "Twilight Time" follows, a "groovy" pop song based on a heavy piano riff. The ending is another reason that this experiment worked. Hayward's haunting "Nights in White Satin" is classy, regal and showcases his one-of-a-kind voice perfectly. This, along with "Tuesday Afternoon," kept the album on the charts for two years running. The symphony delivers a big finish complete with another Edge poetry recital and a fitting, gigantic bash of the gong.

Listening to it now the whole thing comes off as being a bit camp but keep in mind that this precedes Deep Purple, The Nice and others who would attempt to blend a classical mentality with rock and roll. Credit the Moody Blues for even jumping into this project and for bringing the Mellotron to the "Top 40" list where the general public would experience it on a daily basis. Those were heady times and the notions of what was possible in music were evolving by the hour. And this courageous band of musicians was right in the thick of it all, opening as many doors as they could.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is usually regarded as the first progressive, or particularly, symphonic rock album ever made. Whether this is factual or not isn't much important, but the album really introduced symphonic orchestral arrangements and especially Mellotron sounds into pop/rock music. And that may be enough to deserve a place amongst the most crucial albums.

On the other hand, from today's perspective, the album is quite out-dated. First half is a sugary, pop ballads with loads of strings and often sound very childish. The second half, starting from "Tuesday Afternoon", is much better and it introduces wonderful Mellotron minor-key melancholy sounds.

Production is nicely done, with themes merging, making a real "concept album", which tries to depict a 24 hours in a introspective, poetic way. It is obvious from where Greg Lake found inspiration for his lush balladry, be it with KING CRIMSON or ELP, and in this matter "Days of Future Passed" is surely an influential and groundbreaking record.

But it is far from any masterpiece. Listening today at least half of it is negligible. Objectively, out of the scope of this site, I would rate it 3 stars. Having in mind the purpose of PA, after all, this album should be listened by all prog fans because it was an important record in the development of progressive rock. Barely ****

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An important album is Days Of Future Passed. There is no mistaking Moodey Blues were one of the forerunners of progressive related sound. The orchestral arrangements on this album are prefectly enmeshed with the able back up of young but professional musicianship. A strong signal to the Hayward/Lodge collaborations in future days.Nights in White Satin arguably on of the most frequently played songs of all time. This is a solid album from the Moodey Blues, a significant release which lead to even better releases from the band and highly recommended to those seeking Art Rock as a genre.
Review by The Whistler
4 stars The Night: 4.5

This is, quite possibly, the best of all the Sergeant Pepper rip offs I can think of. And I say that having listened...uh, to none of them. Well, except for one, but I don't really think it's a Sergeant Pepper rip off at all. Of course...I suppose if you wanna get "technical" or something, I haven't actually heard Sergeant Pepper either. So, really now, why should you trust me on ANYTHING rock 'n rollish at all?

Alright, this review is getting off to a bad start... Aha! Instead of Pepper, I think that a much better record to compare this too would be Dark Side of the Moon, the OTHER greatest rock album ever. I mean, they're both based on the same concept of a day in the life...or a life in a day, depends on how you look at it. And I can safely say that, without a doubt, this is the better album.

For one thing, the concept feels so much more...honest on this record. Sometimes Dark Side's use of the concept felt a little cheap, a way to tie up loose ends in the songs. Days though, the concept just strengthens the songs. So secondly is, of course, the melodies. Oh, God, the melodies. But hey, if you wanna hear me bitch about Dark Side, I should be reviewing that instead; let's talk about this puppy!

We open with "The Day Begins," which is actually hardly the best track in the universe. It's an overture in the absolute truest sense of the word. A bunch of the themes from the record played by an orchestra. It must have been kinda cool at the time. Now? Well, sometimes the converted themes are real good ("Nights in White Satin" comes off beautifully, for example). But sometimes it feels a little...soundtrackish? Oh well, it's all good enough, except that it ends in some...ugh, poetry. I shouldn't have to describe it, it oughta be (in)famous enough. Suffice to say that drummer Graham Edge is a very good poet...for a fifth grader. Or maybe an advanced fourth grader.

Okay, on to the actual songs. And, you know what? This is scary but...they're almost all amazing. "Dawn in a Feeling" is a nice piano ballad. Cool lyrics...mostly (the chorus is just a bit much). Ah, but "Another Morning?" Pure genius. A real hidden gem. That playful melody is enchanting, the medieval chorus is ghostly good, and the lyrics are practically deep! What more could you want? The orchestrals at the end even fit perfectly!

"Peak Hour" is the only track that I really don't like that much. I mean, the tune itself is solid enough, but the Moodies just can't rock sufficiently enough to make it work (the slow midsection is a little corny, surely you must agree). In the hands of the Who the song woulda kicked ass though. Although the orchestra at the beginning sounds starts to sound exactly like Warner Brothers cartoon stock music for "traffic." Oh well, the nods to "Dawn in a Feeling" are nice.

The Moodies then give the whole multi-part track thing a shot; "The Afternoon" is split among two "movements;" "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" has this real cool, ghostly mellotron opening. The verses are pretty, and the chorus features a dirty piano! Well, at least as dirty as the Moodies could get. Soaring orchestrals get us into "(Evening) Time to Get Away." The verse is slow and solemn, but the chorus is so desperate, it's great. The ending with the falsetto might be a bit much, but then that mellotron comes back in and it's great.

"Evening" features "The Sunset," an Eastern themed rocker. It's a bit repetitive, and the lyrics are a tad schizoid, but the tune is so darn catchy. But the psycho rocker "Twilight Time" is yet another overlooked gem off the album. Spooky and driving, it might not rock as hard as "Peak Hour," but it's so much tighter. Freaky lyrics too. In a good way I mean.

Of course, the big number off the album is "Nights in White Satin," and it's easy to see why. I know I've said a lot of other songs are beautiful (and I mean in my life, not just on this album), but this thing might just be the most beautiful song ever recorded. And it's so simple! But it's gorgeous, AND, it's eternally resonant to boot. Best lyrics on the whole damn album (flawlessly sung by Hayward); I know I've done all that dumb crap in my quests for love and happiness...okay, so we don't, as a people, write letters anymore, but "text messages I've written, never meaning to send" probably doesn't fit into the melody quite as well.

And I'm not even going to mark it off for one more visit from our resident "poet" drummer. Nope. Of course, if they HAD ended the song after that nice, sufficiently bombastic orchestral rise before the dumb poetry, then the song honestly would be perfect. Oh well, can't have it all. Just stop the CD early; it's still the best song on the record.

Now, in one way, this record is not perfect. It's not even "so close to perfect that it hurts." Be they good song writers, the Moodies are hardly the best buncha song players. The vocals (Hayward) sure, and Lodge's bass is solid and Pinder's mellotron may not be masterfully played, but it is done with a goodly amount of cunning. Everything else? Never really rising above some artsy session players; no good guitar work, and Edge continues to be my least favorite member of the band (I can drum better than that!).

Secondly, of course, there is the matter of the occasionally cheesy orchestrations, and the pretty much always cheesy poetry ("Brave Helios, wake up your steeds?" "Senior citizens wish they were young?" Gimme a break!).

But, is this a cheesy album? Hell yeah! Sometimes the cheese even gets to me ("Peak Hour"). But the Moodies are a cheesy band. If you can't live with that, if you won't allow the melodies to bury themselves into your brain, then you're just not human. I love brainless Dragons and Dungeons metal just as much as the next guy, but you cannot not admire the gift these guys had for melody.

You see, barring those (effectively minor) weaknesses, this IS a perfect album. These guys were sonic geniuses who, by and large, knew their limits. What makes the album so good is that it never goes over its head. And yes, I realize that I just explained how it utterly goes over its head, but that was conceptually. Musically, it's one of the most adequate albums on earth.

This is probably the greatest art pop album ever, and, even if it's not, it's surely the most beautiful. Hell, it's prettier 'n Heavy Horses! Which, from me, means a lot (and, of course, disclaimer, Heavy Horses is a technically better album).

And, from that point of view, the Moodies would get "technically" better later on (compare the musicianship here with, say, Children's Children, and you'll see what I mean), but I can't think of a more solid album that they ever did. In fact, I can think of very few albums this solid period. Hell, I know for a fact that there are some bands that have not been able to scrape together enough material to rival "Another Morning," "Twilight Time," maybe just "Nights."

I've said it before, but I just honestly cannot envision a person who could possibly HATE this album. Complain about it? Sure. But hate it? No. They would have to be a heartless bastard. Don't be a heartless bastard. Buy this today.

Review by russellk
4 stars One of the most important precursors to progressive rock, 'Days Of Future Passed' is notable for the number of innovations it introduced to popular music.

It's not THE MOODY BLUES' first album, but it's the first after they re-formed in 1966, having shed their gentle R&B image and embraced psychedelic sensibilities. That they should have issued this record as their first of the new formation is nothing short of astonishing. To put out a concept album of wistful tunes about 'a day in the life' sandwiched between pop orchestral colourings hardly seems a recipe for success, but it worked extremely well.

Of particular note to me is the way the band operated. Each member apart from GRAEME EDGE composed songs for the band, (and even he did poems, most of them rather poor) and thus in a very democratic fashion THE MOODY BLUES incorporated a stunning variety of voices, vocalists and talents. This served to keep the band alive far longer than most of their contemporaries, and echoed THE BEATLES' method of working.

MICHAEL PINDER is worth noting. One of the very earliest adopters of the mellotron, his work was soon imitated by keyboardists the world over, and within three years the mellotron was the ubiquitous face of progressive rock.

At this point I must confess I do not much like this album. I'm a keen classical music fan, and it pains me to listen to what the LONDON FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA played here. These simple pop stylings do nothing for me. The crescendos are overwrought and unearned (the one following 'Nights In White Satin' is simply ghastly), and any instrumental virtuosity is sacrificed in favour of triangles and other mock-orchestral touches. Of all the music here, I'm interested only in the hits 'Tuesday Afternoon' and 'Nights In White Satin'. Overplayed they might have been, especially the latter, but they are both glorious amalgams of psychedelic rock and JUSTIN HAYWARD'S achingly beautiful voice, setting the scene for what THE MOODY BLUES would offer in the 1970s and beyond. The rest of the album is dated now, and was bland even when I first heard it. It receives a fourth star out of respect for its place in history.

By the way, this is one album you should listen to on vinyl. Not only is the sound so much warmer, the CD mastering changed a number of aspects of the album for the worse. Oh yes, JOHN LODGE'S falsetto is atrocious (listen to it on 'Evening'). Thankfully he used it less and less as time went on.

Overall, as everyone says, this is an album any serious devotee of progressive rock should listen to, even forty years later. Our prog metal friends will scratch their heads, as will our avant-prog fans, and wonder what the fuss is about. But this is part of your history too.

Review by Fight Club
4 stars The first prog-rock album?

Is Days of Future Passed the first album in the history of progressive music? Or is the first one In the Court of the Crimson King? This is a question that has been debated for decades and will continue to be debated for decades to come. Regardless, it is still one of the best and most influential albums of the 60's. Yeah, sure they aren't nearly as complicated as most of the prog we're used to, but we can't deny its historical importance.

Now they may not have been the first band to play with a symphony orchestra (in this case The London Festival Orchestra), but they probably made the best use of it at the time. Days of Future Passed was one of the first conceptual symphonic rock albums, and not to mention one of the most cohesive albums to date. The story followed the events in the every day life of a man, a formula that would be used by countless prog bands in the future. Not only did they jump-start the popularity of the concept album, but they were the first band to consistently use a Mellotron on their albums!

OK, so if you already have a good background in prog (which you probably do) then you probably already know all this influence stuff. If you've heard about it all already, but never actually heard the album, then you'd probably like to know what it actually sounds like. Well imagine the best movie soundtrack you can think of from the 60's: all the symphonies, epic string sections, etc. Now, keep that in mind and meld it together with some of the eras best classic rock. If you can fathom that then you should already have a good idea of what the Moody Blues sound like.

Now if we put all of the importance/influence stuff aside the what's left? Well, it's still a ridiculously good album regardless of it's innovation. It might sound a little outdated to the person used to a more modern/alternative sound, but it still thrives on its elegant songwriting and structures. Right from the first few bars of "The Day Begins", which serves as a sort of overture, one can feel this album is going to be something special. Ranging from the cheery "Tuesday Afternoon" to the emotional and melancholic "Nights in White Satin", all of the songs flow seamlessly with beauty and grace.

On the downside, the album seems to fall really short. The introduction gives off the impression something epic is about to take place, but then after only 40 minutes it all reaches its climax. Of course the 40 minutes that do take place are great, but ultimately it just leaves me wishing for more, more that never comes.

Overall, Days of Future Passed is not only a milestone in the history of music, but is still an excellent listen. Even from the first listen it induced musical orgasms in the pits of my soul. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but certain points do send chills down my spine and when music does that, it's automatically bumped to at least a 4 star rating. Days of Future Passed includes some great songwriting, catchy tunes (hey they were popular!) and appeal to a wide range of tastes. So, if you haven't already, definitely check this album out.

Review by The Pessimist
4 stars Being a player of classical music, this album is brilliant for me. I do believe also that it is the very first progressive album made. Ever. It may be slightly hard to get at for quite a lot of prog fans for the simple reason that it can be categorised as pure classical music; however for the educated listener, it is a real jem. The highlights of the album would have to be the opener, Dawn is a Feeling, Tuesday Afternoon and of course the classic Nights in White Satin. The other four are just nice classical pieces with some real great melody but nothing too special about them.

For the mere fact that it is the very first progressive concept is enough reason alone to buy this disk, and the concept is also very good and simple. Overall, my first listen of this album sent me into some kind of sub-conscious dream, so i would strongly advise its purchase.

4.5/5, an excellent addition to any prog music collection, however a forgotten masterpiece in its own right.

Review by JLocke
3 stars Well, here it is. The album that is considered by many to be the first concept album, and possibly even the first truly progressive album. While I do not personally agree with this, I do recognize it as a very important step in music, and is certainly one of the first albums of it's kind. In the same year that saw the release of ''Piper at the Gates of Dawn'' and ''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'', DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED by The Moody Blues serves as one of the three 'key' albums pertaining to prog's origin, at least in my opinion.

My first impression of this album was actually not a good one, as the dated style of the orchestral arrangements and lack of rock influence (More blues and R&B traits would show up in the album later) made me feel like I was watching an old, all-too-happy 50s romantic musical. So while the record is in my opinion quite 'cheesy' to begin with, I decided to listen to it several times more before I came to a final verdict. I feel now like I have given it enough spins to merit a fair, well-rounded review that will be written in the proper perspective. The point is this: DAYS has many shortcomings, but also many wonderfull moments as well, and hopefully both of those points will be accurately made without too much embellishing done to favor either side. My wish is that this will come across as even and balanced across the board as I express my opinions on what the album is like to listen to.

''The day begins'' Is a complete symphony orchestra piece, first very powerfull and works very well to begin this interesting and very original musical journey. Soon though, I just can't help but feel like things could have gone alot better than they did, and even though the melodies are very beautiful here, there are moments scattered throughout the song (and really, the entire album) that feel a little too 'bouncey' and don't really fit the rest of the album's mood. So, even though there are weak points concerning the orchestra, when it is good, it is amazing. The amazing parts far outweigh the weak points in general, so that only takes off one star for me, as the rest of the time, I am fully engrossed by it, and the strength the classical influence brings is actually very effective for what The Moodies were going for. Unfortunately, we then hear what resembles a reading from Dr. Seuss himself, as the spoken line: ''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 isd an illusion . . . '' is delivered in a painfully atrocious manner, being overly dramatized and without any real emotion, which is quite unfortunate, because it isn't the lyrics that were the problem there; it was merely the poor way in which they were delivered that ultimately killed this track for me.

''Dawn: Dawn is a feeling'' Is the first time we actually hear The Moody Blues themselves perfoming with their instruments, and the vocal work here is superb. This is merely a taste of what greatness will come as far as the singing is concerned. The musicians themselves aren't all that bad, either, and the lyrics on this song are still some of my favorites from the record: ''Dawn is a feeling, a beautiful ceiling. The smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream. You're here today, no future fears. This day will last a thousand years if you want it to . . . ''.

The concepts found in this album deal with discovery, awakening, spiritual enlightenment, and universal love. It tells of an average man going through his daily routines who finds himself discovering these things for the first time, and while something along these lines may not sound like anything too original, you must remember that these were the first guys who told that story, so it was original for the time. There are no reall 'rock n' roll' moments on this album, but there don't need to be, because this is true progressive music, through-and-through. The forementioned concept along with the marriage of electric instruments and orchestra are both prime examples of just how progressive this album was when it was first released. Even now, it stands out as quite an original piece of music. The next song continues this concept quite well.

''Morning: Another Morning'' Is one of my favorite songs on the album, and when the lyrics ''Time seems to stand quite still; in a child's world, it always will'' come into play, I can't help but be extraordinarily uplifted by, and the quality of Justin Hayward's voice is almost supernal at times. The very insightful lyric: ''Yesterday's dreams are tomorrow's sighs'' helps solidify the band's prolific quality for the time they were in. Then the orchestra takes over for another syrup-clad treatment that I am not very fond of, but luckily it doesn't last for a very long time, and it soon becomes bearable before ending well. All in all, another excellent track.

''Lunch Break: peak hour'' Isn't all that great of a track, though it does have its moments. The opening is more of the same with the classical influence, but it soon transforms into a much more straightforward track, before becoming an all-out rocker around the four minute mark, complete with a guitar solos, and everything. I didn't even know they had it in them, but it is the only time on this record that the band sounds anything remotely similar to rock, which is fine, because that isn't what I like about the album, anyway.

''Tuesday afternoon'' is my personal favorite on the album. Perfect use of instruments at just the right moments, and the voice work on here is the best as well. The melody is also very catchy and easy to hum along to, so it may not be as obscure as some of the other tracks, but it is no less enjoyable, and for me, the most enjoyable of all. Ironically, there is hardly any orchestra found in this particular track fore quite some time, which also makes ''Tuesday afternoon'' the most Moody Blues-specific song on DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED. Even when the symphonic aspect comes in to play, it is actually very wonderful to listen to, and not overly cheery at all. Quite tasteful, I think. Probably the best usage of the orchestra to be found on the whole thing. The song then returns to more Moody-only work, and the tone is now much darker and more, parden the pun, 'moody'. Nothing is wrong with this song, and it is the only track that holds my interest from beginning to end without feeling contrived or boring.

''Evening: the sun set: twilight time'' Is the worst track on the record since ''The day begins'', just because it feels like a little bit much, and the tune or song structure doesn't particularly speak to me like the other songs on the record do, and while the slightly celtic quality of the track, with echoing drums, slighty distorted vocals and prominent flute work, can be appealing, it just didn't work to me, and felt very out of place. However, the song does pick up speed a bit later, and that is when I can find some enjoyement from it, but even then the feeling is minimal, as it starts to feel repetitive very quickly, The orchestra comes back in now, and plays my personal favorite moment on the enitre album as far as the classical musicians are concerned. Still not enough to save the track from being too long and redundant, I'm afraid.

''Night: nights in white satin'' Well now, what can I say about this track that hasn't been said already countless times? Um . . . it is an absolutely goregous track from start to finsih. The only other song that is completely flawless on DAYS. The orchestra is amazing, the acoustic guitar (what can be heard of it) is masterful, showing the band members' susperb musicianship for one of the few times on the record, and of course Hayward's voice is perfect as always, and this song truly captures what the album as a whole is about, as it has everything that is good about the album included in it, and none of the bad aspects. Very powerful.

''Late Lament'' pretty much sums up everything that has happened over the course of DAYS, and it serves as a good album closer I suppose, but is not necessary, I don't believe.

As a whole, this album is very good, but it is by no means a masterpiece, and for me to claim that it is just because of it's reputation among progheads would be unfair to my personal view of DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED as a complete piece. I also consider it an excellent addition to any collection, but I still don't want to give it four stars, because I feel like the music has to really do something to my soul in order to be worthy of four stars and above, and that just didn't happen for me, even when I revisited this album numerous times. Nevertheless, it is undeniably an important album that shoudln't be overlooked by any serious prog fanatic. There are flaws, cpomplete with over-the-top symphony compositions sometimes, and moment sin which I feel as if the band was trying to achieve something that they ultimately failed at. So yes, there are things about that date it considerably (including yet another Dr. Seuss reading shortly before the album's close), but there are many more things about it that were pulled off very well, and have stood the test of time. It is certainly an enjoyable album to hear, but not worthy of four stars, in my own point of view. Will it stand the test of time for forty more years? Well, only time will tell, but at this point there are still enough aspects about it that make it worth listening to. A very solid effort from a very solid band. One of the first real prog works, and still a great experience. An absolute recommendation from me.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars A concept album ? Definitely.

When you listen to the "intro" ("The Day Begins" and its "White Satin" theme° you got it all there. But to call this prog is not really the most suitable wording. Classical, yes. Invading orchestra, yes. Prog? Hummm!!!

Great and passionate vocal harmonies, for sure. There is of course a huge improvement in comparison with their weak debut album. Production has dramatically improved, song writing is waaaaaay better (but this was not complicated to achieve). The rhythm and blues is all gone (thank god!).

You might have read some reviews of mine already; so, you won't be surprised that such heavy orchestrations are not my cup of tea. If you would expect the great "El Dorado" (ELO), I have never been thrilled with such music. "Morning: Another Morning" as well as "Lunch Break" have more in common with Gershwin than with prog music.

Some compositions are longer than average (for the era). "The Afternoon" clocking at over eight minutes allows to develop some good ideas and theme changes. But, at this time one is willing to get at night because even if this album is one of the first concept work it is far to be convincing. I remember that when I listened to it for the first time ages ago, I was not enthusiast at all about it. And my judgement has not changed.

This is a combination of some pleasant vocal melodies submerged by an orchestra. Not appealing to me.

Of course, there is "Nights". One of the best slow ever produced in "rock" music. On par with the greatest of the genre. A five star track. But the only one here. If you would exclude this masterpiece, there is not much to retain from this album. It doesn't pass the proof of time very well.

I won't really be in-line with my fellow colleagues (but it is not the first time). As with the early BJH (who were seriously influenced by this work), I am not charmed by this album (except by the one and only of course.).

Two stars. No more.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The last of 1967's BIG 3

To mark this review 400 (look out Hugues, I'm catching ya) I wanted to give proper due to one of the big 3 releases of '67 that in my opinion are the reason we're all here today. We have plenty of folks at the site who will scold me for saying these albums were the birth of Prog but keep your pants on. I'm not saying there *were* Prog, I'm saying they got the ball rolling. They were the single-celled creatures in the Ocean. They were the foreplay before Prog consummated with the release of [insert what you consider Prog's first true album here].

Earlier in that glorious year of 1967 the Beatles dropped Sgt. Pepper in our lap. Although rock music was already taking off with exciting releases in the years prior, this album altered our ideas about what kinds of ideas could be expressed. Not to mention the music was great fun too. Later, in August, came what in my view may have been the first true Prog song when Piper at the Gates of Dawn was released. Syd's fantastic psych-heaven album may not have been Prog as a whole but it's hard to deny that the 9-minute instrumental "Interstellar Overdrive" didn't meet some criteria. Three months after Syd's masterpiece came The Moodies' Days of Future Passed. Again, if not entirely progressive in the majority opinion it is an early conceptual work that combined orchestration and mellotron into a grandiose spectacle and a fine one at that. Everything about the album screams classy from the production to the great playing to the impressive singles to the fantastic cover painting.

With so many reviews another description of songs is not necessary. But I would like to comment on the notion I've read where some infer the album is too "conservative" or that it might bore today's listeners with its sweeping, orchestral sounds. Boy, that was not my experience. As someone who grew up after that period and never made time for this album until fairly recently I can say that I find the effect of the period orchestral sound to be very fresh and even a bit radical to me personally. If you're used to just modern rock's mechanical sounds, hearing something like this is quite new and interesting-records don't sound like this anymore. So my point to the youngsters is, just because the old guys here find this dated, don't pass it up. I'm sure to your ears it will be far more "new" sounding than the latest flavor of the month album. Last, again to the new young proggers who might read this: While all the advice you get might point you to the early '70s classics, don't forget to hear the freshman class of '67: Pepper, Piper, and Passed. The three Ps won't let you down. Play this one alone on a rainy night and enjoy. It's true that you might find some of the poetry or strings cheesy is places but remember, this was meant to be played as a complete conceptual piece and the album works wonders in that context. A true classic.

Review by CCVP
5 stars My introduction to Moody Blues

This album right here is absolutely fascinating. It is the center of the argument about beginning of progressive rock (some say this is the starting kick, and some say its the first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King) and i think people are right to think that Days of Future Passed is the true beginning of progressive rock, and lets see why wile talking about its great music.

One interesting fact is that Days of Future Passed almost did not made it because the record label executives thought that mixing rock music and symphonic music was disastrous: it would not sell to its destined audience (the rock fans), would alienate them (the rock fans) and would enrage the symphonic music fans (because it mixed symphonic music with a lower kind of music). Probably this is the reason why this album is praised as the first progressive rock album: because it was the first album able to join rock music and symphonic music and making something completely different, innovative and groundbreaking: rock music to be listened and not to be danced, like symphonic music.

Another thing that signs in favor of this album is that Days of Future Passed is a concept album. Although the concept is not exactly mind blowing but it is a concept. The concept is about the day of a normal person, from his awakening to his sleep.

However, there are some downsides in this album. The band is the normal 60's band and have nothing extraordinary in its music by itself, i mean, the parts where the band plays are sometimes dull, contrasting with the great orchestral passages. The vocals are also not very good, and sometimes even below average because the singer sometimes sings out of tune. Fortunately, good qualities outshines its downsides, making this album a great album to listen.

Like all concept albums, this album must be listened as a whole and it is definitely worth it. The music is great, specially the orchestral pieces and, because of its groundbreaking originality and composition (to progressive rock), i think this album is worth the masterpiece grade.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first prog album(?)

Well, it's been long argued which was the first truly prog album and whether it's this one or not really doesn't matter in the end. What does matter though is the caliber of music on the album, because this disc is simply wonderful. Especially given the fact that we're talking 1967 here - The Moody Blues pushed all kind of boundaries with this album as would The Beatles in the same year with Sgt. Peppers. The difference between the two (well, okay, they're nothing alike anyways) is that while The Beatles made a concept album these guys really took the idea of a concept a step ahead. The album itself is a day in the life of a person going through their daily activities. We get the somber mornings, the bouncy, busy daytime and the beauty of dusk and evening.

Style wise, the album is very removed from conventional rock. The backing of a full orchestra really helps the progression of the album and allows for a full spectrum of emotion as the day presses on. The Day Begins with an overture that sees themes set for the rest of the album that will come into play later on and as we make our way into Dawn we get a spoken word intro that sets the lyrical tone for the album. The lyrics for this album are really something else. Beautifully crafted poetry whisks together with pretty orchestrations are enough to make anyone with an appreciation for anything like that sit with jaw agape at just what kind of imagery this combination presents. ''Cold hearted orb that rules the night, remove the colors from our sight. Red is grey and yellow - white, but we decide which is right'' - just gorgeous!

Some parts of the album are incredibly eerie, others, very upbeat. Depending on the time of day the Moodies change the music to fit. Lunch Break:Peak Hour has a very upbeat pace as it moves along in an almost silly way that fits strangely enough. Evening:The Sun Set:Twilight Time is where the eeriness comes into play with darker tones taking over, not unlike an actual evening. Nights In White Satin finished the album with more spoken word and what is easily one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.

There's a reason this album gets a lot of attention - it's pure gold! This album is a must for any prog fan who wants to know any little detail about the genre before it got it's name, and knowing prog fans, they all will. 5 nights in white satin out of 5 - this one is undoubtedly completely essential for a prog music collection. Absolutely perfect in every way and worth many many listens. Very, very, very highly recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars This may or may not have been the first Progressive album, but it was the first major mellotron record. Only the first song doesn't have mellotron on it. This is also a concept album about the emotions that accompany each part of the day. Orchestration is very prominant on this album unfortunately, but they had no choice as the record label insisted on this. Still it ruins it for me.

"The Day Begins" opens with orchestration that continues until after 4 minutes ! Just shoot me please ! Then we get spoken words that are eventually joined by some happy harp melodies before the orchestration sweeps back in like Peter Pan flying across the sky. I completely agree with Chicpah's review and thoughts, I'm sure that any teenager listening to this would probably think he's been teleported into a 50's Disney movie. "Dawn" opens with more orchestral banter until vocals arrive before a minute. The vocals remind me of Greg Lake actually. Orchestration is back 3 minutes in. "Morning" opens with a light melody. Vocals before a minute. Tough song for me to get into. Orchestration comes in around 3 minutes.

"Lunch Break" opens with some orchestral romps that Walt Disney would be proud of. The rompage continues until 2 minutes in when a good 60's pop tune takes over. And it doesn't end with orchestration ! "The Afternoon" or "Tuesday Afternoon" is a song I bow in honour to. Melancholic with lots of mellotron. Perhaps my favourite MOODY BLUES tune. Incredible ! I never tire of this one. "Evening" opens with orchestration before vocals, percussion and bass take over. Strings after 2 1/2 minutes. Orchestration is back a minute later. There's a real psychedelic flavour to the song before 4 minutes. Orchestration 6 minutes in. The "Night" or "Nights In White Satin" is a classic. Melancholic with mellotron. Hey there's a theme here with the two best tracks. Very powerful when he sings "Yes I love you, oh how I love you !" Orchestration and spoken words end the album.

It is both easy and difficult to give this 2 stars. Easy because the orchestral parts make me cringe, and there are tons of those moments. Hard because of the significance of this recording.

Review by Sinusoid
5 stars Took me a good long time to really figure this one out. For months, I had thought this was a halfway decent symphonic rock album until I really listened to it. The pop-symphony combo is not original at this point (the Beatles had some success with this combo on ''Eleanor Rigby''), but the Moody Blues embraced the classical ideas even moreso on DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED. Instead of just a few one-off collaborations, the Moodies along with London Festival Orchestra conductor Peter Knight created a ''modern'' symphony piece.

A group tackling this feat couldn't have been easy back in 1967, especially with the Moodies bringing in two new members (Hayward and Lodge) and the band's previous history as a safe, RnB influenced group. But, in the post Sgt. Pepper's world, anyone with a creative idea was given the leeway to create. And a masterpiece the Moodies helped create, indeed.

Each member of the Moody Blues has at least one contribution here, rare for the time, but it works beautifully as all except Graeme Edge have at least one highlight here. It's rare for me to understand the more emotional moments in music, but ''Night in White Satin'' and ''Dawn is a Feeling'' are two of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard. Contrast those with the atmospheric ''Sun Set/Twilight Time'' (if you excuse Pinder's lyrics), the catchy ''Peak Hour'' and the classic ''Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)/Time to Get Away'', and you've got a classic at hand.

I wish that the orchestra could have been more integrated into the band sections; the orchestra sections and band sections sound separate to me, but they both still work just fine. The poetry sections bookending the album are cringeworthy (Graeme Edge typically does this on the earlier Moodies works), but not too overly distracting. A beautiful classic that is vital for any prog collection.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars This landmark album is really two albums in one: the first operates on the premise that one can simply match up gentle pop songs with orchestral flourishes and rehash their melodies with similarly orchestrated instrumental passages and presto you have a breakthrough for 1967. To be honest I can't argue much with that. But, given the datedness and the lack of memorability of part 1, the real pioneering spirit is felt on the part 2, representing the pm in everyone's day, if you will. Here we find well written and performed songs that are enhanced rather than justified by the orchestra. For every lugubrious "Dawn is a Feeling", part 2 contains a timeless melody like "Tuesday Afternoon", and for every passe sixties rocker "Peak Hour", part 2 presents a stunning "Twilight Time". Add in the eerie power of "Sunset" and the eternal romance of "Nights in White Satin", and you have half a 5 star album. If you have hitherto passed on "Days..", I recommend you add it to your future shopping list.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Days Of Future Passed" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act The Moody Blues. The Moody Blues were approached by Deram Records in late 1967, as the record company wanted the band to record a rock version of classical composer Antonín Dvořák´s "Symphony No. 9" (also known as "New World Symphony") in order to test the label´s latest recording techniques. The band accepted the offer with the condition that there would be no interference in the artistic process from Deram Records executives.

When the band entered the studio with conductor/arranger Peter Knight their agenda had changed though and the band convinced Peter Knight to built orchestral parts around original pop/rock compositions written by the band (some sources dispute this though saying that it was always the label´s intent for the band to record an album of the band´s own compositions with a classical orchestra). The album was recorded over a three week period with the band recording in one studio while the The London Festival Orchestra conducted by Peter Knight recorded their parts in the studio next door. There were mixed receptions from Deram Records excecutives when they heard the final result but "Days Of Future Passed" was given a release on the 11th of November 1967 in the UK (released in April 1968 in the US).

Naturally "Days Of Future Passed" is a very different sounding release to the more traditional rhythm´n´blues of "The Magnificent Moodies (1965)", but some of the rock parts of the album still point backwards, although the material on "Days Of Future Passed" is generally more sophisticated in nature compared to the material on the debut album. The orchestral parts are often separated from the rock tracks, and therefore "Days Of Future Passed" sometimes appears a little fragmented between rhythm´n´blues/psychadelic rock compositions and what often sounds like soundtrack classical music scores.

All tracks seque into each other to create a concept and as the titles of the songs suggest the lyrical concept is about the different hours of the day seen from the perspective of an everyday man (very simply explained, as there is a little more depth to it). In addition to the orchestral parts which as mentioned above appear in both seperate sections but also integrated parts of some tracks, there´s the use of mellotron in the music which gives the music a proto-progressive sound. The vocals are smooth and pleasant and we´re treated to some really great harmony and choir vocals too. While all tracks are well written and catchy there´s one track that stands out as being THE highlight of the album and that´s Nights in White Satin. A true evergreen that song. "Evening" could be mentioned too, but the material are generally well written.

The sound production is without a doubt one of the most well sounding and professional productions I´ve heard from that time. It´s organic, layered, and pleasant, suiting the material perfectly.

Listening to "Days Of Future Passed" it´s hard not to acknowledge the importance and groundbreaking nature of the album (although it actually wasn´t an instant success upon release). There are not many pop/rock albums from 1967 that can be considered this progressive in nature. But while I find this a very adventurous and innovative album, and the band´s own compositions range from good to great, the orchestral parts are often of the kind that remind me of Disney movie scores. I don´t say this to sound disrespectful but that´s really how it sounds to me. So as an experiment "Days Of Future Passed" is a moderate success, but as coherent listening experience I could have done without many of the classical orchestra parts, which to my ears is a distraction and don´t really fit the mood of the album. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While not progressive rock in its own right, this album pioneered the blending of symphonic and rock music, essentially preparing the way for future bands to follow suit and expand on the concept. Though the band and the London Festival Orchestra do play together, the latter, conducted by Peter Knight, performs half of the album on its own, such that I myself would be hesitant to consider this a true symphonic rock album (especially since there is only one proper rock song on the album anyway). Overall, it's a pleasing piece that fits the concept of an everyman's weekday extremely well.

"The Day Begins" The orchestra introduces the musical themes to this album in a beautiful and grand way. "Morning Glory," a poem written by the drummer, appears at the end.

"Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling" The first song on the album is similar to Oldies music, with the orchestra backing the main band.

"Morning: another Morning" Like the one that came before, this song is certainly a lot like Oldies music, but this time features a slightly more complex musical scheme, led by a perky flute. The orchestra takes over completely at the end.

"Lunch Break: Peak Hour" Had I not known better, I would have sworn I was watching a peppy scene from an old Disney film, with the orchestra prancing along as it does in the beginning. After the two-minute introduction, an upbeat pop-rock song begins, sounding like The Beatles and The Who. Afterward, there's a gentler vocal interlude, followed by guitar and keyboard solos.

"The Afternoon: Tuesday Afternoon The first of two hits from this album, this song blends the orchestra and the band pleasantly, creating a rich sound on this memorable pop tune. It boasts a jaunty, well-known second section, played twice before the orchestra offers its more graceful rendition. It leads into "Time to Get Away," a section that highlights the twilight and the end of the workday, with music that is gloomier, more reflective, and feeling "tired."

"Evening: The Sun Set: Twilight Time" Following an elegant orchestral introduction (again, try not to think of Walt Disney), a song with sparse instrumentation and a catchy melody takes over. Over easygoing percussion, the orchestra plays sweet notes. After that part, a sprightly piano hammers out chords while thick vocals and music work over it. Predictably, the orchestra alone finishes the track with some "winding down" music.

"Night: Nights in White Satin" Easily the most widely recognized song from The Moody Blues (and the first one I ever heard from them), this lovely song has a highly memorable melody and musical theme. A gorgeous flute interlude dances along acoustic guitar and Mellotron. The orchestra handles the ending, leaving the listener with the words from the poem "Morning Glory."

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Days Of Future Passed (1967) has been variously described as influential, innovative, groundbreaking; some have even hailed it as the first progressive album. I don't want to resurrect any old arguments on this issue, but for me (and others of course) an album has to be more than merely significant to make it great. Sadly, The Moodies' debut (let's draw a veil over The Magnificent Moodies, it wasn't the same band) simply doesn't cut the greatness mustard in my opinion.

There are several problems with DOFP, but let's start with Peter Knight's orchestration. Most of his previous work had been in the fields of film and television and this influence is alarmingly clear on this recording. Basically, I think that the orchestrations on DOFP sound incongruous alongside the songs. If I want to listen to English light orchestral works I'll have Ralph Vaughan Williams, thank you. Apart from that, this wasn't a true collaboration as the band recorded each song before it was handed over to Knight to add his orchestrations. I've never been keen on rock albums that feature orchestras in any case, but if anyone wants to hear a truly cohesive integration of rock with orchestral music I would suggest they listen to Contaminazione by Il Rovescio Della Medaglia.

Normally I can do without the Graeme Edge poems (Morning Glory and Late Lament), but they don't actually bother me on this album. I'm more concerned with the songs and instrumentation this time around. Setting aside the Justin Hayward compositions, the evergreen Nights In White Satin and Tuesday Afternoon, we're left with some very patchy material. Also, the instruments aren't so much vintage, more like fossilized. This is certainly a far cry from the heights that the band would scale on future releases, along with their producer and 'sixth Moody' the late Tony Clarke.

Justin Hayward shares the vocals with Mike Pinder on the latter's composition, Dawn Is A Feeling, but the normally soulful Pinder doesn't connect with me on this song. Ray Thomas's Another Morning is beyond twee, even by his usual standards, and the Mellotron sounds truly primitive. Thankfully, John Lodge's Peak Hour saves the first half of the album from total oblivion. The intro to his later composition I'm Just A Singer borrows from this song (listen to how the drums speed up after the break in the middle of the song). There's no sign of Justin Hayward's trademark guitar here though, just a twanging '60s sound.

The second half of the album is stronger and opens with the two-part The Afternoon, comprising Tuesday Afternoon plus Lodge's Time To Get Away. The latter sounds like typical '60s pop and features Lodge's distinctive falsetto. Another two-part song follows; this time coupling Pinder's Eastern flavoured The Sun Set with Thomas's psychedelic Twilight Time. Don't expect anything like his signature Legend Of A Mind though.

The interesting thing about DOFP is that many of the elements that would contribute to the band's distinctive sound are already present here in embryonic form. However the orchestra would be missing from the string of classic albums that followed, so I don't think this recording is particularly representative of the band. As I said in my introduction I don't want to re-open any debates about whether The Moody Blues deserve the label of 'Pioneers' of prog rock, or whether DOFP was the first prog album. What I will say is that as far as I'm concerned there are a good number of superior Moody Blues albums for people to choose from, despite this one having the highest rating.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars How can one belittle one of the sacred albums that started it all? Still a masterpiece forty-three years later, DoFP is still one of my favorite start-to-finish listens--and there aren't many of those out there, believe me! A masterful blend of orchestral music with folkish pop song 'interludes' engaging one on a journey through a single day of towing the line of modern human life while occasionally being reminded of the ubiquitous and omnipresent background, the matrix of life, as provided by good old Mother Nature. Beautiful poetry, beautiful voices--spoken and sung. Beautiful music throughout all culminating in one of the greatest mood shapers of all-time: "Nights in White Satin" (album version only, please). I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nights in White Satin, never reaching the end... oh, how I love You!"

1967. The birth of prog... and here is one of the instigators. Let us embark on a journey. The day begins opens with an orchestration and a narration; "Cold hearted orb that rules the night, Removes the colours from our sight, Red is gray and yellow, white But we decide which is right, And which is an illusion". If you can get passed this cliche'd weirdness you will have an enthralling experience.

Dawn: Dawn is a feeling "Dawn is a feeling, A beautiful ceiling, The smell of grass, Just makes you pass Into a dream". It sounds silly but with all its pretentious bombastic lyrical poetry it seems to work with the massive orchestra and of course the soaring crystal clear vocals of Justin Hayward. I love his voice so it is easy to take even the weaker songs. As a whole concept the album is great to hear from beginning to end but there is no mistaking the two showstoppers that dominate on this classic. We will get to those in a moment.

Morning: another Morning As we emerge into the morning the music brightens "Balloons flying, Children sighing, What a day to go kite flying, Breeze is cool Away from school, Cowboys fighting out a duel, Time seems to stand quite still In a child's world, it always will". Let's forget the silly lyrics for a moment here. Actually, I can't they are so dominating and pervade every track to this point. The naff poetry is outlandish; the music is incredible so I am torn here. The album is dated due to the lyrics that are eccentric and oddball to say the least.

On Lunch break: peak hour The lyrics now go up a notch; much better and more thought provoking such as, "Minds are subject to what should be done, Problems solved, time cannot be won, One hour a day, One hour at night, Sees crowds of people All meant for flight." The stirring rhythms and ambience is as emotive as the band can get and this leads to: Tuesday afternoon (forever afternoon) words cannot express how much I adore this, but I will try. Mellotrons. "Explain it all with a siiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii- iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh". Time Sig change. Heavenly vocals. I heard this at an early age on a Moody Blues Greatest Hits comp and was floored by the way Hayward sings this and that beautiful music, the keyboards, guitars and base are incredible. The time signature changes dramatically and the album really has one heck of a masterpiece track here. This track would absolutely permeate itself in the band's repertoire. It encompasses everything the band stands for, soaring vocals, emotive thought provoking conceptual lyrics, and music that reaches into the stratosphere. I can't fault this. I love the way it changes completely with a new rhythm pattern and Hayward sings, "I'm looking at myself, Reflections of my mind, It's just the kind of day To leave myself behind, So gently swaying Through the fairy-land of love, If you'll just come with me And see the beauty of Tuesdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafternooooooooooooooooooon...." You can hear it, can't you?

Evening: the sun set: twilight time is a sweet medley sandwiched between two classics, but it is not too bad as a transition between them. The three tracks are fused together as one seamless composition and are really beautiful pieces with passages of orchestra and synth that stir the soul. But I am not going to digress any longer, let's get to the astounding masterpiece that blew everyone out of the water and continues to do so....

Night: Nights in White Satin. I am in awe of this quintessential Moody Blues brilliant master work. It begins with astonishing orchestration as good as you will hear on a soundtrack to a movie. It rises to a crescendo and settles as the bass and drums keep a constant stream of rhythmic patterns. Hayward's voice is angelic, "Nights in white satin, Never reaching the end, Letters I've written, Never meaning to send..." I knew this entire song off by heart as a teenager, I am not just talking about the lyrics, I used to hum the music in my head especially the flute solo, and now as an adult I return to it often and can play it on guitar. The way the chorus lifts with choral massed choir and very strong melodies is unsurpassed. The flute solo is mesmirising and I have never been able to get it out of my head, it's there indefinitely and I am intoxicated by its spell... I bought this album for the full length version of this track as I was sick of all the edited single versions. This is the way to hear this, the other tracks build inexorably to this magical moment and it even ends with an epilogue Late Lament that is part of the whole experience; "Breathe deep the gathering gloom, Watch lights fade from every room, Bedsitter people look back and lament, Another day's useless energy spent..." It bookends the whole album and I was stunned at the ending orchestration which is similar to the intro of "Nights".

Granted, this overblown concept album is not perfect but the saving grace of the two master tracks plus other moments weaved into the tapestry make this an excellent album to savour and remember. It was way back in 1967 that music like this was being created, before Ayreon, before Dream Theater, efore any of the sprawling concept artists that permeate modern prog, and it is the ultimate Moody Blues experience with their two best songs. 4 stars minimum without question.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From the first melancholic (mellotronic in later songs), you know that you're listening something special. Assuming you're aware of year when it was released and then-music scene (what people were listening). It's revolution. You all heard that before, I know.

What James Lee stated about Antonín Dvořák's (probably the best Czech classical music composer) influence on this album is quite true. Because there can be traced many motifs hidden between more "Rock" sound of this album. I know "New World Symphony" (so called Novosvětská) very well and I can tell that pieces of it are used here and there, some parts are inspired by it (of course, talking about Classical music parts only), but it's only good that way. Songs are good (I suppose), but they doesn't move me that much (as following album does). However, there are advantages that "Days of Future Passed" has over "In the Search of the Lost Chord", like orchestra, more complex songs. However, it's less enjoyable. So songs are more or less good, except The Night, which is song I quite hate. Not all song-length, only some parts.

4(-), strangely, I'll rate this with exactly same rating (given & intended one) as their following album.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1967 was indeed a very important year where the first roots of progressive rock music would take shape. Not only did we get a few important summer releases like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn but also a completely unexpected entry by the Moody Blues with Days Of Future Passed, towards its end!

This early concept album with orchestral music arrangements is easily one of the top 3 most important Proto-Prog releases and listening to it today I can clearly see why it is so. Even though Days Of Future Passed has never been a huge personal favorite of mine, since I have no personal attachment to this music, I still consider it a worthy participant of my album collection. Listening to it today did give me an added sense of affection for its material, especially sections like Dawn and The Morning which I carelessly managed to overlook, while giving the advantage to the material on side two. What surprises me the most is how much the band's style had changed since their debut album, merely 2 year prior to this release. Gone were almost all the R&B roots and what we've got instead was early symphonic rock at its best!

The great material is what keeps this album afloat for me and the 8 minute The Afternoon is where it reaches its peak. This two song medley includes Tuesday Afternoon and (Evening) Time To Get Away, is easily the catchiest material off the whole record! Nights In White Satin concludes the album with a hefty portion of Mellotron sound that should please Symphonic Prog fans, but even though the melody and lyrics are very memorable it fails to become my obvious favorite out of all the album's highlights.

Days Of Future Passed was a huge step forward in rock music's history and even though it has been overshadows by dozen of other important releases from that highly influential year of 1967, we the prog community are not likely to forget its credentials any time soon!

***** star songs: The Afternoon (8:23)

**** star songs: Dawn (3:49) The Morning (3:56) Lunch Break (5:29) Evening (6:40) The Night (7:39)

*** star songs: The Day Begins (5:51)

Review by friso
5 stars The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (1967)

This is for sure one of the most prestigious projects of the sixties. A former beat-band introducing the mellotron to the public, whilst combining it's adoring sound with a full-blown orchestra! Moreover, the Moody Blues made it a concept album about a day in the life. The songs resolve around parts of the day, morning, afternoon, ect. The opening and ending section is played by the orchestra and there's also some poetry. The role within the songs for the orchestra is often minimal, but always functional.

The sound of the Moody Blues is really classic on this lp. The mellotrons sound really warm and the band has a 'thick' sound. Often parts don't sound too clear, but the power of music compensates. The vocals are great and the songwriting, especially on side two is very strong. Most of the song show symphonic prog ideas, whilst combing it with beautiful song-writing craftmanship. My favorites are Tuesday Afternoon, Twilight Time and of course the impressive version of Nights in White Satin.

Conclusion. This project is very special, not only for it's very early release, but also for it's totally original concept. As far as I'm aware this is the first rockband-orchestra project in the history of music. It might also be the first concept album of rock-music. The symphonic sound and some other progressive features make this a real treat for fans of the early prog. This album is recommended to this group of proto-proggers and those interested in early prog and the development of the genre. Four stars, though I must admit the side one deserves only three stars.

* In recent months I've grown in my appreciation for this album (especially the first side), partly because of my girlfriend liking it very much as well. Upgraded my rating to five stars.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A lot of reviewers seem to debate whether this album is prog, proto-prog, prog-related, post-proto-prog or whatever. To add my two cents to it, this is typically what I would call a badly aged and old-fashioned 67 pop record that sounds as if it comes out of the 50's. Progressive rock is the entire opposite.

In fact I can add little to Mellotron Storm's amusing account of this album. At least three quarters of it is filled with syrupy orchestral pathos, the other quarter is plain pop music, crooner pop even. Some songs are not beyond salvation though, Dawn could have been a fine song in an entirely different arrangement and I'm sure Greg Lake would be tempted at a Chrismas carol version of it. Nights in White Satin is one of those rock rock anthems I have this hate/love relation with, it's excellent but it's overplayed too much and just like Stairway To Heaven for example I don't know if I'll get goosebumps or will simply cringe from it.

Most of the material is unlistenable orchestrated pomposity and I only need one look at the Nice's superb debut to know how classical music can be merged with rock, and it's definitely not with so much cheese as here. File under prehistoric pop.

Review by Flucktrot
4 stars There seems to be debate over whether this album has "aged" well or not.

Count me in the camp who believes that Days of Future Passed has not aged particularly well.

The poppy bits (toward the middle of the album) sound very much to me like simple Beatles-ish crooning and harmonizing. Sandwiching this material between orchestral interludes and outtros does not link things together very fact, it just makes things sound more disjointed to my ears. Using the orchestra was a progressive idea, but for a good part of the album, neither the band nor the orchestra is really playing anything particularly new.

Of course, I'm being overly harsh. I love the creativity and brashness of the concept and execution. There were simply fewer previous mistakes to have learned from in 1967, and the Moodies get plenty of credit for being the first to make some of the above mistakes.

And certainly Tuesday Afternoon is a classic song, and Nights in White Satin is a prog-rock classic, and a wonderful close to the album to boot. Yes, the Moodies were my favorite mellotroners of the time...that is, until In the Court of the Crimson King.

Four stars for historical importance. I don't particularly enjoy much of Days of Future Past, but my collection would not feel right without its presence.

Review by Warthur
3 stars It's not at all true - as is so often mistakenly said - that this was the first album to mix in classical instrumentation with a rock group. Arthur Lee had done it before on Love's "Forever Changes", and to be honest he was more successful at integrating the orchestral elements with the group's sounds - the horn and string sections on that album are an integral part of the songs, whereas on this album you have a bit where the orchestra's playing, then a bit with the group playing, then the orchestra, then the group, and so on taking turns until the end of the album.

Still, it is important for one very big reason: the use of mellotron. Rather than providing accents here and there, the mellotron is a core part of the Moodies' instrumentation; essentially standing in for the orchestra, it's also handy for providing the glue between the orchestral snippets and the group performances; there are several parts where a mellotron tone blends seamlessly into the orchestra's playing.

As far as the songs go, to be honest I find the rock songs far more compelling than the orchestral interludes, which often slip into quoting the rock compositions without really adding much more to them (and at points, like on "Lunch Break", they start sounding like cheesy 50s sitcom music). Dawn Is a Feeling introduces the Moodies' new sound - a mile away from "Go Now"! - with style, whilst Ray Thomas' Another Morning is the first of several jaunty, light-hearted songs he would compose for the group - the skipping, jolly nature of the song would practically be his compositional trademark - as would the overt trippiness of Twilight Time. John Lodge's Peak Hour is one of the rockier tracks that provides a little fast- paced excitement in what is otherwise a placid, laid-back album. My least favourite track on the album is probably Mike Pinder's The Sunset, which seems to get into the whole Indian music influences thing which was going on at the time but doesn't quite enjoy the same level of actual knowledge of Indian music or compositional chops that, say, George Harrison was showing, though it does score points for being one of the few rock songs on the album to make effective use of the orchestra. Still, even that doesn't stop the album from being a pleasant listen. I can't say it's an excellent example of early symphonic prog because of the poor level of integration of the classical elements, but it is well worth your attention. Still, the Moodies would do far, far better albums in the future.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Here's an album that I like more now than I did in the seventies. Plus, it's a piece of prog history. Sure, the songs themselves are only a little proggy, but the concept and use of orchestra in 1967 was definitely progressive.

Although this was the second album released under the name The Moody Blues, the addition of Justin Hayward and John Lodge brought in the sound that the band would become famous for.

The orchestrations are very heavy on the strings, and often go on a little too long, but still, especially if you get the remastered CD, provide interesting transitions between the Moodies songs. The songs themselves still mostly have a sixties, British psychedelic style, but the meat of the Moodies new sound is especially prevalent in the two most famous tracks, Tuesday Afternoon and Nights In White Satin.

Graeme Edge's poetry was cool at the time, but sounds a bit cheesy now. But for a good laugh, look up the parody version of late lament.

Review by J-Man
4 stars Days of Future Passed was released in a year that was absolutely critical in the development of progressive rock, but I'd argue that this album is the year's most important precursor to symphonic prog as we now know it. The orchestral arrangements, conceptual album format, and extensive use of mellotron simply paved the way for the upcoming rise of symphonic progressive rock acts, and the sheer ambition exerted by The Moody Blues here makes Days of Future Passed an essential piece of early prog rock history. That's not to mention, of course, that this is a stunning album from beginning to end - the compositions are simply beautiful and the arrangements are as well-thought out as one can imagine. In short, these Birmingham lads succeeded in nearly every aspect with Days of Future Passed, and the result is nothing short of a timeless classic.

Musically, we're dealing with a mix of fairly standard sixties' pop/rock and orchestrations by The London Festival Orchestra. Of course the extensive symphonic interludes immediately set Days of Future Passed apart from your average sixties' pop album, but the use of mellotron as an integral part of the music was also nearly unheard of at this point. The use of mellotron parred with the orchestra adds a lush atmosphere throughout the full album, and the fact that it's a conceptual album with repeating themes (lyrically and musically) sets it even further apart from anything like it during this time period. I've heard some folks criticize Days of Future Passed for not integrating the orchestrations with the rock sections well enough, but I personally think it's perfect - a few orchestral interludes may carry out a bit too long, but I think the repeating themes help give the album a unified feel. Though songs like the instrumental "The Day Begins" can take a bit to get used to (it may rub off as background music at first), its genius begins to shine through once you realize all of the melodies that re-occur throughout the album. It sets the tone for the rest of the album particularly well, and I absolutely adore this lovely overture. Days of Future Passed is an album filled to the brim with gems, though, and "Dawn: Dawn Is a Feeling", "The Afternoon", and especially "Night: Nights In White Satin" stand out as marvelous highlights.

Days of Future Passed also sports a fantastic production (one of the best from the sixties') and stellar musicianship, so when all things are considered, this is a virtually flawless album. Not only is this a groundbreaking album in the history of progressive rock, it's also one of the best albums from the second half of its decade. A lovely, marvelous, and spectacular work indeed, the least I can give Days of Future Passed is 4.5 stars. The Moody Blues really struck gold this time around, and I'd recommend this observation in a heartbeat to any fan of early progressive rock.

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The lore surrounding the genesis of this concept album and foundation piece for progressive music has several different versions. The version I always heard was the record company approached The Moody Blues to record a rock n roll side of an album while an orchestra would record the other as a demonstration of a fancy new recording system. There is also the more common, and now seemingly refuted version, that the record company intended the album to be an adaptation of a Dvorak a demonstration of a fancy new recording system. Whichever it was, it wasn't. Except for the fancy new recording system. The quality of the recording is absurdly clean for 1967. And before anyone asks, yes, I am familiar with the original pressings that occurred prior to the 1978 restoration. The transitions between The Moody's and the London Festival Orchestra appear seamless.

The concept, lifetime in the stages of a day. Perhaps not original, even in 1967. But conveyed with undeniable sound and lyric allusory precision. Even the poetic intro and closing are strong elements to the story. I am not aware of the level of cooperation between the orchestra and band as far as the arrangements go, but the orchestral parts serve almost exclusively as transitional elements. The music is not flawless. In particular Peak Hour, the lunch time theme, which feels completely out of place. Capturing that frantic midday pace with something as groundbreaking as the remainder of the album is somewhat of a metaphor for the frantic pace at which music itself was changing in 1967. As the only real stinker of the album closes side A (for those of you following along on vinyl), the true beauty of the album unfolds on side B as the afternoon-night sections. Tuesday Afternoon, the second most popular single for the album, is permeated with Mike Pinder's mellotron. This fades to the haunting verses of the evening and Twilight Time. This section provides what is certainly the most fluid orchestral to rock transitions. The Sun Set in particular incorporates slow bongo and flute for a safari-like feel, conveying the daily vacation as the work day ends. Then we get to the most identifiable single in the Moody Blue's entire discography, Knights in White Satin. The beautiful lamentation that moves even the most stagnant soul. One could, and I'm guessing some have, write a philosophy dissertation on the meaning and gravity of the few short verses.

I've gone through different stages of finding more or less importance of this album personally, but its place in the history of progressive music is undeniable. It is not perfect, but it is amazing and borders on essential.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Days of Future Passed takes a little while to get started. The album begins with a four-minute orchestral piece, and the first real "song" doesn't start until more than six minutes into the record. And the first two songs on the first side, "Dawn is a Feeling" and "Another Morning," are relatively weak. But side ends on a strong note with "Peak Hour."

Side Two begins with "The Afternoon," from which the classic single "Tuesday Afternoon" was culled. "Tuesday Afternoon," written and sung by guitarist Justin Hayward, is among the most recognizable Moody Blues songs, and is here paired with bassist John Lodge's "(Evening) Time to Get Away," a catchy little number which, as far as I can tell, was never released as a single anywhere. This is followed by two more single-worthy songs by two more members of the band: keyboardist Mike Pinder's eastern-tinged "The Sunset" and Twilight Time" by flautist Ray Thomas. Both are parts of the "Evening" suite.

And finally comes "The Night," the majority of which is Hayward's majestic "Nights in White Satin." This is a rare song that is a legitimate pop classic and an equally legitimate progressive-rock classic. Its message and melody are as timeless as that of, say, "Dust in the Wind," but its execution is much more "progressive." And while many prog classics ("Close to the Edge" "2112," "In the Court of the Crimson King," etc.) are expertly composed, produced, and performed, few have the universality of "Nights in White Satin."

The Moody Blues are rightly congratulated for taking risks with this album. But not every experiment on Days of Future Passed is an unqualified success. The orchestral pieces mostly serve as bridges between suites or songs. For these, arranger/conductor Peter Knight, who is billed on the album cover and receives a few co-composition credits, often picks the hokiest motifs from the Moodies' melodies for the orchestral passages. His work throughout "The Night," though, is a substantial exception. Here the orchestra and the orchestration seem like integral components of the track.

The other innovation which quite doesn't work (for me, at least) is the poetry recitations. I can deal with some pretentiousness - - this is art rock, after all - - when the content is of high quality. But that's not the case here. Although nicely performed by Pinder, the poetry itself doesn't justify its inclusion as the bookends of the album. Interestingly, the band swore off the use of an orchestra after Days of Future Passed but continued with the poetry. In my opinion, the orchestra had some promise and, of the two, might have been the one to continue experimenting with.

Anyway, in the grander scheme, these are mild annoyances. Days of Future Passed is certainly a package deal, and the orchestra and poetry are part of the package. More importantly, the album is well produced, the sound is generally very good given the available technologies, and the compositions are very good. There are eight Moody Blues songs on Days of Future Passed, and after two relatively pedestrian offerings is a string of six very strong songs: "Peak Hour" → "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" / "(Evening) Time To Get Away" → "The Sunset" / "Twilight Time" → "Nights In White Satin."

Some might call Days of Future Passed a "flawed masterpiece," but I think that's misguided on two counts. First of all, it's not a "flawed" album at all. It has imperfections and a couple of feeble songs, but not fundamental flaws. And secondly, it's a not a masterpiece. Its status as a document of substantial historical significance among prog-rock fans probably elevates the expectation of first-time listeners, but realistically, this album is a very good songs-cycle which happened to break new ground. From this perspective, Days of Future Passed is exceptionally cohesive despite having been strung together from relatively independent songs written by four different writers.

Four stars for an excellent proto-prog / psychedelic rock album.

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