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The Moody Blues

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Regarded by my friends as their most accomplished concept album , this is confusing obscure and aimless (even if there is a concept) to my ears, but again the majority of Moody fans doesn't think as me. The album is still pretty good/worthy and does belong in the classic run of late 60's early 70's albums, it just pleases me less than the previous Lost Chord and the follow-up Children.

The noteworthy fact about this album is that it was the first released on their private Threshold label - in that regard the Moody Blues were groundbreakers since they were the first group to own a label with Jefferson Airplane (they had the Grunt label). But they might've tried harder for a first private label release.

Report this review (#15650)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars 3rd concept-like album from The MOODY BLUES marking another mega wonderful album which I am sure many of you like me, own and treasure already. I would suggest that "On The Threshold Of A Dream" captures The MOODY BLUES at their most complex, characterized here by their inclusion of lengthly instrumental passages. This album contains many of their most enduring tunes and is a wonderful mix of classical rock and progressive elements. As you would expect vocals and harmonies are emphasized which suits the orchestral music to perfection.
Report this review (#15651)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you haven't heard this album yet, you're in for a treat. Alluding to the listener's likely state of mind, "On The Threshold of a Dream" features a brilliant succession of songs, instrumental segues and spoken poems. I haven't heard a more cogent case for THE MOODIES' unusual approach to songwriting -- allowing each of the five members to follow their own muse within the context of a group effort -- than on this album. GRAEME EDGE's poetry has seldom shone so bright, MIKE PINDER's "Have You Heard" adds a brilliant shade of pink to the Blue machine, and JUSTIN HAYWARD (usually good for one hit) scores a hat trick with "Lovely To See You," "Never Comes The Day" and "Are You Sitting Comfortably." The records that followed no doubt strove for the same happy union, but seldom delivered on the promise of their portentous openings. Edge's "In The Beginning" promises much, advocating freedom from the machines, or more specifically freedom from the mechanized world around us. "Lovely To See You" accepts us into the fold, and from there the concept gives way to a series of vignettes: "Dear Diary," "Send Me No Wine" and a pair of psychedelic rock tracks to add some muscle. What ties "Threshold" together is its swift pacing, using seamless segues to connect the band's individual contributions into a cohesive whole. This technique prevents a musical morass from forming, a problem that plagued subsequent albums. The second side also gets off to a quick start with the single "Never Comes The Day," the sort of pretty acoustic daydreaming that helped define THE MOODIES, a field revisited on "Are You Sitting Comfortably." However, I'd argue it's the closing combination of "Have You Heard" and the instrumental "The Voyage" that bring "Threshold" to the brink of brilliance. MIKE PINDER has always been the most likely of the five to write outside the band's established idiom, and here he stumbles upon a musical epiphany of heroic proportions, sandwiched around the albums' best orchestrations. So if you're on the outside looking in, clueless to THE MOODIES' attraction, cross through "The Threshold" and join the party.
Report this review (#15658)
Posted Sunday, May 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars While "The Lost Chord" established the MOODY BLUES sound fundamentals with more than a nod to current psychedelic trends, this was the album that solidified their individual, classic sound. Discarding the sitars and pop celebrity references, they hone their songwriting skills and conceptual focus to create a characteristic blend of lysergic love songs and lush, enveloping textures.

Even the spoken intro element works better here, pitting a bureaucratic machine against a hipster for man's search for identity on "In the Beginning". Oddly, Ray and Justin seem to have traded roles slightly on the album; Hayward's "Lovely to see You" is the simple, bouncy tune whereas Thomas' "Dear Diary" is a melancholy "Day in the Life"- themed offering- the Fab Four influence is inescapable here, with Leslie-flitered vocals and a slightly bluesy piano touch. We then get variously effective love songs: "Send Me No Wine" is almost madrigal in theme but folk-rock in flavor; the pleasant but forgettable "To Share Our Love" has a more driving 60s rock style; "So Deep Within You" is more groovy and also slightly creepy with its fumbling double-entendre lyrics; "Never Comes the Day" is the best of the four, with pretty verses and a rousing, anthemic chorus. "Lazy Day" is the other half of the "Dear Diary" bookend, its homey Ray Thomas vibe masking a bourgeois lament.

Though the preceding songs stayed comfortably in Moody Pop territory, they saved the best for last: the mighty journey of the rest of the album. "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" strikes a pastoral, Arthurian pose, and "The Dream" is full of seasonal rebirth imagery, but "The Voyage" is the intended opus of the album; a brave effort in musical exploration that pushes Pinder's Mellotron expertise to amazing levels of symphonic emulation, bookended sweetly by "Have You Heard", a lovely affirmation and conclusion to the loose tale.

In my opinion, this is the first uniquely MOODY BLUES album- "Days" is essential, of course, but is also very much a collaboration. While they would have bigger hits and explore deeper realms, "On the Threshold of a Dream" is an excellent representation of the band and a pleasant voyage to drift away on. Don't bother preparing yourself for a life-changing experience; it's neither challenging to listen to nor 'ahead of its time'. What the MOODY BLUES give us is warm, smooth soundscapes and 60s pop-rock song forms, comfortable exploration, layered simplicity and naive pretentiousness. Oh, and the first in a series of lovely gatefoldk album covers- best seen on the original vinyl, of course.

Report this review (#15652)
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Have you heard?

I think this is my favourite Moodies album. It does sound quite dated at times now, but it has an appealing innocence about it. Hayward's vocals are very melodic, and the harmonies are as pure as ever. The tracks are segued together in the way which was to become a trademark of the band, and which gives their albums a certain continuity.

The album opens with what was at the time a very futuristic track. "In the beginning" includes robotic effects and electronic wizardry, before introducing the more familiar sounding "Lovely to see you", a classic uplifting number. Ray Thomas' makes two contributions to the album, including the lilting "Dear Diary".

"Never comes the day" has a more structured feel to it, with subtle time changes, and fine vocals. The closing section of the album from "The Dream" onwards is really a single piece. It includes "The voyage" and "Have you heard (Parts 1&2)", the four sections melding together to form a wonderful 9 minute track. While most of the album is fairly basic, this is a fine piece of prog, including some haunting melotron, and bombastic orchestration.

I suspect those hearing the album for the first time today will notice more acutely how the music here has aged, but for those who have been familiar with it for the last 30+ years, it still sounds as fresh and inspired now as it did then.

Report this review (#15653)
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This Album is a transitional album for The Moody Blues. They are in effect changing their sound here. The reason is probably that rock was changing and you can only follow a similar formula for so long. There are some very good songs on this album although it is a very dramatic change in sound. People expecting "Days of Future Passed" or "In Search of the Lost Chord" may be bewildered when they first hear this album, as I was when I blindly purchased it. It is not however, a bad album by any stretch. "Send Me No Wine" stands out and is a great folk/rock song. "So Deep Within You" is another great song and I swear, is a predecessor to disco. Once again in 1969 they are a bit ahead of the game here. "Never Comes the Day" is an awesome track that starts off slow, but is in effect very dramatic when it builds up to it's climax and that is when you realize you have heard this song on the radio. It is a great rock song. "Lazy Day" is another very beautifully written song. Harmonized vocals blend together, producing a rich chourus of gorgeous chords. "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" is another steadily stunning composition. The suite "Have You Heard pt.1/The Voyage/Have You Heard pt.2" is probably the highlight of the album with trippy instrumentals and very good song writing. It is a GOOD voyage and I vacation there often these days. It is very classic Moodies in this respect, to take a simply crafted melody and transform it into a work of art. They were very good at this if you haven't already noticed. You will hear this ability time and time again throughout their career. This is another great album, but if you don't like it the first time, listen to it a couple more times and soon you'll start noticing the little things that make almost all of the songs on this album great. Another 4 star effort by them.
Report this review (#15654)
Posted Thursday, September 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Third of five all time great albums.The fact that every member can sing well and write songs makes it where you are never bored.I love every song here but something about Never Comes The day just blows me away.This is not only great prog it is also great pop.These guys are like the Crosby,Stills and Nash of the prog world.
Report this review (#15655)
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars It took me a few listens to get into this album, unlike Days of Future Passed. However, I did come to like it a fair bit...although I can't really give any of the MOODY BLUES albums I've ever heard over a 4. This one doesn't come up quite that far, though, so I give it a 3.

As with Days of Future Passed, a Ray Thomas composition jumped immediately to the forefront--"Dear Diary" was perhaps the biggest highlight on the album for me. This makes a wonderful song indeed for listening to out and about while people-watching. While it definitely picks up on a sense of isolation from the rest of society, it does so without going into excessive venom and resentment, and with the catchy, almost bluesy guitar stylings, and beautiful flute solos, it is a great laid-back listen. The other striking feature of this song is that Mr. Thomas' vocals sound almost like a shockingly good (though rather less bitter) Roger Waters impression! The similarity is quite striking indeed, especially when he starts talking: "Somebody exploded an H-bomb today..." Surely unintentional on Mr. Thomas' part, it is quite an ear-opener to notice.

"Lazy Day" also can be quite strange for a Pink Floyd fan because of the Roger Waters resemblance--as if the same voice with an entirely different technique. I enjoy the effect from the second vocal line that seems to echo in the background, and the other layered vocals. It is not "Dear Diary", perhaps, but enjoyable.

"Lovely to See You Again" has almost a CSNY vibe to it, with the harmonies and clear rock beat, and is a pleasant listen. "To Share Our Love" also had a feeling reminiscent of CSNY, and so these songs seem like a matched set to my ear. Both are quite enjoyable.

"So Deep Within You" has some of the album's most pleasant vocals--it might be said to have a strong "period" sound, but it seems to represent the best of its time. The same could be said for "Are You Sitting Comfortably", especially due to its percussion. Personally, I am reminded of songs like "Dust in the Wind" when I hear it.

"Never Comes the Day" is musically the most striking--the chord progression starting with the lines "But you will help me tonight..." is absolutely fascinating to me.

The album's weak point was for me "Send Me No Wine". The song has a rather folkish, almost country sound to it that I find distasteful (others may appreciate it--I personally dislike that kind of music); as with another reviewer, this song set me in such an awful mood on my first listening that I was ill disposed towards the entire album. Subsequent listenings pinpointed the problem, and in my opinion it is really this one song that causes any trouble--so I skip it.

I also have to admit that I expected a clearer concept, when I first heard "In the Beginning", and was vaguely disappointed when it turned out to be less unified. The sequence from "The Dream" to the second "Haven't You Heard" (I'd like to make a point here that "relaxing" should not be automatically equated with "boring"--I do not find this boring) is quite beautiful indeed. Although the Mellotron sounds dated and awkward to modern ears, it is my understanding that it could be a very temperamental instrument to work with, so I respect Mr. Pinder for having the patience to get some pretty good sounds out of it.

My suggestion is, if you are looking for a more unified, tightly-constructed concept album, you may fare better with Days of Future Passed--but if your main interest is some good music, then don't overlook Threshold.

Report this review (#15656)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps not following a rhetorical theme, but steeped in transcendent mystism, and fully open to interpretation, this album mightily stands alone as the pinnacle of Moodie achievement. Every bit as important and ethereally conceptual as the Dark Side Of the Moon, it is a single piece of music; unlistenable in anything other than its total sum. It must be played from beginning to end every time it lands on the turntable, as you would any other piece of "classical" music. "On The Threshold Of A Dream", before its time, before their time, though it is maybe something for right now. Have you heard?
Report this review (#39693)
Posted Monday, July 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Moodies are acknowledged to have made 7 classic albumes in their 1967 -1972 heyday. It is difficult to say if any of the seven were ever truly cutting edge at the date of their original release but I feel they got closer with this album than any other bar maybe Days of Future Passed.

The poetry works better here than on the others and the songs are generally strong and climax with the brilliant Have you heard/The voyage/Have you heard part 2 which is surely one of the best symphonic/mellotronic tracks ever made rivalling King Crimson's Epitaph.

Report this review (#49964)
Posted Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I agree with the reviewer who says 'To share our love' is perhaps forgettable, and disagree with those who don't like 'Send me know wine' as being the low point. I find this latter track almost evokes a transient drunken reverie, and is a pleasant listen.

'Lovely to see you' (again my friend), I've often heard that song in my head (and felt the emotion) on seeing someone not seen for years. 'Dear Diary' is clever, humourous, and has the distinctive flute playing of Ray Thomas that embellishes the song to rival his performance on 'Timothy Leary' on 'In search of the lost chord'.

'Lazy day' sounds like it might have been written to sentimentally recall halcyon family get-togethers. 'Are you sitting comfortably' is mystical, a song that transports you gently to the time and world of Merlin.

'The voyage' sounds like it was written to accompany the lighting of a 'joint', and there's a part repeated after "now you know that you are free" which makes me think of someone inhaling/exhaling/releasing, as they go into a trance/hypnotic state.

Overall, a good album, and another very nice album cover.

Report this review (#54711)
Posted Friday, November 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Third album of the so-called "MB's core 7" - the first being 'Days of Future Passed' (1967) and the second 'In Search of the Lost Chord' (1968). A good work at all just like the previous one but inferior to DOFP.

What seems more clear are the ways band members were taken with Justin Hayward and John Lodge tending to a balladesque or soft rock line while keyboardist Mike Pinder keeps a progish bias and Ray Thomas apparently senseless in the middle of the stream.

'Lovely to see you' and 'Never comes the day' are pure Hayward cool songs, very agreeable but not prog; Lodge contributes with two typical soft rocks 'Send me no wine' and 'To share our love'; from Pinder we have the best prog moment with 'Have you heard (1&2)' completed by instrumental 'The Voyage'; 'Lazy day' is the most interesting track composed by Thomas being his 'Dear diary' the weakest point of the album. Worthy is 'Are you sitting comfortably?' a joint-venture by Lodge&Thomas.

The final sensation is about a sometimes unbalanced work compensated by the quality of the songs individually, the singing and the musicianship.

Even so, it's Moody Blues and it's one of the "core 7" and highly recommended for any prog collection. Total: 4.

Report this review (#58465)
Posted Monday, November 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I can't understand why this album is up on the top 100 list. Maybe because it's under the "proto-prog" label which doesn't make any sense to me. Im 18 years old right now and i remember listening to Children's Children's Children on tape in my pops car back when i was like 5 years old. I always loved the guys but only started really listening to them three years ago. I first found this masterpiece when i was 16. I've heard every album of theirs since then and this is still the best. (Right above Lost Chord). Aight, so anyway, this album starts out with a strange, but pretty interesting Moody Blues intro. But from the very second I heard the chorus sing that beautiful E chord, I knew I was going into a Moody BLues dream unlike any I've ever heard. All of a sudden the guitar and bass play that awesome first riff and It Happens! Lovely to see you is probably the best first song on any Moody Blues album filled with rich harmonies, beautiful melodies, perfect mellotron use. One of the greatest qualities this album has is the blending of songs. The transfer from Lovely to See You-Dear Diary is almost perfect. This song has awesome flutes (not sure if they were real or synthd), tight bassline, and yet again a great mellotron. The next two tracks are a little more upbeat and have more or less the same tempo. The transfer between the two isn't the great but the intro in "To share our love" compensates for that. It is the sickest intro to any song on the album. So deep with in you is probably my least favorite song but is still amazing with real good arrangements and real good harmonies. I like the fade out to the song since it is in a sense the most "intense" song on the album so far (that loud timpani in the break of the chorus). I like the fade out of the song because it sets the mood for the song to come which is possibly one of my favorite songs ever. I can go on for days about how good Never Comes The Day is but you would probably get bored by the third or fourth day of me talking about it. Basically it has effected me on such a high level both musically and emotionally. I have never been so touched by one specific song ever in my entire life. It is sublime. Lazy Day is a pretty good follow up to the great track before it but it was kinda hard to listen to the rest of the album with the song in my head. I was tempted to go back and listen to the seventh track right after hearing it but after realizing that so far this is one of the best albums i've ever heard, I didn't want to stop. The next 5 tracks are around 12 min. in it's entirety and the last 3 tracks are good tracks that fit very well together and are all in all a pretty good trip. Basically if the entire album was just tracks 1-7, it would still be my favorite Moody Blues album but LAzy day only makes it better and the five last tracks round up the album nicely. If you've never heard The Moody Blues, I would start out with Lost Chord, then move to this masterpiece, then if your still feeling them get into DAys of Future Passed and then go chronilogically foward after Threshold. This is one of the most beautiful albums ever recorded.
Report this review (#65287)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yet again, the moodies amaze. But this time, not quite as well as previously. I love this album, don't get me wrong, it is phenominal...but it will only receive 4 stars because it has a few glitches. Dear Diary is not that enjoyable, and is not very enjoyable to me in any way. You know, it really is an amazing album, EXTREMELY progressive, more-so than any of the previous ones (especially the amazing introductory act-out)...So Deep Within is OK, as is Lazy Day, but everything else is perfect. It is really more like 4 and a half stars, if only I could put that. Brings tears to my eyes though how sentimental this will be to me as i get older, enjoy it now everyone and remember it!! Truly a great album, favorite song being probabaly Send Me No Wine, AMAZING!! Anyway, Hayward is ridic on this, PHENOMENAL, Graeme Edge plays drums simply but perfect, gotta love John Lodge and his high pitched vocal harmonies... it is amazing, Pinder owned it when he was with the moodies, no doubt about that... purchase this immediately.
Report this review (#71455)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Threshold marks the midway point in a five-album, three year flash of activity for the Moodies. They had established themselves as a musical force with what was arguably the first true modern progressive album Days of Future Passed and the brilliant hits "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin", followed by the more experimental but thematic In Search of the Lost Chord. The band had a strong following and was coming off a torrid touring schedule, looking forward to an extended studio stay and the first album on their own new label.

The result was a somewhat more disjointed overall feel on Threshold of a Dream as a whole but with tracks that, when considered separately, were quite a bit more developed musically. This is much closer to the approach taken on Seventh Sojourn than on any other Moodies album. Each band member contributed at least two songs, and each brought their own influences into the overall work. It was a new approach, but another successful combination.

"In the Beginning" is not a particularly strong opening work, with some goofy space-age sound effects and garbled background vocals, but providing an innocuous introduction and lead-in to "Lovely to See You Again". The guitar work by Justin Hayward is exquisite, melding well with a comfortable tempo and the kind of gorgeous harmonies for which the band was already well known. My only issue with this song is that it fades away after a couple of minutes, just about the time the listener starts to wrap their head around the peaceful and loving mood of a young man on a stroll with his lady.

"Dear Diary" is a Ray Thomas song, and like "For My Lady" on Seventh Sojourn, this is a bit melancholy on the surface, but upon closer listen is really just a bit of a light song about life flitting by without enough people stopping to smell the flowers. Sappy today, but quite an appealing thought in the late 60s. Thomas' flute matches Michael Pinder's eerie keyboards quite well and sets an appropriately reflective mood.

I liked "Send Me No Wine" the first time I heard it. It's another light tune, a kind of love song with a bit of twangy guitar that is a different sound from the heavier brooding tone on most Moodies songs. Like most of the songs on the album, this one has a nice feel to it, but could have been expanded to great effect with some extended guitar soloing or even a spoken-word piece inserted somewhere.

"To Share Our Love" sounds like almost a sequel to "Send Me No Wine", which again reinforces my contention that song should have been extended and explored further. This is also a Lodge composition, but the rhythm is a bit more up-beat and the harmonies a bit more lush. Of all the Moodies songs off their first three albums, this one sounds the most dated today, but is still pleasant to listen to on a slow quiet afternoon.

Pinder waits until the middle of the album to offer his first contribution, the lumbering "So Deep Within You". This is not so much a love song as it is a pervert song. One almost feels like a voyeur listening to Pinder's lusty extolling of his lover's favors. What Ian Anderson would have sounded like if he weren't such a vocal troll.

By far my favorite melody on the album comes with "Never Comes the Day". To me Hayward's vocals are the most identifiable with the classic Moodies sound, and the backing vocals give this a happy and full sound. The faint but lively harmonica adds a folksy dimension to an otherwise decidedly proper British sound. This is also the longest song on the album, but I wouldn't have minded a couple more verses or at least a few more rounds of the chorus. Just a great tune!

If "Never" is the strongest song, "Lazy Day" is probably the weakest. This is nothing more than a couple minutes of harmonized "ah-ah-ah" vocals and what sounds like a frumpy bassoon bleating out a rhythm off to the side. Just filler, good for keeping the mood going but little more.

I guess "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" was something of a radio favorite in England, or so I've heard, but to me it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from some of the stronger works on the album. I get the impression this was supposed to set the tone for the spoken-word "The Dream". This may have been an attempt to introduce a mystic or medieval feel to the album, but if so it comes far too late and frankly is just a bit confusing. Not all the Moodies ideas were necessarily good ones. This sounds very much like an outtake from Days of Future Passed.

The rest of the album is all Pinder, kind of a mini-concept piece with "Have You Heard" parts book-ending "The Voyage". This is a spacey and pretentious instrumental with lots of overbearing Mellotron and some pleasant but slightly pompus piano. The overall impression is that Pinder is giving its listeners some head-trip music to bring them down off their cloud after listening to a varied sampler of what the band is capable of. This would be laughed off today, but considering the time in which it was released, it's harmless enough and largely excusable.

This is certainly not the best work the Moody Blues ever did - Seventh Sojourn, In Search of the Lost Chord, and even Long Distance Voyager are somewhat more accessible and definitely more cohesive. But this was a very strong effort from a road- weary band who were still evolving their trademark sound, and it represents a period in time where music itself was much less encumbered by norms and expectations than today. Overall, an excellent effort and a worthwhile addition to any collection. Four stars.


Report this review (#80556)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars it's hard to be objective about an album that has sentimental/nostalgic value but i think i can say that the Moody's hit a high note here--a space and place in time uniquely captured as only the MB's could do it. another reviewer was right to compare this and other Moody's albums with classical music--the band's 60's output has aged well all things considered and "On theThreshold of a Dream" may be the best of the lot. listening to this album off and on over the years has been a rich and rewarding experience for me and the emotional responses intiated by some of these songs, especially the last half of the record("Have you Heard" pts 1 and 2) are sublime. i posess a double cassette of "Threshold" and " 'Lost Chord " and play 'em back to back every time.
Report this review (#93420)
Posted Wednesday, October 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my personal favourite Moody Blues album. Except Voyage (which is not very memorable) all other tracks are just magnificent! The album has all usual features of classical Moody Blues outputs - some concept behind, mixture of slow & fast songs, brilliant melodies all around. Maybe this album is slightly more moody than others and I like that. It's hard to define the best song here but it's one of those: Dear Diary, Lazy Days, Send Me No Wine. Hightly recommended for everyone who enjoys songs with more melody than complexity.
Report this review (#95625)
Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Recommended first step in the exploration of great prog music masterpieces.

I would like to help expose music lovers to the joys of great progressive rock music. For prog-novice wanting to explore the genre starting with an appreciation of great classical, rock and/or pop music, there is no better place to start collectively than with the 7 original prog-classics of the Moody Blues from the late sixties to the early seventies, from "Days of Future Passed" through "Seventh Sojourn". Personally, I'd have to say this collective discography along with that of the Beatles from the same era should form the core of any great prog/pop/rock/ collection. From here, you can go in many different directions. However,this is the most accessible place for most to start, in my opinion.

My time to review these albums is limited, and I happened to be listening to "OTTOAD" and became motivated to relate this message. Buy the re-mastered CD copy of this album, crank up the volume on any good quality audio system, and be both simultaneously blown-away, mesmerized, and soulfully transformed by the beauty and artistry of this release. THen do the same with the other six original Moody Blues masterpece albums mentioned. If you are a very happy camper at this point, explore some the masterpieces by other prog artists like Genesis, Camel, Yes, and others and you will be well on your way through a wonderful musical journey!

Peace and lovebe with you!

Report this review (#96073)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars On The Threshold Of A Dream is my favourite of the classic first seven Moodies albums. It weaves an erethral sort of atmosphere that depicts day to day life in fantasy mode. This sets it apart from Days Of Future Passed which also looks at the day to day. Fortunately we don't have to choose between the first seven Moodies albums. They're all good!
Report this review (#102284)
Posted Saturday, December 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The album begins very well, but the weak point comes with "Send me no wine" and "To share our love". Both are "love songs" that change those great first impressions of the album. The things comes better with "So deep within you", a interesting track with great flute and percussion in the final minutes. The Side One is over.

Let's begins Side Two. Wow, this begins very well! Great keyboard work and beautiful voice on "Never comes the day", a very dancing song. The folk guitar comes well in nice "Are you sitting comfortably?", a flute and voice song. After that comes a narration, very similar with "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Rick Wakeman.

I liked the three last tracks ("Have you heard? pt. 1", "The voyage" and "Have you heard? pt. 2"). Very calm songs, with great mellotron arranjements. Maybe the moment of the album. The beautiful piano transition on "The voyage" stands out!

Resume: a great album - too calm, melodic and beatiful. Not a masterpiece, but very good for any prog fan.

Report this review (#108900)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I may call myself a die-hard Moody Blues fan, ridiculous as it seems in the light of their eighties, hm, efforts, but this very album strikes me as somewhat half-baked. And it is very uneven - its diveristy is distracting rather than inspiring. Alongside true classics (Pinder's mini-suite) there are some lightweight ditties like Send Me No Wine (which is fine, but not at all prog - actually this song would have worked better without the mellotron, as Beatlesque pop), slightly undercomposed Lovely To See You and very weak So Deep Within You (this might be one of the best arranged Moody Blues tracks, but it's marred by both the primitive flute riff and uninventive verse melody). In the Beginning doesn't make any sense musically, I treat it a a waste of vinyl. The only track that benefits from the album's unstated mood is To Share Our Love. It is really captivating, unlike the too polished rockers on "Children", Lodge's cello only adds to the spirit of love-induced elevation. There is also an impressive nocturnal Hayward/Thomas collaboration Are You Sitting Comfortably?, slightly naive lyrically, but fully satisfying musically: it sets a serious, sombre tone at the same time lacking the usual Moody touch of pretentiousness (welcome elsewhere, but not against such an evocative melody, speaking for itself). The song feature some faraway vocals by Hayward, low in the mix, between the fist and the second verse: by far the best moment on the album. Overall impression: slightly disappointing, though occasionally dazzling.
Report this review (#115311)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I have a hard time understanding why this album is rated so highly here. Now don't get me wrong, I think the Moody Blues are a great band, but this album suffers from some serious flaws.

The songs are, in general, pretty good, with Here Comes The Day and the ending suite standing out as just plain gorgeous, but there are really no stinkers (although To Share Our Love sounds a bit too much like a garage band jam when compared to the carefully arranged work typical of the Moodies.). The problem is not with the songs themselves, but rather with the way they are assembled.

Here is what bothers me: not one of the songs here has an ending. They don't even cheat by using fade outs. The music will be chugging along nicely and then BAM it is abruptly cut off and now a different song, with a completely different tempo and different key is playing. I find this effect very jarring, and it makes the album sound like a schizophrenic mess, almost like a collection of outtakes. Maybe this is what they were going for, but it drives me crazy whenever I listen to it, because there is no sense of flow. I find In Search of The Lost Chord to be a far more enjoyable listening experience. Good, but not essential.

Report this review (#125112)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars After two incredible albums offered by the MK II Moody Blues, they were bound to lose some of the magic sooner or later. Well guess what, no such thing happens here. On the Threshold of a Dream is not nearly as psychedelic as "In Search", but it continues well in the same expirmental vein. Mike Pinder's "Have you Heard" suite is probably his finest contribution, and possibly my very favorite from this group. It's my all-time favorite closer to an album. The suite gets me everytime, and the middle section titled "The Voyage", is a mellotron workout. Pinder was indeed an underrated keyboardist. Other highlights include a rather dark effort from Ray Thomas called "Dear Diary" where we are treated to some mildly distorted vocals. Tracks four through six contain some unique rockers that flow perfectly into one another. "Send Me No Wine" is unlike anything else The Moodies have ever done, and it really is catchy. John Lodge's "To Share Our Love" is somewhat of a hard rocker, but is far from groundbreaking. "So Deep Within You" is really something I wouldn't expect from Mr.Pinder, but then again this is one of the most unique songs off the album, and Pinder has always done well delivering those kinds of goods. "Never Comes the Day" is what Hayward does best, and it really is a nice song, but I've never totally gotten into it. "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" is a wonderful Hayward/Thomas collaboration and sets up well for some dark poetry from Graeme Edge, which in turn leads into the magnificent closer to the album. While I don't think "On the Threshold" is quite as good as "Days", "In Search", "To Our Children's", "Every Good Boy", and "Seventh Sojourn", it is an awesome piece of music. It's just that The Moodies "Core Seven" is so tight, that this album, which would rank sixth on my list from these lads, still earns a five star rating. That's how good this string of albums was.
Report this review (#126569)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Yes one of Moody Blues most accomplished albums with plenty of instrumental material to feast off, great time signatures and overall a perfect conceptual piece. Arguably not as good as their follow up album but personally this is a bette rstudio album. It is hard to actually be too critical about The Moodey Blues over this time period because in essence they were one of about 6 bands at the times truly putting out the ' conceptual' progressive LP. On The Threshold Of a dream is a classic example of this and is a worthy contender for one of the Moody Blues best albums. The album is very short but that was not unusual for days of vinyl. Three and a half stars.
Report this review (#131567)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the third of THE MOODY BLUES' fabulous seventies seven, and the outstanding compositional quality continued on this album, let down only by three successive substandard song fragments on the first side.

'On The Threshold of a Dream' is the first of the MOODIES' albums to be released on their own label, and represents a refinement rather than an evolution of their formula. The cornerstones of the album are PINDER'S contribution and the three HAYWARD compositions. The first of these, 'Lovely To See You', is a wonder. Has there ever been such a simple sentiment expressed so eloquently? It's extremely difficult to write upbeat lyrics and music, and so much easier to be cynical and destructive. Yet I listen to this and feel that HAYWARD is genuinely pleased to have us on board, and delighted to be back singing for us. 'Never Comes The Day' and the dreamy 'Are You Sitting Comfortably' are excellent songs in the HAYWARD tradition.

MIKE PINDER'S work on this album is outstanding, and he provides us with his best composition, 'Have You Heard/The Voyage/Have You Heard' which finishes the album. This is true mellotron-laden progressive music, required listening for every student of the development of progressive rock.

RAY THOMAS provides two whimsical tracks, the prosaic 'Dear Diary' (with a nice lyrical twist in the fadeout) and the silly, dispensable 'Lazy Day'.

The problem with this album comes with the song fragments 'Send Me No Wine', 'To Share Our Love' and 'So Deep Within You.' None of these are sufficiently developed to be considered full songs, nor do they flow together well. THE MOODY BLUES were to perfect the use of song fragments on their masterpiece 'To Our Children's ...' but the idea of running song fragments together was here in its embryonic stage and not well executed. The poetry of 'In The Beginning' is cringeworthy in its alliterative banality, and sadly is not the only time this band subjects us to such nonsense. One hopes they had their tongues firmly in their cheeks while writing such stuff.

THE MOODY BLUES are not a challenging listen, but there are times when our souls need good cheer. A few stumbles apart, this album is delightful, and will reward the open-minded listener. Cheer yourself up by giving this a whirl.

Report this review (#139768)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The psychedelia of "In Search" is partially gone (but not totally) but this album doesn't really move me.

Very much late sixties related, this album doesn't pass the proof of time very well, I 'm afraid. If ever The Moodies were ones of the very first to introduce the great mellotron in their work, it has gone by now (unfortunately).

One has to admit that the band was quite innovative for their time. Recording concept albums one after the other was not a usual affair in those pre-historical musical times. I entered their catalogue a year later (1970) and couldn't testify their influences so far. One thing is for sure : while you would listen to the early "Barclay James Harvest" albums, there is little doubt about their major source of inspiration. The Moodies of course. (The Fab Four being the other part of it).

There aren't really any highlights on this album. Just a bunch of average songs IMO. To be complete, I would say that very few songs are poor, but there is no speak about a masterpiece here. The band can be integrated into the prog movement because of its originality but not really due to his compositions so far.

To be honest, it is not the type of album I spin very often. Songs as "Never Comes The Day" or "Lazy Day" are too childish and sounds rather outdated. You might say that they ARE indeed old, but still there are many albums of the late sixties which sound so much better than this one .

This album is propelling us in another time. The pastoral "Are you sitting comfortably?" being one of my fave? Probably due to the sweet fluting, I guess. Still, when you listen to the short and spoken "The Dream", you have some kind of a premonition to what ELO will deliver some years later (The Golden One - El Dorado).

One of my fave from this work is the dual "Have You Heard?". Another tranquil ballad which features an excellent melody. As if the quality is increasing towards the end of this album. Thge closing The Voyage being another interesting number.

I am upgrading this work more for its influences as well as persistent quest for "concept" from the band than truly for its essential qualities. Three stars.

Report this review (#163452)
Posted Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars On the tHreshold of a Dream is the continuation of In Search of the Lost Chord in teh sesne that The Moody Blues are determined to further explore their twist in the mainstream rock in pursue of artsy pastures. This album isn't as consistent as its predecessor, but as an ensemble the band has shown clear signs of maturation, especially regarding the way that the instruments are ensembled and the slightly more pompous use of orchestral ambiences in tha album's most ambicious passages. The album kicks off with a delicious dialogue between the Establishment and the Ego, which gives an existential variation to the Cartesian fundational thought - the closing morals gives way to the uptempo 'Lovely to See You', a nice homage to the beauty of communication. 'Dear Diary' has Thomas bring a journey into the fields of lazy intorspection in a jazz-pop scheme, and the same happens with his other input 'Lazy Day': nice tunes with nothing special to them. The same can be said about Lodge's efforts 'Send Me No Wine' and 'To Share Your Love': the former is a country-based serenade while the latter is an early Who-like rocker... again, nice tunes with a recognizable structure and catchy melodies, yet far from the greatness of other Lodge- penned tracks in some other albums. Pinder also rests comfortably on pop-oriented ground with a slight artsy component: 'So Deep Within You' shows him mixing Beatles and Yardbirds with a dicrete use of mellotron layers along the way. The album's second half is the most interestin in terms of progressive music. 'Never Comes the Day' is the mandatory Hayward-penned candid song - acoustic guitar bases, emotionally driven vocal lines, evolving mellotron harmonies, all these are here in good shape. Thomas' harmonica replaces his usual flute, in this way stating the subtle coauntry-inspired colors of the nuclear composition. 'Are You Sitting Comfortably?' is more pastoral, bringing soft Celtic moods, a bit less exotic than 'Visions of Paradise' from the previous album: it includes beautiful flute flourishes. The sequence of the last tracks brings the long expected climax. The poem 'The Dream' inserts the solemnity of a philosophical event, with the Pinder-penned 'Have You Heard' and 'The Voyage' bringing a lyrical approach to the matter. The two 'Have You Heard' sections are captivating prog ballads delivered in a controlled fashion. The interlude 'The Voyage' is the album's finest moment, an amazing tribute to Grieg and Debussy wrapped in a sort of mysterious vibe, in this way giving coherence to the concept of having a dream as a liberation of the mind. The multiple mellotron colors, the flute solo, the cellos and the symphonic percussions are put together in a very disciplined way without letting go of an inch of emotional drive - intelligence and emotion fused in one single sonic force. Thsi album is not as big asother Moodies' efforts, but it happens to be essential for teh collector to grasp the sustained evolution of The Moody Blues during their 67-72 era.
Report this review (#169167)
Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 9.5/10 Incredible

Ahhhh man....this is just an incredible album. I only give this a 9.5 because I never really could dig Pinder on Dear Diary...the track just isn't all that good, and I rarely listen to it. As for the rest of this album, it is almost all complete brillaince if not just simple mortal genius. Second only to In Search of the Lost Chord, this album brings forth an even more spacy and nostalgic feel, with songs that just sweep the listener away to another dimension. The Moody Blues specialty at this time was this sort of medievil beauty, with songs like Are You Sitting Comfortably and the entire fiendish Heave Your Heard and Voyage areas, the album is just breathe taking. I find this album would be the most intriguing to prog listeners, it is probably the most progressive effort they ever had. This album cannot be missed by those in love with melody and beauty, intense emotional atmospheres and passion. Mike Pinder is still here and will be for a while longer, and what bliss that is to know...this is the peak of that period, a completely amazing album. Best songs are the Have You Heard and Voyage ending, Send Me No Wine, Never Comes The Day and Are You Sitting Comfortably. Memories build on this music so listen in times of bliss, beautiful.

Report this review (#170113)
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars "Days of Future Passed" was unique if only (but not only) for using an orchestra both between and within songs, and "In Search of the Lost Chord" successfully transitioned to the mellotron while incorporating more of the predominant psychedelic influences of its time. Both established a new sound distinct from their peers while seemingly operating within the same world, which makes their singularity all the more remarkable. With few notable exceptions, "On the Threshold of a Dream" finds the group falling backwards into the cliches of their time.

The intro "In the Beginning" is your classic fun fare reminiscent of the intro to "In Search of..", and "Lovely to See you" is a fair catchy pop number with some good guitars, but "Dear Diary" and "So Deep within you sound" more like The Doors than the Moody Blues, but not even that good. Forgettable ditties like "Send me no Wine" and "To Share our Love" could almost have been prepared by Moodys Mach 1 or any other late 1960s chart band, although they lack the requisite hooks to reach for the charts. Even "Never Comes the Day" could have been better without the awkward up tempo chorus clashing with the undeniably classic melody of the verse. It also suggests the inspiration or BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST's "Love is Like a Violin" that appeared in 1977. The "Have You Heard/The Voyage" combination may be pleasing to prog fans but is really not where the band's strengths lie, and was better explored in the "Four Doors/Legend of Mind" juxtaposition on "In Search of..", though I admit enjoying Pinder cut loose a bit on piano for a change.

While not the stuff of nightmares, "On The Threshold of a Dream" is the weakest of the 7 classics, and to my mind is not one at all. Fails to convincingly surpass the 2.5 star threshold.

Report this review (#192033)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This was the first album I ever listened to from The Moody Blues, and this created a really bad first impression. The music is not prog at all, and isn't really that conceptual. I found the music really weird, especially the opening to the album. There are a few moments that I liked, but for the most part, I really don't like this record. You can't see much skill from the musicians from listening to this, and really has no instrumental passages or progression like most prog does. Now, I realize that this was 1969, but at this time there were albums like ABBEY ROAD and TOMMY which dominated this type of proto-prog. I'm not A Moody Blues fan, but really pass this by. The previous album is much better in comparison, and most prog fans will be dissapointed. Only buy if you're a fan because this isn't the place to start.
Report this review (#192357)
Posted Monday, December 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars On The Threshold Of A Dream is the fourth full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act The Moody Blues. It was the first album by the band to reach #1 in the British album charts and to enter top 20 in the American album chart. A big commercial success for The Moody Blues even though the only single released from the album Never Comes the Day turned out to be a commercial flop.

The music on the album continues in the same style that the band initiated on In Search of the Lost Chord (1968). Pretty simple pop/ rock songs with additional progressive features like flute and mellotron. The most progressive moment on the album is probably the ending three piece suite ( Have You Heard? Pt. 1, The Voyage and Have You Heard? Pt. 2) which I find pretty good. But most of the songs on the album are of high compositional quality albeit a bit too sweet, nice and likable in atmosphere for my taste.

The vocals are pleasant and warm and the musicianship is generally good.

The production is a bit better than the one on In Search of the Lost Chord and I think it suits the music well with a warmer and fuller sound.

On The Threshold Of A Dream is a natural successor to In Search of the Lost Chord but I must admit that I don´t hear much difference between the two in terms of songwriting or changes in the overall style. On The Threshold Of A Dream is a good melodic progressive rock album though and if you enjoy song oriented and simple progressive rock it´s recommendable. Don´t expect to be blown away by extented intrumental sections though. A 3 star rating is deserved.

Report this review (#212349)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not quite really a dream, but it was a nightmare once upon a time...

I heard THRESHOLD right at the height of when I was getting into the Moody Blues coming right after the euphoria of DAYS hit me and the psychedelics of LOST CHORD. Unfortunately at first listen, my appreciation of the group was halted; it sounded too much like plain pop.

The Graeme Edge bits are getting quite old at this point; I was never fond of them on either of their two previous attempts, but the starting track is just over-the-top ridiculous. I think it's supposed to represent that ethereal feeling in our mind that comes just before a dream, but the ''I think, therefore I am'' stuff might make Descartes rotate over his eternal x-axis.

It doesn't stop there; not one song that Lodge or Thomas contributed is pleasing to my ears, minus the ''Are You Sitting Comfortably?'' speck (but Thomas cowrote that with Hayward). ''Send Me No Wine'' has this annoying country-vibe to it and ''Dear Diary'' (I usually call it ''Dear Diarrhea'') is just flat out boring. Pinder's ''So Deep Within You'' also falls flat on its face as it tries to be macho-with-mellotron, whatever that means.

Pinder more than makes up for the first shortcoming with the ''Have You Heard'' suite at the end. The ''Have You Heard'' parts are the right kind of soft for me; gentle and delicate but without overdoing it. ''The Voyage'' is an instrumental breakup of the ''Have You Heard'' parts, and while it could sound boring at times, it mostly is quite nice and pastoral. Hayward's contributions are also strong, but they're more uptempo pop-rock than anything else; not ''Nights in White Satin'' caliber, but excellent given the other songs around them.

I find this as a grower of an album; sometimes you need a few bad dreams to get back into a good one. It doesn't hold a candle compared to its two predecessors, but it's not too degrading to the ears.

Report this review (#243685)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars On The Threshold Of A Dream (1969) was the Moody Blues' last album for Deram, and their first UK #1. It was also the third in the band's series of concept albums, this one concerned with the ideas of dreams and free thinking. On this recording The Moodies moved away from the Eastern influence found on the previous album, In Search Of The Lost Chord. This is possibly a more varied collection of songs that sees a slight return to the band's earlier R&B roots. Flautist Ray Thomas even plays harmonica on a couple of songs.

The undoubted centrepiece is the triptych of Mike Pinder compositions that brings the album to a close. It's comprised of the two-part song Have You Heard? on either side of the Strauss- inspired instrumental The Voyage. Featuring Pinder's boundary-pushing use of the Mellotron, this is one of the highlights of the band's lengthy career. The Graeme Edge poem, The Dream, acts as an effective prelude to it and was even included during live performances of the suite.

The other main highlights are Justin Hayward's uplifting concert favourite Lovely To See You, and his tender love-ballad Never Comes The Day. The remainder of the album consists of the usual mix of songs; some Ray Thomas whimsy, a couple of John Lodge's bluesy rockers, and so on. The Moody Blues had four guys who could sing and write great songs and herein lies much of their appeal, for me at least. This is another excellent Moody Blues album, maybe not quite as good as Lost Chord but worth 4 stars nonetheless.

Report this review (#275636)
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This would be the first of two Moody Blues albums I would ever purchase, the other being "Days of Future Passed." This is kind of a strange recording.

I remember the first song, if you can call it that, used to scare the crap out of me. I never liked to listen to it at night. It is just a freaky mini concept about being control by "the powers that be," and then one person begins to realize he is more than what he is being told, and the Moodies encourage the listener by telling us to keep on thinking free. Believe me, this beginning is very effective and makes a big impression on anyone who will or has listened to it. Excellent work!

"Lovely to See You" has a killer riff that is slow,but also highly effective. It will stay with you for the rest of your life as well. Very good stuff!

"Dear Diary" is very polite, at least very British anyway. I love the last line where one can hear "someone exploded an H-bomb today, but it wasn't anyone I knew." That cracked me up, just by the seemingly unconcerned attitude we all seem to have over what our governments are doing to us.

The next one has some nice guitar runs in it. This about the extent of Justin Hayward's noodling on the lead guitar. The song is a classic love song and on the quick side, at least for the Moodies.

I didn't care for "To Share Our Love" even though it is catchy. It's one of those things you either like or you don't like. On the other hand I did like "So Deep Within You." The music is well done and moody, not unlike the name of the band.

"Never Comes the Day" is one of my favorites. Excellent and highly effective guitar work, with interesting lyrics. I still sing this song a lot.

"Lazy Day" is another one I didn't like much at all. I thought it was kind of crappy.

"Are You sitting Comfortably" is another excellent acoustic number. It is very catchy and pleasing to the ear.

"The Dream" is beautifully done and also highly effective. These guys can write some great poetry!

Lastly, "Have You Heard" takes the listener on a soft journey into another dimension of sound experimentation. I didn't like the middle section as much as the beginning and ending parts. I thought it was a touch too long, meaning they dwelt too long on the musical idea.It got a little boring. Also I was hoping to hear more guitar stuff, that never materialized.

All in all this is still worth listening to and I give it 4 stars.

Report this review (#282379)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars After the amazing In Search Of The Lost Chord an eerir and mysterious masterpiece, The Moody Blues then settled in with what would be their trademark throughout the rest of their finest years: somewhat progressive, sometimes folky, but highly romantic music. This one does succeed by featuring some very nice songwriting. And, like most of the Moodies albums, it gave the prog fan (or art-rock fan at the time) something to play for their girlfriend, that she could enjoy and sing along with.

The album begins with the ominous In The Beginning, a Graeme Edge poetry piece, that gives the impression that the album will be in a similar vein as The Lost Chord. But the tone brightens immediately with Lovely To See You, a cheerful, rocking song, featuring those vocal harmonies that only The Moody Blues could create.

Of the rest of the songs, Lazy Day and especially Dear Diary are the standout tracks, both with great lyrics, and somewhat dark musical interludes. But the best work is the final trio of songs: the two parts of Have You Heard? sandwiching the beautifully orchestral The Voyage. It is here that Michael Pinder does some of his best keyboard work on any of the Moddies albums.

Not perfect, but still a very good album.

Report this review (#293605)
Posted Friday, August 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is (almost) an excellent album! The Moody Blues had just established themselves as forerunners of the progressive rock movement (at the time) with 'Days of future passed' and 'In Search of the Lost Chord'. In 1969 with this album they obviously fell away from that mantle, and would never return! With this album they go back to the 'Magnificent Moodies' sound a bit, with more Motown and straight-ahead rock influencing this one. To prove the point, the Four Tops covered one of the songs on this album, 'So deep within you'. However, the album closes with the very progressive 'Have you heard/The Voyage', possibly the Moodies' most progressive song.

Even if this is pop music, it is excellent pop music, and often innovative. My favourites are the slightly Gaelic sounding 'Send me no wine' with a beautiful vocal chorus, the catchy 'Lovely to see you again' and my favourite song is the all-out rocking anthem 'To share our love', which has a lot of energy. I also like Ray Thomas' 'Lazy Daze', a kind of humorous traditional English song about how nice Sunday is for a working man. I didn't like his other song 'Dear Diary', despite some well done flute arrangements and Ray sining through a vocal synthesiser (in '69?) It's a slow, plodding song that slows the album up near the start.

'Never comes the day' is a more complex song, it begins as a slow acoustic ballad, has a bridge full of swirling mellotron and the chorus is sought of up-tempo traditional folk/campfire music, complete with some good harmonica playing. This is a very heartfelt song. The album closes with Mike Pinders 'Have you heard?/The Voyage'. The verses are smooth folk/psych, and there is an extended instrumental section that is eerie classical music, quite powerful stuff! That takes the whole song thing about 8 minutes and was quite an achievement in that time, but two years later would seem like a small fish in a big sea.

CONCLUSION: This is one of the most enjoyable Moody Blues albums, and possibly their best, as always is full of great melodies, but this album has consistently good material and some of their best. Four Stars.

Report this review (#359358)
Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars On The Threshold Of A Dream is another special album from the Moodies. They were exploring dreams this time and that feeling is especially evident on the second half of the record. Like all of the early albums, the instrumental arrangements are really wonderful and full of depth.

I've always had a soft spot for this group. It's not only for the textures in the music but simply because of the charm in their voices as well as the nature of their lyrics. Thomas' "Dear Diary" is a really great song with some fine flute parts. Definitely one of the best on the album. I also love "So Deep Within You" very much. Other highlights are "Never Comes The Day", the funny "Lazy Day" and "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" I sometimes find this release is more dreamily psychedelic than "Lost Chord" in many ways.

Much of the music sets a very typical mood for a lazy, dreamy Sunday afternoon. The mellowness also makes it suitable for a bottle of wine in a dimly lit room. The beginning of the album and "The Dream" by Edge seguing into Have You Heard part one and two and "The Voyage" end the album on a dark and moody note which is somehow excellent for those times when you are a bit moody yourself. It otherwise has the ability to sooth your soul or cheer you up on a rainy day.

This is definitely up there with the quality of all the other albums from the classic era. I give four solid stars to this sixties classic without a doubt.

Report this review (#363838)
Posted Saturday, December 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Moody Blues have always seemed more like a "pop-prog" band to me rather than a true "prog" band. However, their use of concepts, shifting tempos, the mellotron, and other innovation certainly earns them a space here on Prog Archives. While I prefer Days of Future Past and In Search of the Lost Chord, to this album it is still pretty good. There are some really excellent tunes here -"In the Beginning", "Dear Diary", "To Share our Love", "The Voyage" and "Are you sItting Comfortably" come to mind. In Search of the Lost CHord had a bit more of a "hippie" vibe thanks to "Om" than this album does. I can't rate it as excellent, because there are some boring bits here and there, but I can still give it a solid 3 star rating.
Report this review (#427816)
Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars On the Threshold of a Dream ? 1969 (3.2/5) 11 ? Best Song: Dear Diary isn't bad at all, mates.

Have you heard 'In the Beginning'? It's this short opening introduction to the album that consists entirely of wind noises and an obnoxious chime which lasts for over two minutes and an awful poem is read halfway through. That's a great song! Not 'Lovely To See You', the silly pap pop song with electric guitars and INSTRUMENTS. No, that's not going to do at all. Wahey! I like this album a lot more than ISOTLC. I hate how pompously long these album titles are. Would 'Where's Chordo?' have been such a poor alternative?

So this is the album that took their psychedelic excesses, cut them down to minuscule fragments and set them to pop tunes; took their classical excesses, cut them down to minuscule fragments and added them to the pop tunes, then decided to not work too fastidiously on the melodies for good measure. 'Dear Diary' is a grand little pop song with some interesting flutes and 'watery' singing. I like it a great deal. Why the introduction anyway? Why not just dive directly into the good songs and stuff? Oh, because just like Alan Parsons Project would do a few years from now, they needs themselves a damn concept or something.

Many of the songs here follow the formula of having soft rock instrumentation, then adding heaps of effects and humms and harmonizings and strings to make the effect punch you in the chest. It only works a couple times, like with Dear Diary or 'Never Comes the Day', but when it does, it's more than worth the price of admission (free if you are an internet pirate, sir). I like this album a decent deal. It's fun, not too important and it knows it, but could it have killed them to be more consistent?

Report this review (#440460)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Within the threshold ye doth dwell Where peace sings gently by thee knell A buttocks on the farthest shore Brings flatulence of timeless lore

This poem will not be found on this, or any album by this band, but terrible spontaneous prose always pops into my head when I think of this band's late 60s output. Their spoken word songs (such as "The Word" in this disc) are pretty blush-worthy at times, but I must say I've never felt the Moody Blues were particularly self-important. They just wanted to be happy and relax, in which the entire world being at peace would help them achieve this simple aim.

I always found this album to be among the better Moodies albums...not the best, but the most entertaining. From the opening gloomy noises interrupted by Justin Hayward pondering his existence to a robot or a talking computer, I knew I was in for a fun ride (the robot thinks Justin is magnetic ink...clearly a malfunction). This opener leads off into the happy pop rock of Lovely To See You, possessing a nice guitar lick with a muted, friendly rock guitar sound. The chorus is pretty catchy too, although belting out "lovely to see you again my friend" in the shower would be an awkward situation for any roommates.

The album continues to weave its little tales and insights through reasonably short tunes that bounce around between pop, folk and rock with an earnest sincerity. Ray Thomas seemed particularly stoned out for this recording with his Dear Diary, where he mumbles about somebody exploding an H bomb towards the tune's end, and Lazy Day, an apt title. To Share Our Love is one of Lodge's less successful attempts to show the world that the Moody Blues can rock out, but the bass is nice and heavy at least. Pinder actually has the coolest stuff on here, starting with "So Deep Within You" (babe) with its cool little 4 note guitar ditties sprinkled here and there, and of course the Have You Heard? suite that's easily the proggiest section of the album, and the most memorable. The melodies for parts I and II are pleasant and a bit trippy, but it's The Voyage section that's a mellotron feast. Pinder was putting his all into this one, possessing the "work hard play hard" ethic. I also enjoy Are You Sitting Comfortably? As well; its acoustic melodies carry both serene and haunting atmospheres, and Justin vocals are excellent in conveying the multiple moods this song evokes.

What makes this album more entertaining in general than much of their later albums is that at this point in time the psychedelic 60s mentality is still in full swing here with some wacky experimenting with the studio and various genre explorations. Later they would 'mature' into more of a sleeker soft rock group that makes listening to an entire album rough going without lots of yawning, but here they are still young, promoting LSD use and blabbing some crazy prose.

Report this review (#471412)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars After the hugely successful "Days of Future passed" and "In Search of the Lost Chord", both excellent concept prog albums, The Moody Blues had one further stint at a conceptual thematic album with "On The Threshold of a Dream".

This one features some of their trippiest material such as the rollicking harmonious 'Lovely to see you' and the psychedelic 'Dear diary'. It kind of blurs together after this great opening with the likes of 'Send me no wine', 'To share our love' and 'So deep within you'. 'Never comes the day' brings things back to excellence, and the big closing suite is great; 'Have you heard? pt. 1', 'The voyage' and 'Have you heard? pt. 2'. This is where the album's proggiest moments lie.

Overall this is perhaps best purchased with the other 2 concept albums as the trilogy is the best of The Moody Blues studio releases for sure. After this album things became more complex but not necessarily as compelling, as the band searched for another top 10 single.

Report this review (#537681)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the third album of the Classic Seven (1967-1972). I think it's perhaps the most uneven of them too. No, that would be Every Good Boy, or nevermind, they ALL have weaker moments! Here there are even three in a row: 'Send Me No Wine', 'To Share Our Love' and 'So Deep Within You'. Nothing but fillers to me. Oh, and so is 'Lazy Day' too. But the rest of this rather short (approx. 37 min.) album is very enjoyable and features some definitive classics. Sonically the Moodies are "on the top of their game" and true wizards in the studio, but after the superb In Search Of The Lost Chord the unevenness in songwriting is striking. Now attention to the good tracks.

The opening 'In The Beginning' is a typical experimental collache opener featuring electric gimmickry and poem-reading that is directly followed by a fast catchy song, 'Lovely To See You'. Justin Hayward was always very good at them. Wonderful, cheerful melodies and vocal harmonies. Then comes Ray Thomas' moody 'Dear Diary', as charming as ever. Lodge and Pinder are responsible for the mentioned three fillers (hope I remember correctly), after them Hayward shines in the ballad department. 'Never Comes The Day' is among the finest MB songs, it has similar grandiosity as 'Question' two albums later.

'Are You Sitting Comfortably' is a slow, dreamy song, just lovely. Graeme Edge comes forth with his familiar poem-reading on 'The Dream', which seamlessly changes into Mike Pinder's magnum opus of the album, 'Have You Heard pt 1 - The Voyage - Have You Heard pt 2'. Quite useless to cut it into three tracks because it's actually a single unity that must be heard as one. Pinder was the mystic of the band, searching deeper levels in his (usually album closing) songs featuring gorgeous mellotron playing (the instrumental 'Voyage' section). This formula was repeated in Every Good Boy's 'My Song'.

How to rate a classic album this uneven? I'm turning into "essential" criteria... As all of the seven albums, this is one that any MB fan must listen to.

Report this review (#592539)
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars THE MOODY BLUES always have been a fail band in my point of view. The question here isn't if they can write tunes, cause they can. Usually they can write great pop tunes with symphonic flavour. But that's the point.

THE MOODY BLUES always tried to blend in the Symphonic area of the Rock n Roll, as if they had to prove someone that they could do serious music. In the end, their albums seems to be all a deceiving. Like this one, On the Threshold of a Dream, they started it in a serious way, narrations, a bit of Orchestra, and you think: 'wow, this will be good!' And... you receive pop tunes and little rocks that can harm no one.

So far I didn't hear one single album of the band that pays hommage to the real Symphonic Prog. Maybe that's not the goal here, but they are sold like that.

They have it all, great and serious album names, great covers art, ideas to make conceptual albums. The only thing that is missing is the most important part, the music itself.

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Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars To my ears, this is the weakest of the "Core Seven" albums at the beginning of the band's second iteration.

"Lovely to See You" - great song. Really, really great song. Should have been a bigger hit. "Never Comes the Day" and "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" are two other fantastic tracks I never tire of hearing. "So Deep Within You (a rare Mike Pinder love song)" and "Lazy Day" are also highly enjoyable. But "Dear Diary" - eh, nice concept and some clever commentary at the end, but not a terribly interesting melody (and I say this as a person who considers Ray Thomas his favorite Moody). "Send Me No Wine" isn't as bad as some make it out to be, but it's not a classic, either. "To Share Our Love" is a decent rocker from Lodge which sounds great on listening but makes no lasting impression.

And, then...the heresy. I mean, I have no other way to express this. I've always had the strongest feelings about Mike Pinder's compositions of all the Moodies. I either love them or hate them - and for "Have You Heard?", it's not love. I'm sorry - "Now you know that you are real" doesn't really qualify as a worthy lyric in my book. It's a constant problem with Pinder's lyrics - far too much navel-gazing about how "enlightenment" feels. A more liberal worldview is something I have absolutely no problem with - but in his case it can lead to some truly appalling expressions. And I could tolerate the lyrics more readily if the melody was interesting enough - but in this case, it's just not. The same problem resurfaces on "Sun Is Still Shining" and "My Song" - just not that interesting melodically and really bad lyrically ("Moon is still dining with me and you", "I want to sing my song and sing it all day long" - really, Mike, couldn't you find a slightly more "universal" and interesting way to talk about your worldview, something that makes sense in a social statement of some kind?). I know - this is likely to provoke all kinds of negative opinions on this review, and I can understand why. But I will also say that when he hits it right - "How Is It (We Are Here)" and "Out and In" - Pinder writes some of my favorites. And I also know that his skills as an arranger helped shape the Moody sound on songs he didn't write. So my major problem is with some of his compositions - and, unfortunately, while "Have You Heard?" is well-loved by many, it's probably the song of his I have the hardest time with. "The Voyage" is actually quite good, and I listen to it every time I put this disc in my CD player. But "Have You Heard?"...well, I've said enough.

So, while there are some great songs here, as a whole "On the Threshold of a Dream" is more uneven and contains more duds and mediocre material than the remainder of the "Core Seven" albums (plus a certain lack of cohesion present on most of the band's other material in this period). Three stars - not terrible, but certainly not a classic.

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Posted Sunday, March 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Moody Blues' fourth record "On the threshold of a dream" has some really pleasent features which I enjoyed. First of all the band continued with their extraordinary cover pictures. This one goes in blue and also shows a branch and a rose. The shades are wonderful here and the name of record is intriguing too. What happens in the land between dream and watch. Unfortunately I find this one rather uneven. The participating members were Justin Hayward on guitar and vocals, John Lodge on bass guitar and vocals, Michael Pinder on keyboards and vocals, Ray Thomas on harmonica, flute and vocals and Graeme edge on drums and percussion.

Twelve songs are listed on the album among which at least seven are better than good. The songs come in a natural flow which makes them fit together and if you don't know exactly where a new song starts, perhaps your listening will be better. Me favourite piece here is the only classical influenced "The Voyage" which is varied, powerful and dreamy melodic(worth at least 9/10). Two great bits come consecutive: "Lazy day" and "Are you sitting comfortably"(8/10) are progressive and has a lot of true beauty, especially the latest. "So deep within you" would I also consider a very touching track (8/10). My dear "Dear diary"(7/10) is a neat little song I like as well as the thrilling double piece "Have you heard? 1+2" (7/10).

I was less impressed of the rest which sounded too much like ordinary pop rock. This record isn't as coherent as "Days of Future Passed" which also was more progressive. From this record I want to praise The Moody Blues for their tops: The Voyage, So deep within you, Lazy day and Are You Sitting Comfortably. Listen to especially them!

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Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars In the 1960s, there wasn't such a sharp line between the tripped-out aesthetic of psychedelia and the high ambitions of progressive rock, and with On the Threshold of a Dream the Moodies do a great job of straddling that line. Dear Diary finds the band at their most earthbound - taking the beat sound of the mid-1960s and applying it to the evocation of a dreary daily rut - whilst elsewhere their trippy poetry and experimentation with early prog song structures finds them gearing up to explore higher worlds. It's a little muddled and the concept isn't as well formed as on the previous or subsequent albums, but it's a collection of solid Moody tracks that nicely demonstrates how varied their sound could be.
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Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am a huge Moody Blues fan . Days Of Future Passed is still one of my favorite albums of all time . Today I will review their fourth album

On The Threshold Of A Dream

We start the album with In The Beginning , which is a nice haunting beginning for an album like this .

The second track Lovely To See You , is a nice , fun , melodic Pop Rock song . There is nothing really Progressive about this song but its still really pleasant and enjoyable .

The third track Dear Diary , is probably one of my favorite songs on the album . With a nice catchy riff , that goes on through the whole song.

The fourth track Send Me No Wine , is a nice catchy number . For me this song sound like what would happen if Credence Clearwater Revival were English .

The fifth track To Share Our Love , is a another fun melodic song , which dose not heart to be on this album . I also could see this song being played in a movie , where the two main characters are running away from criminals who are trying to chase them down .

The sixth track Deep Within You , is a song that remind me of Jethro Tull . Even though this song is good , I personally believe this is one of the weaker tracks .

The Seventh track Never Comes The Day , is my least favorite song on the album . But that dose not mean its a bad song ,that's just my opinion .

The eighth track Lazy Day , is a one of the best songs on this album ( in my opinion ) . The lyrics are fun and quotable , the song is really melodic , and is just perfect . I could see this song being used as an intro to a Comedy film , with the main character for example waking up and doing his morning routine .

The ninth track Are You Sitting Comfortably ? Is a beautiful song , with a nice clean sound .

The tenth track The Dream , is an intro to the last remaining tracks Have You Heard ? ( part one ) , The Voyager , and Have You Heard ( part two ) .

The eleventh track Have You Heard ? ( part one ) , is a great ( but short ) song , which should be be listened together with the other two tracks .

The twelfth track The Voyager , is a fantastic piece of music .

The thirteenth track Have You Heard ? ( part two ) is a great closing song to this fantastic album .

So this is my review of On The Threshold Of A Dream by The Moody Blues .

Thanks for reading my review !

Report this review (#1531666)
Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016 | Review Permalink

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