Album Review: “Days Of Future Passed ” By The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues for a performance on French TV, 1970 - 60s70sVintageRock / Youtube
Days Of Future Passed was the point of establishment for The Moody Blues into their dive into progressive and psychedelic rock. Mainly a pop rhythm n’ blues group during their start, The Moody Blues wanted to steer their style into a new, more avant-garde direction, and after some personnel changes, eventually succeeded in doing so.
The employment of the London Festival Orchestra in the record was a huge surprise for listeners, implementing a supporting sound that only amplified the effect of The Moody Blues intended sound for the album. It was also one of the first concept albums, using the concept of a “day” to represent the phases of life in which people go through. The distinct quality of Days Of Future Passed resulted due to the sudden change of plans of producer Tony Clarke adding in the orchestral sections filling between the tracks, as well as the opening and closing arrangements.
“The Day Begins” marks the start of the album, with a dramatic, almost movie-like allusion in it. “Another Morning” is a curious dance-influenced track lodged into the album, with a pop arrangement reminiscent of the 60’s style. “Lunch Break” is a welcome orchestral intro into the heavy rock breakdown of “Peak Hour”, which some cite to be influenced by The Who’s sound.
On the next side, “Tuesday Afternoon” is an orchestral showcase that is primarily ridden by Justin Hayward’s acoustic guitar and the signature mellotron tinge of Pinder, became one of the band’s biggest hits, which the complicated instrumentation resulted in a huge yet simple melodic layering that worked well with the crowd. As the day progresses, “(Evening) Time To Get Away” is a heavier track, but does well in maintaining the consistency of the theme. Another big hit for the band, “Nights In White Satin” was a dark and melancholic track, but with the full orchestration backing it up, was a fitting album ender song for the band.
Days Of Future Passed was an ambitious album by all means, and succeeded on that premise as well. The Birmingham-based band did well to come up with an original and quality set of tracks, bounded by the simplistic yet profound attack on the concept of a “day”.