Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Days of Future Passed," by The Moody Blues

This album never makes it to any “best albums of all time” lists, and I’ve always wondered... why is it not cool to like Days of Future Passed? Maybe it’s the ostentatious, John Lennon-esque “I’m-saying-the-opposite-so-I’m-profound” title, or possibly it’s the over-the-top spoken interludes which bookend the album, with their “heavy,” faux philosophical lyrics seemingly out of the mouth of Ra, or possibly, it’s the very concept of the album itself: moving the listener from morning into night in a seven part song cycle, with the London Festival Orchestra providing classical music interludes between the pop songs. Or it might be the album artwork, with its Technicolor, two-way, psychedelic face being orbited by various symbols and images from the album, which I absolutely love. In fact, I love everything about Days of Future Passed, and I return to it regularly for a nostalgic spin on my well-worn iPod.

In fact, my first memory of hearing the Moody Blues classic 1967 album goes like this: I was no more than three years old and my family was still living in the farmhouse my parents used to rent in Kewanee before moving to Neponset, Illinois in 1974. In my memory, I heard “Nights In White Satin” streaming from the upstairs bedroom of my older brother, Roger. I remember pulling my tiny, diapered self up the stairs, one step at a time, to check out where those sumptuous sounds might be coming from. Every time I hear “Tuesday Afternoon” or “Nights In White Satin” on the radio, I return to that memory.

My brother, Jay, suggests that Days Of Future Passed isn’t even the Moody Blues’ best album. He and another family member, Aunt Debby, insist that On The Threshold Of A Dream is the best Moody Blues album. They were there, so they should know, but Days seems to be the one most remembered. Possibly due to it containing two of the band’s most renowned and well-loved hit singles, “Tuesday Afternoon,” #24 in 1968, and “Nights In White Satin,” #2 in 1972.

To be honest, other than their fluke top ten hit from 1986, “Your Wildest Dreams,” Days Of Future Passed is all I really know of the Moody Blues. And it doesn’t matter that the album hasn’t made it to any rock critics “best of” lists; fans of pop music have spoken. It’s been over 40 years since Days release, and the album continues to sell to new generations of fans. In fact, the Moody Blues are still bringing the album’s pageantry and summer of love wonderment to the masses, playing the entire Days album for fans in the only awesome way it knows how - with full symphony orchestra.


  1. So...I'll try this agian. Now I shall listen to the album in it's entirety. I tryed to post a little story about "Nights in White Satin" but unfortunately, I had not properly signed in and I'm afraid I don't have the time now. Look forward to another post about this album soon! What an album to kick off the blog! Way to go Mr. Chris! I'm hooked!

  2. My Dear One Chris . I feel so honored that you would not only write such a wonderful piece about the Moody Blues, but that you wrote about a group I love the best!. They have been part of my life since 1969 ... playing. Nights in White Satin as I walked down to marry my treasure of a husband. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that song .... Never Comes the Day was our love song when we first started Horizons.... Story in Your Eyes are delights. Justin Hayward is absolutely wonderful . His voice has been incredible and still is. They take good care of their fans and appreciate them very much.
    Thank you so much Chris, for as always, your wonderful articles. Yes everyone buy all the first 5 or 7 CD's.. The new remix is the best. I am looking so forward to seeing them in St. Louis in Sept. I'm bringing the next generation to enjoy their incredible gift!! love. Deb

  3. Count me as a big fan of this album. I've been a fan of the Moody Blues since, gosh, 1970? I have a lot of favorite songs, but only two other albums of theirs stand out for me as completely well crafted, Question of Balance and Seventh Sojourn. I almost said Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, which is quite wonderful, but it runs out of gas in the last two songs. The rest have many good songs (like Gypsy from To Our Children's Children's Children) but are tarnished by songs that, for me, fall short.

    Great idea for a blog. I look forward to visiting again as you continue to update.

  4. Thanks for reading, Illinoisfrank, and I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog. The Moody Blues are one of the most underrated bands of their era. Pity that! Love “One More Time To Live,” from EGBDF. Classic.