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THE MOODY BLUES - DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED
The first of the great Moody Blues concept albums. Only seven tracks in all, but several are split into two parts or more, and the mostly clever, sometimes irritating, orchestral links mean there's a lot packed into an album of just over 40 minutes.
This is an album structured around a day. The first track is a lush orchestral piece, from The London Festival Orchestra (who are featured throughout), entitled 'THE DAY BEGINS', with snippets of tracks from the album, and an illuminating poem.
Justin Hayward's clear, lilting voice comes bursting through in the lustrous 'DAWN: Dawn Is A Feeling'. 'THE MORNING: Another Morning' is a whimsical song, bolstered by some lively flute and a rhythm which sounds, paradoxically, like a childlike marching song.
'LUNCH BREAK: Peak Hour' rocks, and is significantly heavier than anything previously, with loud bass to the fore.
'THE AFTERNOON: a) Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)' is a gorgeous track, with Hayward's ethereal vocals and Mike Pinder's Mellotron giving the track an eerie quality, followed by a lively middle, and back again. 'THE AFTERNOON: b) (Evening) Time To Get Away' begins with a stark kind of beauty, and then goes into a happy clappy phase, and then into some impressive falsetto, and rich Mellotron phases.
'EVENING: a) The Sunset' is a fine mix of an Indian-sounding rhythm and orchestral music. 'EVENING: b) Twilight Time' throbs, and hurls us over with its vibrancy.
'THE NIGHT: Nights In White Satin' closes the album. 'Nights In White Satin' needs no introduction as one of the true gems in the history of rock music. Lyrically and musically it's about as flawless as it gets, and if 'Go Now' sealed the group's fame, this song sealed their immortality - at least as long as rock music is listened to anyway. And for those of you who've only heard the single, the album version gives you a thoughtful, reflective poem, and a gong to finish (just like a later classic, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'). Like the album cover art by David Anstey, this album can seem different every time you view it/listen to it. Though, I prefer to draw a veil over where the inspiration for the title 'Nights In White Satin' came from. Not romantic at all!
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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