Days of Future Passed

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Album cover

Not to be confused with the X-Men story arc Days of Future Past.

Days of Future Passed, The Moody Blues' second album (released in 1967), was also their first of what would be a succession of concept albums. Inspired by the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and utilizing the so-called London Festival Orchestra primarily for epic instrumental interludes between songs, Days of Future Passed moved the Birmingham band away from its early R&B roots (as displayed on its debut album with soon-departed future Wings member Denny Laine) into uncharted rock territory, making them the early pioneers of both classical and progressive rock.

Originally, the Moodys had intended to do a rock version of Dvorak's New World Symphony, but instead chose to do an album based on an original stage show that they'd been working on.

The concept of both the stage show and the album was very simple, tracing an "everyman's day" from dawn to night, from awakening to sleep. The seven tracks spawned two hit singles: "Tuesday Afternoon", which on the album was actually titled "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)", and "Nights in White Satin" which hit No. 2 five years after the LP's original release. Both remain radio mainstays across various formats and de rigueur performances in concert.

The project was almost doomed to failure as executives at Deram Records felt that combining rock and symphonic music would both alienate rock fans and enrage symphonic fans. The album's subsequent success led to other criticism about implied drug use, especially with such lines as "the smell of grass just makes you pass into a dream" and "those gentle voices I hear explain it all with a sigh." Despite such early criticism, Days of Future Passed paved the way for progressive offerings from other bands and remains one of the Moody Blues' most popular releases ever.

It should also be noted that the "London Festival Orchestra" was not an established group but rather one that was hastily cobbled together with leading studio musicians.

Track Listing

  1. The Day Begins (Peter Knight/Redwave)/ Morning Glory (Graeme Edge)
  2. Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling (Mike Pinder)
  3. The Morning: Another Morning (Ray Thomas)
  4. Lunch Break: Peak Hour (John Lodge)
  5. The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) (a.k.a. Tuesday Afternoon) (Justin Hayward)/ Evening (Time To Get Away) (John Lodge)
  6. Evening: The Sun Set (Mike Pinder)/ Twilight Time (Ray Thomas)
  7. The Night: Nights In White Satin (Justin Hayward)/ Late Lament (Graeme Edge)

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