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Days of Future Passed

Days of Future Passed is the second album and first concept album by English prog rock band the Moody Blues, released in November 1967 by Deram Records.[7] With its fusion of orchestral and rock elements, it has been cited as one of the first examples of progressive rock.

Days of Future Passed
Studio album by
Released10 November 1967 (UK)
11 November 1967 (US)
Recorded9 May – 3 November 1967
StudioDecca Studios, West Hampstead, London
The Moody Blues chronology
The Magnificent Moodies
Days of Future Passed
In Search of the Lost Chord
Singles from Days of Future Passed
  1. "Nights in White Satin"
    Released: 10 November 1967
  2. "Tuesday Afternoon"
    Released: 19 July 1968

The album was recorded at a time when the Moody Blues were suffering financial difficulties and lack of critical and commercial success. Their parent label, Decca Records offered them a chance to record a stereo LP that combined their music with orchestral interludes. They decided to compose a suite of songs about the life of everyday man, with the group and orchestra mostly playing separately and mixed together. It was a moderate success upon release, but following steady radio airplay, particularly of the hit single "Nights in White Satin", it became a top ten US hit in 1972. It has since been listed among the most important albums of 1967 by Rolling Stone.

Background and recordingEdit

The Moody Blues had started out as a rhythm and blues band, but by late 1966, they had run into financial difficulties. New arrival singer and guitarist Justin Hayward said "we had no money, nothing".[8] According to the group, in September 1967 they were asked by their record company, Decca to record an adaptation of Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 for Decca's newly formed Deram Records division in order to demonstrate their latest recording techniques, which were named "Deramic Sound".[7] However, recording engineer Derek Varnals disputes this story, claiming that even at the start of the sessions in 1967 there was no intent to record a Dvořák album and that talk of this project did not emerge until the mid-1970s.[9]

Decca had experimented with stereophonic sound for classical recordings, and hoped to capture the pop market in the same way, by interweaving classical recordings with the group's interpretation of the same music.[8] Instead, the band (initially without the label's knowledge) decided to focus on an album based on an original stage show that they'd been working on, and mix that with classical arrangements of those songs.[8][9] Keyboardist Mike Pinder had purchased a Mellotron, a tape replay keyboard, and written a song, "Dawn Is A Feeling" as a starting point for a concept piece about a day in the life of everyday man. Hayward wrote "Nights In White Satin" about the changes between one relationship and another, using bedsheets as a metaphor. When Pinder added a string line on the Mellotron to accompany Hayward's basic song framework, the group realised they had written something notable and a suitable ending for the song cycle.[8]

Recording sessions for the album took place at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London between 9 May and 3 November 1967.[10] The band worked with record producer Tony Clarke, Varnals and conductor Peter Knight.[5] The group recorded and mixed their sessions first, then passed the finished tapes over to Knight for arranging and recording the orchestral interludes.[8]


The album's music features psychedelic rock[5] ballads by Hayward and Pinder[7] and orchestral interludes by the London Festival Orchestra.[5] The band and the orchestra only actually play together during the last part of "Nights In White Satin."[8]

Music writers cite the album as an early example of progressive rock music.[4][11][12] Bill Holdship of Yahoo! Music remarks that the band "created an entire genre here."[13] David Fricke cites it as one of the essential albums of 1967 and finds it "closer to high-art pomp than psychedelia. But there is a sharp pop discretion to the writing and a trippy romanticism in the mirroring effect of the strings and Mike Pinder's Mellotron."[7] Will Hermes cites the album as an essential progressive rock record and opines that its use of the Mellotron, a tape replay keyboard, made it a "signature" element of the genre.[14] An influential work of the counterculture period,[15] AllMusic editor Bruce Eder calls the album "one of the defining documents of the blossoming psychedelic era, and one of the most enduringly popular albums of its era".[5]

Original and later mixesEdit

In 1972, it was discovered that the master tapes for Days of Future Passed had deteriorated to a point where only the essential elements of each song remained. As a result of this, the album was remixed in its entirety for reissues between 1978 and 2017.[16] Some compilations, however, have used the original 1967 stereo mix for certain songs.[17] A high-quality needle drop of the entire album's original mix was eventually recovered in its entirety before being released on Compact Disc in November 2017.[citation needed][16]

The ways in which the later mix departs most noticeably from the original are:

  • After the orchestral intro, "Dawn Is a Feeling" begins more abruptly, and there is less echo on Mike Pinder's vocal on the bridge, making it more prominent.
  • On "Another Morning" Ray Thomas's double vocals are spread left and right in the stereo channel. The flute interlude is also played twice towards the end of the song before the orchestral segue.
  • The orchestral intro "Lunch Break" goes on about 20 seconds longer before fading out.
  • The bridges to "(Evening) Time to Get Away" have John Lodge singing alone; all the backing vocals on that part have been lost.
  • The end of "(Evening) Time to Get Away" is missing a Mellotron part and only repeats twice, instead of three times.
  • "The Sun Set" is missing some piano parts, percussion parts, and the reverb on "through the night" is different.
  • "Twilight Time" begins more abruptly after the orchestral interlude.
  • The backing vocals on "Twilight Time" are heard through the entire song instead of only coming in at certain points.
  • At the beginning of "Nights in White Satin", as the orchestral prelude ends, there is one less beat of time before the rhythm section starts in.
  • Some of the strings near the end of "Nights in White Satin" (before "Late Lament") are out of sync with the main body of the song.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
The Music Box     [18]
Rolling Stone (1968)(mixed)[20]
Rolling Stone (2007)(favourable)[7]
Uncut     [11]
Yahoo! Music(favourable)[13]

The Moody Blues did not play any of the music to Decca executives until it was complete. Upon the first play, they were disappointed with the result as it was not the Dvorak arrangements they expected. However, Walt Maguire, representative for London Records (Decca's North American arm) thought it would be a strong seller in the US, so it was agreed to release the album as recorded.[8]

Days of Future Passed was released on 10 November 1967 in the UK and 11 November in the US.[citation needed] It reached number 27 in the UK Albums Chart.[21] In the US, it was a steady seller in the late 1960s, helped by FM radio play of "Nights in White Satin", and eventually peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard chart in 1972.[8][22]

Upon its release, Rolling Stone gave the album an unenthusiastic review, writing "The Moody Blues [...] have matured considerably since 'Go Now', but their music is constantly marred by one of the most startlingly saccharine conceptions of 'beauty' and 'mysticism' that any rock group has ever affected."[20] New York Magazine dismissed it as "a ponderous mound of thought-jello."[23] The album has since received acclaim; for example, Spin cited it as a classic of progressive rock.[14] By 2007, Rolling Stone, which had originally described Days of Future Passed as "an English rock group strangling itself in conceptual goo"[24] included it in its list of the essential albums of 1967.[25]

Days of Future Passed was issued as a discrete Quadraphonic open-reel tape in 1977. This master was also used for a 2001 dts 5.1 channel audio CD release and again for a two-disc Deluxe Edition SACD release in 2006.

On 17 November 2017 this original mix was made available for the first time on CD as Days of Future Passed 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.[16]

Track listingEdit

All compositions originally credited to "Redwave-Knight", except "Dawn Is a Feeling", "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday)", "The Sunset" and "Nights in White Satin".[26]

Side A
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead SingerLength
1."The Day Begins"
  • "The Day Begins"
  • "Morning Glory" (unlisted)
Peter Knight and Graeme Edge
  • Knight
  • Edge
  • Mike Pinder
  • Instrumental
  • Pinder (recitation)
  • 5:50
  • 4:08
  • 1:42
  • 2."Dawn: Dawn Is a Feeling"PinderJustin Hayward and Pinder3:48
    3."The Morning: Another Morning"Ray ThomasThomas3:55
    4."Lunch Break: Peak Hour"John LodgeLodge5:33
    Total length:19:08
    Side B
    No.TitleWriter(s)Lead SingerLength
    1."The Afternoon" Hayward and Lodge
  • Hayward
  • Lodge
  • Hayward and Lodge
  • Hayward
  • Lodge
  • 8:23
  • 5:06
  • 3:17
  • 2."Evening"
  • "The Sunset"
  • "Twilight Time"
  • Pinder and Thomas
  • Pinder
  • Thomas
  • Pinder and Thomas
  • Pinder
  • Thomas
  • 6:40
  • 3:17
  • 3:23
  • 3."The Night"
  • "Nights in White Satin"
  • "Late Lament / Resolvement" (unlisted)
  • Hayward, Edge and Knight
  • Hayward
  • Edge and Knight
  • Hayward and Pinder
  • Hayward
  • Pinder (recitation)
  • 7:24
  • 5:38
  • 1:46
  • Total length:22:27

    2017 Days Of Future Passed (50th anniversary deluxe set)

    Chart positionsEdit

    Year Chart Position
    1967 UK Albums Chart 27[21]
    1972 Billboard 200 3[22]
    Year Single Chart Position
    1967 "Nights in White Satin" UK Singles Chart 19[27]
    1968 "Tuesday Afternoon" Billboard Hot 100 24
    1972 "Nights in White Satin" UK Singles Chart 9[28]
    Billboard Hot 100 2



    The Moody Blues:


    • Tony Clarkeproduction
    • Derek Varnals – engineering
    • Hugh Mendl – executive production, liner notes
    • Michael Dacre-Barclay - production
    • David Anstey – cover design, cover painting
    • Steven Fallone – digital remastering


    1. ^ Murphy, Sean (21 November 2014). "Masters of the Mini Epic". PopMatters.
    2. ^ DeRiso, Nick (n.d.). "1967's Best Rock Albums". Ultimate Guitar.
    3. ^ James E. Perone (2012). The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations. ABC-CLIO. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-37906-2.
    4. ^ a b c SowingSeason (11 March 2011). "The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
    5. ^ a b c d e f Eder, Bruce. "allmusic ((( Days of Future Passed > Overview )))". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
    6. ^ Will Romano (1 September 2010). Mountains Come Out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock. Backbeat Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-61713-375-6.
    7. ^ a b c d e Christgau, Robert; Fricke, David (12 July 2007). "The 40 Essential Albums of 1967". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
    8. ^ a b c d e f g h "50 Years Ago: Moody Blues Broke Rules". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
    9. ^ a b "Sound On Sound (Classic Tracks: The Moody Blues "Nights In White Satin")". Retrieved 17 August 2010.
    10. ^ "Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
    11. ^ a b "Review: Days of Future Passed". Uncut. London: IPC Media: 120. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
    12. ^ Classic Rock, July 2010, Issue 146.
    13. ^ a b Holdship, Bill. "The Moody Blues Reviews". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
    14. ^ a b c Hermes, Will (January 2004). "Essential Prog Rock". Spin. Vol. 20 no. 1. Vibe/Spin Ventures. p. 48. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
    15. ^ Macan, Edward. (1996).Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195098889.
    16. ^ a b c "The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed 50TH Anniversary Deluxe Edition". The Moody Blues. 5 October 2017. Archived from the original on 30 December 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
    17. ^ "Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed Original Mix question". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
    18. ^ Metzger, John. "Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (Surround Sound Album Review)". Music Box Magazine. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
    19. ^ Sawdey, Evan (23 October 2008). "The Moody Blues: Days of Future Passed | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
    20. ^ a b Miller, Jim (7 December 1968). "The Moody Blues: Days of Future Passed : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 6 June 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
    21. ^ a b "Moody Blues | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
    22. ^ a b "The Moody Blues – Chart History | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
    23. ^ Mojo Magazine, February 2019, pg. 43
    24. ^ Mojo Magazine, February 2019, pg. 43
    25. ^ "50 Essential Albums of 1967". Rolling Stone. 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
    26. ^ Days of Future Passed (Media notes). Deram. 1967. SML 707.
    27. ^ "The Official Charts Company - The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
    28. ^ Roberts, David, ed. (2005). British Hit Singles and Albums. Guinness World Records Ltd. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
    29. ^ John, Gilliland,. "Show 49 - The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees and the Who. [Part 6]". Digital Library. Retrieved 21 August 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
    • Reed, John (1999). "Days of Future Passed Re-release liner notes". London, England: The Decca Record Co. Ltd. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

    External linksEdit