Yes folks I have put you in a time machine and taken you back to 1967. Well actually Universal Music has. They have just released digitally remastered versions of the groups first seven albums. No doubt some Moody Blues purist will be on my case because there was actually an album released in 1965 “The Moodies”, however the band went through quite a shake up shortly afterwards and it is hardly reflective of their style. This set of releases covers the Decca/Deram and Threshold Labels era.

As a reviewer, and music lover it is always a delight when a bunch of an artists work is released en mass, I love to listen to albums in chronological order and

Most people class The Moody Blues as a pop band, they were most certainly no such thing! The Moody Blues were at the very cutting edge of the Progressive Rock movement, they were every bit as innovative in their style as The Nice (Five Bridges Suite), or Emerson Lake And Palmer (Pictures At An Exhibition). In fact they shared some real common ground with these bands, the use of an orchestra in their large sweeping creations.

Days Of Future Passed is an unusual album, it contains so many different musical directions, it is as if the band had not made a commitment to a style, and that was probably true. This album was a great way to explore what would work best in the future. From huge sweeping orchestral pieces like The Day Begins, through true 60’s Mersey sound Lunch Break, more thoughtful pieces like Forever Afternoon (Tuesday), to what must be one of the best known songs ever created Nights In White Satin, it is all here to be rediscovered.

The ‘folk tale’ surrounding this album is that it was Deram Records that sugested using Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony as the backdrop.

What would a re-release be without some bonus material? Well folks, have I got a deal for you, this CD is jam packed with bonus stuff. And certainly some that I had not previously heard.

UME are to be congratulated on this project, this is great, great music. It comes from 40 years ago, but it is as groundbreaking and exciting as anything new I have heard recently.

Next time you are in your local record emporium, pick this one up. Alternatively you can order online through Amazon.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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