Yes, I am transporting you back in time once again, this time to 1969. I have already taken you on an exploration of Days Of Future Past and The Search For The Lost Chord so this latest adventure should come as no surprise. On The Threshold Of A Dream was The Moody Blues third album with Deram Records. And it was a pivotal one, it was to be the last that they published directly with, choosing to head off with their own label soon after.

This is the first album where we get to really get to see The Moody Blues as we know them today. Gone, well mostly anyway, are the gimmicks, no full orchestras, no Sitars, etc. Track one In The Beginning is a little pretentious, and maybe would have done better left in the editing studio. There are a couple of other lapses, but mainly this is good solid music. They have hunkered down and started to look within themselves. Maybe it is the title itself that tells the story On The Threshold Of A Dream, how right they were.

Great ballads, wonderful wordsmithing, and great and accomplished playing.

Who can’t fall in love with Lovely To See You? This is just a delightful song, or Dear Diary, a song that deserves way more air time than it ever got. Never Comes The Day has to be one of the great ballads of the modern rock era, yet has been almost totally ignored. Oh the list could go on and on.

In some ways it could be argued that the huge success that Nights In White Satin from their first Deram adventure caused more harm than good. The lure of greatness maybe outweighed the true musical magic of these guys. On The Threshold Of A Dream shows them as a much more focused band, and one that was much more reliant on their own abilities, rather than outside influences.

The album sales speak for themselves, it charted at #1 in the UK, and made it into the coveted top 20 in the US. Not bad for a bunch of guys from Manchester! The only thing that surprised me about this album was that none of the tracks charted as singles.

UME has once again done a bang up job, the bonus tracks almost outweigh the number of tracks on the original recording. And I always love to listen to alternative mixes and arrangements. I won’t name names (to protect the guilty), but I was sent an MP3 of an unedited version of a song by a band, 3 months later they sent me the ‘street’ version. I was in shock and horror. The CD version was terrible! So, take my word, getting a CD with several copies of the same same song, but mixed differently is a good thing.

You can get your copy of On The Threshold Of A Dream from your favorite music store, or order it online from Amazon.

Simon Barrett

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