Updated: Aug 27
“Days of Future Passed” is the second full length release and first concept album from English band The Moody Blues. Released on November 10, 1967, the album was initially a slow seller, eventually cracking the top 10 in the U.S. after strong radio airplay of the track “Nights in White Satin.” At the time of the album’s composition, the band was struggling financially and was offered a project from their record label to construct an operatic, rock n roll take on Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 9” to show off the label’s latest high-tech recording capabilities. The band took a chance and recorded their own rock opera based around an original screenplay they had been working on about the average day of the ordinary man. To do this in secret, the band and their hired orchestral arrangement recorded pieces separately, which were later matched up and layered together in production. The Moody Blues only recorded with the London Festival Orchestra once in person for the ending of “Nights in White Satin” once they were ready to reveal their project to the label. While the white shirts at Decca were originally disappointed with what The Moody Blues churned out, they recognized that it might have a fighting chance across the pond to make some waves in the counterculture scene of the growing U.S. insurgence of psychedelic rock. While the album definitely relied on psychedelic tropes, many modern music critics cite “Days of Future Passed” as the official beginning of "progressive" rock. While The Moody Blues set out to show up their record label and recoup some lost profits, they unintentionally may have wound up becoming the founding fathers to an entirely new genre in the process. Follow along the journey from “The Day Begins,” into “Tuesday Afternoon,” and settle into the metaphorical sheets of “Night in White Satin” by streaming the 50th anniversary deluxe edition now on Spotify!