A cornerstone album for the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Moody Blues[/lastfm], Day of Future Past is considered to be among the first “symphonic rock” albums.
Days of Future Passed was, indeed, a step into the future for the Moody Blues. It was the first album the band recorded without future [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Wings[/lastfm] guitarist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Denny Laine[/lastfm], as well the the first set to include new members John Lodge and Justin Hayward. It also marked a departure for the band from their early “Merseybeat” sound, focusing instead on the more elaborate symphonic sounds for which they became most famous.
The genesis of the album came from their label, Deram Records, whose idea it was for the Moodies to record a rock and roll version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The band rejected the idea but kept the budget to work with Peter Knight and the London Symphony Orchestra.
The resulting 41 minutes of music were somewhat earth-shattering at the time, the orchestra providing interludes and accompaniments to the songwriting largely done by Mike Pinder (save for the two Lodge-penned singles, “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin”). Intended to be a portrait of a day in the life of the common man, lyrics like “I’m looking at myself/Reflections of my mind” tended to sit more comfortably with the drug-drenched cosmology of the Summer of Love than with Mr. And Mrs. Average Everyday.
Regardless of the would-be buyer’s point of view, the album had sold a million copies by the end of the decade.
The Moody Blues were also among the earliest to use video as a promotional vehicle, witnessed here with their clip for “Nights in White Satin.”