The Moody Blues' landmark Days Of Future Passed album celebrated its 50th anniversary on November 11, which the group commemorates with today's (November 17) release of a special 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition.
The new set is available in four configurations, including a restored original 1967 stereo mix that had been previously damaged, nine BBC live radio performances and a DVD of the band performing three of the tracks during the MIDEM convention during January of 1968.
Days... was one of the first rock/orchestra collaborations (though the orchestra was grafted on to the band's recordings), and the Moodys Justin Hayward tells us the group had no idea how successful and groundbreaking the project would be:
"No, of course not. I thought we were making a kind of arty album and that would appeal to a few people with stereo systems and I might get invited to some cocktail party with people from the Observer newspaper or something. That's about as far as I thought. I had no idea what was gong to happen in the explosion of particularly FM radio and people suddenly buying stereo systems, wanting to listen to music stoned or straight on headphones and in stereo all of a sudden. That happened very quickly."
Hayward and his bandmates were proud of Days'... songs, of course, but he adds that the audio quality of the album was a major factor in its success as well:
"It was a demonstration record to demonstrate that stereo could be interesting for rock 'n' roll. It was a demonstration record to try to sell their consumer division...products. But in actual fact it was recorded so beautifully that it was just perfect for all of these new formats, which a lot of other pop things of the 60s weren't. They didn't sound that great on stereo; You had the drums on the left, the vocals on the right, whereas we had a classical engineer and beautifully mastered. it was lovely."
The Moodys played Days... in its entirety during tour dates this year and have recorded a new orchestral version of the album that will be released during 2018. The group is also nominated for the first time ever for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with voting closing on December 8.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.