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As I "patiently" ( ) await the the Panama City show, I'm going to write my thoughts on this fine album that started the band on the
path that brought most of us fans into the fold. While this isn't the album that introduced me to the band (Lost Chord was responsible for
that.), it nevertheless deepened my love of the band's music.
The Day Begins: Although not listed as such, this functions pretty much like an overture. The beginning backwards gong is very cool, but
isn't really appreciated until I heard the gong at the end of the album; then, it takes on more meaning as a bookend. The song is a lovely introduction to
many of the songs that will be heard.
Morning Glory: I'm giving this separate attention, though it's part of the first track. I don't see it as pretentious. I
think the imagery is quite beautiful and Mike's voice is very calming. The orchestra playing underneath is nicely understated and doesn't distract
from the spoken word.
Dawn Is a Feeling: After a pleasant segue, the lush opening chord of the mellotron is beautiful. It was a great choice of Mike's to
allow Justin to sing the majority of the song, while Mike handles the bridge. It just adds the feeling of a bookend, like Graeme's poetry on the album. I
never really was able to truly experience dawn until a few years ago when I spent a week in the Bahamas. Watch the sun rise as the Atlantic Ocean crashed on
the shore was an awe-inspiring sight.
Another Morning: Ah, I love the whimsy of Ray. This is a nice, uptempo song that captures the innocence of childhood so well: something
that Ray would excel at in later albums. He has such a unique approach in his songs, which helped keep the Moodies' albums sounding fresh. Even Peter
Knight's conclusion has the right tone.
Peak Hour: While I'm not a huge fan of what Peter Knight does with the orchestra here, its tempo does help prepare the listener for
the only rocker on the album. I really like the rawness of "Peak Hour", but I have to admit that it took me the longest time to understand what John
was singing! I mean, I obviously gathered the gist of it, yet some of the words were lost on me. The song also features a short but sweet guitar and
Tuesday Afternoon: Why it was originally given the confusing title "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" on the album is beyond me.
Since the band subsequently referred to it as "Tuesday Afternoon" as far as I can tell, perhaps the title bestowed on it for the album was thought up
by someone at Decca? Enough about the title... I really like the melody of this song and Justin's soaring "ah's" that lead into the uptempo
part. The song has exactly the right feel of just relaxing in a field on a sunny afternoon.
(Evening) Time to Get Away: I first heard this on the cassette copy of the album I first bought around 1990. That one had the backing
vocals intact during the chorus. When I replaced it with the CD release, I soon regretted it. While the current version we now have available based on the
quad mix sounds great, John's solo falsetto nevertheless sounds very naked without the others' harmonies. (sigh) I miss it...
The Sun Set: The Eastern flavour is very cool. I like Mike's experiments in this vein better than George Harrison's forays with
the Beatles. For one thing, Mike as a better voice George was always a little too thin sounding. I think Mike also just had a better ear for Eastern textures
and rhythms. Ray's flute accents really help it as well.
Twilight Time: My mother didn't like it when I first played it, but I fell in love with it. It has a dark, mysterious quality to it
with a flare that can only be done by Ray. It has a bit of a monotone quality like "Lennon's Tomorrow Never Knows", but "Twighlight"
is less weird. The subject matter is more whimsical and relatable than Lennon's Tibetan Book of the Dead references. Ray's imagery really evokes the
wonderful dream world that can happen at dusk. Knight's orchestra arrangement goes well with the song at the end.
Nights In White Satin: The first time I really heard this song from start to finish was absolutely gob-smacked! It was a magical moment.
I was already a fan of the band by this time (it was around 1988-89). Just by chance, my mother had CBC on the radio and they played the entire song,
including "Late Lament". I literally froze what I was doing and just listened. It is deceptively simple song, which is made that much better with
Mike's arrangement of the mellotron and the Moodies' signature harmonies. Ray's flute solo sends shivers down my spine when I hear it. With its
melancholic tone and lyrics that suggest an unrequited love, it is close to my heart.
Late Lament: Graeme's poems may have been off-putting for casual fans, but for me it was a just part of what made the Moodies
different from all the rest. I've always appreciated them, even the occasional offerings of Ray and Justin in the Post-Core 7 albums. "Late
Lament" and "Morning Glory" not only provide the album with tidy bookends but emphasize the cyclical nature of life.
Though the Beatles may have been the first to introduce the idea of a "concept" album with Sgt. Pepper (in a rather half-hearted
way--they drop the ball two songs into the album), it took the Moodies' Days of Future Passed to execute it best. I would probably place this
album among the top three of my favourites (the others being ISOTLC and TOCCC).
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