The late 1960s was a great era of music in the western world. The Moody Blues released this during 1967, a concept album about the times of the day. It has been widely regarded as a rock classic and a great listen. Many groups, particular progressive rock groups, took inspiration from this album. Decades later on, does this album still have appeal? Let’s find out.
We kick off with The Day Begins which has a reversed gong song that seeps slowly in, before an orchestral section kicks in, sounding really marvelous. It sounds like something out of a film soundtrack, with strings, piano and other beautiful instrumentation that is very good to hear. The orchestral section then goes into a well structured classical music sounding piece. Very odd for a band to follow this approach, but it works beautifully. A combination of wind and string orchestration here is totally beautiful. Before long, some horn sections indicate a glorious sound that is original and fantastic. Before long, some chanted lyrics then enter, sounding like a poet doing speech over the classical music backing. It finishes nicely.
Next is Dawn: Dawn Is A Feeling which kicks off with a clarinet, before a well constructed and gentle sounding string section enters. Before long, singing and a drumbeat enter making this a glorious listen. It is quite catchy for this sort of music, and is very different and adventurous. A short and excellent listen, mixing in a classic rock feel with beautiful backing instrumentation, such as keyboard. Very good listening. Towards the end, it goes into more classical sounding orchestration. This is superb, great to listen to here.
The Morning: Another Morning begins with some beautiful flute and orchestration that sounds very optimistic. Marching drums then enter, along with some other neat instruments. The singing is somewhat inspired by country music, but sounds excellent. The singing and lyrics here are really wonderful. There is almost a reggae like feel to the rhythm of this tune as well. Given the music here, it is highly inspired by other forms of music. Very good to listen to, and sounding catchy. It quickly launches into a string section. Very catchy, and great listening here. Great stuff.
Lunch Break: Peak Hour comes next, with a movie sounding instrumental section, before going into a super fast musical section that is well suited to this part of the album. It sounds dramatic in a good way, and goes to show how wonderful the music here is. No doubt if you like rock and classical music, you will enjoy this. The piece then goes into a very typical 1960s rock tune. This is superb, and different too. A nice twist on typical rock music, there are some amazingly multitracked guitar parts in here. Before long, pounding drums and guitars bring us a frenzied section that sounds a lot like The Who. Effortless and brilliant, this is a great piece by The Moody Blues.
Next is The Afternoon: Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) / (Evening) Time To Get Away which is an eight minute piece which begins with organ and what sounds like electric/acoustic guitar. Before long, the band kick in with a wonderful sounding piece that is both melodic and interesting. This is top notch, with some excellent harmonies. Before long, the band goes into a catchy piano led section that sounds awesome. It goes quickly back into the first section of verses. This is very psychedelic, but at the same time, glorious and amazing. The elongated final note of singing in this song is fantastic. The piano groove hits again, and is extremely catchy, before the orchestra returns to have their musical say. Some beautiful harp is here in the middle of this song. The evening section then hits, sounding very melancholy and beautiful. A repeated riff continues through this section, before going into a great song section. When the chorus hits, it is a magnificent listen. A great medley piece, sounding like nothing else out there. A brilliant listening experience, and a rewarding one as well.
Following is Evening: The Sun Set / Twilight Time which begins with some rather loud and interesting orchestration which sounds intense. Before long, the song kicks in about the sun setting, with some odd percussion along with it. It sounds unusual, and is likely inspired by some eastern style music. The singing is beautiful here. After the song section finishes, a beautiful string section keeps us going musically. The orchestration on this album is awesome, and different. Soon enough, a piano led groove for the second half of the tune goes on and is a very good listening experience. The chorus of this part in particular is catchy. Pulsating with energy and beauty, this is a very good listening experience. Towards the end, it goes into an instrumentation version of the song, finishing off nicely. Brilliant.
The Night: Nights In White Satin is the last piece on this album. It begins by segueing into this last piece from the previous track, before a beautiful song section that sounds wonderful and romantic, especially lyrically. It is a lovely and deep sounding piece that sounds top notch. Showcasing a great musical and melodic talent, The Moody Blues make a grand conclusion for this music here. It goes into a very good mixture of rock and classical music, in fact, likely the best example for such a thing. It sounds very deep, emotional, intelligent and wonderful sounding. This is a truly wonderful listening experience. Before long, the orchestration kicks in, adapted to this song. It is so beautiful that it takes you to a great musical place. Some spoken word parts towards the end of this track talks about some social situations that people have to regularly deal with, before an epic finale occurs. Lastly, the gong is hit again, and we conclude the album.
This is a very good album, and goes to show what can be done excellent when a good artistic rock band joins forces with the London Symphony Orchestra. The concept on this album and the music are totally unique. This, definitely is, an underrated album. If you like a rock and classical music fusion, this is for you. For those of you who like this, be sure to check out re-releases with extra tracks.