The Moody Blues were a bit late with their first entry for the psychedelic sweepstakes, but the album proves that the time and effort was well spent.
Up to this point, the band remained stuck in the rut of pursuing English R&B, a style that was quickly falling out of favor with an audience that was learning to turn on, tune in and/or drop out. “Days of Future Passed” is a unique entry for 1967, as it avoids the clichés of most psychedelic music by moving in a decidedly different direction than most pop acts.
To establish a foothold for themselves, the Moody Blues switched gears by incorporating a full orchestra to support a theme album based on the events of a normal twenty-four hour day. The band and the orchestra rarely played at the same time, but the concept worked, thus causing the band to more or less ‘jump’ over psychedelic music by making what could credibly be called the world’s first progressive album. It also features some of the earliest use of a mellotron, which is kind of funny, considering that the instrument sounds mostly like a poorly recorded orchestra. Regardless, the album was quite innovative, so much so that the single extracted from the album in the United States (“Nights in White Satin”) became an American hit six years after the album was released.
November 1967 - Billboard Charted #3