The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed
Record producer Phil Spector was always known for his wall of sound,
but perhaps that term better suits the late 1960s-early 1970s Moody
The Moodies, also dubbed the worlds smallest symphony orchestra
brought some wonderful melodies to the world of rock music, with lush production
by Tony Clark that gave the band its particular wall of sound.
But that came later. Days of Future Passed was an experimental blend of rock
and classical music, with the London Festival Orchestra conducted by Peter Knight
brought along to do the classical bits.
We didnt time the orchestra versus band parts, but it seems fair to say
that at least half the album is orchestral, and theres nothing wrong with
that. The LFO takes Moodies themes and fleshes them out, beginning and ending
the album and joining the songs together to create a wonderful whole.
The sound quality of the original vinyl album was about as good as one could
expect from 1960s analog recording. Alas, as is common with many other
compact discs remastered from old analog sources, the CD sounded thin, and almost
shrill in places. The wall of sound was more made of Styrofoam than anything.
But dts, with this high definition surround 5.1 channel remix,
gives us the chance to hear this old classic in a new light: not only does it
use state-of-the-art technology to bring the old master tapes to new life, it
mixes it into surround, spreading instruments all around the room.
Alas, therein lies the rub, and it tears at us. The new version does sound
very, very good. Oh, it doesnt sound as if it were recorded yesterday,
but it does sound as if its been given a new lease on life. Its
a tad sterile, but overall were very happy with the sound quality.
But we question some of the 5.1 mixing. Mike Pinders great baritone,
used for the spoken parts, comes from the rear channels, as if hes talking
to you from behind. This doesnt work, for us; his voice of God
belongs in front, talking to us not talking behind our backs.
Other than that, most of the instrument placement is fine; we have a few quibbles
that arent really worth mentioning - thing we would have done differently
if wed been hired to do the job.
And while were fan of 5.1 surround, and it works on many discs (Queens
A Night at the Opera comes to mind, as does the DVD-A of Brain
Salad Surgery, which restores the original quadraphonic mix), now
that weve heard it we would have preferred dts to remix Days
more like they have with some jazz releases: put the music up front and use
the surrounds for reverb and ambience. That way, we feel, theyd have recreated
that wall of sound in front of us that, now that instruments are
all around the room, has instead become a circle of sound.
Still, when all is said and done this is still the best optical disc version
of Days of Future Passed that weve heard. So our bottom line
is that were happy, but not ecstatic.
1. The Day Begins
2. Dawn: Dawn Is A Feeling
3. The Morning - Another Morning
4. Lunch Break - Peak Hour
5. The Afternoon - Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) / Time To Get Away
6. Evening - The Sun Set / Twilight Time
7. The Night - Nights In White Satin
Genre: Classic Rock Label: DTS Entertainment UPC: 710215441825
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think