In 1972 something pretty unusual happened in music. An album released five years before was climbing the charts again, riding on the popularity of a song that had failed to chart in the US when it was released five years before. The album, Days of Future Passed and the song Nights In White Satin received a resurgence of attention after a late night DJ decided to play the track while he took an extended restroom break. Afterwards, the station received many requests to hear the song again, and so, it was rediscovered. Eventually Nights In White Satin peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the best selling song in the Moody Blues history.
The band was originally formed in 1964, though membership changed over the next three years. Their first charting hit was Go Now. Although the band released an album titled the Magnificent Moodies for Decca Records and had recorded a series of singles, their music was not commercially successful.
The Mark II line up of the band that recorded the second album, Days of Future Passed, included the current remaining members of the band: Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward and John Lodge in addition to Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas.
Before recording “Days’ in 1967 the band was heavily in debt to Decca for advances and their recording contract was about to expire. They made an arrangement with Decca to record a stereophonic demonstrator album for a subsidiary label, Deram Records, featuring a rock’n’roll version of Antonin Dvorak’s New Word Symphony. In exchange for the recording session the label would cancel their outstanding debt. Their manager Hugh Mend l arranged for the band to have creative control over the project, something rare given the circumstances. Although the demonstrator album material was recorded the project was eventually scrapped but the band recorded several tracks to be used for a concept album that followed the life of everyman through a day.
Days of Future Passed originated in a time of experimentation. The Beatles had released songs using exotic instruments and sound effects. They had also experimented with blending of classical instrumentation into rock music. The Moody Blues expanded upon that idea creating a complete album with interludes between songs performed by classical musicians. Although the album sold well in the UK its initial response in the US was lackluster. The idea was slightly ahead of its time, but five years later there was an audience or the sound.
The Moody Blues had released several albums between 1967 and 1972 gaining a following worldwide for their mellotron driven sound. Many of their fans believed they lyrics were somehow prophetic leading the band to write a song in response, “I’m Just A Singer In A Rock’nRoll Band”. Oddly enough the album containing that song, aptly named Seventh Sojourn, as it was the bands seventh offering, was also released in 1972 and rode somewhat on the wave of resurgent interest in a five-year-old album. The song did well on the charts that year.
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