Days of Future Passed - The Moody Blues

Category: Music

As a long time Moodies fan, I committed on a separate thread to do some critical listening of various Moody Blues recordings issued over the years that I own on both vinyl and CD and report on findings.

This is the first info I have to report back on so far.

Had a chance today to do some critical listening to compare an original vintage, I believe German made Teldec-TElefunken-Decca vinyl pressing of "Days Of Future Passed" compared to a 1986 AAD German Polygram CD copy.

I chose DOFP as the first test case to compare sound quality in that this album in particular is of special historic importance as an audio milestone in recording history for various well documented reasons, but mainly because the recording was designed as a sonic show piece to show off the quality of the new (in 1967) "Deramic Sound System".

I have to say that both copies are very successful audio showpieces.

However, in the end I would have to give the nod to the CD version.

The CD sound was immaculate, indeed an extensive and exhilarating showpiece for both the smoothly integrated orchestrations and the playing of the band.

Everything was buoyed by a clear forceful and rhythmic bottom end and most all orchestral and rock music elements were clearly and precisely displayed and identifiable in a lifelike timbre in an extensive soundstage that stretched from wall to wall.

Having not listened to this for a while in particular since some recent system tweaks, I was completely enthralled and even blown away like never before with this piece.

The vinyl copy was not too far behind and had perhaps a touch more warmth to the strings in comparison but the dynamics were not quite up to par with the CD rendering. Also more noticeably in the less complex non-orchestral sections, the individual instruments and recording lines were present also with clear location, but the definition and timbre was off a bit and not as clear and easy to identify compared to the CD version.

All audiophiles with any liking for orchestral music blended with good pop/rock songs and immaculate production should own a copy of this and give a good listen, if they haven't recently already.

There are newer CD re-masterings available of DOFP. I suspect these must be equally spectacular or perhaps even superior or at least different in some way. However, I have to say that this was one listen that I would find hard to improve on in any meaningful way, though I'm sure some things might be done technically to make it perhaps even cleaner, sharper or more dynamic?
i agree

The dynamics at the beginning of "Peak Hour" startled me and nearly knocked me out of my seat, even though I thought I knew what was coming. Haven't had that happen in a while!

Also, the big, long, isolated gong shot that fades to silence eventually after several seconds at the very end was quite impressive and could probably be put to good use as a test in helping evaluate subtle differences in different audio components or systems.
Very interesting review. I've been considering picking up some of the newly issued Moody Blues' cds. Was a huge fan back in the day. On The Threshold of a dream -- what memories.
Think it's time to make a purchase.

DO IT!!!!