On the Threshold of a Dream

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
On the Threshold of a Dream was the first album that the Moody Blues had a chance to record and prepare in a situation of relative calm, without juggling tour schedules and stealing time in the studio between gigs -- indeed, it was a product of what were almost ideal circumstances, though it might not have seemed that way to some observers. The Moodies had mostly exhausted the best parts of the song bag from which their two preceding albums, Days of Future Passed and In Search of the Lost Chord, had been drawn, and as it turned out, even the leftover tracks from those sessions wouldn't pass muster for their next long-player project -- but those albums had both been hits, and...
See more details below
This CD is Not Available through BN.com

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
On the Threshold of a Dream was the first album that the Moody Blues had a chance to record and prepare in a situation of relative calm, without juggling tour schedules and stealing time in the studio between gigs -- indeed, it was a product of what were almost ideal circumstances, though it might not have seemed that way to some observers. The Moodies had mostly exhausted the best parts of the song bag from which their two preceding albums, Days of Future Passed and In Search of the Lost Chord, had been drawn, and as it turned out, even the leftover tracks from those sessions wouldn't pass muster for their next long-player project -- but those albums had both been hits, and charted well in America as well as England, and had overlapped with a pair of hit singles, "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon," on both sides of the Atlantic. Their success had earned them enough consideration from Decca Records that they could work at their leisure in the studio through all of January and most of February of 1969; what's more, with two LPs under their belt, they now had a much better idea of what they could accomplish in the studio, and write songs with that capability in mind. Equally important, they'd just come off of an extensive U.S. tour opening for Cream and had learned a lot in the course of concertizing over the previous year, achieving a much bolder yet tighter sound instrumentally as well as vocally, and they could now write to and for that sound as well. So this album is oozing with bright, splashy creative flourishes in two seemingly contradictory directions that somehow come together as a valid whole. On the original LP's first side which was the more rock-oriented side, the songs "Lovely to See You," "Send Me No Wine," "To Share Our Love," and "So Deep Within You" all featured killer guitar hooks electric and acoustic and fills by Justin Hayward; beautiful, muscular bass from John Lodge; and vocal hooks everywhere. It's also a surprisingly hard-rocking album considering the amount of overdubbing that went into perfecting the songs, including cellos, wind and reed instruments, and lots of vocal layers -- yet it even found room to display a pop-soul edge on "So Deep Within You" a number that the Four Tops later recorded. Side two was the more overtly ambitious of the two halves -- after a pair of songs dominated by acoustic guitar and heavy Mellotron, "Never Comes the Day" and "Lazy Day" the latter a piece of social commentary showing that Ray Thomas, at least, still remembered his roots in Birmingham, the remainder of the record was devoted to the most challenging body of music in the group's history. Justin Hayward's deliberately archaic "Are You Sitting Comfortably?," a piece that sounds almost 400 years out of its own time, evokes images out of medieval and Renaissance history laced with magic and mysticism, all set to Hayward's acoustic guitar and Thomas' flute, leading into Graeme Edge's poetic contribution, "The Dream," accompanied by Mike Pinder's Mellotrons in their most exposed appearance to date on a record. And all of that flows into Pinder's three-part suite, "Have You Heard, Pt. 1"/"The Voyage"/"Have You Heard, Pt. 2," a tour de force for the band -- check out Edge's and Lodge's rock-solid playing on "Have You Heard" -- and for Pinder, whose Mellotrons, in conjunction with Thomas' flute and supported by some overdubbed orchestral instruments, push the group almost prematurely into the realm of progressive rock. This synthesis of psychedelia and classical music, including a section featuring Pinder on grand piano, may sound overblown and pretentious today, but in 1969 this was envelope-ripping, genre-busting music, scaling established boundaries into unknown territory, not only "outside the box" but outside of any musical box that had been conceived at that moment -- perhaps it can be considered rock's flirtation with the territory covered by works such as Alexander Scriabin's "Mysterium," and if it overreached as did Scriabin, well, so did a lot of other people at the time, including Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who, et al. To show the difference in the times, the Moodies even brought this extended suite successfully to their concert repertory, and audiences devoured it at the time. Amazingly, On the Threshold of a Dream was their first chart-topping LP in England, and remained on the charts for an astonishing 70 weeks, a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that the accompanying single, "Never Comes the Day" b/w "So Deep Within You," never charted at all.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/1997
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • UPC: 042284476928
  • Catalog Number: 844769

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Moody Blues Primary Artist
Justin Hayward Guitar, Vocals
John Lodge Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Michael Pinder Keyboards, Vocals
Ray Thomas Bass, Flute, Horn, Vocals
Graeme Edge Drums
Technical Credits
The Moody Blues Instrumentation
Tony Clarke Producer
John Reed Liner Notes, Interviewer
Derek Varnals Engineer
Steven Fallone Remastering
Phil Travers Cover Design, Cover Painting
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another good album

    The Moody Blues always made interesting albums and they are all worth having.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another Stellar Performance

    I rate this as my third favorite Moody Blues album behind In Search Of The Lost Chord and Seventh Sojourn . Are You Sitting Comfortably ? is my second favorite Moody Blues song . The first half of the album has some of the most pop oriented songs that the band ever did in it's second incarnation . The last 4 cuts must be listened to as a single piece . This is the first of the "art rock" bands and they were paving the way for the rest of them . It's amazing to think that they were able to get noticed at all by the general public in an era when radio stations refused to play ANY songs that ran over 3 minutes in length . This album is a facinating part of history and should be in every Moody Blues fan's collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Truly Amazing

    This is the best thing ever produced by the Moody Blues. I have probably listened to it a thousand times, and always it is a thrilling, reflective journey. Have you Heard/The Voyage is a great finale, probably the best part of the album. Lovely to See You and To Share our Love are catchy tunes, while Are You Sitting Comfortably? is beautiful and peaceful. Definitely an album to own a copy of!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews