on 2 May 2004
I've just started listening to this album after many long years - and I can't believe I waited so long! With this album, you get some of the best of the Moody Blues ever.
All their songs are hauntingly brilliant, especially "The Dream". Every song is written with what must be their own personal experience, as there is no way that they could have written these off the cuff!
Thanks to my girlfriend who finally got the hint to buy me this for my birthday!
I'm at odds with fellow reviewers who rate this album poorly by comparison with their others. In particular, I feel that it's far superior to 'Days Of Future Passed' which is really only half Moody Blues in any case. Otherwise, I think it takes a lead from the things they did well on that album, while binning the intrusive Eastern touches on 'In Search of the Lost Chord'.
The band are generally thought of as a leading prog outfit, presumably because of the conceptual nature of their work, but this is really an album of three minute songs. There are the usual fragments of Graeme Edge's poetry and a short suite of tracks from Mike Pinder, but otherwise no odd items. The mellotron-underpinned sound that gives their music an epic sweep is also present.
Their songwriting skills show evidence of maturity too. Ray Thomas's 'Dear Diary' not only features a gorgeous bluesy flute part, but some wonderful black humour, pitting every day actions against global ones: 'Someone exploded an H-bomb today, but it wasn't anybody I knew'. His 'Lazy Day' is good too, but he's lucky Ray Davies didn't sue him for the plodding beat and references to Sunday roasts and buttered scones. Justin Hayward and John Lodge provide three straight beaty rockers and Mike Pinder's material is a major leap forward from the previous album, especially the closing tracks.
In a run of albums of good quality, 'On The Threshold Of A Dream' is, in my opinion, one of the Moody Blues' best.
on 21 April 2006
This Moody Blues album has always been one of my favourites. I still remember spending my hard-earned cash to buy it when it was first released way back in 1969. When it was finally released on CD I was disappointed for two reasons. Firstly, no attempt was made to remaster and clean up the original recording and secondally, the packaging was minimal and bore little resemblance to the vinyl version. Now DECCA have at last digitally remastered it in SACD 5.1 (mixed from the original Quadraphonic master tapes) & Stereo format and it has definately been worth the wait. Admittedly, I haven't heard the 5.1 channel mix as I don't have a multi-channel decoder but the SACD stereo mix is very impressive with instruments sounding clear and focused. (This is a hybrid disc so it also includes a stereo layer for playback on normal CD players). 9 bonus tracks are also included (alternative versions, outtakes & BBC Radio sessions). The icing on the cake is that the original vinyl artwork has now been restored including the lavish booklet with lyrics to all the songs, photos of the group and liner notes by David Symonds & Lionel Bart. To quote the latter, 'I think......I love the Moody Blues'!
on 10 December 2003
In terms of variety and scale, On the Threshold of a Dream doesn't seem a huge step on from the previous album, In Search of the Lost Chord. However, the difference lies in its influences - Threshold is, in a way, a Western version of Lost Chord. Gone are the sitars, psychedelic sounds and the mystical, Indian feel. Here we have a very Western sounding album. Opening with a very cold, spacey synth, and some spoken philosophical words, the album takes the usual tour of 60s pop and experimental moments that the Moodies would slowly lose after this album.
Whilst promoted as a concept album, the theme here is a lot less clear than on their previous records. Whilst some songs have images of dreams and magic and philosophy, others seem unrelated, just being standard pop songs (Send Me No Wine and Lazy Day in particular).
The album standouts include 'Dear Diary', a slow, slightly sinister jazzy number, and the end run of the spoken 'The Dream', acoustic 'Have You Heard' and epic spacey instrumental 'The Voyage' - one of the band's most chilling and sonically impressive pieces.
All in all, a very impressive album, and an interesting step on from their earlier albums.
The Moody Blues have re-released their albums as Remastered and a few in DTS, but finally they are now available in Hybrid SACD. This version is a keeper including some very rare and enormously well mastered and remixed songs. This reviewer won't go into analysis of the songs, as this has been doen before. The difference is in the amazing quality of SACD.
No previous Moody Blues album has contained such rare BBC sessions, outtake and Alternate mixes. One needs no other recording of this classic album. The box is half plastic and half cardboard which might not last as long as a regular CD package. However, the liner package notes are exhaustive with many new pictures and a complete history.
on 20 March 2002
After the groundbreaking work of "Days of future passed" and the Indian mysticism of "In search of the lost chord" came possibly my favourite moodies album, "On the threshold of a dream". This is because of the main epic of 'Are you sitting comfortably?/The dream/Have you heard/Voyage/Have you heard (2)'.It is an amazing collage of mellotron sounds, serious lyrics and a phenomenal finish. I'm only 15 and this is mind-boggling listening material. Other high points include Justin Hayward's "Never comes the day" and John Lodge's "To share our love". Ray Thomas also contributes well with "Dear diary". The other tracks are still great, and although the original sleeve notes are slightly silly, it is definately Mike Pinder's closing epic that, for me is The Moody blues' all time masterpiece.This album ought to be owned by every fan of the progressive rock genre.
Just one of a slew of Moody Blues re-issues with bonus tracks out at the moment “On The Threshold Of A Dream” deserves a lasting place in the hypothetical memorial dedicated to great British prog- rock with a hint of psychedelic classics.
The Moody Blues have never been cool, indeed they were dubbed “The Pseudy Blues” and even now when many formerly maligned bands are receiving over due critical re-appraisals there is still an air of sniffy superior diffidence when it comes to this band. Well I am more than willing to stick my head above the parapet and risk a lampooning bullet in the eye and state that from “Days Of Future Passed” in 1967 up to 1975,s “Seventh Sojourn “where they went off the boil a bit, they released a body of work that stands along side such rock behemoths as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
My personal favourites of that period are “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” and “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” but in terms of psychedelic drug induced magnificence On The Threshold Of A Dream is up there with anything by The Beatles. It’s also a concept album without any tangible concept of what it’s being conceptual about. There is the obligatory occasional embarrassing lyrical turn and guff about spectral planes and astral journeys and such like. It’s self indulgent to a degree that goes way beyond self indulgence but is so painfully sincere you’d forgive them that and then some. Why? Well mainly because the music is magnificent. They could write terrific songs could The Moody Blues.
Justin Hayward as ever provides the most melodiously mellifluous moments with the pristine ringing chords of “Lovely To See You” and the ballad “Never Comes The Day” which is heart shredding in its poise and tremulous sentiment. He can sing as well can Justin. It begins rather conveniently with “In The Beginning” a spooky instrumental passage with a frankly bizarre spoken voice over that descends into sci-fi parody. Ray Thomas who can usually be relied upon to produce something of squirm inducing lyrical content this time holds himself in check for “Dear Dairy” a slightly twee tale of daily disaffection while the bands egregious vocal harmonies dominate the jaunty “Send Me No Wine“.” To Share My Love “has more of those trademark vocal harmonies allied to more of Hayward’s clear concise guitar as has “So Deep Within You” which taking the title into account could be the band allowing a bawdier side to their personalities to shine through…..Or maybe not .Anyway, more discerning readers will have spotted a theme emerging, but wait “Lazy Day” has a more lugubrious pastoral air, although the lyrics are slightly embarrassing the choral vocals are superb. There is some lovely keening flute on the rather winsome “Are You Sitting Comfortably” With “Dream” the album’s psychedelic overtures take over with Mike Pinders mellotron dominating into the concluding triumvirate of “Have You heard Pt !”/ “The Voyage” / “Have You Heard Pt 2” which is glorious, ephemeral and verdant while still retaining an air of inconsolable poignancy.
I’m not entirely sure how necessary the extra tracks will prove to be being as they are re-treads of what has already gone before .Personally I’d prefer some unreleased stuff like they provided for the L.P.”Caught Live + 5” but no doubt Moody completists and hardcore fans will be salivating over these re-issues.
I hear hints of The Moody Blues in more contemporary music than it is possible to list. Even critical darlings The Flaming Lips multi -layered multifarious masterpieces have some semblance of their complex but melodious approach to song writing. Not that they would ever admit mind. The Moody Blues, still shamefully un-cool, still on albums like this unashamedly brilliant.
on 20 April 2006
Got all 4 of the new Moody Blues reissues yesterday. I grew up with these lp's when they were released. I was happy with the last remasters, but these are really special. I don't have surround yet, so I am listening to the stereo layer. Other than being mastered loud, like everything these days, I have to say I love them! The packaging is exquisite - you can tell these are UK releases: laminated covers and excellent design, packaging and printing. Lots of very good photos I've never seen in the booklets, and great, informative liner notes. I have an "average" system at best, and have been listening on headphones as I do with 95% of music when at home. These may be the cds that finally get me moving towards upgrading my system to enjoy the surround experience.
My two bits: get them now! Glad I did - heck, I might even get DOFP to complete the set now that I know how nice they are. Excellent additions to my classic rock library.
on 21 November 2010
The Moodies are consolidating their distinctive sound in this third album. Great tracks such as Dear Diary, Send Me No Wine, Never Comes the Day and Have you Heard are well worth a listen. I bought the first 7 albums on CD recently to replace the LPs lost in a house fire - still a great sound on these remastered CDs.
on 15 May 2001
This third album by the Moody Blues is one of their best, and forms part of the classic run of albums from 1967 to 1972. All the band are in fine form, and each contribute some excellent material. Hayward's wonderful 'Never Comes The Day' is one of his best rockers, together with a song co-written with Ray Thomas - the calm and soothing 'Are You Sitting Comfortably?' Equally, Mike Pinder's contributions are deserving of praise - the lovely 'So Deep Within You' and his three part masterpiece 'Have You Heard Parts 1+2' and 'The Voyage' together with the mysterious 'The Dream.' A Moody Blues album that is highly recomended!