Rediscovering Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon

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Postby Ted Pikul » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:09 pm

I thought it would be fun to re-listen to a lot of classic albums from the 1960’s and 70’s. Personally, I got into music through the Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc but in a lot cases I haven’t listened to some of their albums in a really long time (I’m pretty sure I haven’t sat down with Highway 61 in at least 15 years) and there’s tons of classic stuff I’ve never heard. Some other people expressed interest, so I thought I’d make a thread so we could listen and discuss classic albums together.

I’ll try to post one album a week, pretty much just whatever album I feel like, mixing up well known stuff with some more obscure/critical favorites. I won’t be posting links to the albums, since they should be pretty easy to find, but lemme know if you can’t find something. And I guess I’ll just keep going until I get busy/lazy/forget about this.

Anyway, onto our first entry…

The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed

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Days of Future Passed is the second album and first concept album by English prog rock band The Moody Blues, released in November 1967 by Deram Records.[7]

With its fusion of orchestral and rock elements, it has been cited as one of the first examples of progressive rock.


Musicians
The Moody Blues:

Mike Pinder - mellotron, piano, tambura, gong, vocals (including spoken)
Ray Thomas - flutes, percussion, piano, vocals
Justin Hayward - acoustic & electric guitars, piano, sitar, vocals
John Lodge - bass, vocals
Graeme Edge - drums, percussion, vocals
Peter Knight – conducting, arrangements
The London Festival Orchestra[26]
Production[edit]
Tony Clarke – production


I’m going to listen to the album a whole bunch and post my thoughts later this week, but feel free to chime in any time.
Last edited by Ted Pikul on Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Mesh » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:50 pm

You started with a record I'm thoroughly uninterested in but I still want to encourage you so here I am.
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Postby Cone » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:52 pm

These are my favorite decades of music without a doubt and I love the album posted in the OP but definitely haven't revisited it in a number of years. Gonna crank it now!

Looking forward to this thread.
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Postby incoherent grunting » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:54 pm

I will listen to this and encourage your thread
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Postby Ted Pikul » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:00 pm

I appreciate the encouragement

I know the Moody Blues are not everyone's cup of tea but let's keep an open mind
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Postby brent » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:02 pm

posting so i remember to do this
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Postby Ted Pikul » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:17 pm

I was going to start with Led Zeppelin IV, but then I decided I wanted to do the Zep in order so I'll probably do 1 next week
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Postby Jefferson Zeppelin » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:17 pm

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Postby Dinosauria We » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:50 pm

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Postby brent » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:46 am

so i powered through days of future past just a bit ago

thoughts: i still don't get it. it sounds like a pop band created by walt disney, which is probably partly what they were going for, but i can't take it. it's not proggy enough, it's not poppy enough, and it's not psychedelic enough. all the elements are there for it to be something i would love, but it just fails to move me on any given level. 'the afternoon' probably has my favorite moments because it's the poppiest, but all i could think is that i'd rather be listening to the left banke or the zombies.

it was still fun to try though, and i still will jam 'your wildest dreams' on the reg
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Postby Eyeball Kid » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:48 am

brent wrote:it's not proggy enough, it's not poppy enough, and it's not psychedelic enough. all the elements are there for it to be something i would love, but it just fails to move me on any given level.

I haven't listened to this particular album in years, but this sums up my feelings on the band. I should totally love what they were doing, but...no. Not at all.
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Postby rich uncle skeleton » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:49 am

I'm very into this
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Postby Ted Pikul » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:58 am

(So, to start with some boring historical information)
Days of Future Passed came out in 1967. It was the second Moody Blues album, their first with Justin Hayward and John Lodge (Hayward is the vocalist most associated with the band — he sings on “Nights in White Satin”). The album is considered historically important as the first (?) classical-rock fusion record; the Beatles and other bands had incorporated classical elements into their music, but I believe this is the first with entirely classical passages. Interestingly, there are multiple mixes of the record floating around: the original 1967 mix was lost and unavailable for a really long time, so many rereleases used a different mix. I actually don’t know which mix I downloaded back in the day. :oops:

(Anyway)
I like this album, even though I admit it can be a chore to get through. I have a soft spot for mixing rock and orchestra, and while more often than nought it can be a disaster, this is one of the times that it works. What anchors the album is that the band sounds comfortable next to the orchestra, and the orchestral passages are well integrated thematically even if the music itself is very movie soundtrack. And there’s a straight line influence to bands I love, like The Divine Comedy.

I actually find this album works better if you break it up into chunks rather than listen straight through. “Nights in White Satin” is a masterpiece with the best use of the orchestra on the album (the way the strings segue into the guitar melody gives me chills), and I’m also a fan of the poppy stuff like “Forever Afternoon” (or Tuesday Afternoon or whatever it’s called), “The Morning: Another Morning” and “Peak Hour,” which is basically the Beatles if the Beatles didn’t have distinctive songwriting personalities. And “Dawn” also has a cool creeping, foreboding melody that makes it a quiet standout. Not hugely fond of the “Evening/Sun Set/Twilight Time” stuff. It’s fine, just doesn’t do anything for me.

As for the orchestral parts, I like the more peppy stuff like “Lunch Break” although I’m less fond of the slower orchestral passages, especially the “Day Begins”, and the spoken word stuff. I kinda wish the band had chosen to work with a more cutting edge composer, like imagine if someone like Terry Riley had written the orchestral parts, although from what I understand they were already taking a huge gamble here.

My favorite Moody Blues album is still easily TOCCC (which is one of my favorite albums of all time).
Last edited by Ted Pikul on Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ted Pikul » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:17 pm

We can still talk DOFP, but in the interest of getting this thread really rolling

Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin is the eponymous debut studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was first released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group's four members, the album was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London, and established their fusion style of both blues and rock music. It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin's take on the emerging hard rock sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.



Jimmy Page – acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars, production
Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica, bass[58]
John Bonham – drums, timpani, backing vocals
John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Hammond organ, backing vocals
Viram Jasani – tabla on "Black Mountain Side"
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Postby Poptone » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:29 pm

i have always confused and conflated the moody blues and procol harum in my mind. that's probably been a hindrance to exploring the moody blues cos i really, really hate "A Whiter Shade of Pale"

anyway, listening to DOFP for the first time right now and...we'll see. i don't mind the disneyfied sound (actor is my favorite st. vincent album) but nothing else is hitting on the level of "Nights in White Satin"
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Postby freshweed » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:51 pm

Dofp has some nice poetry
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Postby Poptone » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:54 pm

i don't pay much attention to lyrics tbh

even when i sit down with an album with the express purpose of focusing on lyrics, within a few songs my mind starts wavering, jumping around, and focusing on other individual instruments/overall sound
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Postby Ted Pikul » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:55 pm

Yeah to be honest I haven't really absorbed the lyrics much
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Postby Poptone » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:55 pm

i also must have some sort of aural impediment that makes any words not actually spoken (as opposed to sung) incomprehensible to me

gimme dat lyric sheet

or, failing that, rock genius
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Postby Mesh » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:59 pm

Poptone wrote:i have always confused and conflated the moody blues and procol harum in my mind. that's probably been a hindrance to exploring the moody blues cos i really, really hate "A Whiter Shade of Pale"


Same except I like "AWSoP" quite a bit.
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Postby brent » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:22 pm

Ted Pikul wrote:We can still talk DOFP, but in the interest of getting this thread really rolling

Led Zeppelin

Image

Led Zeppelin is the eponymous debut studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was first released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group's four members, the album was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London, and established their fusion style of both blues and rock music. It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin's take on the emerging hard rock sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.



Jimmy Page – acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars, production
Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica, bass[58]
John Bonham – drums, timpani, backing vocals
John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Hammond organ, backing vocals
Viram Jasani – tabla on "Black Mountain Side"


just did zepp I now cos i listen to music at work all day. thoughts...

first thought every time i listen to it: 'good times bad times' has to be THE single best first song on a first album by a band that i can think of. it makes me want to kick down a fucking door. i can't believe the album was recorded in 1968/released in 1969. my gripes with the album are few and far between:
- sequencing is a little off to me.
- i don't care about 'babe i'm gonna leave you' or 'i can't quit you baby'.
- as an album it does not truly stand out (to me) in their catalogue like their best ones do.
that's about it. love everything else about this album, esp. bonham's drums.

a little rambling personal history as i reminisce about zepp in general: stairway to heaven was the first song i learned to play on guitar. zeppelin was one of the first older bands that really clicked for me, along with some other usual suspects (beatles, sabbath, floyd) at a time where i was really mostly just listening to 90's grunge. after i heard tool cover 'no quarter', i borrowed the s/t 4 disc boxed set from an uncle and fell hard for 'em. listened to them consistently as a teenager thru my nu metal -> hardcore phases, then took a long break when i started discovering more obscure older music, but came back to them in a big way in my late 20's. every year or two since then, i'll go on a big kick and spin their entire discography for kicks so it probably hasn't been all that long since i've spun this one...
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Postby rich uncle skeleton » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:55 am

I'm about halfway through DOFP, first time listening although I'm familiar with the hits. The interludes seemed very bizarre and oft-putting at first, I found the first few tracks to be a serious slog. By the time Tuesday Afternoon rolls around it starts to click, but this definitely seems like an influential album for the really bloated, overdone 70's prog stuff I hate. I'm much more stoked to revisit LZ1, an album I have fond memories of jamming as a teen.
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Postby rich uncle skeleton » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:06 am

Ted Pikul wrote:(So, to start with some boring historical information)
Days of Future Passed came out in 1967. It was the second Moody Blues album, their first with Justin Hayward and John Lodge (Hayward is the vocalist most associated with the band — he sings on “Nights in White Satin”). The album is considered historically important as the first (?) classical-rock fusion record; the Beatles and other bands had incorporated classical elements into their music, but I believe this is the first with entirely classical passages. Interestingly, there are multiple mixes of the record floating around: the original 1967 mix was lost and unavailable for a really long time, so many rereleases used a different mix. I actually don’t know which mix I downloaded back in the day. :oops:

(Anyway)
I like this album, even though I admit it can be a chore to get through. I have a soft spot for mixing rock and orchestra, and while more often than nought it can be a disaster, this is one of the times that it works. What anchors the album is that the band sounds comfortable next to the orchestra, and the orchestral passages are well integrated thematically even if the music itself is very movie soundtrack. And there’s a straight line influence to bands I love, like The Divine Comedy.

I actually find this album works better if you break it up into chunks rather than listen straight through. “Nights in White Satin” is a masterpiece with the best use of the orchestra on the album (the way the strings segue into the guitar melody gives me chills), and I’m also a fan of the poppy stuff like “Forever Afternoon” (or Tuesday Afternoon or whatever it’s called), “The Morning: Another Morning” and “Peak Hour,” which is basically the Beatles if the Beatles didn’t have distinctive songwriting personalities. And “Dawn” also has a cool creeping, foreboding melody that makes it a quiet standout. Not hugely fond of the “Evening/Sun Set/Twilight Time” stuff. It’s fine, just doesn’t do anything for me.

As for the orchestral parts, I like the more peppy stuff like “Lunch Break” although I’m less fond of the slower orchestral passages, especially the “Day Begins”, and the spoken word stuff. I kinda wish the band had chosen to work with a more cutting edge composer, like imagine if someone like Terry Riley had written the orchestral parts, although from what I understand they were already taking a huge gamble here.

My favorite Moody Blues album is still easily TOCCC (which is one of my favorite albums of all time).


Huh, see I'm not really familiar with the Moody Blues but a post like this from someone with earnest love for them definitely helps. Agree with you that it seems more enjoyable in chunks, and when the orchestral/rock mixing works (like on Afternoon here and The Night from what I remember) it really works. But those first few songs seem to me like mixing the two just to mix them, and the intro is straight trash (tho not unexpected for the time).

Also can you say more about this, or copy and paste from somewhere?

although from what I understand they were already taking a huge gamble here.
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Postby ripersnifle » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:17 am

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Postby Ted Pikul » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:07 pm

rich uncle skeleton wrote:Also can you say more about this, or copy and paste from somewhere?

although from what I understand they were already taking a huge gamble here.


The band was in a pretty bad place when they recorded this. Their first album came out in '65 and didn't do well commercially despite Go Now being a #1. Afterwards they had some unsuccessful singles and Denny Laine (who was their lead singer and songwriter) left the band, along with their bass player. They scrapped work on their second album since Laine had written the majority of it, and broke up briefly. Even after Hayward arrived they still had trouble finding their sound, had some bad live shows, and owed their record company money for never releasing the second album. If DOFP had been unsuccessful it probably would have destroyed the band.
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Postby Ted Pikul » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:11 pm

brent wrote:
Ted Pikul wrote:We can still talk DOFP, but in the interest of getting this thread really rolling

Led Zeppelin

Image

Led Zeppelin is the eponymous debut studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was first released on 12 January 1969 in the United States and on 31 March 1969 in the United Kingdom by Atlantic Records. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group's four members, the album was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London, and established their fusion style of both blues and rock music. It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin's take on the emerging hard rock sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.



Jimmy Page – acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars, production
Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica, bass[58]
John Bonham – drums, timpani, backing vocals
John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Hammond organ, backing vocals
Viram Jasani – tabla on "Black Mountain Side"


just did zepp I now cos i listen to music at work all day. thoughts...

first thought every time i listen to it: 'good times bad times' has to be THE single best first song on a first album by a band that i can think of. it makes me want to kick down a fucking door. i can't believe the album was recorded in 1968/released in 1969. my gripes with the album are few and far between:
- sequencing is a little off to me.
- i don't care about 'babe i'm gonna leave you' or 'i can't quit you baby'.
- as an album it does not truly stand out (to me) in their catalogue like their best ones do.
that's about it. love everything else about this album, esp. bonham's drums.

a little rambling personal history as i reminisce about zepp in general: stairway to heaven was the first song i learned to play on guitar. zeppelin was one of the first older bands that really clicked for me, along with some other usual suspects (beatles, sabbath, floyd) at a time where i was really mostly just listening to 90's grunge. after i heard tool cover 'no quarter', i borrowed the s/t 4 disc boxed set from an uncle and fell hard for 'em. listened to them consistently as a teenager thru my nu metal -> hardcore phases, then took a long break when i started discovering more obscure older music, but came back to them in a big way in my late 20's. every year or two since then, i'll go on a big kick and spin their entire discography for kicks so it probably hasn't been all that long since i've spun this one...


The 1-2 punch that opens this album is unfuckwithable. Good Times Bad Times, and Babe I'm Gonna Leave you is actually my favorite track :P

This must have blown people's minds in 1968. I don't think anything out there compared to the creeping doom of Dazed and Confused. Like The Who and the Stones were loud but not heavy, and Black Sabbath and Deep Purple were just getting started. And is Communication Breakdown a punk song?

I like the whole thing, it's short and to the point. I don't mind that generic blues rock stuff like You Shook Me, I'd rather listen to Led Zeppelin do that than a lesser band. And Black Mountain Side is notable as an experimental instrumental that's actually pretty good
Last edited by Ted Pikul on Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ted Pikul » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:13 pm

Also the sequence of Dazed and Confused --> Your Time is Gonna Come reminds me of Paranoid Android --> Subterranean Homesick Alien somehow
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Postby Jefferson Zeppelin » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:37 pm

oh my god zeppelin is so good

I haven't given them a serious listen in years
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Postby Milk » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:53 pm

Ted Pikul wrote:Personally, I got into music through the Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc .



didnt realise we had someone on the board who's in their late 60's
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Postby Poptone » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:54 pm

first zep album drags for me in many parts but the tentpoles of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Dazed and Confused, and Communication Breakdown make it all worthwhile
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