On The Threshold Of A Dream
REVIEW BY: David Bowling
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/11/2011
On The Threshold Of A Dream is an album where the sum is better than the parts. There were no breakout songs or hit singles such as “Nights In White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” from Days Of Future Passed or “Ride My See Saw” from In Search Of The Lost Chord. Instead, the music all hangs together and the songs need to be experienced as a whole rather than individually. Released in April of 1969, it would be the Moody Blues largest selling album to date, reaching number one in England.
It was another concept album from The Moody Blues. After exploring the themes of a day in the life of a person and the journey of spiritual enlightenment, they now turned to dreams. While still maintaining their classical-rock fusion roots, they would move a little closer to what can be considered to be progressive rock. The lyrics were a little more obscure and open to interpretation than in the past, but the lush instrumentals maintained their otherworldly quality. Of all their releases, this one may have painted the best visual pictures.
Graeme Edge leads off the album in typical Moody Blues fashion. “In The Beginning” introduces the theme as he employs spoken lyrics. It immediately establishes the mood of what will follow.
John Lodge continued his tradition of providing upbeat material. His “Send Me No Wine” and “To Share Our Love” can both be considered love songs hidden in rock structures, and Mike Pinder provides the lead vocal for the second tune, which was rare for a Lodge composition. His songs would usually stand out as they tended to rock more than the material by the other members of the group.
Justin Hayward contributed two songs. “Lovely To See You” and “Never Comes The Day” are both melodic and feature his comfortable vocals. They tend to lull the listener and draw them into the sound.
Mike Pinder created the most complex and interesting music on this disc. His two-part “Have You Heard” and “The Voyage” form three quarters of a suite that close the album. “The Voyage” features his mellotron as the focal point, while a cello and flute dart in and out. “So Deep Within You” is a song of longing for love and features one of Ray Thomas’ stellar flute solos.
The track that may capture the ambiance of the album best is “Are You Sitting Comfortably?” which was written by Ray Thomas and Justin Hayward. It uses the imagery of King Arthur and Camelot. Thomas’ flute creates a dreamy sound as it floats above Hayward’s guitar work.
On The Threshold Of A Dream is another Moody Blues album that stands the test of time well. The music has majesty and creates a sense of wonder and not many albums can make that claim. It should be a part of everyone’s collection.