The Moody Blues' second album, 1967's Days of Future Passed, is considered a psychedelic rock masterpiece, and it spawned two hit singles, "Tuesday Afternoon (Forever?)" and "Nights in White Satin". However, when the time came to re-release it in 1978, the master tapes had deteriorated to the point where only essential parts of the original album remained. This meant entire backing tracks had to be cut and altered to form the newer mix, along with other artistic changes.
Differences between the original vinyl mix and the Quad and CD mixes are as follows:
- "Dawn Is A Feeling" has a rougher, more sudden, transition from the orchestral interlude, and has less reverb on the bridges, to make them stand out from the verses and chorus.
- The orchestral sections in "Lunch Break (Peak Hour)" go on for another 20 seconds before the song fades out.
- In "Tuesday Afternoon (Forever?)", the Mellotron flute mixes better into the flute in the orchestral ending, making it sound like one flute is playing throughout.
- "Evening (Time To Get Away)" has lost all the recorded backing vocals from the band, leaving John Lodge singing alone. Additionally, in the same song, the words "evening, time to get away" are repeated twice before the song ends. In the vinyl mix, they were repeated thrice.
- Also in "Evening" is a Mellotron part that is lost on the bridges, though it is identical to the riff being played in the middle section.
- "The Sunset" lost a piano part that played along with the string drones. The song also has a very different reverb on the words, "through the night".
- "Twilight Time" no longer has backing vocals that fade in and out at strategic points in the song; instead, the backing vocals are at a consistent volume throughout.
- "Nights in White Satin" has a different intro; it was fixed to make it onstep with the orchestral interlude, rather than offstep, as per the original mix. Also, the original mix featured a noise filter over the drums, giving it a more ghostly, ethereal sound, while the drums in the CD version are unfiltered, giving it a rawer sound.
Notably, there's a rumor that the original tracks were never lost, but that internal issues and politics lead Polydor to create a new mix, and claim that the original tracks were too deteriorated to use. This rumor is supported by the apparent existence of a CD that was said to have been floating around Polydor's studios around 2006, containing the vinyl mix (originally intended to be included in the 2006 SACD remix).
The compilation album Time Traveler contains an excellent quality version of "Nights in White Satin"'s vinyl mix, supporting the idea that a good quality master still exists somewhere.