The Moody Blues
has spanned the emotional spectrum in service of "Nights in White Satin." In 1967, the group cried in the studio while recording this epic depiction of unrequited love. Three decades later, it performed a parodic version of the song-closing poem, "Late Lament," on The Simpsons
("Coldhearted Homer ditching his wife"). By then, the band was past its commercial prime (The Simpsons
had them opening for a Moody Blues tribute act), but self-deprecation aside, a group with this legacy should be nobody's punch line. Initially an R&B outfit, the Moody Blues dramatically overhauled its sound on 1967's Days of Future Passed
, a symphonic-rock milestone that inspired everything from chamber pop to power metal. The Moody Blues revisited the charts during the unfathomable adult-prog phase of the early and mid-'80s, and some of those singles (most notably "Your Wildest Dreams") still make the set list. The group's creative core (Graeme Edge, John Lodge and Justin Hayward) remains intact as Days of Future Passed
celebrates its 40th anniversary.