Tomorrow’s debut album
If one were to think of a psychedelic rock band that was largely ignored during its day, yet has gone on to acquire a cult following in the intervening years, rocketing them to the status of psychedelic legends, then Tomorrow would fit the bill perfectly.
Despite being the first band to record a BBC Radio 1 John Peel session, commercial success eluded them, and even a firm, if brief, following on the underground wasn’t enough to make 1968′s self-titled debut anything more than a lone shot at album glory.
The fickle nature of swinging 60′s musical adulation may have prevented Tomorrow from recording beyond 1967, but it doesn’t stop the eponymous record from being anything short of a minor classic.
The band was made up of Keith West (who had scored a hit in 1967 with ‘Grocer Jack – Extract From a Teenage Opera‘), Steve Howe (future Yes guitarist), Twink (soon to be drummer and lunatic-in-residence with The Pretty Things and The Pink Fairies) and bassist John ‘Junior’ Wood.
‘My White Bicycle’, a three minute psychedelic masterstroke in the truest sense of the word, kicks Tomorrow off with its backwards-phased guitar and seemingly carefree lyrics, allegedly celebrating the work of a Dutch anarchist group and their communal bicycle program. From then on in we’re treated to a polychromatic smorgasbord of blistering psychedelic rock, toytown-psych and the baroque, knitted together with a yarn flecked by the finest phasing and sitar chicanery.
‘Real Life Permanent Dream’ needs no introduction to anybody with a love of technicoloured dreamscapes, resplendent in its sitar-festooned overcoat, and ‘Revolution’, despite its cringe-inducing preamble, is a driving ode to subversion, fractured by intermittent blasts of scorching guitar.
Away from such harder-edged tracks, the toytown-psychedelia crowd are also well catered for, with the likes of ‘Colonel Brown’, ‘Shy Boy’, ‘Auntie Mary’s Dress Shop’ and, to a lesser extent, the whimsically jaunty ‘Three Jolly Dwarfs’ putting in a good showing.
Tomorrow even find time to cover The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in a manner that sounds as though they haven’t taken the trouble to piss on John Lennon’s (albeit not yet dug) grave en route to the studio. Yes, Tomorrow is everything and more. A microcosm of 1967′s swinging London distilled onto one disc.
The 1999 reissue features a host of bonus tracks, including ‘Claramount Lake’, the B-side to the single release of ‘My White Bicycle’. The only downside to of all this is that the remastering is terrible, with the sound all over the shop – hollow in places, completely sucked out in others. Unfortunately the 1999 CD reissue is the only way of hearing this brilliant album at present (away from an original vinyl pressing, of course). EMI are in dire need of remedying that ASAP, though 11 years on, one holds out little hope.
Tomorrow, by Tomorrow, is reissued by EMI and available from Amazon.co.uk
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