Top positive review
56 people found this helpful
Credible, seemingly overlooked classic album
on 9 March 2004
This to date, remains one of my more satisfying psychedelic rock/pop album purchases, some of which have been pretty disappointing as most albums from the 60's that get labelled 'psychedelic' aren't actually psychedelic musically. They just usually have very surreal front cover art work but frustratingly down-to-earth music. This album however, is at least a bit more of an exception as Tomorrow were one of the leading London underground sixties psychedelic bands.
'My White Bicycle' is a good opener. Not exactly very opening-track-of-Pink-Floyd's-'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' surreallistic, but nice enough, about a guy and his journey on a bike. Features excellent Indian sitar style guitar playing by Steve Howe.
Colonel Brown to me is like Tomorrow's equivalent of the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper (the song, not the album) and Pink Floyd's 'Corporal Clegg'. In fact, what the hell was that 60's psychedelia band/military ranks songs connection all about? Hmmm......
Anyway it starts of as quite a happy song, about the Colonel and features very bouncy rhythm and uplifting chords, but eventually becomes quite sad, morbid, as lead singer Keith West sings '...Colonel Brown sits in his wheelchair and he tries to pray again'. Once again, very good vocals/guitar/bass/drumming from all four band members here.
'Real Life Permanent Dream' is a good sitar led love song. Always nice to hear sitars in rock songs. Again, very good performing from all four guys.
Shy Boy is a very charming whimsical song, with a toytown-esque organ part from the album's producer Mark Wirtz. To quote some of the lyrics: 'She is very thin, has freckles on her skin, and her hair is mousy...'. It could be labelled as cheesy and immature, but I don't care when it comes to quality, quirky Syd Barrett-esque rock music.
The album's fifth song, 'Revolution' is another good song. Very optimistic and inspiring, summing up the essence and psychology behind the 'flower power' movement very well with the call of 'Have Your Own Little Revolution...NOWWW!!!!!!'
'The Incredible Journey Of Timothy Chase' is another good inclusion of the album. It's actually one of the least interesting tracks on the album (which is saying something), but with quality singing, guitar/bass/drum playing once again, it's enough to keep your interest levels up without provoking a 'this is a filler track' feeling.
'Aunty Mary's Dress Shop' - yet another very charming, happy whimsical rock/pop song about an exciting clothes shop, the sort of shop which would've been on London's Kings Road at the time. Listening to this song really gets me excited and fired up to go and shop somewhere were I can buy psychedelic/hippy clothing. Lovely stuff.
The next song is a credible cover version of a legendary Beatles song, 'Strawberry Fields'. Okay, it's not as good as the original (how could the original possibly be rivalled) and is less surreal but it's no underachievement either. A rather enjoyable listen thanks, yet again, to the band's high musical/performing talent.
'Three Jolly Little Dwarfs'. They don't come much more whimsical than this. Extremely happy, jolly, fairy tale lyric based song about three (I presume - imaginary!) dwarfs. Most people might cringe listening to this song but, for Syd Barrett fans like myself, it should be a real fun listen.
'Now Your Time Has Come' is next. Like 'The Incredible Journey Of Timothy Chase, is one of the band's more mediocre compositions, but is still well worth a listen and the Tomorrow boys' performing is on high gear, once again, not least because of Steve Howe's terrific guitar solo.
'Hallucinations' is excellent, very good. Great minor chords, great vocals, very catchy, and surreal lyrics. One of the most psychedelic songs on the album (don't expect 'Interstellar Overdrive). ''Rainboww[...] mome-e-e-ennnnnttt...''.
'Claramount' Lake is one of the album's more average songs. It's actually not psychedelic or whimsical at all, but still well worth a listen, with very good, high profile drumming from Twink.
The above 11 tracks compose the original album. The following are additions for the re-release of the album onto CD.
Next we have an alternative early version of 'Real Life Permanent Dream', the main difference in this version being that the tempo of the song is quicker, and there's no sitar. Not as good as the other version unsurprisingly, but still good.
Next we have 'Why'. Good song (originally by the Byrds, I think), fast pace, another good performance. That's all I can say about this track, well, oh yeah, Steve Howe's excellent guitar playing once again...
Next is a phased mono version of 'Revolution' and wow! It is superb! The best song on the CD if you ask me. Much better than the other version (which is good don't get me wrong). This version flows better and the phasing effect really does give it a great psychedelic feel. A must listen!
'Now Your Time Has Come'. I'm not sure wether this is another version of the same song by the band, or a different song which they just decided to give the same name! I don't know, because it is quite different from the other song on the album of the same name. This one is the better of the two, with, very good guitar playing from Steve Howe, yet again!!
After this we have have songs by Aquarian Age (which was a reformed Tomorrow I think) and solo songs by Keith West. They're okay, but definitely not as good as the Tomorrow songs. I kinda lose interest in the album once you get to track 17/18. If the tracks after these had been left out, I would've definitely given the album a 5 out of 5. Oh well, never mind.
All in all a high quality album, definitely one I would recommend for fans of early/Barrett driven Pink Floyd, Kaleidoscope or similar music. Like I say, it's actually not that psychedelic, but is more psychedelic than most so called psychedelic 60's albums (i.e. Jefferson Airplane's 'Surrealistic Pillow', which, although is a quality album, contains only 1 psychedelic song - White Rabbit!). Tracks 1-16 on the album are an essential listen. After that it goes downhill, but definitely recommended overall.
Keith West, Steve Howe, John Wood (Junior) and John Alder(Twink) were all very good musicians and it's a shame there's only one Tomorrow studio album. Although they do have a CD out filled with live recordings and out-takes. Hmmm, I might check that out. In the meantime definitely check this one out.
P.S. Sorry for the immensely long review!!!