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Tomorrow - Tomorrow CD (album) cover

TOMORROW

Tomorrow

 

Proto-Prog

2.81 | 46 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Tomorrow is one band that can legitimately claim the designation of ‘proto-prog’. They were among the early British psych bands who laid the foundation for many progressive bands that followed. The band also launched the career of Steve Howe. And there is more than a little evidence to suggest they influenced even some of their contemporaries, including the Beatles (check out the bonus track “Revolution” on the CD reissue of this album); the Who; and even Syd Barrett (arguably in a negative way), who drummer ‘Twink’ Adler played with briefly after Adler left Tomorrow and Barrett was long gone from Pink Floyd.

Musically Tomorrow’s compositions have been compared to some of Barrett’s work around the same time with Pink Floyd, meaning really that they tended to be short, rather intense in tempo, and generally socio-cultural in theme, although generally in a rather abstract way. Tomorrow’s music was also much more coherent than much of Barrett’s stuff though.

This is definitely a period piece as far as the themes and the compositions. The sound is decidedly 1968, just to the right of full-blown hippy music and a bit left of contemporary popular music of the same period. It compares fairly well to the first couple of Moody Blues albums, as well as the Kinks, Manfred Mann, Rolling Stones, and Soft Machine albums around the same time. But most of those bands hung around for a while and developed their sound, whereas Tomorrow faded into obscurity pretty quickly, with only Steve Howe really making a strong name for himself in the industry after the band’s demise. And maybe Adler as well, who besides appearing with Barrett would go on to log time with the Pink Fairies and Pretty Things.

Most of that 1968 music hasn’t aged particularly well, appealing today mostly to those middle-agers who have fond memories of these songs when they were new. And I doubt if all that many music fans around today can legitimately make that claim about Tomorrow since the band recorded only one album which was not particularly well- received. The band had a couple singles, both of which are on the CD version of this record, and neither of which garnered much attention.

Besides the tracks already mentioned, there are a few other interesting tracks worth noting. The “Strawberry Fields Forever” cover is a very faithful rendition of the Beatles classic, with Howe giving Paul McCartney a real lesson on how psych-pop guitar should be played. “Hallucinations” is too poppish and short to really be a psych tune, but Howe on guitar and Mark Wirtz on keyboards come close.

And the short tempo changes and gibberish vocals on “The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase” make this one seem like a missing Sgt. Pepper’s tune, while “Auntie Mary's Dress Shop” could almost be considered a Brit prog-folk tune.

This is an interesting album historically, and I can see where the band would have had some appeal in the time it was released. But this is collectors-stuff for the most part, more significant as a curio than as a serious addition to a prog collection. I’m tempted to give it two stars for that reason, but the compositions are pretty tight, Howe is excellent as the new young stud guitarist on the block, and the short ditties do kind of grow on you after a while. So three stars, but fair warning that unless you have an affinity for pre-Woodstock pop-psych you probably should avoid this one.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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