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TOMORROW

Proto-Prog • United Kingdom


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Tomorrow biography
In the early days of British psychedelia, three bands were consistently cited as first-generation figureheads of the London-based underground sound: PINK FLOYD, the SOFT MACHINE, and TOMORROW. PINK FLOYD became superstars and the SOFT MACHINE influential cult legends, but TOMORROW is mostly remembered (if at all) for featuring Steve HOWE as their lead guitarist in his pre-YES days. Actually, TOMORROW was nearly the equal of the two more celebrated outfits. Along with the early FLOYD and SOFT MACHINE, they shared a propensity for flower-power whimsy. Though they were less recklessly innovative and imaginative, their songwriting was accomplished, with adroit harmonies, psychedelic guitar work, and adventurous structures and tempo changes. They never succumbed to mindless indulgence or jamming; indeed, their tracks were rather short and tightly woven in comparison with most psychedelic bands. A couple singles (especially "My White Bicycle") were underground favorites, but the group only managed to record one album before breaking up in 1968. Lead singer Keith West, even before the breakup, had a number two British hit with "Excerpt From A Teenage Opera," which helped inspire Pete Townshend's + Tommy. Drummer Twink joined the PRETTY THINGS and, later, the PINK FAIRIES.

: : : Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide : : :

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TomorrowTomorrow
EMI 1999
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TOMORROW discography


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2.81 | 48 ratings
Tomorrow
1968

TOMORROW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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TOMORROW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
50 Minute Technicolor Dream
1998

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TOMORROW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One of the leading, and most important, of the British outfits from the brief, late-sixties psychedelic boom, Tomorrow featured a fairly iconic line-up of soon-to-be famous musicians, future Yes guitarist-and-stalwart Steve Howe chief among them. Accompanied by oddball drummer Twink(real name John Adler), popular vocalist Keith West(him of 'Teenage Opera' fame), keyboardist Mark Wirtz and bassist John Wood, Tomorrow were a talented outfit who straddled the (then) increasingly blurred line between straight-ahead pop and multicoloured psychedelia, offering up such catchy nuggets as album-opener 'My White Bicycle', the jocular 'Colonel Brown' and the deceptively-complex 'Real Life Permanent Dream'(as well as an excellent, rocked-up version of The Beatles seminal 'Strawberry Fields'), tracks that laid the blueprint for much of the psychedelic rock-and-pop appearing across Britain in the aftermath of this album's 1968 release. Of course, when compared with the emerging progressive acts - the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes & Genesis as well as fellow psych-purveyors Pink Floyd - the five-pieces kitsch music seems less impressive. However, after several listens, 'Tomorrow' reveals a genuine instrumental clarity, hence the lofty reputation the album affords. And remember: without groups like Tomorrow we wouldn't have prog-rock, as it was bands like they(amongst others) who took the limited three-minute pop-format and(obviously influenced in part by their art school backgrounds) expanded it with the reckless glee of youth that colours so much era-defining pop music. Full of good moments then, this is first rate British psychedelia. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars Howe it was yesterday

Tomorrow were an early "supergroup" in reverse, in that the band members went on to find fame and fortune elsewhere. The main interest from a prog perspective is Steve Howe's (YES) involvement in the short lived project. The band evolved from a soul covers band by the name of The In Crowd, intent on writing an playing their own material. They were however also very conscious of their image (Yes, even Steve!), their audience being present as much for what they saw as what they heard.

The music is based in the psychedelic era of the late 1960's, and is best described now using words such as dated and primitive. It is not as dynamic or as exciting as Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, not as commercial as the Bee Gees, and the songs do not have the strength of the Beatles. These though are among the main influences upon Tomorrow, they even cover "Strawberry Fields forever" here.

The opening track "My white bicycle" was a minor hit for the band, and later successfully covered by Narazeth. It is a catchy piece of psych pop, but hardly ground breaking. The rest of the tracks are charming but rather forgettable, descending to a low on the "Laughing gnome" like "Three jolly little dwarfs". "Now your time has come" is the only song with any semblance of complexity, the track featuring the first hints of Howe's distinctive guitar sound in a reasonably long guitar break.

If we are honest, the sole interest here is Howe's involvement. Do not however expect to hear much virtuoso guitar work, Howe is kept very much in check, providing electric rhythm guitar only. Keith West, the vocalist with the band, would enjoy solo commercial success while the band were still an operating unit with his "Excerpt form a teenage opera", and this would lead to the early demise of Tomorrow after just one album.

In all, an inoffensive pop album from the late 1960's, which may be of interest to those looking to find Steve Howe's earliest work. By no means essential though.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by 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

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The main reason for this album is naturally for the fact that guitar virtuoso Steve Howe featured on it. Why not include 'Flaming Youth', coz it was Phil Collins' debut recording as drummer/vocalist ?? Maybe because 'Tomorrow' were superior to FY !! The famous (or is he infamous) Twink is the drummer here, he would go on to the phenomenal 'peoples' band, Pink Faeries. This album contains some quite exciting psychedelic tunes, sometimes following in the wake of 'Sgt. Pepper's...' and Howe's contribution provides an embryonic prescence to his unique style of playing. Not much pfaff to be found here, the only tracks that don't click with me are the pompous 'Excerpt from a Teenage Opera' for side 1, and the somewhat 'sugary' 'Three Jolly Little Dwarfs' on side 2. Key tracks are 'My White Bicycle', 'Colonel Brown', 'Revolution', and 'Now Your Time Has Come', which features a long Steve Howe show-case. Not really prog, but its importance and some really great songs are worth 3.5 stars.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by The Wizard
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Along with Pink Floyd and The Soft Machine, Tommorow were one of the top bands to grace the London underground scene. While Floyd and The Softs liked to expand their compositions live, Tommorow kept them short and sweet. This makes them one of the poppier bands of that scene. This album really isn't prog at all, but it's excellent psychedelic pop. Nonetheless it is pretty trippy, just not very challenging. There is a clear Beatles influence, as well as a clear Syd Barrett influence.

This album is known for two reason (1. Containing future Yes guitar genius Steve Howe and (2. Having the 'hit' single 'My White Bicycle', a classic anthem of the counterculture. you can hear some of the classic trademark Howe guitar moves, but he still is pretty far from where he will be in Yes. An example would be that is jazzy lines found in 'Yours is no Disgrace' appear in this album. I don't really know how much of an influence Howe had on this record, Kieth West seems to be at the front of everything though.

West's vocals are nothing incredible, but they do work for the style. He is very similar to the vocalist for the Pretty Things, and he has a distinct British tone. At least they didn't let Howe sing! The rhythm section is very influenced by The Who, with crashing drums and powerful bass. Twink is a great drummer, and he gets to show his skill on the album. The lyrics are British whimsy, shrouded with a haze of psychedelia.

Much of the experimentation comes from backwards guitar solos, use of sitars and tablas, and crazy effects. This was all common in the era 'Tomorrow' was released, so there's nothing really innovative here. To be honest, the band wasn't really doing anything new or breaking new ground, they were basically just going with the flow. That doesnt make the songs bad or anything, just don't expect any radical experimentation.

Some of the better tracks are 'My White Bicycle', 'Hallucinations' (incredible Steve Howe guitar intro!), 'Real Life Permanent Dream' (great sitar), 'Revolution', 'Claremont Lake', and a nice cover of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'. However, tracks like 'Shy Boy' and ' Auntie Mary's Dress Shop' are an atrocious attempt to take on the British Whimsy of the The Kinks which miserably fail. Otherwise, all the songs range from good to excellent.

Overall, this is well crafted psychedelic pop that doesnt break much ground and with influences clear. With that put aside, this belongs in your collection along with Barrett era Floyd and The Soft Machine. Also check out if your a Steve Howe fan, but be warned that this is has little in common with Yes.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by Certif1ed
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars If you're a rabid fan of Steve Howe, and must own everything he played on, then this is is must-have. Otherwise, it's a fine collection of 1960s psychedelia, that will help your Swingin' Sixties party along - although I would highly recommend albums by The Shocking Blue, Chrysalis and Clear Light above this.

The album itself is basically a collection of unrelated short songs along the lines of "Listen To The Flower People" by Spinal Tap.

However, the version I'm reviewing has bonus tracks, which are far more interesting than the Tomorrow album itself from a Prog perspective - particularly 3 tracks by an offshoot project called "The Aquarian Age" led by John "Twink" Alder - a phenomenal visionary, and participant in many of the most influential bands in the Psychedelic scene, including The Pretty Things, Tomorrow themselves and the Pink Faries (and by implication, Hawkwind).

Otherwise, the album as a whole does not really live up to the experimental promise of the best-known (and opening) track "My White Bicycle". There's a good reason why this was covered in the late 1980s by Nigel Planer, AKA Neil of the BBC TV series "The Young Ones", as it's an archetypical "psychedelic" track, laced with backwards guitar a la "Tomorrow Never Knows", and insane stereo panning guaranteed to have you reaching for the Aspirin.

Nevertheless, although the overall construction is a pop song, it's an interesting curio, and worth obtaining as part of a compilation (there are a fair few 1960s, "old" rock and even prog albums that contain this).

The heavy Beatles influence in "Real Life Permanent Dream" is highly amusing - Tablas and Sitars produce a swrling entry to a song which sounds like it came from half a decade previously. The bass line is notably McCartney in style too - in all, a great example of how progressive the Beatles were, for any doubters. The lyrics seem to be a slight side-swipe at people like Syd Barrett...

One of the buzz words of the swinging sixties was "Revolution", and Tomorrow cram even more psychedelic nonsense in here, with possibly the most expermental track on the album. I use the word "nonsense" fondly here, as although it's clearly gibberish, with the constant references to flower children and such like, this is Steve Howe's major contribution to the album, and the most inventive by several miles. If you can get over the naivety of most of it, it's a highly entertaining piece.

"The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase" is musically based on "Lovely Rita" and "Hey Joe", with some quite bizarre and often interesting tangential changes and a highly promising guitar solo that is cut off in its prime.

The quintessentially English sound conveyed by "Auntie Mary's Dress Shop" is highly reminiscent of Kaleidoscope, but comes in halfway between some of the quirkier Syd Barrett/Floyd songs and the more humourous Beatles numbers. Kudos to the keyboard player for recreating the sound that the Fab 4 used in "Piggies".

A passable and precise - if inferior cover of "Strawberry Fields" is followed by one of the most horrible songs I've ever heard. Yes, it was fashionable to sing about Gnomes and suchlike, but a few seconds of this is enough to clear an entire roomful of happy party- goers.

Steve Howe fans have one more treat in "Now Your Time Has Come", where Steve attempts to imitate a sitar, and also plays some good stuff with a real hippy flavour.

The album ends with an odd song called "Hallucinations" which is notable in it's blandness - although I may have been disappointed in my expectations of some more psychedelic studio jiggery pokery and some of the other awesome experimental music of the time.

THE BONUS TRACKS:

The first is a boring little song called "Claramount Lake", the next is a heavier version of "Real Life Permanent Dream", then a cover of the Byrd's "Why", which Tomorrow used to open their live sets (note, the sleeve notes credit also confusingly credit this song to the earlier Tomorrow incarnation The In Crowd as well as the Byrds), next a "phased MONO version" of "Revolution", and finally a "Long-lost" recording of "Now Your Time Has Come", which doesn't include the line "Now Your Time Has Come" at all... spooky!

After these bonus Tomorrow tracks are 3 songs that make it worth hunting out this version of the CD for any fan of early progressive music - 3 tracks from a John Alder and John Wood (Twink and Junior) project called "The Aquarian Age";

"10,000 words in a Cardboard Box", which is a fabulous song later re-recorded by Twink and his band on the legendary and frankly amazing album "Think Pink".

"Good Wizzard Meets Naughty Wizzard", suffers from far too many hallucinogens, but nevertheless features some really neat playing.

Better examples of this kind of spoken drama over music are to be found on Kaleidoscope's "Tangerine Dream" and the Small Faces "Ogden's Nut Gone". It's deeply silly, and will raise a laugh in some people on the first listen - but the music is great, and more progressive than any of the Tomorrow music.

Not to be heard under the influence of illegal drugs... although I'm sure you're not the type anyway...

"Me" rounds off this trio of triptastic tranciness with harpsichord driven wierdness remarkably sane lyrics and some quite amazing music.

The bonus tracks go on (and on!) with 4 additional tracks from Keith West which are good, but nothing can really follow The Aquarian Age songs - I'd suggest programming your CD player so that the latter come on last.

In short, the version of the CD I'm reviewing from (with the bonus tracks) is of great interest to Prog Historians and those interested in early progressive music - and great psychedelic music. As a result, the most I can give it is 3 stars.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by ofurglassi

2 stars This album is of course psychedelic pop and has nothing to do with prog and I have no problem with that as such. However even with all the well known people involved in making this album, it's thoroughly mediocre psychedelia and totally unexceptional and with all the utterly mindblowing psychedelic albums out there, you should be in no hurry to get this album. In fact I'd even reccomend buying the totally ignored first Genesis album before checking this out (and I don't even like Genesis). Tomorrow is strictly for super Yes fans and fanatical psychedelic collectors.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

1 stars I admit: I only write about Tomorrow for the opportunity to give low rates for change. Maybe this album (made in '67) can be nominated as a classic of British psychedelia and compared to the Floyd debut, and "should" be rated higher than one star - but these are MY ratings! I don't much enjoy Piper at the Gates of Dawn either, but surely more than this. So, how did I come to this album anyway? Plainly for two members: Steve Howe and Keith West. The latter's 'Scenes from a Teenage opera' delighted me long ago and I expected something similar. No. Just typical punkish psychedelia where even Steve Howe plays as if he never learned to play guitar. Some nice harpsichord-like keyboards here and there, but I've heard that so many times (almost in all psychedelia I've tortured myself with - except that I kinda like psychedelic Beatles) that I have no energy to be turned on. No doubt if I had the patience to get into these songs better and see the humour in lyrics I'd give more stars. Musically not a single track won my heart with one quick listening. And why cover 'Strawberry Fields Forever' since Beatles made it perfect already (unless it's for example a smooth jazz cover by Dianne Reeves, or was it Cassandra Wilson). Anyway, if you are a prog-collector and consider this just for Howe's sake, forget it. But if your favourite Pink Floyd album is Piper, you probably like this one too.

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by Trotsky
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars If these were the Psycharchives, Tomorrow's sole album could have retired happily on the basis of the whopping 5 stars I would have accorded it. For I believe this Steve Howe-inspired nugget to be one of the finest examples of late 60s British psychedelic rock. Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience recommend it wholeheartedly to all you proggers out there, so I guess a minor history lesson is in order.

The UK psych scene of the late 60s produced many quality works that might well appeal to progressive fans. Some of the bands responsible for these classics include Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Traffic, Procol Harum, Quintessence and Soft Machine who eventually evolved in a more progressive direction and thus are listed in these archives. Other bands like The Zombies (Odessey And Oracle), The Pretty Things (S.F. Sorrow), Spooky Tooth (Spooky Two), The Small Faces (Ogden's Nut Gone Flake), Nirvana (The Story Of Simon Simopath and All Of Us) and indeed The Beatles (Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour) never made that progression. Tomorrow belongs in the latter category. As far as I'm concerned Tomorrow's eponymous album is a stunning psych album that probably only made it on the archives because one of the group's members went on to became progressive rock's greatest guitarist.

The album itself contains some of my favourite moments of psychedelic rock in the form of My White Bicycle (later covered by rockers Nazareth), the sitar-driven Real Life Permanent Dream, the compulsive Revolution, the aching Hallucinations and a stupendous cover of The Byrds' Why (which was actually just a single B-side tagged on this CD as a bonus track). Allied to the Beatlesque pop of Colonel Brown, Shy Boy, The Incredible Journey Of Timothy Chase, Three Jolly Little Dwarfs and a passable cover of Strawberry Fields Forever that doesn't quite compare to the original (how could it?), but still manages to still comfortably alongside the other tracks, Tomorrow is a mesmerizing, seamless example of top-notch psychedelic rock.

Aside from Why and the equally compelling Claramount Lake (incidentally Howe's trademark playing is most apparent on these two cuts), the bonus tracks include (the rhythm section's side project) The Aquarian Age's marvellous 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box as well as its absolutely atrocious Good Wizzard Meets Naughty Wizzard. There are also four tracks from Tomorrow's lead singer Keith West including Kinks-influenced tracks like On A Saturday and The Kid Was A Killer but regrettably not his hit single Teenage Opera. There's also a bit of a musical whodunnit courtesy of two totally different songs both called Now Your Time Has come!

In a prog-rock context this is hardly essential, but to a psych fan, it's an absolute peach of a discovery just waiting for you. ... 64% on the MPV scale

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 Tomorrow by TOMORROW album cover Studio Album, 1968
2.81 | 48 ratings

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Tomorrow
Tomorrow Proto-Prog

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, this is quite a nice psychedelic pop-rock album of late sixties, just another one in my huge collection and I'll probably not listen to it once again in the near future just like to the others. Not because it's bad, but there are just too many other records which are fulfilling more my demands to music. Some songs are really in a nice experimental vein like early Floyd, but there are as well some not very much exciting. The cover version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" I'd not call necessarily better than the original (who can be better than The Beatles??), just a bit different. I'm not sure whether this record is an essential one unless one is interested to listen to a very early work of Steve Howe. Apart of this fact I could list a full bunch of bands doing some more or less similar stuff in the 60's like them, as for example Edgar Broughton Band, The Who, Love, The Move, Spirit or H.P. Lovecraft to name just a few. But overall good for 3 stars.

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