English psychedelic pop group best remembered today as Steve Howe’s Yesterday.
Kronomyth 1.0: Tomorrow never knows.
The first (and only) Tomorrow elpee is a pleasant artifact from the short-lived but highly popular psychedelic scene of the late 60s. Unfortunately, the record was released almost a year after it was recorded; it sounded dated by 1968 and hasn’t aged any better over the years. The band’s singles, “Revolution” and “My White Bicycle,” fared better from earlier releases. The music leans decidedly toward the pop side of the psychedelic experience: precious vignettes of lost souls (“Colonel Brown,” “Shy Boy”), fairy tales (“Auntie Mary’s Dress Shop,” “Three Jolly Little Drawfs”) and harmless blows against the empire (“My White Bicycle,” “Revolution”).
Produced by Mark Wirtz, the album makes use of what were at the time sophisticated studio recording techniques, such as multitracking and phasing; the band even takes on The Beatles’ daunting “Strawberry Fields Forever.” In describing the sound of Tomorrow, I’d plot it somewhere between the contemporary work of Pink Floyd and David Bowie; lighter than the one, heavier than the other. Although most of the songs are credited to Keith Hopkins (West’s real name) and Ken Burgess, Steve Howe’s guitar work is the driving force behind nearly every song. Yeswatchers will take particular delight in Howe’s solo on “Now Your Time Has Come,” one of the earliest examples of what would become Howe’s distinctive sound (showcased to better effect in Bodast).
Some people regard the first Tomorrow album as a psychedelic classic; people who presumably know more about the psychedelic revolution than me. Had this album been released in the spring of 1967 then, yes, it might have been highly influential. But in the interim between its recording and its release, Tomorrow’s debut had been superseded by the work of The Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles, Traffic, Cream, etc. Fans of psychedelic pop will enjoy the trip back to the past, Steve Howe fans will be better served by Bodast and the kloset kinks among us will lift “Shy Boy” on our shoulders.
Original LP Version
A1. My White Bicycle (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (3:15)
A2. Colonel Brown (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (2:51)
A3. Real Life Permanent Dream (Keith Hopkins) (3:14)
A4. Shy Boy (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (2:24)
A5. Revolution (Keith Hopkins/Steve Howe) (3:50)
*A6. Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera” (Mark Wirtz/Keith Hopkins (4:31)
B1. The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase (Keith Hopkins) (3:15)
B2. Auntie Mary’s Dress Shop (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (2:42)
B3. Strawberry Fields Forever (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) (3:56)
B4. Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (2:26)
B5. Now Your Time Has Come (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (4:51)
B6. Hallucinations (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess) (2:30)
* Added on Import Records elpee release (IMP 1003).
Expanded CD reissue bonus tracks
12. Claramount Lake
13. Real Life Permanent Dream (alternative early mono version)
15. Revolution (phased mono version)
16. Now Your Time Has Come
17. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box
18. Good Wizzard Meets Naughty Wizzard
20. On A Saturday
21. The Kid Was A Killer
23. The Visit
CD reissue version (Japan)
1. My White Bicycle (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
2. Colonel Brown (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
3. Real Life Permanent Dream (Keith Hopkins)
4. Shy Boy (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
5. Clarmount Lake (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
6. Revolution (Keith Hopkins/Steve Howe)
7. The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase (Keith Hopkins)
8. Auntie Mary’s Dress Shop (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
9. Strawberry Fields Forever (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
10. Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
11. Now Your Time Has Come (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
12. Hallucinations (Keith Hopkins/Ken Burgess)
Steve Howe (guitar), Junior (John Wood) (bass), Twink (John Adler) (drums), Keith West (Keith Hopkins) (vocals), John “Junior” Wood with Mark P. Wirtz (keyboard instruments). Musical direction and production by Mark P. Wirtz; recording engineered by Geoff Emerick, Peter Brown.
Cover design by Mike Sedgewick.
Released on mono and stereo elpee in February 1968* in the UK (Parlophone, PMC/PCS 7042). (*First appeared in 2/24/68 issue of Melody maker.)
- Re-issued on expanded elpee in the US (Import Records, IMP 1003) with one bonus track.
- Re-released on expanded compact disc on August 25, 1991 in Japan (EMI, TOCP-6799).
- Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc in 1999 in the UK (EMI, 98819-2) and Japan (Parlophone, TOCP-67517).
- Re-issued on 140g vinyl mono elpee in 2015 (Parlophone, PPMC 7042).
1 thought on “[Review] Tomorrow Featuring Keith West: Tomorrow (1968)”
I’m old enough to have seen them several times. Most notably at Christmas On Earth (Cont) on Dec. 22nd 1967. The night the ’50m Technicolour Dream’ stuff was recorded. They were quite incredible ‘live’ and the album is an English Psych Classic. Despite what the review says. Its also a contender, along with the first ‘Nice’ album. for the beginnings of Prog. Over a year before the first King Crimson album. Along with ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’, ‘Music In A Doll’s House’, ‘Mr. Fantasy’, ‘Soft Machine Vol.One and The Pretty Things ‘SF Sorrow’ it’s a top 6 UK Psych nugget!