The musical grounds of the late ‘60s were fertile periods in a changing time as the ‘70s prepared to emerge. There were many psychedelic bands, some good (Pink Floyd – Sid Barrett version, Jefferson Airplane, 13th Floor Elevators, Iron Butterfly, to name just a few), some not so good, and some just forgotten. Keith West and his Tomorrow band was one of the Pink Floyd-like psychedelic bands in the late ‘60s that never really got their due despite the fact that they were as good as any of them. Producing music in the vein of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, and not like Iron Butterfly’s psychedelic extended progressions, Tomorrow was an understated band.
One of the components of that band was pre-Yes Steve Howe. If you were a fan of Yes, then you have likely followed the tree backward and have already discovered Tomorrow, if not musically, then, at least by name. It is stated that John Peel, the late, great, English DJ known for his recorded sessions with many bands, loved Tomorrow. There is good reason; Tomorrow is a fantastic band, an “undiscovered” gem in a time of many bands vying for attention in the young years of Rock.
Interestingly, there are songs on Tomorrow – most notably the first song, which was also one of their singles, “My White Bicycle” – that could easily fit in with today’s music, having a flavour of today’s favored punk-pop sound within its makeup. But, equally, you’ll hear the song makeup that permeated Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Yes, Tomorrow was that good.
They have several covers here that include a superb version of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” included on the original track-listing of the album, and “Why,” a Byrds tune. “Claramount Lake” is a B-side component of “My White Bicycle” and is included here as well as an alternative Mono version of “Real Life Permanent Dream,” a Mono version of “Revolution,” and another version of “Now Your Time Has Come.”
There are three songs by The Aquarian Age, performed without Howe, and West, but with original Tomorrow members, Junior (John Wood), and Twink (John Alder).
EMI reissued the classic album in 1999 with some other added bonuses that include some surprises, especially for those that think they’ve seen every work from famed sessions drummer Aynsley Dunbar (Journey/Jefferson Starship), and guitarist/bassist Ron Wood (Birds/The Creation/Jeff Beck Group/Faces/Rolling Stones). Keith West, performing on tracks that included Steve Howe, Ronnie Wood, and Aynsley Dunbar, had a kind of supergroup going on in the final 4 bonus tracks of this reissue. That makes these tracks more historically interesting to archivists who crave these kinds of unearthed thing.
The 12-page booklet runs through the history of Keith West and his band with notes, interview splices, and plenty of photos and memorabilia including record label shots. There is also a complete track-list with crediting information.
All in all, the 23 tracks found on this remastered reissue are inclusive and essential to the memory of the band and their accomplishments. Fans of this late ‘60s psychedelic period will be thrilled with the music found on this set and thankful for the discovery if you had been previously unaware.